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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Curse of the Living Dead" or "Operazione paura" or "Operation Fear" or "Die toten Augen des Dr. Dracula" )

 

directed by Mario Bava
Italy 1966

This oppressive and visually overwhelming exercise in the conjuring of atmosphere allowed Mario Bava to crank the gothic stylistic tendencies of Black Sunday into overdrive, finally permitting him to churn out scene after scene of hallucinatory intensity with only the barest threads of a plot to hold it all together. The avenging demonic forces of his past films have been distilled here into the single, chilling image of a ghostly young girl, rolling a sinister pale ball down hallways and street corners as she drives those around her to certain death. Rarely has a more haunting or unforgettable specter graced the horror cinema, and even had he never made another film after this, Bava would have already proven himself as a master filmmaker.

Excerpt from Mondo Digital's review found HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 8 July 1966

Reviews                                                                                             More Reviews                                                                        DVD Reviews

 


Recommended Books on Italian and Giallo Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Comparison:

 

Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL vs. Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

  

   

  

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Laser Paradise
Region 0 - PAL
Koch Media
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Arrow
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:23:21 1:23:27 1:19:54 (4% PAL speedup) 1:23:27.043 1:23:27.293
Video

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.52 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.12 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,335,101,757 bytes

Feature: 29,946,891,648 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 36.92 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,680,016,366 bytes

Feature: 26,143,184,448 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.97 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay

 

Bitrate:

 

VCI

 

Bitrate:

 

Laser Paradise

 

Bitrate: Koch

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Arrow

Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 English Dolby Digital 2.0

German MPEG 2.0

LPCM Audio German 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio German 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None None None German, None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• International Trailer
• TV Spots
• Mario Bava Bio
• Trailers for other Mario Bava Films

DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
Slimcase in a boxset

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33

Edition Details:
• 3 Trailers to other movies
• Filmography and Biography of Mario Bava

DVD Release Date: October 24, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Laser Paradise

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85

Edition Details:

 

DVD Release Date: 16. April 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 13

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,335,101,757 bytes

Feature: 29,946,891,648 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 36.92 Mbps


Edition Details:

Tim Lucas Commentary

Intro by Erika Blanc

• German Trailer (2:28)

• Italian Trailer (2:24)

• Two English trailer (2:24 + 2:32)

• TV Spots (1:33)

• Image Gallery

Two DVDs

• Kill Bava Kill (10:50 - Italian with German subtitles)

• Erika in Angst (10:33 - interview with Erika Blanc - In Italian with German subtitles)

• Melissa Geist (31:41 - In Italian with German subtitles)

• Interview with Erika Blanc (28:05 -  In Italian with German subtitles)

• Second DVD has film with no Lucas Commentary

16-page liner notes booklet (in German with pictures)
 

Custom hard Digibook Blu-ray case

Blu-ray Release Date: April 13th, 2017

Chapters: 16
Release Information:
Studio: Arrow

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,680,016,366 bytes

Feature: 26,143,184,448 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.97 Mbps


Edition Details:

New audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava All the Colors of the Dark

Intro by Erika Blanc (0:29)
The Devil s Daughter: Mario Bava and the Gothic Child, a new video essay by critic Kat Ellinger (21:39)
Kill, Bava, Kill!, an interview with assistant director Lamberto Bava (25:03)

Erika Blanc 2014 Interview (11:00)
Yellow, Semih Tareen's short film homage to the cinema of Mario Bava (6:49)

German Opening (3;25)

• International Trailer (2:32)

Photocomic (1:07)

• Image galler (0:27)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing by critic Travis Crawford)
 

Transparent Blu-ray case

Blu-ray Release Date: September 11th, 2017

Chapters: 12

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

NOTE: We are aware that Kino's Region 'A' Blu-ray of Kill, Baby... Kill will be coming out in October of this year, HERE.

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray September 17': Arrow's new Blu-ray transfer of Mario Bava's Kill, Baby... Kill is very similar to the Koch Media 1080P released earlier this year. Both are on dual-layered disc with max'ed out bitrates. Thee are some color shifts and the Arrow looks best to me with superior contrast and the UK rendering shows more information in the frame - mostly on the right edge. It still has the grain support but colors are superior - if, at time, having a slight blue-leaning. I like the overall image the best of the two BDs.

NOTE: This has the lady on the fallen-on-spikes 'Title sequence' opening.

Arrow also advance in the audio with linear PCM, mono, tracks, in both English and Italian, but 24-bit as opposed to 16. Carlo Rustichelli's (Seduced and Abandoned, Divorce - Italian Style, 1974's Ten Little Indians and tons more) score, reminiscent of his compositions for Bava's The Whip and the Body, maintain a mysterious atmosphere throughout sounding quite eerie and haunting, with more depth via the Arrow uncompressed transfer. Arrow have optional English (SDH) subtitles and their Blu-ray disc is Region FREE!.

Tonight I will tuck-into the new audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava All the Colors of the Dark - I am excited and don't want any distractions. The Arrow also has the brief introduction to the film by Erika Blanc. We get a new video essay - and it's wonderfully insightful - entitled The Devil s Daughter: Mario Bava and the Gothic Child, by critic Kat Ellinger running shy of 22-minutes. Kill, Bava, Kill!, is a 25-minute interview with assistant director Lamberto Bava about his father. There is a 2014 Erika Blanc interview plus we get Yellow, Semih Tareen's short film homage to the cinema of Mario Bava. There is the German opening and title sequence as an extras, an international trailer, photocomic, image gallery and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys. The first pressings get a collector's booklet featuring new writing by critic Travis Crawford.

As anticipated - the Arrow Blu-ray all the way - a superior package with the better a/v, English subtitle, new extra including new commentary by Tim Lucas. Nirvana!! Buy with confidence.

***

 

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray May 17': Koch have created a real gem here. Bava's Kill, Baby... Kill! gets a dual-layered, maxed out bitrate, 1080P, transfer that is rich and grainy - I've never seen the film look better. Skin tones cool and normalize, there is more information in the frame. It looks so heavy and film-like in-motion. Contrast gains layers and the SD artifacts are no where in sight. A shade blue leaning, and brittle but so appreciated to enhance the film's naturally expressionistic look! Gorgeous...

 

Koch add audio for three language tracks - all in 2.0 channel liner PCM (16-bit) being German, Italian and English.  There are optional German subtitles and the audio tracks do NOT force the subtitles.

 

BIG extra is a Tim Lucas commentary (author of Mario Bava : All the Colors of the Dark), of course in English, but with optional German subtitles. I believe it was on a rare 2007 DVD (and a German DVD?) - but I have never heard it and it's wonderful to have it accessible, now. It's fabulous, filled with knowledge and discussion on the performers, story, Bava, the music, the limited budget and much more... full of value! There are also trailers, TV Spots and a photo gallery of posters on the Blu-ray. The package contains two DVD discs. A second of the film, without the Lucas commentary (but all audio options) and a third of extras - all in Italian with German subtitles. They include Freak-O_Rama productions Kill Bava Kill! running 11-minutes, Erika in Angst - a 10-minute interview with Erika Blanc, Melissa Geist 30-minutes and another 1/2 hour with Erika Blanc in what looks to be an older interview. The handsome hardcover package contains a liner notes booklet with pictures and German text. It appears to be an essay about Bava.

 

Bava's Gothic Giallo masterpiece goes 1080P and fans should celebrate. What a great Blu-ray package! We WILL compare to the eventual Kino - but this is strongly recommended at this stage!

***

ADDITION: Anchor Bay - April 07': Anchor Bay release is a vast improvement over previous public domain and VCI releases. The quality is similar to German disc, but Anchor Bay includes English audio and original Italian soundtrack with English subtitles. Unfortunately, Tim Lucas commentary is not included on this disc (it's owned by Dark Sky Films which cancelled their release at the last minute).

 - Gregory Meshman

***

VCI disc is out of print now. There are several public domain releases of this film, but the VCI disc is said to be the best quality. It was transferred from 16mm print, so it doesn't show the whole frame. There're no extras on the disc, so there's no reason to keep this mediocre release. Mario Bava biographer Tim Lucas recorded a commentary for this film to be released by Image Entertainment, but that release never happened. Hopefully, some other studio does this film some justice. German release has excellent colors, but alas it's only in German with no subtitles. There was an earlier German release from Anolis Entertainment under the title Die toten Augen des Dr. Dracula. That disc also includes a 20-minute interview with Erika Blanc in German only, but the picture quality is the same as the disc reviewed here.

 - Gregory Meshman

 

Package - Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


DVD Menus

 

Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC

 


(VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Extras DVD with Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

NTSC capture was minimized from the original size to show the proportion to the PAL release


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Laser Paradise - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Hit Counter


 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Arrow Blu-ray

Sound:

Arrrow Blu-ray

Extras:

Arrow Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

  

  

   

  

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Laser Paradise
Region 0 - PAL
Koch Media
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Arrow
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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