Posted January 04 2007 - 01:28 PM
Same as you, I've been desperately trying to get some information on this release, and what little I've found out about it "doesn't add up" as you said. But if my suspicions are correct, this is definitely something I'm going to be skipping.
First off — big warning — this DVD is NOT an actual Image Ent. release; they are only distributing the disc. Retromedia produced the disc.
Now, just because it's a Retromedia disc doesn't instantly mean it'll be a crappy release… it just means that the odds are greater-than-average that it'll be a subpar release. In all honestly, Retromedia does occasionally put out a really good release… one that contains an very good transfer, with anamorphic enhancement and/or it's original language. There have even been a few instances where they actually produced an excellent transfer using the original negative materials! And I love many of their peplum releases; they might contain the English-dubs, but thankfully quite a few of them are apparently uncut and thankfully properly anamorphic.
Unfortunately… it doesn't look like The Dr. Mabuse Collection is going to be one of those better Retromedia releases.
The films are listed by their edited English-dubbed titles, and I've seen nothing that suggests the original German-language audio is present, or that the transfers are letterboxed (which, as you stated, should be 1.66:1).
From what little evidence there is thus far, it looks as if this will just be yet another Retromedia compilation mastered from some old, English-dubbed 16mm U.S. television prints they found buried someplace… and p&s as well.
Obviously, I'll wait and see if anyone reviews this once it hits the streets — I expect that George over at dvddrive-in.com will write up a review at some point after release. And even if these are just English-dubbed copies, we could found ourselves pleasantly surprised… the transfers could very well be excellent. But I'm honestly not expecting much at this point. We'll see.
If this DVD is as… sub-par… as I expect it to be, we'll just have to hope that these films will see a proper release/restoration through someone who actually CARES about them: like the folks at All-Day, Image Ent. proper, or Criterion.