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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Politics > Horror > Documentary > Werner Herzog/Klaus Kinski 6 film Box Set (Aguirre: The Wrath Of God/Woyzeck/Nosferatu: The Vampire/Fitzcarraldo/Cobra Verde/My Best Fiend/Umbrella Entertainment PAL Import/Region 4/Four)

Werner Herzog/Klaus Kinski 6 Film Box Set (Aguirre: The Wrath Of God/Woyzeck/Nosferatu: The Vampire/Fitzcarraldo/Cobra Verde/My Best Fiend/Umbrella Entertainment PAL Import/Region 4/Four)

 

Picture:Sound:Extras:Films:

 

Aguirre: The Wrath of GodD/C/B/A-

WoyzeckC-/C/D/B-

Nosferatu: The Vampire†† C-/C/B+/B+

FitzcarraldoC-/C/C+/B

Cobra VerdeC-/C/C/B-

My Best FiendC-/C-/D/B+

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: This DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region 4 PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.

 

 

 

Umbrella Entertainment has issued the same box set that arrived years ago in the United States from Anchor Bay, which included the same films as well as the documentary My Best Fiend.It would appear that this set is quite identical, but since it is PAL formatted there are some minor differences in the overall picture quality.More on that later.Also check out some of the other films that we have covered by Herzog:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/3493/Werner+Herzog:+The+Great+Ecstasy

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/2674/Signs+Of+Life

 

 

And the incredible film The Land of Silence and Darkness:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/2673/Land+Of+Silence+&+Darkness

 

And the not so incredible:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/2115/Incident+At+Loch+Ness

 

 

These brilliant films all contain Dolby 5.1 mixes with exception of Woyzeck, which is in mono and the documentary, which is in stereo.All of the films are anamorphic widescreen transfers except Aguirre, which is presented in full-frame.Another added bonus is that all the films contain commentary by director Herzog aside from Woyzeck, which overall seems to be the only film in the set to not receive the attention that the others did.

 

Each of the films look and sound pretty good considering their age, but as far as quality goes Cobra Verde has the best looking transfer since it is the most recently made (1987) in the set.The other films have a very dated look to them with subdued colors.Although none of this is distracting enough to take away from the experience.The 5.1 mixes sound good, but these films are not going to sound like something fresh off the market today.Most of the surround noises are there to give a more spatial-ness and the soundtrack is mixed in the surrounds as well to give an enclosed feel.

 

Itís really hard to choose a favorite film from this duo, but Aguirre is probably one of the more perfect pictures in terms of production, message, acting, and atmosphere.It is certainly one of the more haunting films.The remake Nosferatu: The Vampire is also a terrific update of Murnauís silent 1922 classic Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror and follows that film pretty faithfully.

 

In order to fully understand the tumultuous relationship between Herzog and Kinski the documentary My Best Fiend shows clips from each film.This is a nice bonus because it is hosted by Herzog himself who is reminiscing through each film and the loss of his friend/enemy Klaus Kinski who passed away a few years ago.Whether you are a fan of these films already or are ready to experience some of Germanyís finest cinematic efforts, this set is sure to please.While the U.S. release of these films had problems, unfortunately so does this import and perhaps even worse in some respects.

 

Sharpness is a bit better because of the PAL formatting, but the films are in need of major restoration as the prints are smudgy, washed out, faded, and look more like VHS quality.Perhaps the poorest disc in the set, although all of them are fairly bad by todayís standards is Aguirre, which is on the verge of unwatchable!The print is hazy, unsharp, dull, and lacks definition and color fidelity making the film look like it was filmed on a cell phone.This is a real shame as this film is in desperate need of a full restoration, as it has not been issued to home video in an anamorphic transfer to date.This is not acceptable!

 

The extras are the same as issued by Anchor Bay in the U.S. set and are valuable as they feature great commentary tracks for each film, but again the poor picture quality makes it hard to sit through and truly enjoy, no matter how good the commentary by Werner is.One can only hope that some restoration plans are in order, but until then these sets are all we get and films of this caliber deserve better.

 

 

As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import exclusively from Umbrella at:

 

http://www.umbrellaent.com.au/

 

 

-†† Nate Goss


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