06 September, 2013

Jess Franco Blu-rays: Comments/Critiques?

I'm opening up the blog for reader's comments/critiques on the 3 recent Jess Franco Blu-rays. The ups and downsides can be mentioned in detail in the comment section. I'll publish a sample in a future post. I think it's important that this blog be more interactive and that JF enthusiasts get to air their compliments and complaints. 
For my part, I must admit, before turning to a detailed look at the VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD BD, and reconsidering the film itself, is still in need of a full restoration. I'm not sure of the availability of negative elements but some scenes are very dark, although that may be due to shooting conditions. Also, the color, contrast and sharpness need improving and the images needs a general cleaning as is done frame by frame in a restoration. 
The fact that you get another version of the film, with the Jean Rollin directed zombie inserts and the Eurocine erotic inserts, is a very good special feature. I had never seen this particular variant before. I also enjoy the additional sleazy softcore erotic "lawn orgy" featuring Alice Arno which is also included in the special features. But the image still could be improved. In terms of video quality I would rate it a C or C - at best. After repeat viewings I now have concluded the disc is still recommended for its numerous special features and this is the best it has looked on home video but that best still leaves something to be desired.

Please let me know your reactions below.



Jared said...

I think this BD version of CHRISTINA looks quite good, actually. I think color and clarity are fantastic. It does look a little ragged, and too dark at times. But I don't think any of relative faults with this disc have anything to do with the video transfer, per se. The problem is that relatively little work went into restoring what I presume are the only remaining film elements at hand. I think the primary reason for this may be economic. BD releases are very, very expensive. They costs at least twice as much to produce as SD discs. So the relatively small market for these movies makes putting out a Blu ray a rather risky endeavor. I think the cost-saving comes in with the restoration process, doing very little to clean up dirt and debris and so on. Of course, this is all just speculation on my part, but I think these factors are probably what drives Kino's "as is" transfer policy. I sympathize with this decision, and give them a ton of leeway for it. I'd rather have this HD version of CHRISTINA than none at all. That goes for pretty much all the Redemption Blu ray releases.

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for the feedback,Jared. This is a very nice package, two versions, several documentary interviews including one with Jess on his first horror foray, and more. But I still find the color lacking and it's way too dark for long passages and way too dirty and filled with marks. So yes a full restoration would be preferred by me. But it still looks better than most previous versions and I do understand the financial factors. I just wish they would spend the extra time and money and maybe do a few less releases.