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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Horror > Thriller > Literature > Psychological > Silent Running 4K (1972/Arrow/Universal/**both MVD)/Sweet Tooth: The Complete First Season (2021/*all Warner Archive Blu-ray)

The Bat (1959/Film Detective Blu-ray)/Don't Worry Darling 4K (2022/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931*)/Mark Of The Vampire (1935*)/The Nun & The Devil (1973/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray**)/Silent Running 4K (1972/Arrow/Universal/**both MVD)/Sweet Tooth: The Complete First Season (2021.DC Comics/*all Warner Archive Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B/B+ Picture: B+/B-/B+/B+/B+/X/B+ Sound: B+/B/B+/B+/B+/B-/B+ Extras: B/C/B/B/B+/B+/D Main Programs: B/C/B+/B+/C/A/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931,) Mark Of The Vampire and Sweet Tooth are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Next up are several classics and cult films restored and upgraded, plus a new attempt at a classic and new TV show for you to know about...

The Bat (1959) starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead gets a new Blu-ray re-release from Film Detective now that a new transfer has been remastered from the original 35mm negative. The film has shown up in various versions over the decades, many not the best, but now you can see and hear the film better than most have been able to for a long time.

The film is a mystery/whodunnit type film (based on the book by Mary Roberts Reinhart, a highly prolific mystery writer from decades ago, at the same time Agatha Christie was, too easily forgotten) where a black masked killer named The Bat terrorizes the residents of The Oaks Mansion. The intricate mansion has many hidden chambers and doorways and behind one of them is a fortune which this masked killer wants to claim for himself. Vincent Price plays a chameleon of a character in the film whose an honest doctor in one instance and a man of strange choices on another... however, the mystery of who exactly The Bat is, is left as a surprise at the end. The film also stars Gavin Gordon, John Sutton, and Lenita Lane.

The Bat is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a black and white restored image with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a English DTS 2.0 Mono mix, the older DTS (still good, with only 3-to-1 compression.) This presentation of the film is from a new restoration and scan from the original 35mm film negative and is an improvement over the previously released 2015 Blu-ray, also from Film Detective.

Special Features (some new featurettes for this exclusive release include):

Feature Length Audio Commentary featuring Jason A. Ney

The Case for Crane Wilbur

Classic Radio Shows Featuring Vincent Price:

The Strange Case of Charles Umberstein

Fugue in C Minor

Hunting Trip

Present Tense

Three Skeleton Key (one of the two slightly different versions he eventually recorded)


Angel Street

The Lodger

and Speaking of Cinderella.

The Bat is a fun mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. It's pretty inventive and could be re-imagined as a modern film for a modern audience. In some ways it reminded me of the modern day Scream franchise in that the masked murder kills within a small circle of people. The Bat is definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of mysteries!

Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling 4K (2022) is a new thriller that got more attention for its off-screen making and cast than content, but now we can get into that with its home video release. Florence Pugh is Alice, a happily-married woman in a new suburban housing community with many amenities that is state-of-the-art for living large sometime in the post-WWII 1950s. The women stay home and work, while the men work for the company who has set all of this up, so everything is sunny and safe.

However, that does not last for long and of course, this is too calm and perfect to be believed, though the husbands seem to love their wives. Alice has a husband (British singing star Harry Styles) who seems to be able to juggle it all and takes care of her very well. But one of the other women start to have unexplained issues, then other unexplained things follow. Alice is concerned and asks some questions, but get few answers. She might want to leave it alone, but she cannot and things get worse. The head of this business/residence community (Chris Pine) also starts to seem a bit 'off' to her. What really is going on?

This is Wilde's feature film debut as a director and she sports some talent, while the screenplay sports some interesting ideas, but ones we've seen before (Orwell's 1984, the original Stepford Wives, Get Out, The Matrix, Pleasantville, Blue Velvet) and manages to juggle them for a while. Sadly, it all starts to not meld or mesh by the final act or two and the film tragically falls apart with Wilde saying things only she understands. Too bad because the money, ideas, look and cast are top rate. It is at last one of the year's most ambitious films and she should try again.

The rest of the solid cast includes Wilde herself, Gemma Chan, Kiki Lane, Nick Kroll and other actors I expect we'll see soon enough if we are lucky.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image has some great color and mostly takes place in the Victory community, but it has some softness and minor detail issues from its Ultra HD shoot by the great Director of Photography Matthew Libatique, A.S.C., L.P.S.. Otherwise, it looks good and has a few moments above its rating. The regular 1080p Blu-ray is a duller version of the 4K and not as watchable.

The lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems) on both versions has some fine moments of activity, but Wilde and company do not make it bombastic throughout since most fo it takes place in the early 1960s. That strategy works in a narrative way, but holds back what a film would do with so many tracks. Its also well recorded, mixed and edited for the most part.

Extras include Digital Movie Code, a Making Of featurette and a Deleted Scene: Alice's Nightmare.

Released the same year as Universal's Frankenstein and Dracula classics, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) is another black and white monster movie classic faithful to its source material and remains timeless. Now you can see this classic in a new Blu-ray release that looks and sounds fantastic in this restoration from Warner Archive.

Based on the classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson, this version of the story is very voyeuristic and told in several scenes from the Doctor's first person perspective against a period backdrop. For those unfamiliar, the story is about a scientist named Dr. Jekyll who creates a serum that brings out his evil side (Mr. Hyde) in a werewolf by night style transformation. While the make-up doesn't compare to the great Jack Pierce over at Universal, it is pretty well done for the time and brought to life by a great performance by Fredric March (who won an Oscar for this role).

The film also stars Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Edgar Norton, Holmes Herbert, and Halliwell Hobbes with direction by Rouben Mamoulian.

The film is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC (36.70 Mbps) codec, a full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 24-bit) mix. This new 1080p HD master from 4K scan is comprised of the best surviving nitrate elements. The result is a very nice version of this film that hasn't exactly been easy to track down over the years. This three-time Oscar winner has been hailed by many as the 'best filmed' version of the Jekyll and Hyde tale on the silver screen.

Special Features:

New Audio Commentary by screenwriter/film historian Dr. Steve Haberman and filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr

Archival Audio Commentary by author/film historian Greg Mank

Vintage Looney Tunes Cartoon: ''Hyde and Hare'' with Bugs Bunny

and the Vintage 1950 Radio Adaptation with Fredric March.

The master of the macabre Bela Lugosi and Lionel Barrymore star in Mark of the Vampire (1935), a black and white vampiric masterpiece that's long overdue for a HD release as it was last seen in a 2006 DVD release that wasn't exactly easy to find. Finally available from Warner Archive, this new Blu-ray edition is satisfactory and presents the film in a newly remastered 4K transfer from the original 35mm nitrate camera negative.

The film also stars Elizabeth Allan, Lionel Atwill, Carol Borland, and Jean Hersholt and is directed by Todd Browning, who directed the original 1931 Universal Dracula with Lugosi and MGM's Freaks.

The film centers on a town panicked by the death of a woman, who appears to have been killed by a vampire. Close by the town lays a creepy castle where Count Mora (Lugosi) and his daughter Luna (Carol Borland,) who are believed to be the culprits, live. A Vampire expert (Barrymore) and a few others team up in an assault against Mora, with unexpected results.

Mark of the Vampire is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.37:1 and a lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono mix, both of which were captured from the new 4K transfer from the original nitrate camera negative. A welcome upgrade indeed.

Special Features:

A Feature Length Audio Commentary with Kim Newman and Steve Jones (same as previous 2006 version)

Vintage Short: A Thrill for Thelma

Vintage Cartoon: The Calico Dragon

and an Original Theatrical Trailer

This gothic vampire film is just as good as many of the Universal Monster classics.

The Nun & The Devil (1973) explores the sinfully secret sexual lives of Nuns in a 16th century convent and is now available from Twilight Time in a thorough Blu-ray edition. The film explores their suppressed needs for sex and love, both of which are forbidden due to the vows they have spoken. The 'Devil' in the title refers to torture these poor ladies must endure for not being faithful to the church.

The film is a tedious and unsettling watch and not necessarily a film you would watch on a date night. However, Twilight Time does a fine job with the presentation on this release on Blu-ray disc. The film is by the same director as The Story of a Cloistered Nun, Domenico Paolella, the former film which also saw a re-release this year on Blu-ray disc in a box set (named Nasty Habits: The Nunsploitation Collection) from Severin Films along with other naughty nun classics. For those unaware, yes, there is a sub-genre of cinema known as nunsploitation as wild as that may seem! For those who are aware, then you get a sense of what this movie is all about.

The film stars Anne Heywood, Luc Merenda, Ornella Muti, Martine Brochard, and Claudia Gravy.

The Nun and the Devil is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and original Italian and English LPCM 2.0 Mono mixes (with English subtitles). The presentation is up to Blu-ray standards and nice looking for the format.

Special Features:

Audio Commentary with Critic Kim Newman and Italian Cinema Expert Barry Forshaw

Judging Luc: Interview with Actor Luc Merenda

The Devil and Martine: Interview with Actress Martine Brochard

Paolella Connection: Profile of Director and Co-Writer Domenico Paolella

Horny Devils: Nunsploitation Explained: Interview with Film Historian Marcus Stiglegger

and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Douglas Trumbull's Silent Running 4K (1972) has arrived from Arrow and is an upgrade from their great Special Edition we covered a little bit ago at this link:


The sound (still monophonic, so I guess the 6-track U.K. 70mm blow-up stereo sound is missing or lost) and many extras are exactly the same, so in this third time covering a release of the film, we will cover the upgraded image.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image definitely is better than even the solid Arrow Blu-ray, with its new 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative, et al, demonstrating better color, depth and detail, but the one thing that is an issue here is a little more grain than I remember it having at its best. Save for that, it is impressive.

Besides the actors coming across more realistically than ever, the model work also benefits. Most model work for a while after and most always before Star Wars (1977) gets bashed for this, but Trumbull had helped mastermind the model work on Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) so this was very state of the art for a very long time (and even now in the CGI era with most CGI just looking so bad and cheap) so the results here are impressive a half-century later with few flaws. These were done very well and the creators were very thorough.

Finally, even since we covered Arrow's Blu-ray edition, the prediction of environmental disaster the film deals with is even more possible than ever, making Silent Running a classic so timely, you should see it ASAP if you never saw it and for others to see it again in such prime shape.

Lastly, Sweet Tooth: The Complete First Season (2021) jumps from the page to the screen in the Netflix produced adventure series. Set in a post apocalyptic future, several children are born as hybrids (humans fused the DNA of deer and other such animals). A young half boy/half deer Hybrid named Gus is hidden away in the country with this father and raised away from the crumbling society known as America. Once his father dies and the boy has some to a ripe age, he ends up navigating the dark world that fears and threatens him with a watchful protector who helps him attempt to find his lost mother.

The Complete First Season stars Christian Convery as Gus, Nonso Anozie as Tommy Jepperd, Adeel Akhtar as Dr. Aditya Singh, Aliza Vellani as Rani Singh, Stefania LaVie Owen as Bear, Dania Ramirez as Aimee and voice over narration by James Brolin. Based on the DC Comics book series by Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth is executive produced by Jim Mickle, Robert Downey, Jr., Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell, and Linda Moran.

Eight one-hour episodes make up Season One that include Out of the Deep Woods, Sorry About All the Dead People, Weird Deer S**t, Special Sauce, What's in the Freezer?, Stranger Danger on a Train, When Pubba Met Birdie, and Big Man.

The series is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.20:1 and a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). The film looks and sounds fine for the Blu-ray format and is shot and produced on the high end. A 4K UHD transfer would benefit this for sure and flesh out some more details, but this pushes the limits of the Blu-ray format.

No extras.

Sweet Tooth is pretty creative and has some interesting characters despite a few silly moments.

To order either of the Warner Archive Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, (1931,) Mark Of The Vampire and Sweet Tooth Blu-rays, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (4K) and James Lockhart



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