Tuesday, 13 September 2016

YOU REVIEW: MILL CREEK REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN DISAPPOINTMENT


THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN: Part of a TWO Hammer film package, with The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, released on blu ray by Mill Creek Entertainment September 2016. Mill Creek's double feature is currently the only way to own these films on BLU RAY:  They can be purchased  HERE


 *Deep, heavy sigh*
Where as Mill Creek Entertainment's blu ray release of The Gorgon I felt looked incredible for it's age and found very few flaws with the look and sound of the film, Revenge of Frankenstein looks as if it had been strained through a dirty wet sock. What a shame, for it is one of the better sequels, in the Hammer films Frankenstein series. Picking up precisely where The Curse of Frankenstein left off, Revenge is a brilliant journey into the twisted genius of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his machinations to reanimate a human life. Peter Cushing's performance is immaculate and his snark and slight tinge of madness portrayal of Frankenstein is among his finest.


That being said...
This blu ray looks awful. I mean if you told me that this was transferred from a used VHS tape, I wouldn't be hard pressed to believe you. Let's start with the egregious amount of scratches, dirt and vertical lines that mar this 58 year old film. Remember those awful film reels you used to have to watch in high school back in the day?  Well, it's not THAT bad, but the mere fact that I am using that as an example of how to represent the disrespect this transfer is to the film should show you how much of a lost opportunity this is and it's distracting to the enjoyment of viewing the film on this format. When the Columbia Pictures opening came up I let out an audible "Uh-oh." I knew I was in for a challenging viewing of Revenge of Frankenstein. Still, I adore this film and it's always a pleasure to revisit it but it deserves better. Much better.


Now, on to the color quality of this release. There isn't any. It's so diluted through the ravages of time that everything looks washed out. Peter's crystal blue eyes withstanding, it looks as if this was put through a soft filter with an eraser. Where in The Gorgon's colors popped, watching Revenge feels like someone turned off the color hue setting on my television. The 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio doesn't assist this situation in any way and may have been yet another hindrance to this struggling release. Also, the 25g blu ray as opposed to the normal 50g capacity blu ray further recedes the films chances of a successful viewing. If a character moves too fast on screen it gets blurry. That should never happen. I am not going to go into the sound as it is mono and was recorded as such in 1958. There's nothing any one can do about that and for what it is it sounds just fine.


I don't want to blame Mill Creek Entertainment for this transfer but I have to wonder if they a) did the best that they could do with the quality of the print they had access to or b) didn't try at all. With how incredible The Gorgon looked I am going to go by faith and choose answer A. However, I will be keeping an eye on the quality of any future releases along with the two films I have yet to watch from the Double Features. So Mill Creek is currently batting 500. They need to keep an eye on quality control on the text of the blu ray covers (Curese instead of Curse on Curse of The Mummy's Tomb and Gorgan instead of Gorgon.) However, I do look forward to any future Hammer releases from them.


The YOU REVIEW feature: All YOU REVIEW features are complete and unedited  written reviews  independently submitted by followers of the Peter Cushing Appreciation Society , it's website and Facebook Fan Page. The opinions here in, are solely the authors and are shared here with the purpose and intent of providing a guide to dvd's and blu rays recently released featuring the work of Peter Cushing.  All viewing equipment used for the reviews is domestic and typical of the range of players and tv monitors used in a domestic viewing environment.


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