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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Scars Of Dracula [Blu-ray]

 

(Roy Ward Baker, 1970)

 

 

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).

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Hammer Studios

Video: Studio Canal (DE)

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:35:17.920

Disc Size: 30,032,956,231 bytes

Feature Size: 26,416,193,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.01 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Slim Blu-ray case

Release date: October 30th, 2017 / November 23rd, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1394 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1394 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1621 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1621 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
 

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), German, none

 

Extras:

New Featurette - Blood Rites: Inside Scars of Dracula (18:00)
Trailer for Scars of Dracula (2:23)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: At a remote castle a vampire bat dribbles fresh blood over mouldering remains, resurrecting the infamous Count Dracula (Christopher Lee). Terrified villagers set fire to the castle but later discover that a swarm of vengeful bats has killed the women and children that sought sanctuary in the local church. Dracula’s latest reign of terror has begun.

In Scars of Dracula, Christopher Lee returned to his most famous role for the fifth time, and director Roy Ward Baker (Quatermass and the Pit, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde) created the unprecedented shot of the Count scaling his castle walls. This was the last of Hammer’s traditional Dracula films and the bloodiest entry in the entire series.

 

 

The Film:

Anyone wondering why Hammer Films felt the need to transplant Count Dracula to Swingin’ London in Dracula AD 1972 need look no further than Scars of Dracula (1970). This tepid continuation of the studio’s Dracula series proves, with little room for argument, that Hammer’s ability to deal with the vampire in his native Gothic setting had long ago dwindled to nothing. All devoted fans get for their troubles is a rehash of old ideas, a terribly insufficient plot, and a bad mishandling of Dracula as a character.

Excerpt from classic-horror located HERE

The film begins with one of said bats puking blood over Dracula's remains, which reconstitute themselves into a fully-clothed Dracula. The bat then starts squeaking at the Count, Lee listening intently as if to say: "What's that you say, Batty? Is someone trapped down the well? I'd better fetch the sheriff..." Of course he doesn't, that would be silly. Instead, he goes off and kills some busty wench, the scars on her neck alerting us that this film is called Scars Of Dracula.

The body is taken to the local pub (of course), where landlord Michael Ripper (yay!) gets all worked up much quicker than usual. "We know where the evil lies!" He shouts. "We must free ourselves - now!"

Excerpt from BritishHorrorFilms located HERE

Having been woken from his undead slumber by an horrifically artificial vampire bat (Its a puppet!! as Brian Conley would no doubt cry), ol Dracster sets about putting the willies up the local village bumpkins with his usual bloodthirsty ways. Meanwhile, a few rungs up the social ladder in toff-land, womanising bounder Christopher Matthews upsets the Old Bill and goes on the run all the way to the castle. And, in case you were wondering, garlic bread ain't on the menu.

Excerpt from MovieGazette located HERE

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

Scars Of Dracula gets yet another impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Studio Canal.  It's dual-layered with a high bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It's crisp with rich, tight colors and a consistent texture. The 1080P supports solid contrast and realistic colors in the original 1.66:1 frame.  It's very clean showcasing some pleasing detail and minor depth. Like the others in this boxset - there are really no flaws with the image. This Blu-ray supports Scars Of Dracula exceptionally well in this HD transfer. 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The Blu-ray of Scars Of Dracula offers a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1394 kbps (24-bit.) There are plenty of aggressive effects which have a bit of punch but with varying degrees depth. India-born, Hammer regular, James Bernard (The Devil Rides Out, The Plague of the Zombies, Dracula Prince of Darkness, These Are the Damned, Across the Bridge, The Curse of Frankenstein) score adds a wonderful, orchestrations with violins that definitely benefit from the lossless transfer. There is an optional German DUB and optional English (see sample) or German subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Studio Canal add a 18-minute featurette; Blood Rites: Inside Scars of Dracula that has the usual guys; Jonathan Rigby (author of English Gothic), Kevin Lyons (Documentation Editor at the BFI), Alan Barnes (author of The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films) and John J. Johnston discussing the film's history, public reaction and production details. There is also a trailer for Scars of Dracula.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I don't think Scars Of Dracula gets enough credit with most reviewers rejecting this, almost retro- Hammer, entry that utilizes some of the best 'vampiric' conventions from the studios past efforts. Look at those screen captures! Yes, they scrimped on the effects - which can be fairly transparent in spots. But the simplicity and sequences have wonderful appeal. The Studio Canal Blu-ray provides another superlative a/v presentation with the educational featurette supplement. Hammer fans will see the value in the German boxset - a shade over 7 Euros a film. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

December 1st, 2017

 

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).

 


 




 

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Gary Tooze

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