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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Misteria" )

 

directed by Lamberto Bava
Italy 1992

 

When a psychopath (François Montagut, DANGEROUS LIAISONS) butchers the proprietor of a candy shop, Detective Mike Livet (Tomas Arana, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST) assumes that the killer made off with the victim's as a souvenir. When the ear winds up in the refrigerator of newly widowed Tracy Grant (Joanna Pacula, THE KISS), Livet suspects that the grisly gift may have something to do with the death of her husband Abe (whose corpse was disinterred from its grave the same night). When a woman is butchered in a shopping mall bathroom and a severed hand winds up on Tracy's doorstep, Livet looks into Abe's shady past and discovers sex, drugs, and a stalker who did not take Abe's nuptials all too well. After a third victim turns up and Tracy receives an even grislier present, Mike discovers that the absconded internal organs (taken in addition to the external souvenirs) were donated from Abe's corpse and that someone is trying to piece the dead man back together, and that there are more victims to come.

Lamberto Bava's BODY PUZZLE - scripted by former director Domenico Paolella (THE NUNS OF SANT'ARCANGELO) and Teodoro Agrimi (who previously scripted Mario Bava's 5 DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON) - has more in common with Michael Apted's BLINK than any Italian Giallo. Cinematographer Luigi Kuveiller - who so expertly lensed Dario Argento's DEEP RED and Lucio Fulci's NEW YORK RIPPER - captures everything in a slick yet bland manner, Carlo Maria Cordio's synth and sax score would not be out of place in any of the domestic or imported DTV erotic thrillers of the period, and one early grisly gore effect (courtesy of Franco Casagni, THE STENDHAL SYNDROME) misleads the viewer into thinking the gore quotient will escalate. Arana and Pacula go thorough the motions of the flatly-scripted flatfoot and damsel-in-distress who inevitably fall into bed; but the supporting cast features a couple Italian exploitation vets including Erika Blanc (KILL BABY, KILL) as a psychiatrist, Bruno Corazzari (THE PSYCHIC) as an asylum director, and Gianni Garko (THE COLD EYES OF FEAR) as Livet's image-minded chief who says things like "I kiss ass one day, and kick ass the next."

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 20 March 1992 (Italy)

Reviews                                                                            More Reviews                                                                    DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL vs. Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC vs. 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

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

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Flamingo Video
Region 0 - PAL
Raro Video/eOne
Region 0 - NTSC
88 Films
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:38:21 1:33:21 (4% PAL speedup) 1:38:30 1:38:38.037
Video

1.28:1 Open Matte format
Average Bitrate: 4.30 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.58 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.87 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Disc Size: 29,262,314,420 bytes

Feature Size: 28,472,217,600 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

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

Bitrate:

 

Image Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Flamingo Video

 

Bitrate:

 

Raro Video/eOne

 

Bitrate:

 

88 Films Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Italian Dolby Digtal 2.0 stereo

English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles none Italian, none none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.28:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: 31 December 1999
Snapper Case

Chapters 14

Release Information:
Studio: Flamingo Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Filmographies

 

DVD Release Date: 2006
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Raro Video/eOne

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• DVD Credits
• Liner Notes Booklet by Chris Alexander

 

DVD Release Date: 6 December 2011
Amaray

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

 

1.85:1 Disc Size: 29,262,314,420 bytes

Feature Size: 28,472,217,600 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1:10)

• Italian Opening and Closing Credits (3:15)

• Art in the Blood: Print interview with actor Tomas Arana by Phillip Escott
• Demonic Deeds: Print Interview with Lamberto Bava by Calum Waddell
• Reversible Sleeve with alternate original title ‘Misteria’ artwork
 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 12th, 2017
Transparent Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters: 12

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: (July 2017) 88 Films Region 'B' - Blu-ray: the 1.85:1 1080P shows a shade more information in the sides losing some off the top + bottom in comparison to the 1.66:1 DVDs. It's quite a notable increase in quality with the DVDs looking like flat video and the HD being more film-like with superior color separation (far more authentic flesh tones), depth and a fine layer of grain. Contrast takes a significant leap forward on the Blu-ray. It's on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and aside from a few speckles looks very strong.

88 Films only have the English track. It is transferred in a linear PCM (16-bit.) It sounds healthy exporting the effects and screams with some depth - not overwhelming but some intensity is there. The score is by Carlo Maria Cordio (Aenigma, Pieces, Amok Train) plus the inappropriate overuse of Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain". There is an English subtitle option (see below) on the Region 'B' Blu-ray.

Extras include a trailer, the Italian opening and closing credits plus a liner notes booklet with 'Art in the Blood': an interview with actor Tomas Arana by Phillip Escott and 'Demonic Deeds': an Interview with Lamberto Bava by Calum Waddell - plus some images. The package has a reversible sleeve with the alternate original title ‘Misteria’ artwork.

This seems to be the way to go at present but wonder if a future Blu-ray might include the Italian-language option. Lots of atmosphere here, some heavy style make for an creepy horror presentation.

 Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVDS: BODY PUZZLE was previously released twice on DVD in the US. Triboro had the US video rights and their tape (and Image laserdisc) featured video-generated titles and mono audio. When Image released their fullscreen, open-matte DVD in 1999, FCP had acquired the rights and went back to the original tape master, which featured the original credits and stereo sound (despite the mono Dolby Digital diagram on the back case - the Americanized credits on the back of the cover suggest they had no idea what they were releasing). A few years later, Liberty Entertainment acquired the film - and several other P.A.C. productions - and licensed it to Madacy Entertainment. That reelase made use of a newer non-anamorphic widescreen transfer (labeled fullscreen on the box), but the master was PAL-converted.

The Italian disc from Flamingo (there was a previous reportedly 4:3 disc from Prisma Entertainment) was the first anamorphic transfer, but the transfer was softish and occasionally marked by passages of black speckling. It was also incomplete by roughly a minute and a half (although the film was hacked down for an all ages rating for the Italian theatrical release, the missing portions here are mainly bits of dialogue [the gore is intact]). Raro's new anamorphic, progressive, single-layer transfer is a definite improvement. Due to legal issues, all released versions of the film replace Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" during the murder sequences with Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" although the English credits still credit the Orff composition (the Orff version was only screened at MIFED). Although Raro's case states that the film is in Italian with English subtitles and sports "New and improved English subtitles" - the credits on the back cover are also riddled with misspellings - Raro has only included the English track. There are no extras other than a list of DVD credits, although a liner notes booklet with an essay by FANGORIA's Chris Alexander is also included.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

 

88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Flamingo Video - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Raro Video/eOne - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray
 


 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Flamingo Video
Region 0 - PAL
Raro Video/eOne
Region 0 - NTSC
88 Films
Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 




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