Of The Living Dead 4K
(1980/Fulci/Cauldron 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray*)/Last
(1990/Cult Epics Blu-ray/*both MVD)/Night
Of The 12th
(2022/Film Movement DVD)
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B+/B-/C Sound: B+/B-/C+
Extras: B-/B-/C Films: B/B-/B-
up are three thrillers very much worth knowing about...
filmmaker Lucio Fulci's Italian horror classic, City
of the Living Dead
(1980) gets the 4K UHD treatment from the relatively new label:
Cauldron, which was formed by the good people over at Diabolik DVD
(which is an excellent web store for physical media of national and
foreign territories I might add). Fulci's City
of the Living Dead
is known by quite a few titles (Twilight
of the Living Dead,
Gates of Hell,
and others), and is the first film in Fulci's trilogy comprised of
by the Cemetery,
both of which are highlights of Italian horror cinema and excellent
in their own right. City
of the Living Dead
was banned several times since it's initial release for use of
extreme violent and was certainly an inspiration to filmmakers like
Sam Raimi for his Evil
franchise and countless other filmmakers as well.
film centers on the Book of Enoch, which is spoken from and the seven
gates of Hell are open, affecting those who were present at the
ceremony. The film has several beautifully constructed sequences
including a woman being buried alive, a drill going through a man's
head, a storm of maggots that cover main characters, a woman puking
up her own guts, and more. While the division between what's
practical and real is pretty apparent (especially in ultra high
definition), at the time the film was released this was really
pushing the limits of gore and what people could stomach, making this
film a hit at drive-ins and grind house style cinemas alike.
film stars Christopher George (who infamously did not get along with
Fulci on set and apparently swapped out his tobacco pouch with one
filled with maggots out of spite), Catriona MacColl (who was in the
later installments of this trilogy), Carlo de Mejo, Antonella
Interlenghi, and Giovanni Lombardo Radice. There's also a cameo by
Michelle Soavi (actor and director who made The
are expanded and (per the press release) include:
new audio commentary with film historian Samm Deighan
audio commentaries with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel
audio commentary with actress Catriona MacColl moderated by Jay
audio commentary with actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice
Kings: Interview with Massimo Antonello Geleng
for Bob: Interview with Giovanni Lombardo Radice
Stage: Q&A with Venantino Venantini & Ruggero Deodato
Catriona MacColl Q&A
Meat Munching Movies of Gino De Rossi
of the Living Dead, an archival interview with actor Carlo De Mejo
Trip Through Bonaventure Cemetery
MacColl video intro from 2001
more archival extras and other surprises!
a double-sided Blu-ray wrap with artwork by Matthew Therrien.
of the Living Dead
is a true horror classic that deserves this 4K treatment without
question, and Caldron has a few different versions of this release on
the market. A must own upgrade!
(1990) is the director's third feature film and part of a sort of
trilogy, though each film is more different than you would expect.
This time, a group of people are on an island in the 'near future'
where they are survivors of the crash of a commercial airliner.
Lucky that as many of them survived as they have, they start to
organize and salvage what they can as they figure out how to survive
until they're found and how to try and get someone to find them.
course, all radio communication is out (this is before the current
wave of digital smart phones, though even they have limits, the
future in this film is is a future that has now come to pass) then as
they start to figure out what happened to them and their plane, it
may be worse news than any of them could have expected.
idea is interesting, the cast solid and this has some graphic,
harrowing moments. It has also aged better than you might think,
with some great points to make and many of which are as relevant as
ever. Cheers to the makers for coming up with some more than a
'stuck in a' movie and/or something more exploitive, which is what it
would have been in the hands of most filmmakers, especially current
faces that might be familiar, even if you do not watch as many
foreign films as we do, include Paul Freeman from Raiders
Of The Lost Ark,
Patricia Hayes from Willow
and Kenneth Colley from The
Empire Strikes Back,
showing that they can more than hold their own when they are not in a
huge, multi-million dollar franchise film. That should add curio
interest to a well-made film that is long overdue for rediscovery.
are plenty and (per the press release) include:
feature length audio commentary track by Film Scholar Peter
Behind-the-Scenes of The Last Island
Politica Columnist Annemarie Grewel (Cinema 3, 1990)
and an Audio Introduction by Dick
this used to happen much more often years ago when you had more
feature film producers, independents and smarter pictures, but you
sometimes get a film that comes out of nowhere with little fanfare
and it turns out to be a big surprise. Dominik Moll's The
Night Of The 12th
one of those films, a mystery thriller that could have been yet
another tired police procedural, but exceeds that and has some real
suspense missing in most new mystery thrillers we have seen in the
last few years.
young woman named Clara (Lula Cotton-Frapier) is walking home late at
night from a best friends house alone in the town of Grenoble,
thinking she is safe and is in a great mood when a masked man walks
up to her, says her name, then douses her with a flammable substance,
sets her on fire and kills her. The local police have a team
investigate, led by newcomer Yuhan (Bastien Boullion), a Captain
trying to figure out who is responsible, finds clues and stop the
killer should he or she (we see the murder, they never do) kill
again. Or was it just a one-time revenge killing?
hardly any false moments or issues, the screenplay and directing meld
well together, slowly picking up momentum and becoming a character
study of the people, place and case before them. We get smooth
atmosphere that is consistent and realistic, some brutally honest
moments and more in a film that should have received more attention
than it has yet to receive in the U.S. despite being a hit in France.
to to the cast really pulling off some great work and the pacing is
as effective, but Moll may be the next biog director if he gets
noticed and this solid work could not hurt at all. All serious film
and mystery fans will want to go out of their way to catch The
Night Of The 12th!
only extras are trailers and (per the press release) a Bonus Short
(Directed by Paul Marques Duarte/France/25 minutes/French &
English with English subtitles) An English teacher and her colleague
must make a bold decision when they inadvertently smuggle a teenage
refugee hiding among their students on board a ferry to England. Its
not bad at all.
for playback performance. The
City of the Living Dead 4K
is presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc with Dolby Vision/HDR10, an HEVC
/ H.265 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an audio track
in English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono 2.0 in Italian (with English
subtitles) and English. This new 4K restoration looks pretty solid
on disc and is certainly the best this film has ever looked, besting
the previous release on Blu-ray from Blue Underground, reviewed
elsewhere on this site. There's also a 1080p high definition on
Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of
1.85:1 and identical audio tracks as the 4K UHD. Definitely worth
the upgrade if you are a fan!
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
the age of the materials used despite being from the only surviving
English 35mm print, but it was shot on Kodak
color negative and holds up well enough. Some more restoration could
be done at some point and this can be a little softer overall than I
would have liked, but at least the film survived in some form. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) and PCM 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes are just
fine and hold up a little better than the print with nice Pro Logic
surrounds and was a Dolby A-type analog theatrical stereo release.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Night
is well shot, but softer than I would have liked and undermines how
well this was made, the angles, editing and more, making me wish more
than usual that I wished this was a Blu-ray. The French/English
soundtrack is here in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and lossy Dolby Digital
2.0 Stereo, but the 5.1 mix works better and sounds like it is a
solid multi-channel mix. Wish it were lossless.
Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K)