|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Paul Naschy (as Jacinto Molina), 1978
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Ancla Century Films
Video: Mondo Macabro
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,158,617,364 bytes
Feature Size: 20,911,802,112 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.98 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 13th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio Spanish 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (optional for Spanish version), none
• Audio commentary by Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn (the Naschycast)
Description: In 16th century France, Inquisitor and
magistrate Bernard de Fossey (Paul Naschy) travels to the
plague-ridden region of Peyriac in search of witches and
devil worshippers. Local beauty Catherine (Daniela Giordano)
quickly catches his eye, tormenting him with impure
thoughts, although her affections lie with her handsome
fiancé Jean. Meanwhile, embittered one-eyed manservant
Rénover (Antonio Iranzo) presents Bernard with his first
group of torture victims when he accuses several sexy young
things who spurned his advances of being witches responsible
for the plague.
One by one beautiful women are tortured on the rack then
burned at the stake. No-one seems able to halt the
Inquisition's reign of terror or the baseless accusations
that cause so many innocent deaths. When Jean dies in
mysterious circumstances, Catherine allies herself with
Satan to get revenge on her enemies - foremost among them,
De Fossey himself.
Internationally famed horror star, Paul Naschy embarks on his first directorial effort and proves he was a much better director than those that were directing him. He shows an amazing amount of assurance in the director's chair with a great attention to detail and continuity. It makes one wonder just how his past forays as an actor would have turned out had he been directing those as well. Following in the tradition of past Witch/Devil movies such as the classic WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968), the gruesome MARK OF THE DEVIL (1970) and Ken Russell's THE DEVILS (1971), Naschy's movie follows the template set down by those and other similar movies.Excerpt from CoolAssCinema located HERE
Witch-hunting lends itself easily to the strongest of cinematic exploitation, being used, for the most part, as a pretext for showing very attractive females in naked bondage undergoing horrors from monsters who, not surprisingly, happen to be men. Yet even the most notorious films of this ilk cannot but help manage to make some statement on the inhumanity of the time. There are, after all, those torture sequences that must be explained, the villainy that must be exposed and defeated. Infamous pictures, like THE MARK OF THE DEVIL, present the traditional--and easiest--view: the evil, inflexible Church abusing innocents. Witches, in such films, tend to be figments of the fanatical imagination of religious zealots who pursue and torture their female victims with unwholesome relish and eyes glittering with barely repressed lust. Even worse, some of these zealots know that their female victims are innocent, but, impelled by sexual sadism, they inflict their tortures nonetheless.Excerpt from Naschy located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Inquisition has a decent image quality on Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro - largely due to the condition of the source material as well as the competent, single-layered, 1080P transfer. It's clean with only a handful of visible scratches, has a touch of softness but generally the visuals are bright, colorful, and carry depth. There is minor waxiness obscuring grain but I don't feel digitization efforts were applied. I suspect that this is probably as good as we may see it on Blu-ray. Without zooming in abnormally the image is very acceptable in-motion. I think most will be appreciative of the presentation's depth and colors.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Mondo Macabro go linear PCM, authentically, mono 1.0 channel in both the original Spanish (24-bit) and an English DUB (16-bit). The usual effects - plenty of screams and a decent, dramatic, score by Máximo Barratas sound clean but lack true depth. Regardless, the audio transfer is replicating the original production with a flat, clear sound. There are optional English subtitles for the Spanish-language track.My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Mondo Macabro add a new audio commentary with Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn and it was a good one with plenty of discussion on Naschy, details of the production, shooting in Spain etc. It gives the Blu-ray significant value. There was an 8-minute introduction by Paul Naschy plus a 1/4 hour interview with star Daniela Giordano. Some may appreciate the 2-part 25-minute, 1999 documentary on Spanish horror films entitled Blood and Sand, directed by Andrew Starke and Pete Tombs. It has snippets of interviews with Amando de Ossorio, Orchidea de Santis, Daniela Giordano, Penelope McGhie, Paul Naschy and others. It has English subtitles for the Spanish-language sequences. There is also an 11-minute long trailer of 'More from Macabro.
June 8th, 2017
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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