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DVD image comparison: The Girl Who Knew Too Much

DVD

I’ve put together a DVD image comparison, pitting the new Anchor Bay edition of The Girl Who Knew Too Much, found in The Mario Bava Collection Volume 1, with the older, out of print Image Entertainment release.

I’ve seen a couple of reviews describing the new transfer as a marked improvement on the old one, but I’m not sure why. The same master has clearly been used for both, although the Anchor Bay version has been subjected to some DVNR (digital video noise reduction). This has the result of cleaning up some of the more distracting damage on what was admittedly a very rough-looking print, but at the same time it also freezes the grain patterns, resulting in an image that, overall, looks more “fake” and digital than its predecessor. There’s also a smidge more edge enhancement on the AB transfer.

Both discs feature pretty much the same audio and subtitles - the Image track is 1.0 mono, whereas the AB track is 2.0 dual mono, but this ultimately results in no appreciable difference. Like most gialli, The Girl Who Knew Too Much was shot with the actors speaking English and then post-dubbed. As a result, the Italian dialogue doesn’t match the lip movements of the actors on screen. However, because the Italian and American cuts of the film are so different, matching up the English audio to the Italian cut would probably not have been feasible. In any event, it seems that rights issues have prevented the American version, entitled The Evil Eye, from being included on this disc, and those legal problems probably extend to the audio.

The clear winner, in terms of extras, is the AB release. The Tim Lucas commentary is excellent, and the John Saxon interview, while brief, is enlightening and entertaining. The Image disc does have a couple of filmographies not found on the AB release, but I doubt anyone will mourn their absence.

 
Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2007 at 7:44 PM | Comments: 2
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli

 
Comments

1.

Great to see a new image comparison up Michael. I never really understood what "noise reduction" meant in any visual sense before, but can appreciate your points from this comparison. At present I still watch films via a standalone DVD player connected via scart to a TV set. So perhaps this issue won't prove too distracting. Please to hear your praise for the Tim Lucas audio commentary. I have enjoyed both previous commentaries by Mr. Lucas - one on the Image release of BLACK SUNDAY and the BLOOD AND BLACK LACE commentary. He may not have the most charismatic delivery style and there is the occasional pause of silence, however, they are always very informative and based on good research.

By the way, I have taken the plunge and ordered the Mario Bava Box set from Anchor Bay despite already owning the Yellow Umbrella release. Be good to see similar image comparisons for BLACK SUNDAY and BLACK SABBATH from that Yellow Umbrella release (I sent you up the discs) and against the new Anchor Bay discs should you feel so inclined.
Cheers

Posted by: Count Fosco, April 6, 2007 5:12 PM

2.

Hi Lee,

What isn’t really conveyed very well in this comparison is the effect that the noise reduction has on the grain. The screen captures do a good job of illustrating how some of the more aggressive damage is cleared up, especially the tramlines in the first and last shots, but it’s impossible to show, through static images, that it also has the effect of making the grain structure freeze rather unnaturally. It’s not the end of the world, but it means that, when I’m watching the film, I’m more likely to watch the Image disc than the AB.

Oh, and comparisons of Black Sunday and Black Sabbath will follow when I get the chance.

Posted by: Whiggles, April 6, 2007 5:30 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 31st 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

http://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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