DVD image comparison: The Girl Who Knew Too Much
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.