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New DVD image comparison


Sorry for the lack of updates over the past couple of days. I’ve been a little busy, mainly with working on my Profondo Rosso commentary (nearly an hour’s worth of material in the can now!), as well as seeing my GP about my urination problem (I’m now on pills which are giving me an extremely dry throat, requiring me to drink a great deal, so, as you can probably imagine, it’s something of a vicious circle).

Anyway, I have a new DVD image comparison for you today. A while back, my good friend Lee sent me a copy of the German Limited Edition release of Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace (my review of which earned this site its first ever heckler). As a result, I’ve compared it with the two US releases I own - the 2001 Special Edition and the 2005 Unslashed Collectors’ Edition - both from VCI.

Take a look at the full comparison to learn the outcome of this investigation.

Update, December 19, 2006 05:59 PM: Fixed dead link.

Posted: Thursday, November 23, 2006 at 11:26 AM | Comments: 6
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli | Technology | Web



Wow, that was quick! Great to see BLOOD AND BLACK LACE get the Whiggles Image Comparison treatment - (For future reference the BLACK SABBATH and HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON DVDs I sent up were both on the Yellow Umbrella label. Just in case you ever find the time to cover these BAVA gems in the image comparison stakes.)

The original US release of BLOOD AND BLACK LACE faired far better than I would have thought. Yes, it does have severe cropping and a rather blown-out image definition in places but it still looks quite appealing in terms of the colour contrasts. I don't know it reminds me of the picture quality often found on VHS and whilst undoubtedly inferior (I believe the term is �soft�) in comparison to most DVD transfers. For I do sometimes wonder at the fidelity of many DVD releases of older titles in regards the original colour schemes and brightness levels. I was quite surprised at how stark � read too bright almost - the colour palette appears to have been rendered in some of the examples on the German DVD compared to the older US disc.

All in all though it is good to see the Limited Edition come out on top. I feel quite satisfied for once that I do indeed own the undisputed �best� release of a film� for now at any rate, lol!

By the way Michael all this talk of DVD colour palettes, contrasts and faithful transfers reminds me of a glossary of technical terms you were working on for DVD TIMES. I wondered if you hade made any progress?

I am certainly someone who still gets confused deciphering exactly what constitutes noise reduction, artefacts, edge enhancement and the like so please add me to the mailing list for that finished document.

Ciao for now paisan

Posted by: Count Fosco, November 23, 2006 5:45 PM



Yes, I was surprised by how well the original US release turned out myself - although I think that’s more a measure of the fact that none of the various releases are ideal than any sort of commendation. I know what you mean about it looking VHS-like - if I’m not mistaken, it came from some sort of analogue source - there’s certainly dot crawl during the opening titles (look at the red of the mannequin’s face in Example 1), although it’s unclear whether this is the case for the entire film. Either way, I hope some company other than VCI picks up the rights and completely redoes it from the ground up. The Unslashed Collectors’ Edition should have been their chance to get everything right, but instead they ended up making things much worse.

As for the colours, I really don’t know which version (if any) is accurate. At a push, I’d say I prefer those of the the old US release (especially Examples 2 and 8), but other times the German release looks better, and certainly presents the reds in a much richer manner.

And thanks for reminding me about that DVD Times glossary - I’d completely forgotten about it. Perhaps I’ll try and get it done at some point in the future, although I’d prefer not to accept any more major undertakings until my Profondo Rosso commentary is complete (78 minutes now done!).

Posted by: Whiggles, November 23, 2006 7:16 PM



I was forced to get the 'Unslashed Edition' out of necessity. Also, it was dirt cheap, though we now know why. Until a fully remastered version comes out, it will have to do.

Posted by: Phantom, November 23, 2006 10:41 PM


Very interesting! I have the old VCI disc and the German LE, and neither transfer is all that great. I agree with the comments about the colour schemes - the old US disc looks best to my eyes, and occasionally it even looks more detailed and "film-like" (captures 5 and 8 especially). Notice in capture 5, I think flames are the most sure-fire (no pun intended) way of spotting a standards conversion!

I didn't bother with the VCI UCE after all the bad reviews, and I'm pleased to see there are no extras I haven't already got between the other two editions.

Posted by: Philly Q, November 24, 2006 10:33 AM


Great comparison Michael!
I am one of the fortunate to have the German LTD ED and able to understand German.
I haven't listened to the commentary yet but listening to the brief intro it seems it will be fun to listen to.

All the Bava trailers are fun too.A very nice (German) trailer of Kill Baby,Kill/Operazione Paura makes my mouth water.I thought about buying the German version (also Anolis) of that too but it seems to be OOP now too.
Luckily our "friends" at Dark Sky Films are planning a release of that one in 2007 (yeah!).

Silly this German LTD sells for almost 200 Euro at some places.
Especially since there are copies available for about 50 Euro,if you know where to look.

Posted by: Crystal Plumage, November 24, 2006 9:20 PM


That's good news about Dark Sky picking up Kill Baby Kill, so long as they do a proper progressive transfer. I've got the French DVD which has quite a nice transfer but no English subs/audio.

Posted by: Philly Q, November 25, 2006 1:35 PM

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