A Few Words About A few words about...™ Daughters of Darkness -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist

    Feb 8, 1999
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    Robert Harris
    Popping any new Blue Underground title into a Blu-ray player has become an almost visceral experience for many fans. For those unaware, Blue Underground is a small, high quality, entity run by filmmaker William Lustig. Over the years it has taken a place of honor for its selection of genre titles, and more recently, their presentation in previously unseen, un-cut and extremely high quality releases. To represent Blue Underground as the Criterion of the foreign horror genre would not be inappropriate.

    Any Blu-ray released by Blue Underground is going to have Mr. Lustig's imprimatur as a filmmaker.

    What this means to the many long-time fans and supporters of these generally smaller, independent (mostly) foreign horror and art productions, is that they will be seen for the first time since their original theatrical releases with image and audio quality unimagined.

    Daughters of Darkness is no exception. This delicate little vampire drama directed by Euro filmmaker Harry Kumel looks like no version that I've ever seen before, which is to say that the forty year old production looks like the day the first print was struck, or possibly even better. It is also the un-cut version.

    It is very apparent that a huge investment was made to bring Daughters of Darkness out on Blu-ray in Blue Underground quality. There are certain things that one might recall from earlier viewings. For me that is the rich red of Delphine Seyrig's lips. In this new Blu-ray, that red comes to the fore brilliantly, reproduced as I've never seen it before. Similarly the color of Andrea Rau's skin and Danielle Ouiment's hair takes on a purity of tone previously unseen.

    I've seen a number of original foreign elements from this era, and what one begins with toward any project looks nothing like this final result. I'm not certain what specific elements this image harvest was taken from. I'm going to nitpick, as these are extremely minor problems, which I report only for full disclosure. There are occasional tiny lines around high contrast areas, which from a proper viewing distance are not evident, along with tiny magenta and cyan shadows, probably not more than a pixel or two which might occasionally be seen. These may be caused by either the film being taken from separation masters, which would be extremely rare for a small production, or some tiny mis-registration in the scanner. Neither of these anomalies in any way lessens the impact of the gorgeous transfer. And again, I note them only for transparency of this commentary.

    Daughters of Darkness is a charming little vampire film, based upon the life of Elizabeth (Erzsebt) Bathory (1650 - 1614), a Hungarian countess, who is rumored to have killed over 600 virgins for their blood.

    If only Elizabeth had a Blu-ray player. She'd be proud.

    Daughters of Darkness from Blue Underground arrives with our Recommendation as an other-worldly representation of this 1971 production on Blu-ray.

  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

    Dec 13, 2006
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    Sold! I saw this movie when it was new and visually it was a beautiful movie. I've never seen it since so this will be interesting.
  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

    Jun 27, 2007
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    Charles Smith
    I'm pretty sure I don't know this movie, but this sounds like a blind buy for me.
  4. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

    Dec 13, 1998
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    Central Arkansas
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    Johnny Angell
    The cover art at Amazon is deliciously decadent and looks to be from that period. I.E. original art from the movie. I think this is a rental for me, but i do applaud the packaging
  5. Martin Teller

    Martin Teller Cinematographer

    Aug 24, 2006
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    Hopefully this will pave the way for more Kumel, like The Arrival of Joachim Stiller or Malpertuis.

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