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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Murder > Mystery > Slasher > Giant Monster > Satire > Australia > In Fear (2012/Studio Canal/Umbrella Region B Import Blu-ray)/Q: The Winged Serpent (1982/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Razorback (1984/Umbrella 1080/50i/Region B Import Blu-ray)

In Fear (2012/Studio Canal/Umbrella Region B Import Blu-ray)/Q: The Winged Serpent (1982/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Razorback (1984/Umbrella 1080/50i/Region B Import Blu-ray)

Picture: B-/B/B- Sound: B- Extras: C-/B-/C+ Films: C-/B-/C

PLEASE NOTE: All of these Import Blu-rays come from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment and are Region B (Razorback is additionally a 1080/50i disc, so have a player and HDTV that can handle both factors) and Q is Region Free. All can be ordered from the link below.

Here are some horror thrillers with mixed results hitting Blu-ray...

Jeremy Lovering's In Fear (2012) has now arrived in Australia from Studio Canal and Umbrella Entertainment in a Region B Import Blu-ray. I reviewed the Anchor Bay U.S. Blu-ray at this link:


I was curious if this would play any better in a different transfer, et al, but I instead was re-disappointed at what a missed opportunity this British thriller about a young couple getting lost going to a music concert and finding a killer on the loose failed. Alice Englert and Iain De Caestecker make for a good couple and we get the same Behind The Scenes featurette as the only extra, but the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix from the U.S. Blu-ray is replaced by a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix that is as good, but no better and does not reveal any more nuances in the sound mix or recording. You should see ti for yourself, but this should have worked.

Larry Cohen's Q: The Winged Serpent (1982) is the oldest film here, as well as the most bashed, in part because the visual effects are very cheap. Now, after endless and endlessly bad digital CG visual effects, it has a new charm. In New York City, people are being killed by a mysterious force that turns out to be the flying killer creature of the title. Can it be found? Will anyone believe it exists? Two cops (Richard Roundtree and David Carradine) investigate, but it I a crook (Michael Moriarty) who seems to really be in the thick of things.

Cohen is being darkly comic here as he would later be in his Uncle Sam screenplay (see the Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) and definitely proves again he knows his way around a genre. However, even the late, legendary film scholar Robin Wood (see the classic book Hollywood: From Vietnam To Reagan... And Beyond, elsewhere on this site) had written that more works in this film than you may have heard, even if it is not always successful. I recommend you watch it with the pretext that you ignore any faults with the visual effects, then you will see what Cohen was really doing. Candy Clark also stars.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this is easily the best the film has looked in a while despite showing the age of its visual effects and limited budget. Color reproduction, some depth and detail are also decent, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix (try Pro Logic surrounds or the like on it if you have a home theater system) sounds better than expected.

Extras include a nee 2014 feature length audio commentary track by Cohen and new on camera interview featurette (25 minutes) with Cohen entitled Confessions Of A Low Budget Maverick in 1080p HD.

Russell Mulcahy's Razorback (1984) was a breakthrough feature for the longtime Music Video director (he is up there in hit clips and all time quantity) and helmed later films like the original Highlander and the Alec Baldwin Shadow. We previously covered this giant killer pig thriller at this link:


Though it too has not improved, the improvement in picture quality versus the DVD makes some scenes look and work a little better, but that is not enough for me to like it any more than before. You can see why it is a cult item and the 1080/50i 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image at least uses the scope frame better than most digital productions and does not play it TV safe. Gregory Harrison (Trapper John M.D., the TV series version of Logan's Run) will be one of the only recognizable faces to non-Aussie audiences, but it should be out on Blu-ray and that gives it a better chance for its audience. The lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix is also a nice upgrade from the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD, so there's another improvement.

You can order all three of these Umbrella import Blu-rays and much more by going to this link:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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