Alpha's "White Zombie" Or How Budget Disc's Provide A Useful Service!

Discussion in 'Classic' started by dvdasia62, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    The Roan Group disc is one of those discs I'd probably run back into a fire and grab, excellent DVD of an excellent movie. I look at it as, "You get what you paid for." Just like the Criterion releases of Carnival of Souls and The Most Dangerous Game.

    BTW it was probably rediscovered in the 50's as that was when Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi were watching it on TV hosted by Vampira, at least according to the Plan 9 Companion I just watched the other night. So no I didn't get that from Tim Burton. :p
     
  2. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I just can't stand the quality of the cheapo releases, I'd rather pay more :)

    Thanks everyone! I grabbed the Roan disc for under $10 off Amazon :)
     
  3. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I watched this DVD tonight.

    Now, I don't want to start any fights here, and trust me, I am hugely glad that I picked up this DVD. Hell, for the two Lugosi interviews alone it would be something else. I sampled the commentary and was suitably impressed there too - wow!

    However, comments on here, and on the packaging - about the quality of the restoration - are a long way off, imo. Now, this may well be the best this movie has ever looked for home viewing, and I really have no way of comparing that. However, comparatively on DVD, it's not that great. A post above mentions Criterion's Carnival of Souls and The Most Dangerous Game, and frankly, this disc isn't close to matching either of those (nor any of the Universal horrors on DVD).

    The box art claims: "Probably hasn't looked this good since it's original release" - well, maybe not, maybe right after the original release they dragged the copies over gravel :D

    The transfer is, apparently, pulled from two 35mm sources. One of those sources has awful sound, and some dialog is just "blurred" away. Frames are dropped every now and again too. Other than that, it's got quite a bit of softness at times. There is a single scene, nearer the end, of a shot of Lugosi that is amazing, definately crystal clear, but the rest can't match it.

    Finally, the Horror Channel in the UK is showing a print of this film, and while I will need to watch it again (I recorded it, but foolishly deleted it once I'd ordered the DVD), I feel confident in saying the print used is easily a match for the ROAN disc, it might even be better (I need to view again and see if thoe dropped frames are there or not).

    Again - not trying to put people off this one, because the film fricking ROCKS, and the disc has some nice features. But anyone expecting a great print, or anything approaching the Criterion releases, will be left a little disapointed, as I am.

    Anyway - great film, good disc - recommended.
     
  4. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    My Criterion reference may be misleading I agree, what I was saying with that was if you want the best version of the movie the dollar bin isn't where to look. It's not an HD remastering using a digital clean up from multipul best sources. All they did was a new transfer selecting the best segements from two film sources they had.

    Comparing it to prints of other public domain films like The Vampire Bat which I recorded on TCM for Halloween, the Roan Group print is very good. The Vampire Bat was often too dark to make out what was happening. My Alpha Video copy of Chain for Life is entirely clipped on sound! It's overly bright and clearly from a video tape source. Maybe expectations are low on public domain releases, but I've seen too much crap to not be impressed when someone like Roan goes back to 35mm prints and chooses the best portions.
     

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