Saturday, 15 December 2018

REVIEW: DRACULA IS ALIVE RESSURECTED AND NEVER LOOKED BETTER ON WARNER BROTHERS REMASTERED BLU RAY!


PETER CUSHING AND CHRISTOPHER LEE FANS, PCAS followers and all in the US Hammer film fans, have waited a LONG time for the PRINCE of DARKNESS and his number one enemy, to finally cross the Atlantic and set foot, on their home cinema screens! On the 18th of December 2018, Hammer films numero uno Dracula classic, will finally hit the streets . . just like when the vampire king landed on the shores of Whitby, England back in the late 19th century, and frightened EVERYONE to death!


THERE IS EVERY POSSIBILITY, with Warner Brother's REMASTERED BLU RAY release of the BFI restored print, that with Christopher Lee amazing performance and stunning quality of this print, he WILL do it, yet again, for there is  MUCH to be quite shocked and surprised by in this fabulous Warner Brothers Archive release. In the past, just like the Stoker novel of 1897, there have been several nightmares and tense moments concerning the release of the film on blu ray. In 2012, the first blu ray release of the film in the UK, devided fans and techie types, with a print that was remastered, but for some looked like it had been shot with director Terence Fisher holding a BLUE GEL lighting filter in front of expert camera operator's Jack Asher's lens! For a studio that celebrated the rich and throbbing reds and colours of it's gothic sets, furnishings, fangs and well, blood lusting the chilly blue tone resulted in a very cool reception on its release.


IT CAN'T BE DENIED that Warner Brothers Archive releases, have hit many major BULLS EYE not just in the last two months, where they have utterly spoiled us with the fantastic remasters of two later Hammer Cushing and Lee films on blu ray,  DRACULA AD 1972 and THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULAbut also their HAMMER HORROR CLASSICS VOLUME ONE, presented us with new remastered versions of 'Dracula Has Risen From The Grave', 'Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed'  AND 'Taste The Blood Of Dracula'! No other version of previous releases of these titles can compete with the visual and sound quality of the Warners blu ray releases!


AS TIME DREW CLOSER, after the announcement from Warner of the planned 1958 DRACULA release, just like the tension of the final ten minutes of the film, we ALL waited to find out if THIS release was going to be yet another Warner triumph with gold stars, or if it was going to shock for ALL the wrong reasons, with the horrible news that the blue tint, had risen yet again and returned to haunt the passionate lovers of this film. It was great relief, on pressing the play button on my blu ray player, that I saw an old friend, but looking MORE than healthy! For those of us, who have watched and wore out our VHS and DVD recordings of the film over the years, we KNOW and are very familiar with its tone, contrast, rich, rich colours and that powerful score and accompanying owl screeching and vampire hisses. Here at last, all those things are back, but now cystral clear, remastered and never looked better.


TERENCE FISHER'S 1958 Dracula / Horror of Dracula US Blu-ray arrival on the red carpet is a stunning  “brand-new presentation, sourced from the British Film Institute/Hammer Film restoration master”. Dracula's  'Blur Period' is over.  Through out,  images are strong with good detail and defined and correct  colouring. Everthing, as you would expect looks balanced and bold when they should do! Like many of you, this film is like an old friend to me. I know it well and what I was seeing and hearing was quite an experince. Familiar, but now better and a HUGE departure from previous releases. THIS is how it was meant to be! Because of the clarity, the depth of the sets like Dracula's first arrival on meeting Harker and the fisty-cuff with Lee and Valerie Gaunt, you get the shadows and creepy light and SIZE of Dracula's den. At last, Bernard Robinson's dedicated set design can be seen in all it's beauty. Flagstone floors, drapes, banners, curtains and even the subtle gold detail on the floor space area, when the Count meets his end, is luscious, clear and quite regal. 


IT IS ONE OF THE MANY things you notice from the first scene where Harker stands outside Castle Dracula and certainly when he steps inside, there are SO MANY colours and some are, for me, seen for the first time! I am please to say, that it also sounds as good as it looks. Dialogue isn't lost in what is sometimes a quite dramatic score, every word can be heard and is crisp. Sound effects to seem to have a new life. The horses during the chase, have a lovely thundering base, Cushing's feet on the wooden and hollow tablle top... and hey, those curtains, come down with quite a crash and Dracula's body THUDS when he hits the floor. You'll be please to hear, that for once... The Count's footsteps are wonderfully absent! As, they should be!   


THERE IS MUCH to be VERY happy about concerning this NEW remastering. I think for once too, fans and admirers of this much loved Cushing and Lee classic Hammer film, will appreciate that the task of remastering has been carried out properly, with an eye for detail with a quality that respects the standards, skills, dedication and artistry, of a cinematic production crew and studio, once long gone, but now . . celebrated and still with us! Consider that past ressurections of the DRACULA are now staked, dead and dust. THIS Dracula, has RISEN and has never looked better. He TRULY IS a terrifying lover who DIED and and yet LIVES!




ON TUESDAY WE POSTED what is our LAST competition for this year, has at the FACEBOOK PCASUK FAN PAGE AND what a PRIZE there is to WIN! 😲 With many thanks to our sponsors at Warner Brothers..we have a PAIR of their latest Peter Cushing Hammer film release... their REMASTERED blu ray of the restored BFI print of Hammer films 1958 DRACULA! All you have to do is guess the answer to our VISUAL competition.
 

AS USUAL I have to ask that you DO NOT POST YOUR ANSWER ON THE PAGE... send it to us using the SEND MESSAGE button UNDER THE COMPETITION BANNER Any answers or entries posted on the COMMENTS thread will be deleted and not counted as an entry. The competition CLOSES on Wednesday 19th December 2018. So get your ENTRY in now...and maybe you would like to give us a LIKE too? I'd be most grateful πŸ˜‰Have fun and GOOD LUCK! - Marcu




JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK to the WARNER BROTHERS SHOP site, where you can also purchase your copy of this release!  

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