Monday, December 05, 2011

Cannibalized Masters

I'm totally serious. It's half man, half bear... and half pig!

Ian Jane over at Rock! Shock! Pop! has done assholes like myself a big favor by reviewing the new French Blu-ray of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, and has a full review on the actual content as well as plenty more "pretty" pictures. Anyone with more than a passing interest (or who's considering lunging for the Amazon.fr order page) should give it a look.

Here's the Reader's Digest version: 1080i transfer with no lossless audio, "PAL HD" menus, and the only new extras are an interview with film critic Julien Seveon, and a 22 minute panel with Deodato at a convention, both in French with no subtitles. As for the good news, such as it is, the disc is region free, doesn't have forced subtitles and there's no censor cuts, so if you're ever so inclined you can officially watch that coati get throat-fucked with cold steel in 1080 as often as you like.

If (like me) you watch everything on a PS3 you're still up a creek on this one thanks to the menus being 1080i50Hz, but that transfer is such an underwhelming pile of fuck I can't say I'm all that upset about it. I love the crap out of it and all, but I just gave one copy away and I've still got two more sitting on the shelf! I'm not going to spend a dime on this movie again until I'm given good reason to, and a middling HD transfer that might be even worse than the crumby Shameless Blu-ray is simply not it. Grindhouse Releasing and Red Shirt Productions are both apparently hard at work on an all-new Blu-ray release for sometime in 2012. Under the circumstances, and knowing they created their own transfer for DVD (even IF that ended in mixed results), I'm more than happy to wait this one out.

Oh yeah: Ian doesn't mention wither or not The Road To Hell in-film documentary is complete, but since I've yet to see that footage pulled from anything that didn't look like VHS, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume it's not.

9 comments:

Christopher D. Jacobson said...

"crumby Shameless Blu-ray"

Uh-oh. Does that mean Shameless' Four Flies on Grey Velvet may be a big, steaming pile of poo? I couldn't believe my eyes when I read they never even considered seamless branching when they brought up the issue on what to do with the damaged footage, so I was already a little leery...

Have Grindhouse announced a Cannibal Holocaust BD? That's pretty exciting if so. Murawski seems to be very adept at film transferring; I don't know if he led the Evil Dead restoration, but know he was heavily involved.

Kentai 拳態 said...

With the French release looking just as pitiful, I wouldn't be surprised if the blotchy, irregular "look" of the Shameless transfer is just down to poor materials. I had assumed it was shitty compression up until now, but man, the thought of blotchy pixelation built right into your master... *Twitch* But even if the transfer's woes wasn't their doing, Shameless offers not one, but two censored cuts of the film. That rubs me the wrong way solely on principle.

I'm surprised they WOULDN'T make a fuss over restoring the missing seconds from a release, considering they made kind of a big deal about 15 seconds of inconsequential footage being "restored" for The New York Ripper - kudos on that, I guess. But it's missing the most infamous footage in the film! I feel bad kicking them for that when it was the BBFC's call (not their own), but that only helps up to a point.

I don't know if Grindhouse has said anything "official" yet, but word is once Red Shirt Productions finished off the Evil Dead 2 supplements and went on to start making new material for Cannibal Holocaust. I can't imagine any other US rights holder clamoring for the rights here, so if not Grindhouse, then who?

4 Flies on Gray Velvet is a much more recent HD master, so maybe Shameless can finally wow us with that one?

Christopher D. Jacobson said...

On that last note: I hope so. I own two DVDs of Four Flies—an unauthorized German one, and the US one—and both leave so much to be desired. Even if the UK BD isn't of the highest quality, if it at least trumps those two DVDs in both the audio and video departments (and is region-free), I'll spring. I love that film; can't understand why it gets a bad rap.

Christopher D. Jacobson said...

Also, totally unrelated: Chalk up The First Nudie Musical for best Blu-ray of the year, in my opinion, for the feats that were done to restore the film so nicely. And also for just being so damn funny and charming a film.

Kentai 拳態 said...

I think the general sigh and dismissal of 4 Flies on Gray Velvet comes - at least in part - from it being the "lost masterpiece" of Dario Argento. In a sense, almost any film would have been a disappointment after nearly 40 years of obscurity on nigh-unwatchable bootleg tapes; so even if it isn't bad (and it isn't!), it's just no Profondo Rosso or Suspiria.

I tend to think it's more interesting than Cat O Nine Tails, or absolutely everything he's made after Opera, but also feel it's nothing to get especially excited about if (like me) you're only really entranced by a handful of gialli to start with. It's a fine little thriller in its proper context, but it's not the urban legend its' general unavailability might have spawned, however unintentionally.

Be honest for a second: That German Retrofilm DVD was pretty goddamn awesome, wasn't it? Without joking or exaggerating in any way, I wish that licensors would include a "vintage" transfer like that as a bonus feature next to the restored negatives. Can you imagine how great it'd be to have 7 Doors of Death in its entirety, in HD, on a Blu-ray edition of The Beyond?

Are you reading this, Mr. Murowski? You wouldn't even need to color correct the damn thing - just scan it at 1080p, encode it, and pass it off as a bonus feature. Best. Extra. EVER.

Christopher D. Jacobson said...

I do agree that'd make a rad extra. I'll never get rid of the DVD mostly 'cos of how cool the case is, that old school VHS-esque bubble case. And there is kind of a strange charm to how bad the whole thing looks.

Springheeljack said...

I like when you say "Ian doesn't mention wither or not The Road To Hell in-film documentary is complete, but since I've yet to see that footage pulled from anything that didn't look like VHS..."

Just buy the 1st spanish dvd if you want that footage in the film.

Kentai 拳態 said...

I have the EC Ultrabit DVD, and it sure doesn't look too hot there...

I've never seen the first Spanish DVD - was it anamorphic, and taken from component materials?

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