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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Creepers" )

 

directed by Dario Argento
Italy 1985

After a pre-credits murder of a Danish tourist (Fiore Argento) who has missed her bus and wandered over to an ominous chalet inhabited by a chained unseen presence, we meet our heroine Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly) who has been enrolled at an exclusive Swiss all-girls school while her actor father works overseas. On the first night, her unfortunate habit of sleepwalking puts her in the position of witnessing the violent murder of one of the schoolgirls. When Jennifer's own roommate disappears, a firefly leads her to a maggot-infested glove that possibly belongs to the killer. Although no one at the school believes Jennifer, local entomologist John McGregor (Donald Pleasance) identifies Jennifer's psychic affinity with insects as an advantage in tracking down the killer. After calling down a horde of flies on the school after being teased by the other students, Jennifer follows the tour route of the missing girl in the pre-credits sequence assisted by a variety of fly that feeds solely off of human corpses - whose maggots were in the killer's glove - to the now abandoned chalet. When McGregor is murdered, it is up to McGregor's vengeful chimp assistant and millions of Jennifer's insect friends to save her from the killer.

Though not Argento's best film, it is certainly his most enjoyable as the director crams so many odd touches into the 110 minute running time (a lot of which was trimmed for the 84 minute US version). There are razor-wielding chimps, kilos of coffee-grounds standing in for flies (a clever antiquated optical trick), pits full of maggots, skulls, and body parts, a monster child, Iron Maiden's recurrent "Flash of the Blade", Daria Nicolodi's frazzled teacher, striking Dalila Di Lazzaro's stern headmistress who believes in the diabolical "Lord of the Flies", and an ethereal Jennifer Connelly (14 at the time) running around the Swiss mountains chasing insects and being chased by a spear-wielding assassin. Romano Albani's blue-tinted cinematography - augmented by the macrophotography supervised by Luigi Cozzi - makes extensive and satisfying early use of Steadicam photography (by Italy's premiere operator Nicola Pecorini) and ex-Goblin members Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Pignatelli contribute individual tracks (and collaborate on one) along with tracks from Simon Boswell, Iron Maiden, and Motorhead on the film's loud Dolby Stereo mix. Effects man Sergio Stivaletti also provides his first animatronics work for Argento (subsequently he worked on DEMONS, DEMONS 2, OPERA, and MOTHER OF TEARS as well as digital visual effects work on STENDHAL SYNDROME, SLEEPLESS, and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA).

Eric Cotenas

From master of horror Dario Argento (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) comes Phenomena one of his most eccentric and unique thrillers, featuring telepathic insects, maggots galore, and even a razor-wielding chimp!

Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly, Labyrinth), daughter of a world-renowned movie star, arrives in the so-called Swiss Transylvania to attend an exclusive girls school. However, a vicious killer is targeting the pupils, and sleepwalker Jennifer finds herself in the assassin s headlights when her nocturnal wanderings cause her to witness the death of a fellow pupil. Aided by paraplegic etymologist John McGregor (Donald Pleasence, Halloween) and her own uncanny ability to communicate telepathically with insects, Jennifer sets out to track down the killer before she herself becomes the latest victim...

Released in 1985, towards the end of Argento s decade-long golden age as a director, Phenomena co-stars Dalila Di Lazarro (Flesh for Frankenstein), Patrick Bauchau (Clear and Present Danger) and Daria Nicolodi (Tenebrae), and features lush cinematography by Romano Albani (Inferno) and a pounding prog rock score by Goblin (Deep Red, Suspiria). Presented here in a sumptuous new 4K restoration of the film and a newly created hybrid English/Italian audio track on the full length 116-minute Italian version, this is the definitive release of Argento s creepy classic.

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: August 2nd, 1985

Reviews                                                                                   More Reviews                                                                                DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL vs. Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL vs. Arrow Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Arrow Films (Limited Edition) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Synapse Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP LEFT

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - TOP SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - TOP RIGHT

5) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM LEFT

6) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM MIDDLE

7) Synapse - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Medusa Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
01 Distribution
Region 2 - PAL

 

 

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Synapse Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Medusa Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
01 Distribution
Region 2 - PAL
Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray Arrow (Limited Edition =- 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Synapse Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 149:32 1:51:08 (4% PAL speedup) 1:49:44 1:51:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:55:29.964 (does NOT include Sergio Stivaletti intro)

Italian Cut: 1:55:53.988

International Cut: 1:50:06.433

Creepers Cut: 1:23:03.812

Italian Cut: 1:56:00.578

International Cut: 1:50:06.766 

Creepers Cut: 1:23:06.356

Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.83 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.67:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.89 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.62:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.85 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.76 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 44,714,742,766 bytes

Feature: 32,714,366,976 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 31.95 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Italian Cut: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 42,449,714,437 bytes

Feature: 39,578,471,808 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 34.57 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

International Cut:1.66:1

Disc Size: 46,313,449,827 bytes

Feature: 37,187,982,720 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 37.58 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Creepers Cut: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 45,378,397,754 bytes

Feature: 25,691,968,896 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 37.66 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Italian Cut: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 46,449,214,508 bytes

Feature: 29,698,629,312 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 27.987 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

International Cut:1.66:1

Disc Size: 41,476,232,448 bytes

Feature: 34,358,699,136 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 34.84 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Creepers Cut: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 46,449,214,508 bytes

Feature: 16,538,828,544 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 22.98 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

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

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay (Anchor Bay Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

Medusa Home Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

01 Distribution

 

Bitrate Arrow (2011):

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate Arrow Italian Cut

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate Synapse Italian Cut

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate Arrow International Cut

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate Synapse International Cut

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate Arrow Creepers Cut

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate Synapse Creepers Cut

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1); English (Dolby Digital 2.0 surround); French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) Italian Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

English (Dolby Digital 5.1); English (Dolby Digital 2.0 surround); French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo)

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Italian Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio Multiple languages 1769 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1769 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio Multiple languages 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1952 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1952 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

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

International Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2983 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2983 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Creepers Cut:

LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit

Italian Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2090 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2090 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 2083 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2083 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

International Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2091 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2091 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2141 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2141 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

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

Creepers Cut:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2107 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2107 kbps
/ 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles None English, Italian, none none none English, none English (for Italian), English (SDH) for International, none English (for Italian), English (SDH) for International, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary By director Dario Argento, special FX Make-up artist Sergio Stivaletti, composer C
• A Dark Fairly Tale Featurette - 16X 9 (17:17)
• Luigi Cozzi and the art of Macrophotography - 16X9 (4:38)
• Director Dario Argento interview [interviewed by Joe Franklin] (9:03; 4x3)
• Claudio Simonetti Music Video [Jennifer] (4:11; 4x3 letterbox)
• Bill Wyman Music Video [Valley] (4:00; 4x3 letterbox)
• Filmographies

DVD Release Date: May 27th, 2008
Keep case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Medusa Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.67:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:39)
• Cast and Crew List

DVD Release Date: 1 February 2004
Amaray

Chapters 20
 

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.62:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Dario Argento, FX artist Sergio Stivaletti, composer Claudio Simonetti
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 2:35)
• Behind the Scenes Segment (4:3; 4:41)
• Claudio Simonetti Music Video [Jennifer] (4:3; 4:11)
• Bill Wyman Music Video [Valley] (4:3; 4:00)
• Director Dario Argento interview [interviewed by Joe Franklin] (4:3; 9:03)
• Biographies
• Filmographies

 

DVD Release Date: March 16, 1999
Amaray

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: 01 Distribution

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow Films

 

Disc Size: 44,714,742,766 bytes

Feature: 32,714,366,976 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 31.95 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

 

Edition Details:
• Dario Argento's Monkey Business; The Making of Phenomena (52:11 in 1080P)
• Music for Maggots:
Claudio Simonetti Remembers Phenomena (6:33 in 1080P)

• Creeper and Creatures: Sergio Stivaletti LIVE Q & A Session (18:54 in 1080P)

Blu-ray Release Date: March 7th, 2011
Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow Films

 

Italian Cut: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 42,449,714,437 bytes

Feature: 39,578,471,808 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 34.57 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

International Cut:1.66:1

Disc Size: 46,313,449,827 bytes

Feature: 37,187,982,720 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 37.58 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Creepers Cut: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 45,378,397,754 bytes

Feature: 25,691,968,896 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 37.66 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

 

Edition Details:
• 
Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all three versions of the film: the 116-minute Italian, 110-minute international and 83-minute Creepers cuts
• New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
• The Three Sarcophagi, a new visual essay by Michael Mackenzie comparing the different cuts of Phenomena (31:02)
• Of Flies and Maggots, a new feature-length documentary including interviews with Dario Argento, actors Fiore Argento, Davide Marotta, Daria Nicolodi and Fiorenza Tessari, co-writer Franco Ferrini, cinematographer Romano Albani, production manager Angelo Jacono, assistant director Michele Soavi, special optical effects artist Luigi Cozzi, special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti and more (2:00:13)
• Original Italian (2:36) and English (2:36) theatrical trailers
• Jennifer music video, directed by Dario Argento (4:11)
• Rare Japanese vintage pressbook
Remastered soundtrack CD featuring the complete Goblin instrumental soundtrack, plus four bonus tracks by Simon Boswell and Andi Sex Gang
• Limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by Mikel J. Koven, Rachael Nisbet and Leonard Jacobs
Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp

Blu-ray Release Date: May 8th, 2017

Custom case (see photo below)
Chapters 1
2 / 12 / 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Synapse Films

 

Italian Cut: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 46,449,214,508 bytes

Feature: 29,698,629,312 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 27.987 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

International Cut:1.66:1

Disc Size: 41,476,232,448 bytes

Feature: 34,358,699,136 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 34.84 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Creepers Cut: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 46,449,214,508 bytes

Feature: 16,538,828,544 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 22.98 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio Commentary Track on PHENOMENA (110 Version) from Argento scholar and author, Derek Botelho and film historian, journalist and radio/television commentator, David Del Valle
• Two completely different sound mix options on PHENOMENA (110 Minute Version), including the original 2.0 stereo mix, along with a rare alternate mix containing different sound effects and music cues
• English/Italian Hybrid Audio and Complete Italian Audio Options for PHENOMENA (116 Minute Version)
• DARIO ARGENTO'S WORLD OF HORROR Documentary. A fascinating look at the early films of director Dario Argento, including PHENOMENA, SUSPIRIA, DEMONS, DAWN OF THE DEAD, INFERNO and many more! Containing candid interviews and awesome behind-the-scenes footage, DARIO ARGENTO'S WORLD OF HORROR gives us a look into the mind of Italy's Master of Horror and is an essential viewing experience for all Argento fans. (1:10:51)
• Interview with Andi Sex Gang (3:57)
• PHENOMENA International Theatrical Trailer (2:35)
• CREEPERS U.S. Theatrical Trailer & Radio Spots (1:25 + 1:03)
• Optional English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard for Hearing on PHENOMENA (110 Minute Version) and CREEPERS Version)
• Multiple optional subtitle selections on PHENOMENA (116 Minute Version), including one for just the foreign English language segments of the hybrid version, complete English subtitles for the entire feature, and complete English subtitles for the Italian version of the film.

Blu-ray Release Date: September 12th, 2017

Standard Blu-ray case
Chapters 1
6 / 17 / 13

 

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Synapse (2017) - Region 'A' Blu-ray - August 2017': Synapse states on their website "This release of PHENOMENA is NOT the same as our previously released Steelbook edition." Synapse have produced a 2-Blu-ray set of Argento's Phenomena. It has the Italian cut and Creepers Cut on the first Blu-ray and the International cut and supplements on the second Blu-ray. Unlike the Arrow - also with all three cuts - the HD quality varies between each version.

To cut to the chase: The Synapse is not 4K-restored, to my knowledge. Arrow did their own new 4K transfer while Synapse did clean up and color correction on older transfer. The result is slightly softer image that has less information in the frame beside the UK release. It also has less grain. In the Synapse package the International cut gets the max'ed out bitrate while the Italian version and 'Creepers' version are in the mid-20s. I think they look pretty good in-motion but not, visually, at the level of the 4K restored Arrow. We've compared a few Blu-ray captures from this new Synapse release below.

In terms of audio, Synapse use DTS-HD Master encodes for all tracks on all 3 versions. They include two completely different sound mix options on Phenomena (International Cut), including the original 2.0 stereo mix, along with a rare alternate mix containing different sound effects and music cues. For the Italian version they have an English / Italian hybrid and complete Italian audio options. There are optional English subtitles for all versions - including multiple optional subtitle selections on the Italian version with one for just the foreign English language segments of the hybrid version, complete English subtitles for the entire feature, and complete English subtitles for the Italian version of the film. It is coded Region 'A'.

There are two notable extras in the package - an audio commentary track on the International version from Argento scholar and author, Derek Botelho and film historian, journalist and radio/television commentator, David Del Valle plus the 1-hour 10-minute, 1985, Dario Argento's World of Horror documentary which has input from Dario Argento, Jennifer Connelly, Mirella D'Angelo, Mimsy Farmer and many others. It is described as a "fascinating look at the early films of director Dario Argento, including PHENOMENA, SUSPIRIA, DEMONS, DAWN OF THE DEAD, INFERNO and many more! Containing candid interviews and awesome behind-the-scenes footage, Dario Argento's World of Horror gives us a look into the mind of Italy's Master of Horror and is an essential viewing experience for all Argento fans".

So Region 'A'-locked Giallo fans still have something to cheer for with the three versions in 1080P, the commentary and extensive, but older, documentary. Plenty of value here...

***

ADDITION: Arrow (Limited Edition 2017) - Region 'B' Blu-ray - May 2017':  Arrow include three versions of Dario Argento's Phenomena - each on their own Blu-ray disc. We get the 116-minute cut, the longest version of Phenomena, which corresponds to the original Italian theatrical release - often terms the Integral Cut (Troy Howarth) and is Argento's' preferred version. When viewed in English, some lines of dialogue (6-minutes no longer exist) revert to Italian with English subtitles. The 100-minute version is also know as the International Cut and runs 6-minutes shorter than the Italian version, with the cuts mostly consisting of brief trims to improve pacing. Lastly we also get the 83-minute version, re-titled Creepers, created got the US theatrical release of the film. It omits over half and hour of material and make significant changes to the structure and pacing of scenes. This are all 4K restored and cited, by Arrow, as "Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release". So the quality of each does not vary with max'ed out bitrates. The image quality is significantly in advance of the 2011 Blu-ray from Arrow (which was in advance of all SDs to date.) I think it looked great - richer colors, tighter, better contrast, depth... quite the new film experience - the updating is that significant.

Audio is provides in many options, we get a new 5.1 surround mixes of the Italian (116-minute) and English (110-minute) soundtracks in lossless DTS-HD Master audio, derived from the original 4-channel Dolby Stereo elements, plus the new hybrid English/Italian soundtrack for the 116-minute version in lossless DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo where approximately six minutes of footage for which English audio no longer exists. In these instances, the hybrid track reverts to Italian audio with English subtitles. There are also options for an Italian soundtrack for the 116-minute version in lossless PCM 2.0 stereo, an English soundtrack for the 110-minute version in lossless PCM 2.0 stereo and a sole English soundtrack for the 83-minute, Creepers, version in lossless PCM 1.0 mono, There are both optional English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks. The score is credited to Simon Boswell (Santa Sangre, Delirium) and the legendary band Goblin (The Other Hell, The Bloodstained Shadow, Deep Red, Suspira) plays to varying, loudness and effectiveness, depending on the version. Some will note rifts by Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Andi Sex Gang, Bill Wyman, Claudio Simonetti, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and others. Unlike the 2011 Arrow Blu-ray, these discs are Region 'B'-locked.

On the Italian version we get a new audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films. His talk is very educational but I found him unusually critical - obviously it was an Argento film that he did not embrace as closely as others by the director. He extols the International version and its pacing cuts. Overall excellent information, though. I also got a lot out of The Three Sarcophagi, a new 1/2 hour visual essay by Michael Mackenzie comparing the different cuts of Phenomena and making some excellent observations. Of Flies and Maggots, is a new 2-hour documentary including interviews with Dario Argento, actors Fiore Argento, Davide Marotta, Daria Nicolodi and Fiorenza Tessari, co-writer Franco Ferrini, cinematographer Romano Albani, production manager Angelo Jacono, assistant director Michele Soavi, special optical effects artist Luigi Cozzi, special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti and more. It is mostly in Italian and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are original Italian and English theatrical trailers, a 4-minute 'Jennifer' music video, directed by Dario Argento, a rare Japanese vintage pressbook and the package contains a remastered soundtrack CD featuring the complete Goblin instrumental soundtrack, plus four bonus tracks by Simon Boswell and Andi Sex Gang and a limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by Mikel J. Koven, Rachael Nisbet and Leonard Jacobs and has newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp.

Certainly the definitive Blu-ray of Phenomena - I absolutely garnered further appreciation for the film and the 4K-restored presentation was such a pleasure to view. So many options - our highest recommendation!

***

ADDITION: Arrow Video - Region FREE Blu-ray - March 2011': I'd say this is a pretty significant improvement in the video quality as compared to the previous DVDs. This Arrow Blu-ray appears to be the only digital representation that is both the longer cut and in theatrical running time (no PAL speedup). The screen captures should bear out a crisper image, accurate colors and it showcases some depth as well. I'm no expert on the film but this is displays a dramatic superiority over the flatter, and often boosted, SD visuals. It is dual-layered with a strong bitrate.

Audio stays faithfully 2.0 channel stereo but offers both English or Italian tracks in linear PCM (lossless) renderings. The films score has always been dominant but now adds some impressive buoyancy and heavier depth. Some may need to damper their volume levels in certain scenes. Arrow have seen fit to add subtitle options both for the English and Italian tracks as a choice and I have determined that the disc is region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

No commentary as found on the Anchor Bay but we get a full Dario Argento's Monkey Business: The Making of Phenomena documentary-style featurette running over 50-minutes in 1080P plus Claudio Simonetti Remembering Phenomena for 6.5 minutes in 'Music for Maggots' and lastly, a LIVE Q & A Session with Sergio Stivaletti entitled Creeper and Creatures for shy of 20-minutes.

I think this is a strong release - supplying a solid presentation - some new extras and the fact that it is region FREE should please many Argento fans around the globe. Recommended!   

 - Gary Tooze

***

ADDITION: 01 Distribution - February 2010: Like the previous Medusa DVD, the 01 Distribution release represents the longer, rougher Italian cut of the film in a similar looking master but the new disc is non-anamorphic and lacking extras. The superior Medusa disc had a 16:9 transfer, English and Italian subtitles and a 5.1 upmix in addition to the 2.0 stereo mix. Like the Medusa disc, the 01 disc also has warmer than intended color timing. The new Anchor Bay transfer looks almost identical to their previous release with the correct blue tinting (absent on the Italian disc) but looks sharper and clearer with anamorphic enhancement (even though the bitrate has been slightly reduced from the older transfer - likely for the addition of the new 17m documentary "A Dark Fairy Tale"). Both Anchor Bay disc present the 110 minute export version of the film (New Line cut the film down to 84 minutes for its US theatrical release). The English 2.0 mix on the earlier Anchor Bay disc is not the film's original Dolby mix but a downmix of the 5.1 upmix (it would appear the same mixes are carried over to the new disc including the French mono track). The Italian cut runs longer in PAL than the export version because it is an earlier cut of the film (the export version is his approved cut).

***

ON THE OTHER Anchor Bay and Medusa discs: The new Anchor Bay transfer looks almost identical to their previous release with the correct blue tinting (absent on the Italian disc) but looks sharper and clearer with anamorphic enhancement (even though the bitrate has been slightly reduced from the older transfer - likely for the addition of the new 17m documentary "A Dark Fairy Tale"). Both Anchor Bay disc present the 110 minute export version of the film (New Line cut the film down to 84 minutes for its US theatrical release).

The English 2.0 mix on the earlier Anchor Bay disc is not the film's original Dolby mix but a downmix of the 5.1 upmix (it would appear the same mixes are carried over to the new disc including the French mono track). The Italian cut runs longer in PAL than the export version because it is an earlier cut of the film (the export version is his approved cut). The Medusa in an anamorphic transfer with Italian audio only and English subtitles (the integral version was released with English audio and Italian snippets on German DVD by Raptor). That transfer lacks the intended blue tone in favor of a warmer look.

 - Eric Cotenas


Arrow (Limited Edition) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

DVD Menus
 

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

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT

 

 

 

   

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Arrow (Italian Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Arrow (International Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Arrow (Creepers Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Synapse (Blu-ray 1) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Synapse (Blu-ray 2) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

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

 

Blu-ray Subtitle Sample

 

1) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (Italian Cut - Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Arrow (International Cut - Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow (Creepers Cut -Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Synapse (Italian Cut - 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Synapse (International Cut -  2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Synapse (Creepers Cut - 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

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

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Synapse (Italian Cut - 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - SEVENTH

8) Synapse (International Cut -  2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - EIGHTH

9) Synapse (Creepers Cut - 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


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

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Synapse (Italian Cut - 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Synapse (Italian Cut - 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


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

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


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

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


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

2) Medusa Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Dario Argento Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Arrow (2011) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Arrow(2017 Limited Edition) - Blu-ray

Sound:

Arrow(2017 Limited Edition) - Blu-ray

Extras:

Arrow(2017 Limited Edition) - Blu-ray

 


 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Medusa Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
01 Distribution
Region 2 - PAL

 

 

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray Arrow (Limited Edition - 2017) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Synapse Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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