HAMMER FILM BLU-RAYS IN THE U.K. ... getting closer to the Holy Grail (DRACULA, 1958)...

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dick, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer

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    Hammer Films are being spit out at a fast pace in the U.K. (good enough reason by itself to go with an all-region player if you haven't one yet), including THE REPTILE, PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE MUMMY'S SHROUD, and now are taking pre-orders for THE DEVIL RIDES OUT and CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Their web page provides news of restoration work in preparation for the eventual release of DRACULA (1958). So cool. Add these to the few available in the U.S., TWINS OF EVIL and VAMPIRE CIRCUS, and it looks like this year and next are going to be Nirvana for Hammer fans.
    I'd heard Warner Bros. was eventually going to release some Hammer material, but I ain't waitin' to see if it's true!
     
  2. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    Don't forget RASPUTIN - THE MAD MONK!
     
  3. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Alas The Curse Of The Werewolf is not one of them, that's Universal (but the DVD from the Hammer set looks very good). Hammer did say that they were probably going to use the BFI restoration for the Dracula release next year. I remember seeing Dracula, Prince Of Darkness & Rasputin The Mad Monk as a Hammer double bill back in the sixties, not a good idea to pair them up, as a lot of the cast are in both films, & you could tell that many of the sets were the same.
     
  4. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    Looking forward to U.S. Blu-ray releases of the titles Hammer has been working on in the U.K.. Hopefully they will be coming to Blu-ray sooner rather than later, with QUATERMASS AND THE PIT and THE DEVIL RIDES OUT being the 2 I am most eagerly anticipating.
    Warner needs to get their sacred trinity of Hammer horrors- CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, HORROR OF DRACULA and THE MUMMY out on Blu-ray.
    Of course, Sony needs to release THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE GORGON on Blu-ray. And Universal needs to release CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, BRIDES OF DRACULA, KISS OF THE VAMPIRE and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.
     
  5. Dick

    Dick Producer

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    Perhaps if the Classic Monsters Blu-ray set does well for Universal, they might look into their Hammer catalog, otherwise, I doubt it. As for the Sony titles, well, I wouldn't hold your breath. I think you surest bet is going to be the U.K. series that is going to continue. After all, that is where these superb films originated, and that is where the biggest consumer base is for them right now. CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF is out now in the U.K., but not part of the Studio-Canal series, but is rather from Final Cut. I am hoping that company has the rights to other Hammer films (such as those you mentioned) that were controlled by Universal in the U.S.
     
  6. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    I think the only hope for the Sony Hammer's is Twilight Time, but I'd want double bills, maybe: The Gorgon/Curse Of The Mummy's Tomb, Terror Of The Tongs/Revenge Of Frankenstein, if I had to buy those four as single releases from TT it would be very expensive, well I just wouldn't buy them, Hammer fan that I am.. On DVD, the Corman/Poe's were double bills. You had the Universal Hammer box & a couple of Sony Hammer boxes. Blu-ray is not new anymore, & they have to work harder to sell them (to the public that is, not us, but there's not a lot of us!).
     
  7. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    Covers for the three upcoming UK bd releases:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    The Curse of Frankenstein BD has been discussed to death in the Aspect Ratio Research thread, but there's a review here and a review for The Devil Rides Out here. Disappointment on two fronts it would seem.
     
  9. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    Goddamn, that transfer of DEVIL RIDES OUT looks so damn good! Why couldn't they leave the fx alone?? Damn, damn, damn.
     
  10. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  11. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Does anyone have The Reptile?
    How good is that transfer?
     
  12. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    I do, I think it's a very good transfer once the title sequence is done (title source is very rough).
     
  13. johnSM

    johnSM Second Unit

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    Thanks for those very informative links. Well... That's my order for The Devil Rides Out cancelled! Why add effects into a classic film like this, or at least not include a branching option for new, or old FX!? Very bad decision indeed! I hope this doesn't become a trend with the rest of the Hammer on bluray catalogue! So pissed off about this - Devil is my favourite Hammer film too. :rolleyes:
     
  14. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    What the HELL were they thinking???
     
  15. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Good news! Frank Collins review of The Mummy's Shroud:
    ...Another clean and spotless high definition transfer for this third release from StudioCanal. The results of this restoration aren't quite as eye popping as the work carried out on The Devil Rides Out and Rasputin the Mad Monk but it's pretty close and there is plenty here to enjoy....
     
  16. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    The problem for me about The Mummy's Shroud, is that it's quite a poor film, Hammer were way past their best by then. The glory years for me go from The Curse Of Frankenstein to The Gorgon. There is the odd late Hammer that I like, but they're guilty pleasures.
     
  17. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    I'm not as bothered about the fact that they've re-worked the sfx as I am that (a) they've done so radically (as opposed to tweaking) and (b) they haven't included the original version.
    I love TDRO, but the sfx have always appeared awful to me, and totally pull me out of the film. It's not just that they're 'old-fashioned', they appear to be out of date compared to the rest of the film - very jarring. Satan looks like a bloke in a rug. Probably because he's a bloke in a rug!
    But the original should always be there.
    On the plus side, it looks like Hammer are getting an excellent reputation for picture quality on their recent catalogue titles. CoF looks soft, but we'll have to wait and see why this is (Hammer are posting at their blog on this soon - I'm guessing they might include some of the original, unadulterated 4k scans for comparison).
    Steve W
     
  18. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I wouldn't be bothered by the revisionism at all if they also included the original version. The original effects in TDRO are what they are and for me, THAT is part of the film's charm. In fact the shoestring-budget effects work in most of Hammer's productions contributes a lot to the fondness I have for these films. The fact that many are solidly acted, well done movies that work *despite* their crudeness is in large part what makes them so great.
    NOW, if only we'd start getting some of these Hammer Blu-ray titles released here in the United States (or at least region-free from the UK) I'd be a happy camper. I need me some Quatermass and the Pit in HD!
     
  19. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  20. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    That explanation should be on the Blu-ray itself, either as a legend preceding the film or as an option on the menu.
    Explanations such as this clear up confusion before it starts and prevents people from jumping to conclusions.
    I don't see how anyone can fault Hammer for the restoration process.
    The aspect ratio is another matter.
     

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