Sunday, 19 January 2014

SHOCK ENTERTAINMENT CREATES BLU RAY WINNER : FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN


Frankenstein Created Woman was not the easiest of Hammer's Frankenstein films to see throughout the 1980s and 90s, but it eventually was released to laser disc, VHS and DVD through Elite Entertainment and Anchor Bay.  The old transfer was washed out and soft, but looked pretty good to viewers at the time who had been waiting to see the film.  Happily, the new transfer available on blu ray through the Shock label in Australia corrects all of that.  Their new transfer looks quite good, with accurately rendered colors and strong detail.  The image is framed at 1.77, which is a little tighter than the 1.66 ratio used in the previous DVD release, but it does not significantly affect the compositions in one way or another.  Suffice it to say, if the new ratio is wrong, it doesn't look it.



The film is completely uncut (not that cuts were ever much of an issue, though some gore was trimmed from the version aired on TNT in the US) and the print is in very good shape, with only some minor speckling to indicate the film's age.  The mono English soundtrack is in good shape, too, which greatly benefits James Bernard's lilting score and Peter Cushing's clipped delivery; it does show up how obvious it is that Denberg and Alan MacNaughton were dubbed, however... but more on that in a minute.


Extras include a documentary titled Hammer Glamour, which assembles interviews with such Hammer beauties as Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith, among others, as they discuss their feelings on being part of the Hammer exploitation machine.  It's an interesting featurette though it could have benefitted from better editing.  Best of all is a new commentary with co-stars Derek Fowlds and Robert Morris, moderated by Hammer historian Jonathan Rigby.


Rigby does a terrific job of keeping the two actors on task and the track is loaded with great information.  The two men were in their late 20s when they appeared in the film and it's fun to hear them reminisce about their youth and experiences on the film.  Among the many topics addressed include their feelings on Peter Cushing, their observations on the beautiful Denberg (whom Fowlds claims to have gotten rather close to during filming, if you catch my drift) and their memories of being directed by Terence Fisher.


 

They also discuss the fact that the German setting inspired Alan MacNaughton to affect a German accent, which seemed a totally appropriate choice at the time; however, he was the only one to go to such extremes, and he ended up having to go back and redub his role with his "normal" accent!  It's a lively and informative track, well worth listening to.


Review: Troy Howarth.
Blu Ray Screen Captures: Here

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