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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka 'Murder to the Tune of the Seven Black Notes' or 'Seven Notes in Black' or 'The Psychic')

Directed by Lucio Fulci
Italy 1977

 

Lucio Fulci was a versatile talent. Before he carved a name for himself in the early eighties with gory epics like The Beyond (1981) he made some Argento style gialli and this is one of the best. The film successfully blends a dreamlike quality with an intricate, multilayered story co-written by Fulci and the extremely hardworking Dardano Sachetti (let's face it the man must be a genius).

Jennifer O'Neill is the psychic woman who as a child had a vision of her mother's actual death and who later as an adult has a puzzling vision of a woman being walled up in the same fashion as in Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat. Recently married O'Neill then spends some time at her rich husband's lonely country estate where she discovers the room from her vision, and a dead body behind the wall...

This being a Giallo there's several plot twists as the film develops but they are carried out with unusual effectivety and partially thanks to Sergio Salvati's incredible cinematography the film becomes involving and atmospheric. That Fulci might have intended this as some sort of commentary on the Giallo genre is evident in the recurrence of the color yellow/ Giallo in O'Neill's key vision, there's the cigarette with yellow wrapping paper, a magazine cover with the text "giallo" and a broken mirror with a golden yellow frame.

Excerpt from Euro Trash Reviews (Kristoffer Gansing) located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 10th, 1977

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                                 DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Severin - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Elea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Shameless Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

BONUS CAPTURES:

Distribution Severin - Region 1 - NTSC Elea Media
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Scorpion Releasing
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Shameless
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:15  1:37:29.677  1:37:23.838 1:37:20.960
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.0 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

Disc Size: 24,830,836,248 bytes

Feature Size: 23,514,202,176 bytes

Total Bitrate: 27.07 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

Disc Size: 36,293,266,506 bytes

Feature Size: 25,073,614,848 bytes

Total Bitrate: 28.50 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

Disc Size: 47,966,363,547 bytes

Feature Size: 30,814,248,960 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:

Bitrate: Elea Blu-ray

Bitrate: Ronin Blu-ray

Bitrate: Shameless Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1049 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1049 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 2078 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2078 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio German 128 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 128 kbps

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1772 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1772 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1806 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1806 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 / DN -4dB

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1605 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1605 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English (only when Italian text information is shown), None German, None (on the English version) English, none English, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Severin

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Voices From the Black (27:25)
• Trailer (1:09)

DVD Release Date: October 30th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 10

Release Information:
Studio: Elea Media

 

Disc Size: 24,830,836,248 bytes

Feature Size: 23,514,202,176 bytes

Total Bitrate: 27.07 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Commentary by Marcus Stiglegger

Trailer (1:05)
• Promo Teaser (1:40)

• German Trailer (3;16)

• Italian Opening Credits (3:48)

•  Italian Ending (1:19)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: April 24th, 2015
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio:
Scorpion Releasing

 

Disc Size: 36,293,266,506 bytes

Feature Size: 25,073,614,848 bytes

Total Bitrate: 28.50 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Audio Commentary with film historian Troy Howarth
Defeating Fate - interviews with screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti, including audio excerpt with director Lucio Fulci (50:14)
Stills Gllery (2:29)
Trailer (1:06)
Reversible Cover
Limited Edition Slipcover and 9x11 Mini Poster with artwork by Wes Benscoter while supplies last

 

Blu-ray Release Date: February, 2019
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio:
Shameless

 

Disc Size: 47,966,363,547 bytes

Feature Size: 30,814,248,960 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
TOUCHING FATE’: A new exclusive interview of Antonella Fulci about ‘The Psychic’ (21:12)
DADDY DEAREST’: An interview with Antonella Fulci about her father Lucio Fulci (35:03)
Restoration process for the Psychic – showing different stages (2:31)
ESCAPE FROM DOOM’: An interview with writer Dardano Sacchetti on working with Fulci (50:02)
BEHIND THE WALL’: An interview with Fabio Frizzi on scoring The Psychic (the music later used by Tarantino) (24:27)

Limited collector's edition includes an o-card over the Shameless-branded "Yell'O" Blu-ray case.

 

Blu-ray Release Date: August 9th, 2021
Yellow Blu-ray case inside slipcover

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray - September 2021': Shameless have also released Lucio Fulci's The Psychic to Blu-ray. It is the most robustly transferred of all the digital editions with a max'ed out bitrate. It is described as "Exclusively, this new release of THE PSYCHIC has been extensively restored from 2K materials, finally truly doing justice to the Maestro’s original vision.". This is a slight upgrade from the Scorpion 2019 1080P. This will be mostly noticeable in-motion and some flesh tones appearing warmer and while it looks like the same strong source, The Shameless is a bit cleaner with less speckles, blemishes etc. There is an extra that details the restoration process. It looks wonderful on my system with deep reds, pristine contrast and depth apparent. Although a minor video upgrade - this would have to be considered the best HD presentation in regards to the image.  

NOTE: We have added 32 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

Both the English-language and Italian-language tracks are available. English in both 2.0 channel DTS-Master and linear PCM transfer options (16-bit.) There is also the Italian track as a choice in 2.0 LPCM - also 16-bit. The Scorpion advances on it being 24-bit but it is a upgrade that most probably won't notice even if they have both editions. Effects have a hollowness that sounds authentic to me. It is reflective of the source but carries some of the film's depth via the score credited to Franco Bixio (as Bixio,) Fabio Frizzi (as Frizzi,) and Vince Tempera (as Tempera) and the opening With You sung by Linda Lee doesn't initiate the presentation with conviction in the sound department - as well as being an odd choice, imo, for the film. The Shameless boasts "new revised English subtitles" and their Blu-ray is Region FREE!

Extras include the 50-minute interview with writer Dardano Sacchetti on working with Fulci that is on the Scorpion Blu-ray. Shameless has no commentary but does add three video supplements. 'Touching Fate' is a new 21-minute exclusive interview of Antonella Fulci about ‘The Psychic’ and 'Daddy Dearest' spends another 35-minutes with Antonella about her father Lucio Fulci's methods and idiosyncrasies. It is revealing. There is a short piece on the restoration process for The Psychic – showing different stages and Behind the Wall is a 25-minute interview with Fabio Frizzi on scoring The Psychic (the music later used by Tarantino.) The package has a reversible sleeve (see below) and the limited collector's edition includes an o-card over the Shameless-branded "Yell'O" Blu-ray case.  

Like Hermie, I've always had a huge crush on Jennifer O'Neill and could watch her in anything (always wanted to see more of her in Scanners). Ditto for Fulci's films that have their own style. It is kind of amusing how many extreme close-ups of O'Neill's eyes there are every time she has a psychic impression. Fulci, and Giallo, fans will be enticed by the video upgrade and new extras - plus the attractive case. I was very pleased to watch this again via the Shameless Blu-ray. Absolutely recommended and many may consider a double-dip!

***

ADDITION: Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray February 19': Yes, the Scorpion Releasing, with the more robust transfer has a superior image, imo - authentically darker, warmer colors. There are still moments of weakness, occasionally bleamishes, that seem to be reflected in the source. Anyway, I preferred the Scorpion Releasing between the two - not overwhelming visually but best yet for The Psychic.

Scorpion Releasing offer both the Italian-language track and the effective English DUB via DTS-HD Master, 24-bit, tracks.  There are optional subtitles (translated from the Italian - not DUB-titles) and the Blu-ray is Region 'A'-locked.

Extras consistent of an informative audio commentary with film historian Troy Howarth. His relaxed delivery is enjoyable and he fills the time with plenty of details about Fulci and the cast as well as alluding to a 'tunnel analogy' and O'Neill's ineffectiveness at times. He's great. There is also a 50-minute interview entitled Defeating Fate with screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti, including an initial audio excerpt with director Lucio Fulci. Lots to absorb there. Lastly are a stills gallery, poor quality trailer and the package has a reversible cover. This has a limited edition slipcover and 9 x 11 mini poster with artwork by Wes Benscoter while supplies last.

Scorpion Releasing have done this Giallo some justice with the two-language tracks - the better image, commentary ands interview. Genre fans will want this one.

***

ADDITION: Elea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray September 17': A few pleasant surprises with this Fulci film on Elea Blu-ray. Despite the box stating that it is Region 'B' - it is actually Region FREE... and the menu option requiring either a German DUB or English with German subtitles (inferring they are forced) - they are indeed removable! Bravo!

It's a single-layered transfer - and the image has some definite advantages over the SD. Brighter, detail rises and the bitrate supports the feature exceptionally well. Colors are deeper and richer with flesh tones gaining normalcy from the, dreaded, orange-ness of SD. The layered contrast is a significant step forward and the presentation with notable texture (some see as noise). There is a bit of depth but the attributes are a clean, tighter image that fans will easily see advances over the old DVD transfer. I don't know the source but this starts with the English title Murder to the Tune of the Seven Black Notes title.

The film works well in English. The DTS-HD Master mono track is authentic but not always crisp with effects deep and, obviously, flat but with a few piercing screams.  But sound does settle-in and everything carries the impression of superior lossless. As said earlier - the German subtitle (for the English track) are removable and the Blu-ray disc is Region FREE!

There is a German-language commentary by Marcus Stiglegger and the rest of the supplements consist of a trailer, promo teaser, German trailer - both the Italian opening and closing credits. 

NOTE: Scorpion Releasing will, eventually, be releasing this on Blu-ray and we will compare! 

***

ON THE DVD: Most fans will be pleased with this single-layered transfer from Severin - anamorphic and progressive - it suffers somewhat from a bit of softness and dullish colors but overall the image quality presents itself as quite acceptable. The audio is in original English (with obvious post production DUB'ing of some actors) - it's a bit hushed at times with some minor hiss and optional subtitles would have been appreciated. They only exist for the supplemental featurette and the Italian text in the opening sequence (see below) of the feature.

Severin have added a trailer and a half-hour featurette "Voices From the Black" with input from Dardanno Sachhetti, costume designer Massimo Lentini and editor Bruno Micheli. Those keen will enjoy.

The price might be a bit high for DVD tech value but fans of Giallo and Fulci will certainly find enough to be content. I found the film well crafted and highly intriguing.   

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


Elea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A" - Blu-ray

Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Severin - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Elea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray -THIRD

4) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Severin - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Elea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray -THIRD

4) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Severin - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Elea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray -THIRD

4) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Severin - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Elea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray -THIRD

4) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Severin - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Elea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - SECOND

3) Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray -THIRD

4) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


More Blu-ray Captures

1) lea Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Examples of NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES (Mouse Over to see- CLICK to Enlarge)

 

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Shameless Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE


Box Covers

 

 

BONUS CAPTURES:

Distribution Severin - Region 1 - NTSC Elea Media
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Scorpion Releasing
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Shameless
Region FREE -
Blu-ray




 

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