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The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (BD/DVD) Available for Preorder

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by JohnHopper, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Message #1 of 15 Aug 18, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
    JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre is on pre-order at Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Sierra-Cobre-Blu-ray/dp/B07GGTPHZ5/

    Blu-ray ($29.95)
    DVD ($19.95)

    Editorial Reviews
    BRAND NEW RESTORATION IN 2K! Legendary writer and producer Joseph Stefano (Psycho and TV’s The Outer Limits) and star Martin Landau (TV’s Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999) originally shot this controversial cult classic as a pilot for a potential TV series called The Haunted, a new show similar in concept to The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, but with much more focus on horror. The pilot was not picked up, so after adding some additional scenes, The Haunted became The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre. Robert Stevens (TV’s Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone) started directing the pilot, but became very ill and was replaced by producer Stefano. Terrified of being buried alive, a young woman installs a phone in her crypt. A few days after her untimely death, the phone suddenly rings and paranormal investigator Nelson Orion (Landau) is brought in to probe the case. Stunningly shot in black-and-white by renowned cinematographers William A. Fraker (Rosemary’s Baby) and Conrad L. Hall (In Cold Blood). The stellar cast includes Diane Baker (Mirage) and Judith Anderson (Rebecca).

    Special Features
    1. Brand New 2K Restoration
    2. Includes The Haunted (Alternate Cut)
    3. Audio Commentary for The Ghost Of Sierra De Cobre by Film Historian David J. Schow
    4. Audio Commentary for The Haunted by Film Historian Eric Grayson
    Product details
    Actors
    : Martin Landau, Diane Baker
    Directors: Joseph Stefano
    Format: Anamorphic
    Language: English
    Subtitles: English
    Number of discs: 1
    Rated: Not Rated
    Studio: KL Studio Classics
    DVD Release Date: October 16, 2018
    Run Time: 80 minutes




    [​IMG]
     
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  2. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    Funny how the commercial people mislabeled The Haunted as the ‘alternate cut’ even tough it was the version shown to the CBS executives back then. The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre was a later cut, expanded to fit the theatrical requirements.
     
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  3. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    INSIDE THE DARK & STORMY NIGHTS OF JOE STEFANO
    By David J. Schow (Sunday, February 27, 2011)

    The “Forms[of Things Unknown]” music, of course, was also ported into most of The Haunted, but for those hunting Dominic Frontiere rarities, about a quarter of his “original” score remains, including a never-before heard flute-heavy title theme (overall, this was the score that Stefano vetoed in favor of re-using The Unknown’s music).​

    From Gary Gerani (February 27, 2011 at 2:13 PM)
    On a TV historian/geek note, I was amused to discover the “origin point” of a certain Dominic Frontiere cue that I always believed was the only original piece of music composed for The Invaders pilot. Those sleek, long notes we hear as David Vincent drifts off before witnessing the saucer landing were actually created for The Haunted, beautifully capturing the frightening and evocative qualities of Old Dark Houses. Speaking of The Invaders, it's amazing how many superficial similarities there are between QM’s show and both Stefano pilots. David Vincent, like Orion, is an architect, with a very grounded business partner (James Daly, as opposed to Leonard Stone) and an obsession that pushes his real career into the background; the considerable money he earns as a designer pays for an offbeat hobby. In addition to all the distinctive music lifts, the optical "tear" effect devised for The Unknown was unabashedly reworked as a graphic for The Invaders, minus the sound effect.​

    source
    http://wearecontrollingtransmission.blogspot.com/2011/02/inside-dark-stormy-nights-of-joe.html
     
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  4. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    I just pre-ordered The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre on Blu-ray. I hope other HTF members will follow.
     
  5. Message #5 of 15 Nov 10, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    I finally watched and discovered that rarity.

    REVIEW FOR THE HAUNTED
    This ethereal and abstract mystery was cut in the same clothe as the unsold pilot The Unknown: it’s an outgrowth, a self quote and Stefano’s second attempt to sell a macabre show after the failure The Unknown. You will notice the same type of stagey acting style from the leading performers and photographic composition as The Unknown thanks to Conrad Hall, especially one shot of blind Henry Mandore rushing to a telephone which is the carbon copy of a shot with Tone Hobart. Oddly enough, the main character of Nelson Orion is a proto-David Vincent from The Invaders because he is an architect with a disbelieving associate and has a double life towards the far-fetched and, here, the supernatural. The opening title clearly emphasizes on Orion as an architect because it ends up with a shot of his modernistic beach villa hanging on a cliff. Stefano also refers to Hitchcock’s Psycho when Paulina is her way to stab Orion at his villa.

    As this fragmented story, the music is a patchwork and consists of rejected cues from The Unknown and some new ones recycled later on “Beachhead”, the pilot of The Invaders. One odd fashion detail is recurring: the hip 1960’s sweater worn by Henry Mandore and Nelson Orion that remind the one of Andre Pavan from The Unknown. Moreover, the Mandore’s drive a Rolls-Royce as in The Unknown! Actress Diane Baker will also appear on “Beachhead”: what a funny coincidence! Still, as in The Unknown, you find a blind man (Henry Mandore acting like both Tone Hobart and Colas) and a strange servant (Paulina acting like both Colas—who is the owner of the mansion—and Mrs. Dame from “The Bellero Shield” and the peasant woman of the funeral march in The Unknown). More Outer Limits references pop-up from time to time: the first name of the leading lady Vivia is already used in “Don’t Open Till Doomsday”, the first attack of the bleedy ghost in the crypt is shot like “It Crawled out of the Woodwork” and the ghost itself is made exactly like The Andromeda alien from “The Galaxy Being” (meaning a vaseline-filled rubber suit edited in negative reversed).

    Unfortunately, The Haunted looks like a poor man’s version of the sophisticated The Unknown or its companion piece and the restored print still contains showy scratches and the frame move and tilt at the start. At best, it is a curiosity and a lush episode of Thriller shot by Conrad Hall loosely reminding “The Premature Burial” and the rough inspiration of Quinn Martin’s pilot for The Invaders. The telefilm succeeds in its details of composition: transition, short dramatical scenes, the interior sets (the long corridors of the crypt, the hallway of the Mandore’s with its checker floor, the duplex villa of Orion filled with paintings).

    Recommended for the friends of the unusual!

    PS: I’m currently watching the theatrical version The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre which is free of scratches, very crisp and has additional and dense shots. More later …
     
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  6. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    REVIEW FOR THE GHOST OF SIERRA DE COBRE
    The theatrical version of The Haunted is much better and stronger—especially the unexpected outcome that is absent in the television version—because the story is well-developed and doesn’t have the fragmented pace of the pilot. The additional shots and scenes combined with longer scenes add density and fluidity to the story. Stefano’s script is highlit in that version. Besides the crisp print is an added value to the enjoyment of the narrative. In the end, the diabolical character of Paulina is a blend of Mrs. Dame from “The Bellero Shield” and Mrs. Harvey Kry from “Don’t Open Till Doosmday”. Watching the film with a cold temperature screen allows to get a harsh realistic texture.

    Highly recommended!
     
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  7. Message #7 of 15 Nov 11, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
    JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    You are the only one (online) to make a "stab" at reviewing this (recent) blu-ray release which says a lot (in my mind's eye).

    Much (likely) has to do with the general unfamiliarity on the part of most everyone about this television feature. In addition to the over-shadowing of other better known screen and television title simultaneous current releases.

    I actually bought two copies but haven't had the chance to watch it because of the upgrades being done in my basement rec room which is where I (exclusively) do my television viewing.

    As has been stated by this reviewer THE GHOST OF SIERRA DE COBRE (1964) was an expansion of the unaired THE HAUNTED (CBS 1964) tv pilot but syndicated exclusively as a made-for-television feature film which (formerly) aired regularly on Canadian tv stations. It was not a theatrical release. At least not in North America.

    The title is curious because TV GUIDE magazine (in my area) always listed this perennial as THE GHOST OF SIERRA DE COBRA (1964) which I think is a better title in its own way.

    Not having seen it in a long while I recall that the title was stretched across the frame in a single sentence and until I (finally) get to view my own blu-ray copy I'll still remain somewhat skeptically suspicious of the (what is for me) the unfamiliar DE COBRE wording.

    It will further be a real treat to have the opportunity to view the actual tv pilot. I did wonder about whether it would also be a restoration. I assume the best was possibly done to improve upon it (if not entirely successful).

    The music score is pretty much derived from existing tracks taken from THE OUTER LIMITS (ABC 1964) episode "The Forms of Things Unknown" (04/05/1964)/THE UNKNOWN (ABC 1964) unaired tv pilot. In addition to the Leslie Stevens (February 23rd, 1924 - April 24th, 1998) produced-directed STRYKER: "Fanfare for a Death Scene" (NBC 1964) made-for-television film cum tv pilot:



    Dominic Frontiere (June 17th, 1931 - December 21st, 2017) was a great composer but he tended to lazily recycle his music (or his music was recycled) again-and-again-and-again instead of coming up with more "new" material. That may well be one reason that he was unceremoniously "dropped" from THE INVADERS (ABC 1967-68) tv series after its first season because of the (possible) uncertainty whether he could indeed orchestrate additional original music.

    Anyhow thank you for the much appreciated (online) review (for myself) it made for most informative and enjoyable reading indeed!

    [​IMG]

    Jeff T.

    ;)
     
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  8. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    The Haunted plays like three episodes (“The Forms of Things Unknown”, “Don't Open Till Doomsday”, “The Bellero Shield”)
    of The Outer Limits squeezed into one. Do you catch my meaning?
     
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  9. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    The Haunted was actually listed on early versions of the CBS fall schedule. The movie was put together as an afterthought to try to recoup the money spent on the pilot. Every frame of usable footage was thrown back in to pad it out to an acceptable movie length. When the pilot was shot, there wasn't any thought given to a feature length version so it was just a matter of editing in as many outtakes as they could find.
     
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  10. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Cinematographer

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    The feature version has a completely (and I do mean COMPLETELY) different ending, so it was more than just padding. From Schow's commentary track: "Comparison is interesting because you can see how in one case, existing footage was repurposed, new footage was shot, sometimes things were shot both ways... but it's a nice little manipulation, and thanks to this disc you can compare both versions."
     
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  11. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    I do prefer the Ghost version.
     
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  12. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Cinematographer

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    As do I (Schow thinks I'm nuts).
     
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  13. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Producer

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    I've seen The Haunted twice, the movie once. I preferred the tv version but I'll watch them again and see.
     
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  14. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    “Not insane, at vorst obsessed.”
    —Dr. Block
     
  15. Harry-N

    Harry-N Producer

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    I'm rather late to this particular party and hadn't realized that a whole year had passed since this title was issued. Where does the time go? It's been on the back of my mind to buy this title but one thing comes up after another and it always ended up on the back burner, but really, I didn't think it had been a year!

    I managed to find a sealed copy of this on eBay for a very reasonable price, so I took advantage. Even including shipping, it came to less than $10 for the Blu-ray, so I think I got a bargain there.

    I've had some time this weekend to watch the disc. First, I opted for the longer GHOST OF SIERRA DE COBRE version, mostly based on the fact that it had the better visual print. I love the cinematography and that opening credits sequence of what looks like a blurry cemetary landscape that "sharpens to crystal clarity" and turns into a cityscape that's finally overrun by an ocean wave. It may be that that sequence alone was worth the price of admission.

    The very moody production with its Conrad Hall visual style sometimes seemed a little padded. I got a chuckle watching Martin Landau light all of the candles, one by one, then blowing out his match and accidentally blowing out one or two of the candles. He himself gets a smile on his face, relights the match and again finishes lighting the candles, this time turning to the camera as he blows out the match. I also had to wonder why this architect, who clearly has electric lighting on his paintings and switches on the wall, would bother lighting a candelabra to read a book. We know the answer - this is in the genre of horror, and that's what people do!

    I then turned my attention to THE HAUNTED pilot film. After some initial jumpiness and dirt, the film settles down to a decent image with some scratches here and there. I noticed that in a particularly dark scene of Paulinha in the Rolls, the picture dimmed down just before that dark scene, and then remained dark a frame or two into the next bright scene. I'm guessing that the print looked better that way, a dark blob rather than being a gray blob. That scene in the GHOST version was VERY grainy, but better defined.

    Taking some more time, I listened to at least portions of the included commentary tracks. Both are informative in their own way. All in all, I'm glad I finally picked this one up.
     

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