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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Snorkel [Blu-ray]

 

(Guy Green, 1958)

 

 

 

 

The Indicator is part of their 4 Blu-ray set Hammer Volume Two: Criminal Intent with Never Take Sweets from a Stranger, Cash On Demand, The Full Treatment and The Snorkel.

 

Indicator (Powerhouse) initial slate of Blu-rays
Spine #001 Spine #002 Spine #003 Spine #004

Spine #005

Spine #006

Spine #008 Spine #009 Spine #010 Spine #011 Spine #012 Spine #013

Spine #014 Spine #015 Spine #016 Spine #017 Spine #019 Spine #020

Spine #021 Spine #022 Spine #023 Spine #029 Spine #030 Spine #031

Spine #032 Spine #039 Spine #034 Spine #038 Spine #040 Spine #044

Spine #045 Spine #024 Spine #024 Spine #024 Spine #024

Spine #041 Spine #041 Spine #041 Spine #041

Spine #054 Spine #054 Spine #054 Spine #054 Spine #054

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Hammer Films

Video: Indicator (Powerhouse)

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:20:04.007

Disc Size: 47,601,509,723 bytes

Feature Size: 22,907,631,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.02 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: February 19th, 2018

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1036 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1036 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Audio commentary with film historian Michael Brooke and author Johnny Mains

Undercover Killer: Inside The Snorkel (20:58)
• New interview with props master Peter Allchorne and second assistant director Hugh Harlow (7:48)

Four Note Fear - Appreciation of composer Francis Chagrin by David Huckvale (23:18)

Original Script Ending (9:48)
Hammer’s Women: Betta St John (2018): Diabolique magazine’s editor-in-chief Kat Ellinger offers an appreciation of the American actress, singer and dancer (10:23)
• Advertising and Publicity Gallery
• Original trailer (1:55)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The 1958 Hammer Film The Snorkel opens with one of the more memorable pre-credits sequences to be found in a thriller the viewer witnesses a "perfect murder" being committed. In a stylish European style sitting room, we see a calm, debonair sandy-haired man take a needle off a phonograph record, then use thick tape to seal the cracks of a closed window. He rolls up a rug on the floor and sets it against the bottom crack of a closed door. The man then retrieves a coil of hidden rubber hose, and moves another rug to reveal a hidden shallow under the floorboards. He crawls in the cramped space, scaring mice out of the way, and connects two pieces of the rubber hose to pipes which lead outside the upstairs section of the large brick residence. He crawls back out through the cobwebs to the room. As he lets gas escape through the room's lighting fixtures, we notice a woman shifting slightly while lying on the couch. The man sits in a chair in the room as he waits for the gas to slowly kill the prone woman. He won't be affected he has attached the other ends of the rubber hoses to a snorkel, which covers his face and provides outside oxygen. Over a close-up of the man's snorkeled head, the opening credits roll.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

 

The Film:

Van Eyck tries his hand at committing the perfect crime in this ingenious murder mystery. In order for his wife's murder to appear a suicide, he gives her a dose of tranquilizers, locks the doors and windows from the inside, turns on all the gas, and hides in a cubbyhole underneath the floor. From there he breathes through a snorkel tube and waits until the police arrive, remove the body, and declare it a suicide before he comes out. His plan is foiled when the dead woman's daughter from a previous marriage catches on to Van Eyck's scheme. A clever film that works.

Excerpt from TVGuide located HERE

On holiday from a British boarding school, Candy Brown (Mandy Miller) visits her mother and stepfather at their villa in a Italian coastal town. To her shock, Candy learns that her mother has committed suicide by sealing herself in a room and turning on the gas. Candy immediately suspects foul play, but the police inspector insists that's impossible: the servants found Candy's mother in a locked room completely sealed from the inside.

Excerpt ClassicFilmTvCafe located HERE

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

The Snorkel arrives on Blu-ray from Indicator in a dual-layered 1080P presentation with a max'ed out bitrate. The appealing attribute is the heavy, and consistent, grain texture - it's superior to the old DVD that we've compared some captures to below. This Blu-ray offers a solid, HD presentation without issues.

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

 

 

1) Sony (Icons of Suspense- HAMMER - Reviewed HERE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony (Icons of Suspense- HAMMER - Reviewed HERE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony (Icons of Suspense- HAMMER - Reviewed HERE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony (Icons of Suspense- HAMMER - Reviewed HERE) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master authentically mono at 1036 kbps (24-bit). There are no instances of aggressive effects and the film's atmosphere relies on the score by Francis Chagrin and it adds to the brooding suspense of whether the film's murderer can evade justice.  There are optional English (SDH) subtitles - see sample - and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable world-wide.

 

 

Extras :

We are treated to a new audio commentary by film historian Michael Brooke and author Johnny Mains and they deeply explore The Snorkel, the performers, story and much more - predictably it is very rewarding and enjoyable. Undercover Killer: Inside The Snorkel runs 21-minutes with Jonathan Rigby, Josephine Botting, and John J. Johnston discussing The Snorkel, it's positioning in the Hammer cycle and details on production. There is an 8-minute new interview with props master Peter Allchorne and second assistant director Hugh Harlow remembering their work on the film. Four Note Fear is a 23-minute appreciation of composer Francis Chagrin by David Huckvale. There is an original script ending with the following description: "Jimmy Sangster's penultimate draft of the screenplay for The Snorkel led to what would have been the darkest conclusions to any film made in the 1950's. This ending was rejected. However, Sangster's final draft cleverly included all the elements of his original ending, whose impact was only softened by an additional scene just before the final credits. What follows in not the original ending of the film, as it was never even edited in this form, let alone released. However, this alternative edit, carried out exclusively for this Indicator Blu-ray disc, scrupulously follows the script of Sangster's preferred ending." There is another episode of Hammer’s Women with Diabolique magazine’s editor-in-chief Kat Ellinger offering an appreciation of the American actress Betta St John and her early roles in Destry Rides Again (1939) and the musical South Pacific. It runs 10-minutes. There is another advertising and publicity gallery and an original trailer. The package has an exclusive booklets for each film, with new essays by Kat Ellinger, Julian Upton and Kim Newman, archival interview materials, contemporary reviews, and full film credits. This Hammer Volume Two: Criminal Intent edition is limited to 6,000 copies.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Snorkel is an excellent thriller with a brilliant ending. The film's suspense is generated mostly through action with limited dialogue and, in that sense, could be considered Hitchcockian. The Indicator Blu-ray presentation is beautifully film-like and the package contains a valuable commentary and extensive extras. More of Indicator's desirable work - film fans should be very grateful. This gem is now on Blu-ray and, like the entire Hammer Volume Two: Criminal Intent package, is VERY strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 28th, 2018

 

 

 

The Indicator is part of their 4 Blu-ray set Hammer Volume Two: Criminal Intent with Never Take Sweets from a Stranger, Cash On Demand, The Full Treatment and The Snorkel.

 




 

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