|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Giallo Double Feature [Blu-ray]
Die Falle aka "Death Laid an Egg" or "La morte ha fatto l’uovo" (Giulio Questi, 1968)
Die Mühle der Jungfrauen aka "Yellow: le cugine" (Gianfranco Baldanello, 1969)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Cinematografica Associati (CI.AS.) / Les Films Corona S.R.L. de Nanterre
Video:Elea Media (Imagica DVD - Japan) / Cult Epics
Region: FREE/ Region FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Death Laid an Egg Runtime: 1:24:32.958(Imagica DVD - 1:26:39) / 1:28:38.855
Yellow: le cugine Runtime: 1:28:44.500
Disc Size: 43,544,565,662 bytes / 20,598,235,439 bytes
Death Laid an Egg Feature Size: 19,476,123,648 bytes / 19,248,101,376 bytes
Yellow: le cugine Feature Size: 19,224,266,112 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps / 25.99 Mbps / 23.33 Mbps
Chapters: 10 + 9/ 15
Case: thin black Blu-ray case / Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 26th, 2015/ July 2nd, 2003 / November 30th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 / 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Death Laid an Egg
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1673 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1673 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
English and Italian DD 2.0
Yellow: le cugine
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1674 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1674 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Death Laid and Egg (Cult Epics)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3808 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3808 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
• Original Trailer for Death Laid an Egg (3:48)
• Gallery for Death Laid an Egg (1:33)
• Gallery for Yellow: le cugine (1:54)
• Split Screen Restoration demo for Yellow: le cugine (3:01)
• Italian Magazine Photo pages (2:29)
Booklet (in German) with photos
Original Theatrical Trailer (3:48)
Death Laid an Egg Description:
A surreal Giallo which ranges from serial killings to infidelity, industrial espionage to romantic, sexual interludes - an odd love triangle existing in a mechanized chicken farm (hence the title). Secretary Gabrielle (Ewa Aulin of Candy fame) is seducing an estranged couple played by lothario Jean-Louis Trintignant and Gina Lollobrigida - as the dissatisfied, domineering wife. Gabrielle worms her way into their confidence.... and murder and double-crosses are in the air.
Yellow: le cugine Description:
This only considered a "Holy Grail" for Giallo fans because of its obscurity and difficulty to see for many years. Yellow: le cugine is sexually-focused with one female cousin of open, swinging, sexuality and the other a puritanical, overdressed spinster. But money and lack of respect transform the dowdy one stirring her passions and loosening her morals - but enough to commit murder?
Death Laid an Egg: We open with eerie microscope images of a biological nature, with a soundtrack eerily evoking the effect of a computer, a piano and a suit of armor having sex while falling down a flight of metal stairs. Then the film launches into its first murder: seemingly our hero, Jean-Louis Trintignant, is addicted to knifing hookers in a motorway hotel. Trintignant is married to Gina Lollobrigida, and they live with Ewa Aulin in what seems one plot development away from a full-fledged ménage à trois. And they're also in the chicken business.
Yellow: le cugine: At the death of his grandfather, Valentina Garbini Scotari settles with her husband Pierre, a sculptor, in the family villa where Marta's cousin lives, in order to secure her share of heredity. Coexistence is not easy, especially because of the different temperaments of their cousins: the first is uncontrollable and licentious in costumes, the other is austere and virtuous. But the unmistakable behavior of the latter is dissipating. A turbulent love affair ensues with Pierre after an investigated murder.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The dual-layered Elea Media Blu-ray of this Giallo Double Feature is, as predicted, a disappointment. Both films share the disc. Death Laid an Egg looks the worst in a 1.76:1 aspect ratio from, what appears to be, a second generation source. 1080P but horribly flat and unforgivably weak with damage marks (see below) and speckles. The running time is short a couple of minutes and this Blu-ray version starts with this:
NOTE There is a 3-disc Collectors Set for Death Laid an Egg coming from Cult Epics! We will compare when it is released.
Strangely, the Japanese Imagica DVD is from a different, longer cut - but is missing at least one scene in the German BD edition. It is interlaced but colors look better - without the greenish cast of the 1080P. It's 1.85:1 in a 4:3 pictureboxed and interlaced SD transfer showing less information in the top of the frame. Approaching 15-years old - this, indefensibly weak, DVD is till going for a ridiculous price. Thank to Eric for obtaining the matched captures so quickly! The new, forthcoming, Blu-rays will be most welcome!
The Cult Epics Death Laid and Egg 1080P is, overall, a better image than the Elea media but is still fraught with artifacts and inconsistencies. It is slightly cropped in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio but detail and contrast rise as compared to the German transfer. It also has a few scenes missing as compared to the German edit and while showing depth, can also look waxy at times. Bottom line is that I look forward to Nucleus Films version recently announced. It, hopefully, will be the best Blu-ray for the film.
Yellow: le cugine clocks in at the odd ratio of 1.49:1. It's superior, but still well below the format's capabilities for image quality. It's cleaner with some depth and they even have a split-screen restoration comparison in the supplements. In the final tally, it is unremarkable and we can hope this clandestine effort gets a better transfer soon.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Death Laid an Egg
Scene not present on the Imagica DVD or CULT EPICS Blu-ray
Elea Media use DTS-HD Master transfers for both films and, another unforgivable feature - they are both, only, poorly-sync'ed German DUBs. The respective scores by Coriolano Gori (Werewolf Woman) and Bruno Maderna are lower tier and Death Laid an Egg's screeching, in the first few minutes, is actually hard on the ears sounding like a cross between Thelonius Monk and hammering metal. It's horrid.There are optional English subtitles offered - quite awkward in translation at times - and my Oppo has identified it as being region FREE.
Nice to have the English-language version, lossless (24-bit) for the presentation. It has some weaknesses but is generally supportive of the film. Superior to the Elea but not the level it could/should be. It has optional English subtitles (see samples) and it also Region FREE.
Not too much; a trailer and gallery for Death Laid an Egg and a gallery for Yellow: le cugine with the aforementioned split-screen restoration demo for and some scans of Italian magazine photo pages with advertisements for the film. The package has a booklet (text in German) with photos.
The Cult Epics special features include an original theatrical trailer, a gallery of lobby cards and the ability to access the isolated score by Bruna Maderna running under 38-minutes.
Death Laid an Egg
Elea Media - Region 'FREE - Blu-ray
Imagica (Japanese) DVD - Region 0 - NTSC
Yellow: le cugine
Elea Media - Region 'FREE - Blu-ray
Cult Epics - Region 'FREE - Blu-ray
I warm to this Giallo each time I see it and appreciate the superior Cult Epics transfer - despite the deficiencies. But we still look forward to the upcoming Nucleus Films transfer and theri package will include the complete and restored 104m director's cut and the complete and restored 91m "giallo" cut as well as an audio commentary with Alan Jones and Kim Newman.
Yellow: le cugine is just as sexy but is also obvious - although I liked the journey and the atmosphere. Marta's (Lisa Seagram) transformation is... intriguing. But we still can't endorse this Blu-ray. Pass.
September 5th, 2017
February 1st, 2018
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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