Whiggles.com version 9

 


Writings > DVD Image Comparisons > Suspiria


Suspiria

Region 0 Limited Edition (USA) - Anchor Bay
vs. Region 2 (UK) - Anchor Bay
vs. Region 2 (Italy) - Eagle Pictures

 

Details

 

 

DVD

R0 USA
 

 

DVD

R2 UK
 

 

DVD

R2 Italy
 

Disc(s)

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)
1x single-sided single layer (DVD5)
1x CD

 

1x single-sided dual layer (DVD9)
1x single-sided single layer (DVD5)

 

1x single-sided single layer (DVD5)

Running Time

 

Approx. 98 mins (NTSC)

 

Approx. 94 mins (PAL)

 

Approx. 94 mins (PAL) (packaging: 99 mins)

Video

 

2.35:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 6.78 Mbps
NTSC 720x480 at 24 fps

 

2.35:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 7.3 Mbps
PAL 720x576 at 25 fps

 

2.35:1 anamorphic
Average bit rate: 5.50 Mbps
PAL 720x576 at 25 fps

Audio

 

English:
Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, 448 Kbps
DTS-ES 6.1, 768 Kbps
Dolby Surround 2.0, 192 Kbps

Italian, French:
Dolby Surround 2.0, 192 Kbps

 

English:
Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kbps
Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, 448 Kbps
DTS-ES 6.1, 768 Kbps

 

Italian:
Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kbps

English:
Dolby Surround 2.0, 224 Kbps

Subtitles

 

None

 

None

 

None

Extras

 

Disc 1:
- Trailers (2)
- TV spot
- Radio spots (3)
- Daemonia music video
- Poster and still gallery
- Talent bios

Disc 2:
- Suspiria 25th Anniversary documentary

Disc 3:
- Original Goblin soundtrack CD

 

Disc 1:
- Trailers (2)
- TV spot
- Radio spots (3)
- Daemonia music video
- Poster and still gallery
- Talent bios

Disc 2:
- Dario Argento's World of Horror documentary

 

- Dario Argento interview

 

Bit Rate

R0 USA

DVD Image Comparison


R2 UK

DVD Image Comparison


R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Screen Captures

Example 1

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 2

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 3

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 4

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 5

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 6

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 7

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 8

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Example 9

Mouse over to switch between versions:
R0 USA | R2 UK | R2 Italy

DVD Image Comparison

 

Update, July 12, 2006: The UK release by Anchor Bay is a big step down from its US counterpart. It is softer, darker and more edge enhanced, and also suffers from some rather odd artefacts during transitions between certain shots, which results in the image of the previous shot being "ghosted" on to the first couple of frames of the next shot. I've no idea if this is a noise reduction artefact or the result of a standards conversion (the transfer is progressive, so if it was sourced from the US transfer it was at least corrected to the correct frame rate for PAL playback), and in any event I don't recommend this release as a viable option for such a visually sumptuous film.

The UK release contains the same woefully remixed English soundtracks as the US release, but, without the untampered Italian track included as a point of reference, it feels like even more of a raw deal. The first disc of extras, meanwhile, is the same as its US counterpart, but both the 25th anniversary documentary and the soundtrack CD are missing (discs 2 and 3 of the US release, respectively). In their place is the documentary Dario Argento's World of Horror, which is a nice enough inclusion, but is already availabe from a variety of other sources and doesn't include much content that is specific to Suspiria.

 

Comments

Both transfers were supposedly supervised by director of photography Luciano Tovoli, so it's surprising how different the two look. I can't say for sure, but I suspect the Italian release was transferred from a regular Eastmancolor print (it has some noticeable print damage at times, and the colours are less defined) while we know that the US version was mastered from the original 3-strip Technicolor negatives. The US transfer is at times a bit dark, resulting in lost shadow detail (see Example 7), but the Italian transfer has some odd discoloration, with some shots showing a noticeable yellow tint (see Example 3). There is also a rather strange effect in a handful of shots on the Italian DVD, whereby there is some noticeable shimmer on objects (watch the doors of the Tanz Akademie when Suzy arrives during the thunderstorm at the start). In balance, I'm going to state that I prefer the US transfer.

Infuriatingly, neither release contains the film's original 4-channel mix, and having heard a PCM stereo downconversion of that mix, I can confirm that the DVDs really short-change the listener. The biggest offender by far is the US release, which was completely remixed, resulting in the sounds being at the wrong levels throughout and certain pieces of foley and music being either delayed, modified or removed altogether. The Italian release includes a much more faithful Italian 5.1 remix and an English Dolby Surround track, but the quality of the latter is so poor and scratchy that it is quite difficult to listen to, even if it is significantly more faithful to Argento's intentions than any of the remixes on the US disc.

 

Audio Comparison

I have prepared a brief comparison between the Anchor Bay mix and the PCM mix from the Image Entertainment LaserDisc release to illustrate just how much Anchor Bay messed with the sound when they created their DVD remixes.

Example 1:
In this example, Suzy arrives at the Tanz Akademie for the first time. Quite apart from the drastically subdued music in the Anchor Bay version, listen to how Pat's important clue "The secret I saw behind the door! Three irises - turn the blue one!" becomes something more like "...secr...saw behi...three iris...turn the b..."
[Download Anchor Bay version] [Download PCM version]

Example 2:
Here, Pat has been frightened by the windows bursting open and Sonia tries to find out what has upset her so much. Apart from the fact that the music, the sound effect of the window being opened and the sighs that emanate in the background as they talk have all been lowered in the Anchor Bay version, notice also that an entire music cue is completely absent!
[Download Anchor Bay version] [Download PCM version]

These are but some of the goofs and gaffes present in the Anchor Bay remix of Suspiria. Let them know that you want the film to be re-released in a form that is faithful to Dario Argento's original intentions! Email them here.

 

Summary

 

 

USA

 

UK

 

Italy

Video

 

10/10

 

7/10

 

9/10

Audio

 

8/10

 

7/10

 

7/10

Extras

 

7/10

 

6/10

 

2/10