This is topic Dracula 1958 Blu-Ray in forum General Yak at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on March 09, 2013, 04:50 AM:
I see Dracula gets a blu-ray issue on the 18th with the disc also including Dracula Reborn doc, Resurrecting Dracula and more, so plenty of extras for vamp fans. Even better they have located 2 reels that were missing for years and put them back in so this will be a hot seller I am guessing.

Released 18th March. Blu-Ray/DVD box set.
Posted by David Ollerearnshaw (Member # 3296) on March 09, 2013, 05:57 AM:
I'll wait and see on this one. If they have done the release with not only the general viewer, but Hammer fans in mind. I might buy it.

"The Devil Rides Out" on blu-ray although pin sharp was messed about with. I would have bought a copy if they included the original version too. I don't think it would be much trouble to include both versions using branching.

If they haven't added new digital fangs I think I'll buy it.
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on March 09, 2013, 06:33 AM:
You are right about the dig fangs David. In the main I rather prefer the DVD’s of the older Bond films showing more natural colour, dust and the odd line than I do a colour artists work for Blu-Ray release. Nice to see the Hammer films get the HD issue although fingers crossed not spoilt on a digital timeline. Curse of Frankenstein was said to be a disappointment on BR but I have no idea why?
Posted by David Ollerearnshaw (Member # 3296) on March 09, 2013, 11:52 AM:
Thought I read somewhere the aspect was wrong. Too old for me to see at the cinema on original release unless my mum went to see it.

My local cinema when I used to go in the 70's everything was 4-3 and poor old scope went to half the hight but same width. They now show them correctly the last one I went to see was Robin Hood Prince the screen was the full width of the cinema.

IMDB says 1.66:1 The shape proberly varies from cinema to cinema.

Again my favourite word for digital "Clinical"
Posted by Michael O'Regan (Member # 938) on March 09, 2013, 12:43 PM:
I have the Curse of Frankenstein Blu and it's fine. People elsewhere made such a big deal about nothing in that case.

There's also been a huge furore about the colour in the imminent DRACULA release on the classic horror board.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on March 09, 2013, 12:52 PM:
I'm often annoyed with what is done to color on DVD or blu-ray releases.

I used to make the mistake of comparing a film prints color to a DVD, but then, as stated above, color is tinkered with in most cases and so the film collector might have a perfect color print but because of comparison with a DVD or Blu-ray, might conclude that they have a botched color print.
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on March 10, 2013, 11:35 AM:
The missing sequences in the re issue were nearly lost forever,
but thanks to the efforts of Simon Rowson and his wife Michiko,
who live in Tokyo,were able to locate the legendary Japanese cut
to "DRACULA". The film is kept in climate controlled conditions at
The National Film Centre in Tokyo, unfortunately there had been a
fire there in 1984, and the film was partially ruined, ironically
by water damage.Reels 1-5 are damaged beyond repair but the
remaining reels 6-9 are still in existence,but not good shape,being warped, marked by white lines and suffering from
V.S. Simon was lucky enough to view some footage showing
Dracula actually biting Mina,before the cutaway to the owl, and
during the disintegration, actually clawing the flesh from his face. Simon is to be congratulated on this no mean feat, but
couldn't have done without the help of his wife Michiko, Stuart Hall,
Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby, who together with Hammer's
Peter Naish, helped him cope with the Japanese red tape.The
full story is on the new release DVD but can be read in full in "Little Shoppe of Horrors"#28.
Posted by Timothy Ramzyk (Member # 718) on April 17, 2013, 02:56 PM:
Just watched the Blu-ray last night and it gets a thumbs-up from me. After endless debates (nearly 90 pages worth) about the color in The Classic Horror Forum, I find it much like the Derann print, with a greater level of detail in the shadows. I found it pretty impressive all around. Maybe the night scenes are timed a hair too blue, but I think you'd never think something was wrong if you weren't looking for it.
Posted by Michael O'Regan (Member # 938) on April 17, 2013, 03:00 PM:
Hard to believe that's still going on over there, Tim.
Posted by Timothy Ramzyk (Member # 718) on April 18, 2013, 02:02 AM:
It's tapered down a bit, I took a lenten, six-week break from there, so I missed the bulk of it. Most people who got the disk are reluctantly happy with it.

The funny thing is that a couple years ago when the BFI released a trailer for their restoration, people in that forum were drooling over it. Well, that trailer has the same color values of the new Blu-ray/DVD. Somewhere along the like everyone decided it was travesty (without actually seeing it).

I popped in my old Warner DVD (which never looked good on any level) tonight, and it has gone from bad to simply revolting since I've seen the BFI/Hammer disk.
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on April 18, 2013, 03:05 AM:
Personally I find just about all the Hammer Blu-Rays have purposely muted colour. On the Drac BR the documentary goes to some lengths explaining they didn’t want to keep colour saturation high but to a more natural look. When filming Drac the camera gate had a metal mask in it cropping the picture which was pretty much normal practice way back then. The only BR of Hammer films I find with really nice colour is The Mummy’s Shroud (Beware the beat of the cloth wrapped feet) and regularly watch that. The Dracula Blu-Ray does contain some good material though and of course its nice to watch the film as complete as they managed to get it with the correct titles and the missing scenes restored from the Japanese archive print which took some restoring as explained in the doc to be found on the disc.

[Eek!] “Beware the beat of the cloth wrapped feet” [Eek!]
Posted by David Ollerearnshaw (Member # 3296) on April 18, 2013, 03:01 PM:
Could be tempted to buy it. I have the Derann release which is the treat to watch. Super 8 gourmet food, dvd/blu-ray the fast food. The Mummy’s Shroud have again Derann's release another one I like. Is this on blu-ray?
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on April 18, 2013, 04:03 PM:
am i correct in saying that the hammer horror classics are to be released on BR fully retored with previous censored parts retored back in?
Posted by Timothy Ramzyk (Member # 718) on April 18, 2013, 05:03 PM:
Could be tempted to buy it. I have the Derann release which is the treat to watch. Super 8 gourmet food, dvd/blu-ray the fast food. The Mummy’s Shroud have again Derann's release another one I like. Is this on blu-ray?
Yes, it's a region 2 UK set of DVD and Blu-ray.

am i correct in saying that the hammer horror classics are to be released on BR fully retored with previous censored parts retored back in?
A Japanese print in deplorable condition was found that had footage which was censored from the US and British (and Dreann) prints. The most notable parts being in the disintegration scene. You now get to see Dracula claw some of the mouldering skin from his own face, and more of the bones beneath his pant-leg and sleeve.

It's pretty neat, and kinda bridges what was previously and abrupt shift from Lee to a ashen, skeletal prop. The discovery of the footage was sort of a fortunate fluke that the footage turned up, and won't be typical of future Hammer releases.

I've been waiting on THE MUMMY"S SHROUD, hoping for a US Blu-ray release, but I just couldn't wait on DRACULA.

In the Classic Horror Forum someone posted some Technicolor frame-grabs that revealed that though the BFI restoration wasn't spot-on. The Warner DVD was way off, and that the palette of DRACULA was a good deal cooler than some of the more ornamental colors of films like BRIDES OF DRACULA. My biggest complaint is that I'd like to see it about a stop lighter. [/QUOTE]
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on April 19, 2013, 03:41 AM:
I see no one has done a super 8 review yet of The Mummys Shroud in the 8mm section. Long overdue if you have a print someone?

Yes David MUMMYS SHROUD is on BR @ £14.25 from delivered. If you are starting out with BR Hammers its the best transfer by far and the disc has some nice trailers etc on as well. [Cool]

Trailer on youtube

Worth watching on youtube
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on April 19, 2013, 04:52 AM:
Really looking forward to seeing Dracula.

I found the colour on my super 8 print of "The Reptile" almost identical to the Blu-Ray release.

Much as I love my super 8 print, the Blu-Ray displays a lot more detail and sounds a hundred times better too.

That's progress.
Posted by Adrian Winchester (Member # 248) on April 19, 2013, 08:39 AM:
This has been an extraordinary saga online, with insults and some people falling out badly. It didn't help that some of the Blu Ray 'screenshots' that appeared before the release looked dreadful and excessively bluish. Some of the 'against' camp are dismayed that the release doesn't have the Technicolor look associated with the film, whilst some of the 'for' camp are enraged by what they consider nitpicking, that fails to give the credit due to a groundbreaking release.

I have only watched part of the new version so far, but I think my conclusion will be that it's a great release with exceptional clarity, but on the other hand at least certain scenes would ideally have benefitted from a brighter, more saturated look. I'm unconvinced that there was a good case to not view the original Technicolor look as definitive, as I'm sure there's no evidence that Terence Fisher or anyone associated with the film was remotely unhappy with this. I find it frustrating that not all of the amazing new footage (from the end of the film) actually appears in the new restoration, although you can see it via the extra featuring the full Japanese footage. This was because it would have caused a 'jump' in the sound but I wonder if a way round this could have been found.

As for whether it's similar to the Derann prints, it depends on which batch your Derann print is from! I have one of the early prints that was remarkably faithful to the original theatrical colours, and the BR/DVD is a bit cooler and less staturated than this. However, it's definitely warmer overall than the bluish Derann prints, which seem to constitute a substantial proportion of the ones in circulation.

Interestingly, the real match with 8mm is the CHC release of the 2007 BFI restoration trailer, as the 2007 release is the basis of the new version, and it also appears on the BR/DVD. When I got the CHC release on 16mm (which had better and more accurate colour than my Super 8 print), I noted the different look and it's the same look that's now evident on the BR/DVD.

It's a must for Hammer fans but you need to see it to make up your mind, considering the diverse responses which range from perfect to unwatchable!
Posted by Timothy Ramzyk (Member # 718) on April 21, 2013, 02:05 AM:
I must say that for all the drama around this release, the people who like it seem to have greatly outnumbered those who don't. Many who are still against it also have not actually seen the disk, but are relying too much on screen-grabs and you-tube clips.
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on April 21, 2013, 04:51 AM:
Isn't it strange that the only release of this film on 8mm, before
Deranns' feature release,of which I too was on the waiting list of
first buyers, was the little 200' Americom with disc,which was much sought after and I still cherish my own copy today.Somehow
I can't see folks getting worked up about a plastic disc in years to
come. I don't know why the releasing companies have to play
about with colour saturation or original picture ratio's, but they do.
I STILL despair at the trailer done for this films re release and
bitterly regret parting with my old Thunderbird trl. reel, that
picture quality wise wasn't that good, but didn't have those
bloody irritating fades.Maybe the lesson is ; up to the minute
isn't always up to the mark, as this new release on Blu ray
obviously proves.
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on April 21, 2013, 06:49 AM:
It is interesting that these things become so polarized. I have the re-release trailer on super 8 and I think it is beautiful. I have a VHS copy of the film that is really not that great (transfer wise) but the film is awesome. I don't see myself getting into Blue Ray only because I have film, tape, DVD, laser...truthfully I don't need another wallet just can't afford it.

I have never had a film that I cherished tampered with so I can't say how I would react but some of the things that are being debated seem so small to worry about...I guess they mess with color and ratio trying to deliver the best possible transfer of the film even if it alters the original.

Bill [Smile]
Posted by Michael O'Regan (Member # 938) on April 21, 2013, 12:45 PM:
I see no reason at all to buy the Blu Ray. My Derann print is more than adequate.
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on April 21, 2013, 01:13 PM:
Exactly Michael, and we are after all on a film forum as "keepers
of the flame", so DVD is ancillary to our hobby.
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on April 21, 2013, 02:38 PM:
Really? A question. Don’t any of you consider watching the extras on a DVD or Blu-Ray to enhance the viewing of the main feature on 8mm, 9.5 or 16mm? I’m guessing you are missing great opportunity to enhance your home cinema screenings…Something mainstream cinema cannot do.
Posted by Michael O'Regan (Member # 938) on April 21, 2013, 02:56 PM:
Hugh, I'm not so innocent

I buy way more DVDs than film. In fact I can't remember when I bought film last.
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on April 21, 2013, 04:00 PM:
Yes Lee, I'm well aware of the extras on DVD's, and have bought
many a title just for the documentary extras.As Derek Simmonds
observed, these little extras were thin on the ground when he was releasing films, but are suddenly there for DVD release. I believe
they call it ROT, Re used Old Technology.I take on board how
much easier and cheaper to view on disc,but I choose film every
time over DVD, The last film I purchased was Barbara Steele's
"The Spectre" a few days ago, in Italian no less.
Posted by Adrian Winchester (Member # 248) on April 22, 2013, 12:31 AM:
I don't have Blu Ray yet, so I'm watching the new release via the DVD in the same box, but I've to say that the clarity is so good that I'm noticing details I haven't seen before, which makes interesting viewing. Whilst I repect every Hammer fan's right to not buy it, it's quite something to see a landmark film of this sort with shots never before seen in the UK, due to the censor cuts. I certainly wouldn't part with my Derann print, which is great, but like the DVD/Blu Ray, it isn't perfect; e.g. the degree of contrast in places results in faces sometimes being a bit over exposed. Basically, both the Super 8 print and the Blu Ray/DVD please the eye, but in different ways.

[ April 22, 2013, 06:21 PM: Message edited by: Adrian Winchester ]
Posted by Timothy Ramzyk (Member # 718) on April 22, 2013, 02:01 AM:
I liked my weird, very blue Derann print, but it was probably not terrible representative of the Technicolor prints either, and some night scenes were dark beyond what they should have been.

As I have a JVC DLA projector, I can say the Blu-ray is pretty impressive projected. Having never seen a Technicolor 35mm, this is the best I've seen this film look thus far. Also, to finally see the fabled censored material is quite a thrill. Who'd have thought we'd see what seemed like a mere rumor 55 years after it's removal?
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on April 22, 2013, 05:02 AM:
Like you Adrian, I don't possess a Blu Ray player and have no
intention of buying one,the only time I relented in buying a Blu Ray disc was a few weeks ago when the "Black Sunday" Bava
special edition was released, and that was just for the "extras"
on a separate normal disc.Myself, I don't envisage me buying this
release just for a few seconds of extra footage,maybe secondhand
from Amazon sometime.A little idea to ponder, what if this film had
been made in B/W, I wonder if there would have been discussions on shadow detail.
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on April 22, 2013, 05:27 AM:
Probably Hugh, the 1932 White Zombie BR issue is also raging at the moment! Considering what they had to work with on that they have done a good job although I still love my 35 year old Super 8 Collectors Club copy even more.

Trailer to wet your whistle.
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on April 22, 2013, 07:10 AM:
It sounds Lee like theres a war going on on some other forum.
I used to have the 8x200' "White Zombie" issued by Collectors
Club and bought from Perry's, which considering, was quite a
good copy with clear sound for a film of such vintage.
Posted by Timothy Ramzyk (Member # 718) on April 24, 2013, 12:11 AM:
It sounds Lee like theres a war going on on some other forum.
I used to have the 8x200' "White Zombie" issued by Collectors
Club and bought from Perry's, which considering, was quite a
good copy with clear sound for a film of such vintage.

Sadly, the new Blu-ray represents a missed opportunity. Holland Releasing chose to employ far too much digital correction filtering. This is probably why Kino provided both the filtered print and the raw HD techline transfer as an extra. The raw edition looks quite nice, but is perhaps a bit on the dark side, the filtered too smooth and bright. The consensus seems to be that they should have cleaned up the sound, repaired some damage, balanced the contrast and steadied the picture, of the "raw" version, but not bleached & scrubbed the living pooh out of it with Digital Noise Reduction. Then you'd really have had something, which is essentially the version in between the two provided.

This is still possible with the master they have. I wish the film was revered enough overseas for someone like Masters of Cinema to take it on.

I had a Niles Cinema print, which the raw version on the Blu-ray easily bests (and is more complete), the new disk is also better than the earlier Roan DVD and still earlier Roan laserdisc. It's just a shame that they coulda nailed it this time and didn't.

[ April 24, 2013, 01:56 AM: Message edited by: Timothy Ramzyk ]
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on July 13, 2013, 08:01 AM:
Further to the news of the restored scenes from a Japanese print
stored in their archives, in the latest issue of "Little Shoppe of
Horrors", Dick Klemensens excellent mag on all things Hammer,
one of the contributors,who was a film archivist, pours scorn on
how the Japanese made such a big thing out of getting this film out to view. He goes on to say that the idea that a film needs five days to acclimatise is rubbish, as five hours would do it, he says
that water damage to film kept in containers during a "fire" is
not possible, especially as water would not have been used in
such conditions by a fire fighting force.If a film had been water
damaged in any circumstances, it would have been given an immediate bath in chemicals & water to stop emulsion lift.Having read this article, I find i agree with him, and the
Japanese were not as caring of film as they tried to make out,
more than likely the print had been ignored and vinegar had
done the rest.He even says that any archivist knowing a print
was in such a damaged state, would not have tried to show it
on any viewing equipment, except rewinders and a viewing
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on July 13, 2013, 08:24 AM:
Reading between the lines it almost sounds like the lad was ashamed of the rare print being kept in such a state. I’m just really pleased that as film collectors we can care for our own films and treat them with loving respect, particularly when these films have often been produced under difficult circumstances and with much love.
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on July 13, 2013, 09:35 AM:
There's something in what you say Lee, after seeing Roberts excellent link to the BFI, i have come to the conclusion that these
places don't have the staff or funding to cope with the amount of stock.As an example of a film archive, the BFI does set a high benchmark, and the one in Japan doesn't seem to exercise the same care.Luckily, the folks that frequent this forum do have a
knowledge that enables them to look after their precious collections, operating our own little film archives.

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