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Blood from the Mummy's Tomb [Blu-ray]
(Seth Holt, Michael Carreras, 1971)
NOTE: After comparing the Studio Canal UK and DE Blu-rays of Fear in the Night HERE. They are determined to be, essentially, the exact same discs available in Europe. Same running time to the 1/1000th a second, same bitrate, same image, same audio (with the of a inclusion of a German DUB and optional German subtitles) and same extras - minus the second disc DVD but the 7-Blu-ray Hammer Film Edition has all the other films (The Horror of Frankenstein, Scars of Dracula, Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, Demons of the Mind, Straight on Till Morning, Fear in the Night, and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde).
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Hammer Studios
Video: Studio Canal (UK) / Shout! Factory
Region: 'B' / 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:34:21.781 / 1:34:23.240
Disc Size: 30,726,227,867 bytes / 49,542,483,054 bytes
Feature Size: 27,501,819,456 bytes / 25,230,219,264 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.90 Mbps / 31.98 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case (both)
Release date: October 30th, 2017 / September 10th, 2019
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1 / 1.66:1 and 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2029 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2029 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit) /
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1598 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1598
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
English (SDH), none
•New Featurette - The Pharaoh's Curse: Inside Blood From the Mummy's Tomb (18:02)
Presented In Two Aspect Ratios – 1.66:1 And 1.85:1
Description: Margaret (Valerie Leon) suffers a recurring nightmare in which she sees an ancient Egyptian queen, to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance, sealed up in a sarcophagus. The priests who entomb her first chop off her hand, before throwing it to jackals. They are then killed by a mysterious and powerful force that lacerates their throats. Margaret’s father, Professor Fuchs (Andrew Keir), gives her a ring that he discovered in the tomb of Queen Tera 20 years before – the ring was on the queen’s disembodied hand. At the moment Fuchs discovered the Queen’s perfectly preserved, still bleeding, body, Margaret’s mother died giving birth to her. When a certain celestial conjunction is complete, and three key artefacts are assembled by Tera’s corpse, the evil sorceress will be reborn.
Lensed in garish Technicolor and obsessed with star Valerie Leon's admirably ample bosom and sultry looks, Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) is pure Hammer horror: equal parts chills and thrills, unfolding in an often helter skelter manner. For The New York Times that was part of the fun. "It is not so much a fiction movie as a stringing together of direful devices, but I can think of few more guiltily pleasant excuses for overstaying a lunch hour, avoiding duty, or merely escaping the sunshine on a summer afternoon," wrote reviewer Roger Greenspun, who was especially enamored with Leon's charms: "a 500 per cent knockout" he enthused. Margaret (Valerie Leon) is the reincarnation of the ancient Egyptian priestess Queen Tera. The daughter of a famous Egyptologist, Professor Fuchs (Andrew Keir), Margaret dreams nightly about an Egyptian queen whose hand is severed by her high priests in hopes of limiting her supernatural powers. But Tera's evil won't be stopped. In fact, Tera entered Margaret's body on the day of her birth, 20 years ago, the very day Dr. Fuchs entered Tera's tomb. When Dr. Fuchs gives his daughter Tera's ruby ring on her 20th birthday, Tera's yen for power comes alive in Margaret.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
Over the course of his life, Bram Stoker wrote 12 short novels.
Everybody knows Dracula but the others have faded into obscurity,
in many cases mercifully so. The Jewel Of The Seven Stars, which
would later inspire Rachel Weisz's character in the Mummy films, was
picked up by Hammer in the Seventies and heavily restructured as it made
the transition to the screen. The result is a film that has the full-on
grand guignol atmosphere at which Stoker excelled, with ancient
artefacts and terrible curses and gushing blood, but which manages to
hang together as a story much better than it did on the page.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Blood from the Mummy's Tomb gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Studio Canal. It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. Colors are true and the soft lens exports a film-like appearance in HD. The 1080P in the 1.66:1 frame is very strong with rich colors (frequent dripping blood.) It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail in the film's few close-ups. This Blu-ray does a great job of presenting the film's varied visuals from glimmering gold to the beads of sweat on an insane asylum patient. No complaints.
Shout! Factory have limited the space on the dual-layered disc again by including both 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 aspect ratio version, in separate transfers. It's a small amount lost on top and bottom for the 1.85:1. The image quality is the same for the 1.85:1 when compared to the Studio Canal, with the 1.66:1 having a less-robust transfer (19,453,243,392 bytes with a 25.99 Mbps video bitrate). It looks to be from the same source as far as I can determine and the image, in-motion, is appealing. Yes, Valerie Leon's ample bosom looks just as good on the Shout! Factory transfer(s).
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The Blu-ray of Blood from the Mummy's Tomb offers a solid DTS-HD Master 2.0 at 2029 kbps (24-bit). It has moments of aggression but nothing too intense. Dialogue is clear and consistent. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Again, the differences are imperceptible to my ears as Shout! Factory use a DTS-HD Master 2./0 channel mono (24-bit) in the original English language. The score is by Tristram Cary (Quatermass and the Pit) and works well with the ancient Egyptian sequences. There are optional English subtitles on Shout! Factory's region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.
Studio Canal add another new featurette; The Pharaoh's Curse: Inside Blood From the Mummy's Tomb runs 18-minutes with input from Alan Barnes and Marcus Hearn (authors of The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films) and others sharing some lesser known details of the film and performers. It's worthwhile. There is a second disc DVD included.
Where the two packages differ the most, imo, are the supplements. Shout! Factory include the 18-minute The Pharaoh's Curse: Inside Blood From The Mummy's Tomb with Alan Barnes, Marcus Hearn etc. - as found on the Studio Canal. But then the floodgates open and they add many more new extras starting with an audio commentary by Steve Haberman (author of Chronicles of Terror: Silent Screams) who described this 'Mummy movie with a pretty girl', the cursed production (deaths on set), the directorial change, Peter Cushing doing scenes eventually replaced (death of his wife, Helen) etc.. He has plenty to share and it is educational. There are also a new interview with sound recordist Tony Dawe for just over 5-minutes and a new 5-minute interview with camera operator Neil Binney. I enjoyed Curse Of Blood From The Mummy's Tomb that has 10-minutes worth of interviews with classy Valerie Leon (who divulges there was a 'body double' for a nudity scene - see image HERE) and screenwriter Christopher Wicking who share their recollections of the production. There are US and UK trailers, TV Spot, Radio Spots and an extensive stills gallery.
Studio Canal (1.66:1) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
I'm less impressed by the dual-ratios than the extensive extras - commentary and new interviews push this Shout! Factory Blu-ray beyond the 2017 Studio Canal. Hammer fans should own this Blu-ray - plenty of value here.
November 20th, 2017
August 31st, 2019
NOTE: After comparing the Studio Canal UK and DE Blu-rays of Fear in the Night HERE. They are determined to be, essentially, the exact same discs. Same running time to the 1/1000th a second, same bitrate, same image, same audio (with the of a inclusion of a German DUB and optional German subtitles) and same extras - minus the second disc DVD but the 7-Blu-ray Hammer Film Edition has all the other films (The Horror of Frankenstein, Scars of Dracula, Blood from the Mummy's Tomb, Demons of the Mind, Straight on Till Morning, Fear in the Night, and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde).