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The Orchard End Murder [Blu-ray]
(Christian Marnham, 1981)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Marnham & Harvey Productions
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 36,860,799,456 bytes
Feature Size: 13,190,995,968 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.35 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 24th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
English (SDH), none
•The Showman (Christian Marnham, 1970, 25:46): Short documentary about fairground Wild West showman Wally Shufflebottom
• Christian Marnham on The Orchard End Murder (2017, 37:26)
• Christian Marnham on The Showman (2017, 4:40)
• From Melody to Orchard End Murder: An Interview with Tracy Hyde (2017, 11:19)
• An Interview with David Wilkinson (2017, 12:28)
• Illustrated booklet with new writing by Josephine Botting and Vic Pratt, along with full film credits
Description: This latest release from BFI Flipside is the
newly remastered rarity - one of a series of British
mini-features that shocked UK cinema audiences during the
1970s and early 1980s
But every now and then a film would appear that defied expectations. The Orchard End Murder (1980) is one such title. The press notes describe it as “A ‘chiller’ set in the fecund Kent countryside: a macabre tale of a bizarre encounter between a cunning hunchback, a demented giant, a naughty little Red Riding Hood from suburbia – and death.” Set in 1966, it tells of a young woman bored of watching her boyfriend play cricket who wanders off to see what other diversions the countryside has to offer.
The Orchard End Murder wasn’t financed by GTO; instead the company purchased it outright and it was released in a particularly gruesome pairing with Dead & Buried (1981), a tale of a necrophiliac mortician who reanimates corpses. This US film was directed by Gary Sherman, who, 10 years earlier, had subjected audiences to cannibals terrorising the London underground in Death Line. According to the publicity material, this double bill opened in 50 cinemas on Sunday 1 November 1981 in the north-east of England via the ABC chain; Film Review Annual, however, records the release date as 11 July 1982, its appearance perhaps delayed in the south.Excerpt from BFI.org located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Orchard End Murder gets a strong transfer to Blu-ray from BFI. It's in dual-layered territory and has a high bitrate for the 50-minute feature. It looks a bit dull and thick but it wouldn't be accurate if it was glossy and crisp. The 1080P supports reasonable contrast and some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame. It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail in close-ups and there are really no heavy flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray is probably a strong replication of the theatrical version of the film The Orchard End Murder. Which is all we ever ask.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
BFI use a linear PCM 2.0 at 1536 kbps (16-bit) transfer for the audio. There are some piercing screams and a chugging train but not much more in the way of aggressive effects. There is an unremarkable score by Sam Sklair exported by the uncompressed. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified this 'Flipside' Blu-ray release it as being a region 'B'-locked.
BFI add plenty of extras - since the feature is only 50-minuites long. The Showman is a 25-minute documentary short directed by Christian Marnham from 1970 and centers around fairground Wild West showman Wally Shufflebottom. Marnham discusses The Orchard End Murder in a new interview for almost 40-minutes covering his memories of the production. He also, briefly talks about The Showman in a separate video piec for less than 5-minutes. From Melody to Orchard End Murder: is a new 11-minute interview with Tracy Hyde discussing the film and her career. Plus we get an interview with David Wilkinson (who played the batsman) from 2017 running shy of 13-minutes. The package has an illustrated booklet with new writing by Josephine Botting and Vic Pratt, along with full film credits and this is dual-format containing a second disc DVD.
July 28th, 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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