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As a part of their continuing Hammer series, Scream Factory has come forth with Roy Ward Baker’s 1970 lesbian angled vampire epic, The Vampire Lovers.

This film has been brought to video numerous times, but it’s never looked like this. It actually probably didn’t look this good in 1970.

With an image harvest derived from the original Eastman Color negative, the film has been beautifully colored with a rich palette, a pleasing gray scale, and deep blacks.

Grain structure has come to the fore, and along with color and black levels, one could easily mistake this for a 4k release mit HDR.

It’s that pleasing.

It’s also a bloody good film for the era, standing above many others in the Hammer / AIP catalog.

In typical Scream fashion it is layered with extras – mostly commentaries – but also with other features.

For the record, I did note some extremely minor digital problems around smoke and fog, an endemic problem for automatic clean-up functions. But this will never be noticed in any normal viewing environment.

The superb cast of ably endowed, and diaphomously garbed actresses, along with Peter Cushing, make this a class act.




I’ve always loved the name of the screenwriter – Tudor Gates – which may be pseudonym. Based upon Carmilla (1872), a Gothic novella by Sheridan Le Fans, which predated Bram Stoker’s Dracula by a quarter century.



This is a Hammer horror worth owning. A beautifully rendered offering from Scream Factory!



For the record, there were earlier adaptations, using various parts or motifs – Vampyr (1932), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Blood and Roses (1963).



Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely

Highly Recommended

RAH
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Published by

Robert Harris

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Robert Harris

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I was disappointed in the previous Blu-ray disc so I'm very interested in this new one. If there is likely to be a replacement, I'll wait for that to arrive.
I have no detailed history with the film. The early shot of the head is intact in this version. Not certain what else may have been censored.
 

Ryan Barrett

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https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=343639 - Shout Factory Insider has advised that there was indeed a mistake and you can submit for a replacement.

Since the tail end of 2020...I've now had a replacement issued for Brotherhood of the Wolf (subtitles were marred with errors), the Friday the 13th Boxset (multiple issues), Crazy Mama/Lady in Red (missing special features)... and now this. Holy smokes! I am excited as hell for the Alligator 4K disc, but I am no longer comfortable with with pre-ordering - I know Shout! is not the only company out there guilty of this right now (see Warner Brother's 4K release of The Road Warrior or Vinegar Syndrome's release of Flesh for Frankenstein), but my gosh - doesn't anyone do any quality control before these discs are pressed? I would think that the amount of capital spent on pressing replacements cannot be cheap?
 

dpippel

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Not to mention the screwed-up Blu-ray disc included in the recent 4K UHD Criterion release of Citizen Kane.
 
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aPhil

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I have no detailed history with the film. The early shot of the head is intact in this version. Not certain what else may have been censored.
Actually, the full shot with the decapitated head (during the opening sequence) is on the disc as an Extra. The extra frames were not incorporated into the new transfer as it was felt that it would be jarring to add the inferior frames to this new transfer.

I do not miss it
 

aPhil

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The scene in question involves an alternate angle or take which loses a nude shot of Ingrid Pitt. For some a deal breaker I guess.
Presently, the scene with Ingrid Pitt getting out of the tub is jarring -- It is abrupt, and it is not in keeping with the editorial pace of that sequence. I’m glad that Shout Factory has announced a replacement disc. The film now looks so good it would be a poor choice for that (however minor) issue to remain.
It’s one hell of a good Blu-ray release, and maybe some day a 4K release as well!
 

Bartman

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It's been nearly twenty years since I've see this so I've pulled out my MGM DVD to see if this film is worthy of an upgrade!
 

haineshisway

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Well, now see what you've done, Mr. Harris? Now I have to buy this damn thing. I love the film and love its two follow-up films, Lust for a Vampire and Twins of Evil. The question is to wait or not to wait and how will one know when the replacements will hit the online stores?