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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Twins of Evil -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Synapse Films is like the little engine that could.

Constantly pushing for the highest quality possible on moderate budgets, they do high-end scans, digital clean-up, take color and densities seriously, and continue to release products that can stand up to even studio quality.

Such is the case with Twins of Evil, a 1971 production from the original Hammer. Although passed the studio's prime -- their best work was in the '50s and '60s -- they continued to create low gothic horror into the '70s. Early on they created classic works, such as the Quatermass films, but quickly moved on in quality and budget to include some of the best of Frankenstein, Dracula and their brethren since the Universal glory days. These were followed by a myriad of sequels, much like Universal.

While not up to the quality of its earlier work, the early '70s films, The Vampire Lovers, Lust for a Vampire and Twins of Evil, kept the doors open. Those doors were to finally close in 1979, after an unpopular remake of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes. For those who may be unaware, those door have now been reopened by new talent. Recent offerings have been Let Me In and The Woman in Black. It's good to have them back.

Synapse's Twins of Evil is a remarkable Blu-ray. Obviously struck from prime elements, grain, resolution, black levels and color, appear to be dead on, which means that Synapse has done their work well.

If you're a fan of gothic UK horror, or Hammer in general, Twins of Evil is a prime offering.

Look for Kathleen Byron (Sister Ruth of Black Narcissus fame), and last seen in Saving Private Ryan, in a supporting role.

Image - 4

Audio - 4

Recommended.

RAH
 

bgart13

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Thanks, Robert. Hopefully it won't be overly dark like their VAMPIRE CIRCUS was (the MGM HD version is much better, brighter).
EDIT: Saw some caps at RockShockPop.com and am disappointed to see heavy blue tinting in some of them. On the flipside, the MGM HD transfer is free of it.
 

Vincent_P

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bgart13 said:
Thanks, Robert. Hopefully it won't be overly dark like their VAMPIRE CIRCUS was (the MGM HD version is much better, brighter).
"Brighter" does not equal "better" IMO. Personally, I think the Synapse color/density-corrected master of VAMPIRE CIRCUS looks wonderfully film-like, whereas the uncorrected version of the master shown on MGM-HD looks WAY too bright, like an uncorrected one-light scan.
Vincent
 

bgart13

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Color-/density-corrected to what/whose standard, though? The detail and most colors are great in the VAMPIRE CIRCUS final product, but too much got lost in the darkness however. QUATERMASS & THE PIT is darker, more dense than past dvds but looks incredibly well balanced and doesn't lose detail nor quality. It appears accurate to the materials and film. There should be more "darkness" in the HD presentations, but there should be that balance that's in Q&TP, PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, and THE REPTILE. The older transfers of VC weren't perfect, but they appear more accurate to the way many of Hammer's movies looked.
 

Vincent_P

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To the standard that the Blu-ray looks like film and the MGM-HD version does not.
For example, consider this 5-star review on amazon.com (it might seem familiar to you, Ben): http://www.amazon.com/review/R2W4GAMEYCKH4K/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
Vincent
 

bgart13

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As people are able to change their minds, I've done so with the VC bd. I've since seen the MGM broadcast and after comparing them, I prefer its qualities over that of the bd. As it's not a HD quality copy I have, I will still return to the Synapse bd for the full HD transfer. It just isn't as good as it overall could be in terms of representing a Hammer film, IMO. Many of its attributes are very good, but it still has disappointing elements to it.
But, that's all I have to say about it, since this is intended to be a thread for Robert's TWINS OF EVIL review.
 

Vincent_P

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bgart13 said:
...But, that's all I have to say about it, since this is intended to be a thread for Robert's TWINS OF EVIL review.
Which begs the question, then why did you bring up VAMPIRE CIRCUS to begin with?
Vincent
 

bgart13

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Vincent, I don't feel I have anything else to say on this and would like to let others give feedback to Robert and more importantly the movie.
 

Vincent_P

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bgart13 said:
Comments removed by me since it seems it's not ok to raise objections about anything Synapse related (even if you mention many positive aspects of their work, and will continue to do so should the work deserve it).
bgart13 said:
Vincent, I'm not going to engage with you over this. I've removed my comments - except for my initial post.
I'm baffled by your removal of your initial responses to my questioning of your comments. I'm not a moderator here nor have I ever been, just a normal forum member like you. You are free to question any company you wish, just as I am free to challenge your questions of said companies. Deleting your original comments and making suggestions of secret conspiracies doesn't help your cause.
Vincent
 

Mike Frezon

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Originally Posted by bgart13 /t/322068/a-few-words-about-twins-of-evil-in-blu-ray#post_3945884
Comments removed by me since it seems it's not ok to raise objections about anything Synapse related (even if you mention many positive aspects of their work, and will continue to do so should the work deserve it).

Ben: That's just not true. It is totally within your rights as a member of the HTF to voice your opinion--positive or negative--about ANY HT related subject.

By deleting all your posts, you have unintentionally created an unreadable void in Mr. Harris' thread. As Vincent notes, you are more than entitled to your opinion.

I have the ability to reinstate your original comments if you desire...but will only do so at your request.
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by bgart13 /t/322068/a-few-words-about-twins-of-evil-in-blu-ray#post_3945834
Thanks, Robert. Hopefully it won't be overly dark like their VAMPIRE CIRCUS was (the MGM HD version is much better, brighter).
EDIT: Saw some caps at RockShockPop.com and am disappointed to see heavy blue tinting in some of them. On the flipside, the MGM HD transfer is free of it.

You're correct about blue tinting. Those are night scenes.

Am unable to comment re: Vampire Circus, as I've not seen it.

RAH
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by bgart13 /t/322068/a-few-words-about-twins-of-evil-in-blu-ray#post_3945874
Color-/density-corrected to what/whose standard, though? The detail and most colors are great in the VAMPIRE CIRCUS final product, but too much got lost in the darkness however. QUATERMASS & THE PIT is darker, more dense than past dvds but looks incredibly well balanced and doesn't lose detail nor quality. It appears accurate to the materials and film. There should be more "darkness" in the HD presentations, but there should be that balance that's in Q&TP, PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, and THE REPTILE. The older transfers of VC weren't perfect, but they appear more accurate to the way many of Hammer's movies looked.

Am unable to comment on these titles, as original prints would have to be compared to transfers. While this can be accomplished w b &w titles, color is a problem. AFAIK, these printed Eastman, which would no longer survive. Same situation with Twins of Evil. One can only surmise what it should look like without absolute reference, and approximate proper color and densities. Is anyone aware of extant dye transfer prints?

My original point with the thread was that Synapse is doing whatever they can to provide quality Blu-rays. In many cases, this is neither easy nor inexpensive. Especially for a small company.

But they do it regardless.

RAH
 

bgart13

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Robert Harris said:
You're correct about blue tinting.  Those are night scenes.
Am unable to comment re: Vampire Circus, as I've not seen it.
RAH
Thanks, Robert. I've taken a look at a couple more versions of TWINS that I have and it seems the level of tinting and color quality is different between them - some with very little or no tinting and another with some tinting but not as heavy and a tad greenish. At this point I guess John Hough would be the one to know for certain about it.
 

Bryan^H

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I have this pre-ordered. Can't wait until it arrives. Will The current batch of Hammer films from the UK(region 2) ever get released in the United States? Still waiting a few more months for any possible news. If not, a multi region Oppo player is on my agenda.
 

davidmatychuk

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So much for the snob appeal of my laserdisc, from 1997. I'd also like to add that I was thrilled with the quality of "Vampire Circus".
 

cineMANIAC

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I'm not terribly versed on the world of Hammer Films but decided to take a chance with VAMPIRE CIRCUS - It was fairly entertaining but I'm not convinced I'll become a big fan of this studios' films. Do these films fall into the category of "acquired taste"?
Haven't made up my mind yet for TWINS OF EVIL.
 

bgart13

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Both VAMPIRE CIRCUS and TWINS OF EVIL are late-era Hammer. They certainly aren't the best movies Hammer released, but they are a couple of the best ones made after '68. Do you like gothic horror movies? Check out ones with Peter Cushing, those are generally the best ones. And go for ones made between the mid 50's and mid 60's. They also made some great sci-fi movies - all three QUATERMASS movies are superb and among their overall best. Made some very fine thrillers too.
 

cineMANIAC

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Thanks for your advice, Ben. As far as Gothic horror films go, I really enjoyed Mario Bava's KILL, BABY KILL. That one's sort of my cup of tea but, again, I haven't seen too many of them. I've heard good things about the QUATERMASS movies (more sci-fi, right?) but as I understand it those films are not very well represented on DVD. Besides Twins of Evil and Vampire Circus, which other ones are available on Blu-ray?
 

bgart13

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If you like Dracula and Frankenstein movies, it's hard to go wrong with the first of each that Hammer made. Overall, their Frankenstein movies are more successfully made and more consistent too. I'd recommend watching some trailers on YouTube if you aren't too sure. The only other Hammer movies on blu-ray for the US market are THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH, THE WOMAN IN BLACK, WAKE WOOD, and THE RESIDENT. The first one there is the only classic Hammer title, the others are recent. If you're region-free, these are available from the UK: PARANOIAC, DRACULA - PRINCE OF DARKNESS, QUATERMASS & THE PIT, THE REPTILE and PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES. Coming in October are THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, RASPUTIN THE MAD MONK, and THE MUMMY'S SHROUD. The first Frankenstein movie, CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, may be released on bd in the UK around October too -- that announcement is due shortly.
 

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