Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Vampire Hunter- DAYUM!



How in the FUCK!? did I never know a 4:3 restored transfer of this existed until now?! To the gentlemen who sent me the information that this transfer exists, I thank you, for I will never, ever have touch the 1985 Japanese master again.

The screencaps above more or less speak for themselves. The German transfer's 16:9 ratio is unforgivable and the source print seems to have overemphasized both shadow detail and reds, making the whole transfer look too pink and washed out... but see all that wrinkly crap affixing itself to Doris' boobs on the German print? That's a film splice, and it isn't on the Italian print, so at least some of the problems found in the German transfer's color timing is the fault of whoever struck their new film print. It's still no excuse for the cropping, though... there will never be any proper excuse for that.

The Italian master seems very dark. At first that sounds like a good thing, but there are shadow details present on the German transfer that are sucked right into the inky blacks of the Italian transfer. The Italian encode is also rough around the edges, with a lot of minor compression artifacts on fast motion and some edge ringing. It's certainly a thousand times better than the milky gray LD era nightmare Sony, Manga and Urban Vision have shat upon the world, but it's not quite a title I'd reach for when thinking of reference titles, either.

There are unique problems with each transfer, based on the files I've had a chance to play around with; the Italian transfer crushed the black levels to avoid noise in shadows, while the German transfer boosted saturation to avoid noise in vivid colors. The German transfer also seems to have been stabilized quite dramatically, but the Italian transfer has more natural film grain - at least when the compression doesn't blur all of it away. OVA Films clearly tried to remaster Vampire Hunter D... they just fucked it up miserably. Meanwhile Yamato Video tried to present the materials in their original state, they just don't know how to encode worth a damn. The two of them are equal halves of a whole idiot, but the fact that - with any luck, at least - I'll soon have my hands on BOTH transfers can only mean one thing...

Vampire Hunter D's 25th anniversary just might to be the year that the Dhampir Hunter finally gets his proper DVD dues from Kentai Films.


Buster D said...

Ohhh, Captain Janeway...

Is this Italian release still in print? Might pick up a copy for myself, although I assume you'll be slowing it down to 23.976fps and adding the Japanese audio from another source as well as subtitles.

Any chance of a BD-9 or something to take advantage of the PAL resolution?

Unknown said...

I'm stoked.

Ed said...

@Buster D: There's no need to drop frames from 25to23, to convert to NTSC, that's just a "quick" and sloppy way to do it.

The proper way is called "Telecine"3:2 pulldown. All the other "quick" ways either cause slow down, drop frames or add flickering.

PAL DVD is 720x576 that's a far cry from BD! Just because it's 16:9 and PAL it's not HD or even close to 720p, yet alone 1080p! It would be upscaled just like NTSC (720x480) would be. PAL is slightly higher not that much better.

You can find both PAL ITA and PAL GER on Amazon and ebay but good luck trying to get ppl who'll ship you them.

Buster D said...

Dunno why my comment from nearly two years ago is showing up as being posted so recently... But at any rate I wasn't talking about dropping frames, I was talking about slowing down the framerate to match the standard 23.976 framerate on BDs and progressively encoded DVDs. And you can't IVTC something if it's already 25fps progressive.

As for PAL vs BD, I only wanted it on a BD-9 since I'd rather upscale 720x576 to 1920x1080 than downscale it to 720x480. But I suppose it wouldn't make too much of a difference.

Anonymous said...

VXT released it in NTSC English if you want it.

Ed said...

Hey Buster,

The Xvid release by VST gets it spot on, though it is 480. It looks a lot better then the crap we have.

I believe both film and BD are 24fps and PAL is just sped up to 25fps. So for BD you would slow it down to 24fps (not NTSC 23.976).

I would do 720 as that will preserve the PAL w/ minimal stretching.

Oddly I have a Region B BD w/ PAL video on it and that plays on my player, that refuses to play PAL DVDs...so you may not need to change the 720x576 at all.

Anonymous said...

WOOOOOO!!!!!! The original film is finally getting released on blu-ray, and in the US is getting if first to boot!


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