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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Quella villa accanto al cimitero" )

 

directed by Lucio Fulci
Italy 1981

 

Norman Boyle (Paolo Malco, THE SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS), along with his wife Lucy (Catriona MacColl, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) and son Bob (Giovanni Frezza, A BLADE IN THE DARK), leaves New York for the sleepy New England town of New Whitby to continue the research of a colleague who murdered his mistress and then hanged himself. They have rented the creaky Oaks Mansion, with its mysterious locked basement, a tombstone in he middle of the living room floor, and a slinky babysitter (Ania Pieroni, INFERNO) who job description also includes mopping up puddles of blood and making coffee. Norman discovers his late colleague's research took a tangential turn into the life of the house's previous resident, one Dr. Jacob Tess Freudstein who was expelled from the medical community for his experiments in cell regeneration. Hmm, could this have anything to do with the tendency of visitors to the house to mysterious disappear (and die gory onscreen deaths)? Lucy's hearing noises and little Bob has a seemingly imaginary friend Mae (Silvia Collatina, MURDER ROCK) who keeps warning him that he and his parents should leave the house. Dagmar Lassander (BLACK EMANUELLE 2) is the estate agent, and CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD's Carlo de Mejo and Daniela Doria (gorily mistreated as usual for her Fulci work) also pop up again. A few years later, fellow Italian horror director Umberto Lenzi and Joe D'Amato's Filmirage crew hoofed it to New England to shoot GHOSTHOUSE in the same striking haunted house location (and utilized more of the real interiors).

Eric Cotenas

***

A young family moves from their cramped New York City apartment to a spacious new home in New England. But this is no ordinary house in the country: the previous owner was the deranged Dr. Freudstein, whose monstrous human experiments have left a legacy of bloody mayhem. Now, someone - or something - is alive in the basement, and home sweet home is about to become a horrific hell on earth.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 1st, 1984 (USA)

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Review: Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K UHD

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Blue Underground - Region FREE - 4K Ultra HD
Runtime 1:26:22.218         
Video 2.35:1 2060P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 65,498,503,617 bytes
Feature: 58,156,689,600 bytes
Video Bitrate: 71.99 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

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

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

Dolby TrueHD + Atmos English 3187 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 3187 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1697 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1697 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 861 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 861 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1045 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1045 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, French, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Blue Underground

 

2.35:1 2060P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 65,498,503,617 bytes
Feature: 58,156,689,600 bytes
Video Bitrate: 71.99 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Disc 1 (4K Ultra HD)

Feature Film + Extras:
Audio Commentary with Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
Deleted Scene (1:01 with intro)
Theatrical Trailers (3:22 / 1:47)
TV Spot (0:32)
Poster & Still Galleries (2:21)

Disc 2 (
Blu-ray) Extras:
Meet the Boyles - Interviews with Stars Catriona MacColl and Paolo Malco (14:17)
Children of the Night - Interviews with Stars Giovanni Frezza and Silvia Collatina (12:18)
Tales of Laura Gittleson - Interview with Star Dagmar Lassander (8:56)
My Time With Terror - Interview with Star Carlo De Mejo (9:21)
A Haunted House Story - Interviews with Co-Writers Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Briganti (14:07)
To Build a Better Death Trap - Interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Maurizio Trani, Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi, and Actor Giovanni De Nava (21:32)
House Quake - Interview with Co-Writer Giorgio Mariuzzo (14:46)
Catriona MacColl Q&A (29:37)
Calling Dr. Freudstein - Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci (19:34)


4K Ultra HD Release Date:
August 25th, 2020
Black 4K Ultra HD Case inside slipcase

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Blue Underground 4K UHD (August 2020): Blue Underground transferred Lucio Fulci's The House By the Cemetery to 4K UHD from the uncensored original camera negative. It has Dolby Vision HDR. The House By the Cemetery looked impressive on the last Blue Underground Blu-ray set, but it continues to advance in the 4K UHD format. It is darker and by comparisons makes the Blu-ray look possibly too bight now. The darker image suits the film and everything else is exemplified by the higher resolution (3840 X 2160) with extremely fine grain texture, detail gets a pleasing bump (eyes close-ups, facial sweat and Ania Pieroni's freckles), depth is apparent and the overall image has more body and seems more realistic. Black levels are still not pitch but, like the contrast, they are superior to Blu-ray. There may be a small touch of teal and orange not present on previous releases. This new transfer accentuates the excellent lighting (despite the budget) seen in the frequent, creepy, basement scenes in The House By the Cemetery. I think this 4K UHD image quality is impressive and a notable advancement over, the previously strong Blu-ray.

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 72 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE.

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsining (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

If you are fortunate enough to have a setup that allows for Dolby Atmos or Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Blue Underground's 4K UHD offers a reasonably robust DTS 7.1 channel track (16-bit) bump. There is some benefit (aggressive bat attack and heavy Walter Rizzati score), if not separation. The DUB'ing is part of the nostalgic appeal. Included as options are a 5.1 English track, and 1.0 channel mono DTS-HD Master tracks in English and Italian - the latter in 24-bit. I encourage fans to try the Italian track as it both sounds very good - authentically flat, but also provides a different and enjoyable viewing experience that you may appreciate. There are subtitle options including English, French and Spanish and as with all 4K UHD discs, this Blue Underground package is Region 'Free' (included Blu-ray too!) playable worldwide. 

NOTE: For Atmos many non-compliant systems will recognizes it as TrueHD 7.1, but from Wikipedia: "Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is not a real-time mix rendered the same way as in cinemas. The substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. This substream only represents a losslessly encoded fully object-based mix. This substream does not include all 128 objects separated. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital channel. Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channel, but it is not an object-based real-time rendering. Filmmakers need to remix and render the TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks with Dolby Media Producer."

Blue Underground's 4K UHD disc includes the supplements from the excellent 3-disc Blu-ray package (minus the CD.) So I can repeat our comments (Colin Zavitz and my own); Here on the 4K UHD disc we get the same commentary with Troy Howarth, author of 'Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films'. Without rehashing what Troy covers, this still adds plenty of value to this 4K UHD release, especially in conjunction with the 20-minute interview with Stephen Thrower, "Calling Dr. Freudstein" - that, like most of the other supplements is on a second disc Blu-ray. Thrower is another author familiar with all things Fulci, having written 'Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci'. Whether it is Thrower putting "House By the Cemetery" in the context of Fulci's career at the time, or Howarth discussing the film's oddly poetic qualities (Thrower can't even help but be astounded at the sheer amount of quality genre films Fulci was cranking out during this phase, while Howarth takes some offense at some considering this film to be part of Fulci's Zombie Quadrology given the film's relative lack of zombie material.) The inclusion of this commentary and featurette, with two of the world's leading Fulci scholars, keeps the standard at its highest level. "House Quake" is a 15-minute interview with co-writer Giorgio Mariuzzo, subtitled into English. Also new here is a 30-minute Q&A with the ever-charming and graceful Catriona MacColl, who shares a some stories from the set and working with the late director. She is interviewed by Calum Waddell. Blue Underground produced interview featurettes including Meet the Boyles - a chat with stars Catriona MacColl and, separately, Paolo Malco for just shy of 15-minutes. There is also Children of the Night which is an interview with stars Giovanni Frezza and Silvia Collatina for about a dozen minutes, Tales of Laura Gittleson an interview with Star Dagmar Lassander for 9-minutes, My Time With Terror talking with Star Carlo De Mejo, A Haunted House Story -more interviews - this time with Co-Writers Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Briganti for just short of 15-minuites and To Build a Better Death Trap rapping with cinematographer Sergio Salvati, special make-up effects artist Maurizio Trani, special effects artist Gino De Rossi, and actor Giovanni De Nava for more than 20-minutes. On the 4K UHD disc is a short deleted scene (Bar Attack Aftermath), trailers, a TV spot and a poster & still gallery.

Lucio Fulci's The House By the Cemetery is another unique and effective horror from a master of the genre. From the shifting eyes close-ups to the overripe intensity - the expressive tension and unashamed, ham-fisted, gore (ex. Ania Pieroni's neck slicing and her severed head) - this is easy to see the Fulci signature touches. It is often incorrectly identified as 'Giallo' and doesn't scale the heights of his other works like "The Beyond" (my favorite from the director) or "Zombie (aka Zombi 2)" but in 4K UHD The House By the Cemetery seems essential for serious horror cinephiles. No booklet or CD but otherwise perfect to enjoy the film in its highest a/v presentation and the extensive extras carry significant value. It has a very strong recommendation for 4K UHD adopters! 

Gary Tooze

 


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