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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Supernatural > Mystery > Vampire > Comedy > Satire > Murder In A Blue World (1973/Cauldron/**all MVD)/Three Thousand Years Of Longing (2022/MGM/Warner w/DVD/all Blu-ray)

Audrey Rose (1977/United Artists/MGM*)/Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) + Return Of Count Yorga (1971/*both American International/Arrow**)/A Discovery Of Witches: The Complete Trilogy (2018 - 2021/RLJ Set)/Murder In A Blue World (1973/Cauldron/**all MVD)/Three Thousand Years Of Longing (2022/MGM/Warner w/DVD/all Blu-ray)

Picture: B Sound: B-/B- & B-/B-/B-/B Extras: C+/C+/C+/B/C Main Programs: C+/C+ & C+/C+/B/C+

Now time to revisit some genre releases we've covered before, including a new one that is in tine mode of an old classic...

The horror genre was one Anthony Hopkins was always associated with somehow and along with
Magic and Lynch's The Elephant Man (both reviewed elsewhere on this site) is a thriller about a dead girl who seemingly comes back to life. Robert Wise's Audrey Rose (1977) is one of the director's better films, but still not a home run. I previously reviewed the now out print Twilight Time edition at this link:


Arrow has picked up the rights, delivered a new picture and sound transfer that tops the older Blu-ray, but lacks the excellent booklet and isolated music score the previous disc offered. Fanatics will want both versions, but you get plenty of new extras, including a brand new, feature length audio commentary by film critic Jon Towlson

  • Faith and Fraud, a brand new interview with magician Adam Cardone about reincarnation and belief in Audrey Rose

  • Then and Now, a brand new featurette looking at the New York locations used in the film

  • I've Been Here Before, archive visual essay by Lee Gambin looking at reincarnation in cinema

  • Investigator: The Paranormal World of Frank De Felitta, an archive interview with the author and scriptwriter of Audrey Rose

  • The Role of a Mother, an archive Interview with Marsha Mason

  • Hypnotist: Inside the score for Audrey Rose, an archive interview with film music historian Daniel Schweiger

  • Theatrical trailer

  • Image gallery

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Christopher Shy

  • and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: fully illustrated collectors booklet featuring new writing by critics Kimberly Lindbergs and Johnny Mains.

Now you can really get into the film like never before and those curious will really be able to find out all about the film. Glad it got the attention!

Bob Kelljan's Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) and Return Of Count Yorga (1971) are a set of somewhat comical vampire films American International got some mileage out of as they did with their two Blacula films, which were also silly. You can read about the first film from our coverage of the also-out-of-print Twilight Time Blu-ray edition at this link:


The sequel is about as amusing (or not) as the first and the character is suddenly finding a new audience, so the top rate reissue with restorations of both films make sense.

Versus the previous release of the first film (the sequel was issued by Shout! Factory in a now out of print version I never saw, though I had seen both films a while ago), this upgrade lacks the excellent booklet and isolated music score the previous disc offered. Fanatics will want both versions there too, but here, extras are otherwise many, expansive and include (per the press release) an illustrated perfect bound collector's book featuring new writing by film critic Kat Ellinger and horror author Stephen Laws, plus archive contributions by critic Frank Collins and filmmaker Tim Sullivan

  • Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Heather Vaughan

  • Fold-out double-sided posters for both films featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Heather Vaughan

  • Twelve double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards

  • Reproduction pressbook for Count Yorga, Vampire

Then the first film adds a brand new audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas

  • An archival, feature length audio commentary by film critics David Del Valle & C. Courtney Joyner

  • The Count in California, a brand new appreciation by Heather Drain and Chris O'Neill

  • I Remember Yorga, a brand new interview with Frank Darabont in which the award-winning filmmaker talks about his love for Count Yorga, Vampire

  • A Vampire in L.A., a brand new interview with actor Michael Murphy

  • Fangirl Radio Tribute to Robert Quarry, an archival episode featuring host Jessica Dwyer in conversation with Tim Sullivan filmmaker, Yorga fan and friend of Robert Quarry

  • Theatrical trailer

  • Radio spots

  • Image galleries

And the sequel adds a brand new audio commentary by film critic Stephen R. Bissette

  • Archival audio commentary by David Del Valle & C. Courtney Joyner

  • The Count and the Counterculture, a brand new interview with film critic Maitland McDonagh

  • Chamber-music of Horrors, a brand new interview with David Huckvale about the scores for both films

  • Archival interview with film critic Kim Newman

  • Theatrical trailer

  • Radio spots

  • and an Image Gallery

That should make fans and the most curious happy, though note the Limited Edition is the best set and fans should get it while they can.

A Discovery Of Witches: The Complete Trilogy (2018 - 2021) is another show we covered before, first on DVD when handled by one video company, then on Blu-ray from RLJ, which is releasing this set. Our coverage of the Second Season Blu-ray gives you the set up of the show, et al, which you can read about at this link:


For me, though the lead actors are not bad, I did not find it as convincing as my two fellow writers, did not think they were memorable here or even had any chemistry; an issue since they supposedly fall in love with each other. Trying to cross The X-Files and the Linda Hamilton/Ron Perlman Beauty & The Beast TV series, it is too late in those cycles and even works less well than the many other imitators of both or even going back to the mid-1960s BBC attempt to duplicate the British spy classic The Avengers, Adam Adamant Lives!, which was cancelled because it did not click. I actually think that worked better than this, even with its problems.

Either way, you can see for yourself in one package and it is a nicely thought out one, including the fantasy elements and maybe the leads might be more appealing to you. It did last three seasons, after all.

Extras include a bookmark new to this set and repeats all previous goodies, including these eight featurettes:

About the Characters

Mythology, TV Magic, The Story of The Discovery of Witches

Can Love Survive

Creating Elizabethan London

Story So Far

Blood Rage

Set Tour

and Creating the Worlds.

Eloy de la Iglesia's Murder In A Blue World (1973) is the still-underseen gem of a sci-fi/horror film made in Spain with Sue Lyon and Christopher Mitchum that we reviewed many years ago, but in an import DVD, as the film has barely been available in the U.S. market. You can read about it here:


Also called
A Clockwork Terror or Clockwork Tangerine (the latter sarcastically by some critics for whatever reasons) has some Kubrickian elements in it, but is not an outright ripoff of A Clockwork Orange (1971, reviewed on 4K elsewhere on this site) any more than Kubrick ripped off Peter Watkins' Privilege (1967) or any of them ripped off Warhol's Vinyl (1965) that is the first official film version of the Anthony Burgess Clockwork Orange novel.

It is another one of those smart films about a dystopian future like Kubrick's film that is set in what we would now consider the late analog era and late modernist era (think building design and architecture before the post-modern look of Ridley Scott's Alien and Blade Runner that has been with us ever since they came out) and in others films like it from the time (Silent Running, Soylent Green, THX-1138, Logan's Run, Z.P.G., Godard's Alphaville, Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451, the original Rollerball and even The Man Who Fell To Earth to some extent among others) tell truths so many later such films seem to struggle to do when other jettison the implications of such societies in the worst ways possible.

In the midst of phonier consumerism, video screens, increasing violence and the dehumanizing of human sexuality, Lyon is a serial killer and Mitchum part of a gang that turns on him. Add all kinds of other wild twists and it is a must-see film for all serious filmmakers as relevant as when I saw it and when I reviewed it. Yes, some of the technology has dated or even at least partly predicted what was in store, but the films' solid script, need to say things and interesting acting and look make it a real winner and having it on Blu-ray in this restored version and in the U.S. market is one of the big back catalog events of the year as far as I am concerned.

The old PAL import DVD had zero extras, but this new Cauldron Blu-ray has a nice set of goods including (per the press release) a newly edited Archival interview with Chris Mitchum, Dubbing in a Blue World Video essay by Film Scholar Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes, Feature Length Audio Commentary track by Film Historian Kat Ellinger and an Image Gallery.

So if you think you can handle it, see it!

Lastly, George Mi
ller's Three Thousand Years Of Longing (2022) is the legendary Mad Max director's attempt to do something different with the classic 'jeannie in a bottle' story that we've seen in Disney's Aladdin, classic hit TV series I Dream Of Jeannie (beware the problematic new Blu-ray set issued of that series) and even a classic Twilight Zone episode. The jeannie is played by Idris Elba and sudden bottle owner by Tilda Swinton. It is not bad and actually more watchable than the recent live-action Aladdin with Will Smith, but despite trying something different here (any clue would be a spoiler, so I will not go into that) except to say if you are not tired of this tale, you might want to give it a look. Otherwise, only see it if you are really in the mood and I say that despite really liking the stars and director.

Save the Digital Movie Code and DVD, there are no extras.

Now for playback performance. The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Audrey Rose and the two Yorga films are very welcome upgrades versus their previous releases, which were fine, but were definitely due for more work. Detail, depth, warmth and especially color are improved here. All three have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes that improve on the previous releases and are about as good as these films will likely ever sound.

The 1080p 2 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Witches episodes repeat the solid quality of the second set we already covered and that also goes for the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes for all three seasons, so no problems there. The set has also been issued on DVD, but like the older DVD set, it just makes it harder to enjoy in lower definition, so go for this set instead.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on World even looks better than the older PAL DVD import, which was impressive in its time, with even better color, detail and depth. Photographed on 35mm film in 2-perf Techniscope, Technicolor apparently did some lab work on the film and their Italian division invented the economical format, but that does not mean it was issued in 3-strip, dye-transfer Technicolor prints. In the U.S., it was belated issued by the fledgling and now defunct Finest Films in 1975, a year after Technicolor labs discontinued their famous format in the U.S., while Fotofilm processed in in Spain. That leaves France the only market such prints might have been produced or produced for, but we have no information on that at this time, though we'll keep searching. The color here is still very impressive, so still get ready to be surprised.

And the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Years has some good color, but not many memorable shots or demo ones, but I was more surprised that the lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) is a little underwhelming throughout, despite Miller proving he always knew what to do with cinema sound. The combination is professional, but could and should have been better.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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