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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Terence Fisher
UK 1974

 

Is Baron Frankenstein truly dead? That's precisely what he wants the world to think. He's had it up to here with a public that doesn't appreciate the trouble a mad scientist goes through to snatch good body parts. To carry on his work, he holes up in a place where the possibilities are utterly maddening: a home for the criminally insane! A hand here. A brain there ... true to form, the Baron (Peter Cushing) keeps his gruesome creation (David Prowse, known for his portrayal of Darth Vader) in stitches in this sixth and final fright fest in Hammer Films' Frankenstein cycle.

***

The sixth entry in Hammer Films' Frankenstein series, this film finds Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) in charge of a lunatic asylum. When young doctor Simon Helder (Shane Bryant) is institutionalized for attempting to create synthetic life, Frankenstein is delighted: now he'll have an assistant for his own diabolical experiments.

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 1974 (Paris Festival of Fantasy film)

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Comparison:

Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

 

UK Blu-ray - Region 'B' edition released in April 2014:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:37.160 (4% PAL Speedup)        1:33:08.749 
Video

1.66:1 1080i / 25 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,564,031,640 bytes

Feature: 23,832,348,672 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,774,525,884 bytes

Feature: 28,087,554,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.61 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Shock Blu-ray:

Bitrate Shout! Factory Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2079 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2079 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

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

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Shock

 

1.66:1 1080i / 25 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,564,031,640 bytes

Feature: 23,832,348,672 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Commentary by Marcus Hearn with Madeline Smith + Shane Briant
Making of... (24:52)
Terence Fischer Featurette (12:56)
DVD available


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 18th, 2013
Standard (thicker) Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,774,525,884 bytes

Feature: 28,087,554,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.61 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian/Author Steve Haberman And Film Historian/Filmmaker Constantine Nasr
NEW The Men Who Made Hammer: Roy Skeggs (16:01)
Audio Commentary With Actress Madeline Smith, Actor David Prowse, And Film Historian Jonathan Sothcott
Theatrical Trailer (2:58)
Radio Spots (1:28)


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 18th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Shout! Factory Blu-ray (August 2020): Shout! Factory have transferred Terence Fisher's Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell to Blu-ray. This is the US , 1.85:1, cut - shortened by about 1.5 minutes -  as released by Paramount (starting with that logo) and we can see the information lost from the 1.66:1 1080i transfer from Shock Blu-ray out of Australia. It is quite a lot. The Shout! Factory image is darker with cooler skin tones. It has a bit of a grey cast but detail rises substantially over the sloppy Australian transfer from over 7 years ago. I wouldn't say the Shout! looks stellar by any stretch but it is the better of the two and probably subject to the available print as it does have a max'ed out bitrate (albeit more of their flat line renderings.).

NOTE: We have added 58 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Shout! Factory use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It advances on the laboratory effects from the 16-bit Shock- this is notable as well in the score by frequent Hammer composer James Bernard (The Stranglers of Bombay, The Devil Rides Out, The Plague of the Zombies, Dracula Prince of Darkness, These Are the Damned, Across the Bridge, The Curse of Frankenstein). The audio quality is consistent and supportive. Shout! Factory offer optional English subtitles (see sample below) on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Shout! Factory Blu-ray sports a new audio commentary with Film historian / author Steve Haberman and film historian / filmmaker Constantine Nasr who are immersed in the studio's work and can relate plenty of information on the production, Cushing, the story 'in purgatory' and the Baron's eventual descent into hell. They discuss the Asylum Director's (John Stratton) perversities and evil as well as it being the last Frankenstein Hammer effort from Terence Fisher and Peter Cushing - their respective health issues, the lack of sexuality, it being the goriest of its type and much more. There is also an older commentary option with actress Madeline Smith, actor David Prowse, and film historian Jonathan Sothcott where Smith relates an amusing story about her bosom size for The Vampire Lovers and some talk about Cushing at the time of filming. It is also informative and worth the indulgence. There is a new 1/4 hour "The Men Who Made Hammer: Roy Skeggs" talking about the prodigious producer for the studio. There is also a theatrical trailer and 3 radio spots.

Thanks to the commentaries I appreciated Terence Fisher's Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell even more. I always liked it as another gothic Hammer gem and Cushing is a huge plus. This is a highly entertaining one - no question, but it's a shame they didn't include the full UK cut. It's a film I am very happy to own on a progressively transferred Blu-ray with improved audio and the valuable supplements. Certainly recommended to fans of the genre and Hammer Studio lovers.

***

ON THE SHOCK Blu-ray (April 2014): Firstly, this is the Australian Blu-ray version and we hope to compare it to the UK edition when it is released. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell gets a 1080i transfer to Blu-ray from Shock. This seems supported by the shorter running time (25 fps as opposed to 24 fps). It is dual-layered with a high bitrate and looked okay on my 60" system. It has some inconsistency. Colors perk-up but I am keen to see the Icon release out of the UK. Contrast appears adept adding some minor depth in the 1.66:1 frame. I wasn't overly disappointed in the appearance despite being interlaced.

Shock utilize a linear PCM mono track at 1536 kbps. It is clear, flat but has a bit of punch. India-born James Bernard score adds to the creepy atmosphere and benefits from the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide. We should note that we don't yet know whether the UK Blu-ray will be region 'B' or region 'A'.

Pretty good extras too - a commentary by Marcus Hearn with, stars from the film, Madeline Smith + Shane Briant who add nice flavor. It was decent to add some appreciation. There is a 25-minute Making of... and a glossed-over but informative 13-minute piece on director Terence Fischer. There is also a DVD of the feature included. I understand the upcoming UK Blu-ray duplicates these supplements.

Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell's most redeeming feature is Cushing. But even as a lesser Hammer - it can be enjoyed. The Shock Blu-ray provides a decent a/v presentation, despite being 1080i and includes valuable supplements. I suspect that the Icon Entertainment release in the UK will be equal-to or superior, probably being progressive - but we will see.  

Gary Tooze

 


Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample -  Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

 

UK Blu-ray - Region 'B' edition released in April 2014:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Shock - Region FREE - Blu-ray Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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