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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The She Beast" or "She Beast" or "La Sorella di Satana" or "Satan's Sister" or "Sister of Satan")

 

Directed by Michael Reeves
UK / Italy 1966

 

A tale of demonic reincarnation reminiscent of Mario Bava's Black Sunday, Revenge of the Blood Beast (Il lago di Satana, aka The She Beast) stars Barbara Steele as Veronica, a British tourist who is stranded in a remote village with her husband Philip (Ian Ogilvy) while honeymooning in Transylvania. They meet a descendent of legendary vampire-hunter Count von Helsing (John Karlsen), who reveals that the town is haunted by a satanic curse. A mysterious car accident plunges Veronica into a nearby lake, but when her body is removed, it resembles that of the legendary Witch of the Lake. Reawakened from her slumber, the blister-faced hag, armed with sickle and claws, rises from the makeshift morgue and unleashes her vengeance upon the descendants of those who executed her, centuries earlier. While the bumbling Soviet authorities stumble over themselves to solve the murders, Philip join forces with von Helsing to capture the witch and put an end to the dreadful curse. Director Michael Reeves (Witchfinder General) mixes gruesome thrills with dark comedy (courtesy of character actor Mel Welles as a devious hotel owner), to make Revenge of the Blood Beast an especially playful entry in the Euro Horror genre.

***

While honeymooning near a village in Transylvania, Philip and Veronica, a young English couple, have an accident which plunges their car into a lake. Veronica is rescued, but she has been possessed by the spirit of Vardella, a witch who was impaled on a stake and dropped into the lake 200 years before. Count von Helsing explains to the distraught Philip that the only way to get his wife back is to exorcise the vengeful witch. Although Vardella escapes and rampages through the village, she is eventually captured, exorcised, and thrown back into the lake. After her death Veronica reappears, apparently unaware of the terrible experience.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 2nd, 1966

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Raro - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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Distribution Raro - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:19:06.742         
Video

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 16,773,390,927 bytes

Feature: 13,809,881,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2048 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2048 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)

Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Raro

 

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 16,773,390,927 bytes

Feature: 13,809,881,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

A Bloody Journey to Italy - interview with Barbara Steele (28:31)
Booklet


Blu-ray Release Date:
January 17th, 2017
Standard Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Raro Blu-ray (January 2020): Raro transferred Michael Reeves' Revenge of the Blood Beast to Blu-ray.

After watching Reeves' The Sorcerers Blu-ray and seeing the excellent feature-length documentary, The Magnificent Obsession of Michael Reeves, on the director (who died far too young at 25) included in the package, I decided to watch another of his films since I had already keen on Witchfinder General.

Raro are a problematic disc producer - very inconsistent. Revenge of the Blood Beast is on a single-layered disc with a low bitrate, but the image is not extensively flawed and seems to be a healthy improvement over SD if lacking many of the attributes of 1080P that we see from other, more robust, transfers. It can be a shade waxy and may have a compression artifact or two, but nothing intrusive onto the presentation. The HD image is not great nut not bad, and does show the over-indulgent effects make-up of the 'Beast' thank to the higher resolution.

On their Blu-ray, Raro use a DTS-HD Master track (24-bit) in the English language. It is another advancement in the film's audio and score by Paul Ferris (The Sorcerers, The Blood Beast Terror, Witchfinder General), although it was exported at a low volume for some reason. Raro offer no subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Raro Blu-ray has a 1/2 hour audio interview with Barbara Steele shown with many delightful photos of the actress as she related working with Elvis to Fellini. She's so cool. There is also an 8-page liner notes booklet included in the package with two pictures and an essay by 'Nocturne'. There was a commentary on a previous DVD, but it was not added here.

Well, Revenge of the Blood Beast doesn't seem to have much of a link to The Blood Beast Terror. And it's a real slap-dash effort - not without it's charm. The failing of the film is attempting to inject humor - like the sped-up car chase scene. WOW - totally inappropriate. Still, I'm glad I saw it and it does have the huge draw of Miss Steele's eyes. I'd only indulge if you were extra keen to be a Michael Reeves' completist, Barbara Steele devotee or you can get the Raro Blu-ray at a reasonable price. A weak recommendation. 

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Raro - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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