RASPUTIN cannot be killed!

It’s been a while since we posted! We’ve been busy finalising the StudioCanal UK releases of THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES and THE REPTILE. Marcus Hearn has worked his magic yet again and the new documentaries for these titles are truly excellent! Also, as many of you have pointed-out in various posts here and elsewhere, these two films, unlike DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS, were shot 35mm 4-perf, so the film grain has proven much easier to work with in digital space than the much larger grain of a 2-perf Techniscope negative. We’re very pleased with how they turned-out and we sincerely hope you like them!

This week we reviewed the raw 4k scan of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, in addition to a D3 tape from the BBC of their legacy broadcast version of the title. As we tweeted yesterday, sadly the raw 4k scan does not include either the Close-Up of the eyeball or any additional footage from the acid bath scene, however the D3 does contain the CU of the eyeball. Although the results may not prove successful, we are going to perform a test on upscaling the D3 footage to HD in order to see how it integrates into the 2k restoration from the 4k scan. We’ll let you know how we get on!

And now on to the most exciting news! On Monday we reviewed the final grade of the RAPSUTIN restoration at illuminate Hollywood (they grade first and restore second). They’ve done a terrific job with the raw 4k scan which they created in January (from the 35mm 4-perf CinemaScope Interpositive or I/P). Firstly they attended to some printer flashes (from the printer that created the I/P from the cut Original Camera Negative) and sprocket jumps (caused by the edit joins in the cut neg). Then, based on conversations two weeks ago during which we established the colour palette and contrast parameters, the colourist created a truly gorgeous grade, with rich, earthy peasant browns, Imperial whites, golds, blues & greens and the classic Hammer Technicolor reds of costumes, stained-glass and blood. We also made the decision to wield a very soft touch over a key day-for-night sequence (which appears to have been shot in full daylight) leaving all the detail visible and very deliberately not “crushing” the blacks in a vain attempt to fake these into appearing as night-time scenes. And to any fans worried about grain, you’ll be pleased to hear that we have retained the original grain throughout, only applying very light reduction at a couple of moments to dimly-lit frame elements which were distractingly noisy (and neither of these feature cast).

Again, as we tweeted, one of the most remarkable aspects of watching the film without audio (apart, of course, from Lee’s mesmerising Rasputin) is the extraordinary power of Barbara Shelly’s performance. In story terms, and just as in DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS (as noted in Rev. Peter Laws’ perceptive review of the film in this month’s issue of “Fortean Times”) it is Shelley’s character, Sonia, who travels the farthest, enabling the actress to showcase the extraordinary range of her emotional authenticity. Both Helen and Sonia are genuinely tragic characters, but the supernatural, archetypal mythology that underpins the DRACULA narrative at least allows Helen some form of redemption. Sonia gains no such peace in life or death, rendering her arc tragic in the original Greek sense. This makes it even more frustrating that we are close to accepting that the footage of her suicide, if indeed it was ever filmed, is lost forever (although we are still pursuing a couple of avenues).

The other element that stood out in terms of the “lost” footage is a smouldering log, which suddenly appears on the stone floor toward the end of the mortal struggle between Rasputin and Ivan (Francis Matthews) – a clear indication that there is definitely footage missing from this final fight (again, we think lost forever, though the same avenues apply).

Finally, as mentioned in our original post below, we are planning – bandwidth and release-partner permitting – two full versions of the entire film: one in 2.35:1 as originally intended, and one in the full-width aspect ratio of 2.55:1, to enable fans to see, for the very first time, the entire frame, as shot, throughout the entire film (call it the ultimate extra!).

We’ll post again soon in more detail regarding our hunt for “lost” footage across all the titles listed below in our original post regarding…

134 thoughts on “RASPUTIN cannot be killed!

  1. I like the idea of the dual aspect ratio release of RASPUTIN. It’s touches and additions like this (along with the much appreciated documentaries, commentaries, and other bits and pieces) that show this series as the class act it is. DRAC PRINCE OF DARKNESS came in for some stick on a couple of sites (possibly unnecessarily, I’m still preparing to order it in April) but overall I think these discs are shaping up to be one of the most deluxe and well considered home video releases series ever. If you can get any lost footage at all into some of these releases it’ll be the icing on the cake.

  2. I can imagine what many American Hammer horror fans (including myself) are thinking when they read this, but I don’t have to say any of it further except “Rasputin Cannot Be Killed!”

    Speaking of which like I said before, I’m very happy that Rasputin is getting a much deserve widescreen release than the 2:1 ratio of the Anchor Bay DVD. I’m not sure if I like the film better in 2.35 or 2.55, but when I do see them, then I’ll decide.

  3. Best of Luck HAMMER with the RASPUTIN restoration. Many fans consider this Sir Christopher Lee’s finest hour with HAMMER.They actually gave him a chance to ACT and this film proves how very good Sir Christopher is as an actor… Now, On to DRACULA 58!!!!!!!! Thanks folks, Bill Lettang

  4. This is all very exciting to hear about! I can’t wait to see the new print of Rasputin and wholeheartedly agree with all of your comments re Barbara Shelley’s performance. I was lucky enough to spend the day with her last month (a dream come true!) and she is a truly remarkable woman. Barbara told me that Sonia’s complete suicide scene was without a doubt shot so is such a shame that it may be lost forever. Still, well done for your continued efforts in striving to release the most definitive version to date. I am truly thankful and cannot wait for all future Hammer Blu ray releases!

  5. The eyeball scene in The Curse of Frankenstein would make a good extra if it can’t be used in the film itself. The only other thing would be to include the scene by a branching technique if it’s found to be slightly inferior.

  6. it’s a shame that the editing department didn’t save the picture trims and outtakes – would love to see the extended fight scene at the end……looking forward to this release!

  7. dear HAMMER.. Nice to hear you’re gearing up some great extras for DRACULA. If you’re accepting outside material, I have what has to be the rarest picture of Sir Christopher as the count (from that movie!).. Looks like it might have been an outake but does not resemble ANY previous picture I’ve seen and I thought I saw them all. If you’re interested, E-mail and let me know so I can send a copy.. Thanks, Bill Lettang

  8. Dear HAMMER, Could you enlighten us a bit. It appears that DPOD and Rasputin used different filming mediums (2 perf or 4 perf) which would I presume also mean different cameras. If Dracula was Hammers Flagship why would they film it using the inferior 2perf verses the 4 perf Cinemascope for Rasputin.. After all these two films were filmed at the same time, yes? Any other fans have some suggestions, thanks, Bill Lettang

  9. Any idea when StudioCanal plans on responding to those of us that followed the instructions to contact them re: DPoD replacements?

    • I second that. I would have liked at least a basic acknowledgement from Studio Canal that they had recieved the e-mail and that they they would be issuing a replacement. I raised this point some weeks ago and thought that an acknowledgement would have been forthcoming

    • I have received my replacement discs from VDC today. The sync problem has been rectified, but the picture quality is so bad that it’s painful to watch. Have emailed VDC Group straight away and hope that this is a one off and not another error with the blu ray discs.

        • I accept that it is probably only a faulty disc, but now I can’t get a reply from VDC and Studio Canal have virtually brushed the problem under the carpet, claiming that the fault is with my player and not the disc. Anybody got any suggestions?

  10. Very disheartened myself’ after all the fanfare about this new series of releases’ we get one that had quality-control issues and two delayed for the second time. Not inspiring. My e-mail for replacement has never been acknowledged. Rather sad to say’ I’m losing faith now.
    Also’ noticed after the initial communication on these boards’ now gone quiet.

  11. Hi Hammer Could you tell me if in addition to the blu-ray/dvd combine sets, if you are going to release the dvds by themselves in a dvd case?

    And are there any plans to release the remaning Hammer films that are unreleased? The Steel Baynot for example? In the new remastered series, or even just a release.

    Could you also give us a list of films and who now owns them for releasing them?

    • I can’t imagine they would. That is the whole thing with double play packages – those with bluray players play the blurays and those without play the dvds

      • But it would be nice to have them in a dvd case, at least it would match the rest of the hammer dvds. I don’t mind the double pack, I just wish they would do what disney does for its classics dvd/blu in blu case, dvd/blu in dvd case, it lets everyone get what they want.

    • It’s really down to the individual distributor how the titles are released and packaged (in this case StudioCanal). A Double-Play edition in a single Blu-ray size case is their preferred option. Re. individual DVD releases, that’s a question for StudioCanal also.

      • Thank you for getting back to me. Would you mind asking Studiocanal about single dvd release or dvd/blu in dvd case.

        Can you tell us if any unrleased Hammers are going to be released? Steel Bayonet?

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  13. I have a couple of questions. You said that, once the replacement disc for Dracula, Prince of Darkness was available, you’d let us know the catalogue number so those haven’t bought it yet could be sure we were getting the new version. Can you tell us it please?

    Also, DPOD is a dual format release so shouldn’t there be a replacement DVD too?

    Thanks and keep up the good work (Quatermass and the Pit is stunning).

    Michael

    • I received my replacements a while ago and got both Blu-Ray and DVD discs. The new catalogue number is OPTBD2472 (the faulty discs are OPTBD0634)
      I agree about the Quatermass BD – wonderful stuff. DPOD doesn’t hit those highs due to the difficulties inherent in the source material but it is still excellent.

    • The Dracula: Prince of Darkness combo available now through Amazon is the corrected version. Both the DVD and BluRay have been corrected.

    • Hi Matthew,
      I live in Germany and got my replacement discs today.I also waited a long time.I guess to the States it will take a little more.But I’m sure they will arrive.
      Thomas

  14. We’re getting very close to the release dates for The Reptile and The Plague of the Zombies. Are these still expected to arrive on schedule?

      • Do you think that is why we haven’t seen an update for 53 days. Not sure that going this long without an update bodes well for Hammer blu-rays, or, USA Hammer fans. It’a been almost two months now without an update. Still, no USA distributor ! I would love to see ALL of the classic Hammer Horror appear on blu-ray ! ! ! Hope things are going well !

  15. Hello HAMMER.. A while ago I sent via e-mail an attachment of a rare studio photo of Christopher Lee as DRACULA from 1958′s DRACULA. I haven’t heard anything in response to my questions about whether it arrived OK, what did you think of it, etc. You folks must be busy, but if you can please answer my previous e-mails. Don’t mean to be a pain.Thanks much, Bill Lettang

  16. Gone quiet on the front. Come on’ Hammer, talk to us. What can we expect with the Rasputin & Mummy’s Shroud releases in way of features? Hope we’re getting the Anchor Bay commentary for Rasputin? Any chance of confirming that.

  17. Hi Hammer folks..we know Studio Canal are releasing more BD and doing a fantastic job, but when shall we see Dracula/Curse of Frankenstein.. and who will be releasing them…many thanks.

    • We just posted about this! THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (fully restored) Blu-ray will be released later this year — the exact date and our UK home entertainment partner will be announced very soon!

    • The review for The Plague of the Zombies certainly sounds more positive than the Dracula Prince of Darkness review.

      I got my replacement blu-ray and DVD for Dracula Prince of Darkness. While the audio synchronisation is definitely better, it still doesn’t seem perfect to me. It was most noticeable when Dracula snaps the sword in half. The sound of it snapping still plays a little too late. Comparing it side by side with the Optimum DVD release, the difference is obvious.

  18. Great segment on the making of “Horror of Frankenstein” on Youtube & Classic Horror Film Board. This must be an extra upon that film’s eventual release on Blu-ray. Are you aware of it’ out there?

  19. Well Hammer fans, it looks like the iron’s gone cold.. I get no replys from my e-mails and we haven’t seen a new post in months!! I have no idea what’s going on………..

    • I think it’s over ! Hammer has deserted us, think about it, they simply would not go this long without reassuring us that they haven’t forgotten us ! I wish they would have at least given us a reason for shutting us down. Surely they would have posted something, anything,by now, just to let us know that they are watching the site. It’s been two and a half months.

        • I hope that is true. I am a very dedicated Hammer horror fan. Would love to see all classic Hammer horror come to blu-ray. After two and a half months, one becomes curious to say the least. So, have you any enticing news on talks with any possible distributors in America yet ? Universal format blu-ray players in America don’t come cheap ! By the way, thank you so much for replying to my post, Leon.

  20. Maybe they have got sick of us moaning? Mind you the launch with “DPOD” was a real mess. Hopefully things’ will warm-up with the releases on Monday? Can’t wait. Hope we get some updates shortly as this has been a great forum.

  21. Bill, maybe they haven’t gotten in touch with you because they have everything from the Hammer vaults. Ever think of that?

  22. I’ver just read that the UK release of ‘The Woman In Balck’ has been cut in order to achieve a 12 rating. What are they thinking??? Hammer movies have a hardcore cult following who are particularly keen on watching their Hammer movies complete and uncut. Hammer and Momentum are shooting themselves in the foot with this crazy move. I will be waiting until August 9th now and buying a copy from Germany, which is apparently uncut, but I suspect that many will just not bother…

    • According to the BBFC, there is a 12A version cut by 6s and an uncut 15 rated version. The cuts were made due to a scene in which a young girl smashes an oil lamp, causing herself to burst into flames, and another scene where a girl coughs up blood after ingesting caustic soda.

      Hopefully, they’ll release the 15 rated version on DVD/Blu Ray.

        • Indeed. Hammer didn’t get where they are today by releasing films for children. Fair enough, most of us watched them as children, but we weren’t supposed to!

        • Not a “fluff” — a conscious decision by Momentum to make the DVD/Blu-ray available to the widest possible audience. Agree with that or not, it brings Hammer to a new audience who in a few years’ time will hopefully be supporting the company in the same way that you and the long-time fans have done for so many years (and many thanks for that — without the fans we wouldn’t exist at all).

  23. I too, was quite young when I first watched Dracula Prince of Darkness! I didn’t manage to see The Woman in Black at the pictures, and I’ve avoided stuff about it for fear of spoilers, so I didn’t know about the cuts. Hopefully, I should still enjoy the film. I’ve got the new blu-ray sitting right next to me ready to be watched this evening.

  24. Have been reading about sync issues now with Zombie!!

    Got mine today and so far only watched the main extra docu , when it shows scenes of the film sure enough OUT OF SYNCH AGAIN!!!

    Arghrghrg, not all over again..Don’t know why I preorder..

      • Really? I see nothing that could be attributed to technical issues; there’s a deal of post-dubbed dialogue that *might* be construed as out of synch, but other than that…

        IMHO, both ‘Plague’ and The Reptile look and sound beautiful.

        Question for Hammer; I assume that the main title sequence of ‘Plague’ was sourced from elements other than the rest of the film? There’s a noticeable drop in quality during the titles which can’t really be explained by the use of opticals. Doesn’t spoil the film – just curious.

        • Hi John, glad you like them! The main titles of the TPOTZ restoration were sourced from both the OCN and a UK print in order to re-create the original UK title sequence, which has narrative consistency (the US title sequence, which appears on the previous UK DVD, plays the elements “out of order”). The rest of the film, including the end titles, are restored from the OCN (which has US front and end titles). And you are quite correct re. the synch! There are moments of obvious lip-synching in many Hammer films and these cannot be corrected (indeed they are “authentic”!).

          • Thanks John! Four more restored Hammer classics on Blu-ray to come before the end of the year! Once we’ve restored the films in which we have a commercial interest — and there’s at least eighteen months of that still to go — and depending on their success, we’ll be talking to all our rights partners re. the possibility of working together on further restorations…

          • Hi,

            Thanks for the reply.

            I am not talking of the post dubbing.I am aware of this.

            When watching the main doc , the clips inbetween interviews are very out of sync at the beginning but then calms later.

            The main film also suffers at various points, to a point where I turned it off yesterday.

            The website sexgoremutants has a review that also points this out.

            http://www.sexgoremutants.co.uk/reviews/plagzombbr.html

            There is talk of this on “british horror films forum board”. It appears to be a player specific type thing as somebody whom has the issue plays it on a ps3 and it is then ok.

            For reference, DPOD I had the sync issue , but the replacement fixed it AND the Reptile is absolutely fine so strangely this happens only with zombies…?

            Thanks again for your feedback Hammer..

          • We’re looking into this as noted in the replies above, but have yet to replicate any issues with audio synch on the main feature…

          • BTW, I’m assuming you mean a first generation print rather than the OCN? There wouldn’t be titles on the original camera negative?

          • Hi John, we do mean OCN (Original Camera Neg), which in its cut form does indeed include front and end titles (most of the vaulted OCN for Hammer titles has US, not UK titles, which is why we have had to restore the UK titles from alternate sources, in most cases a print (which in every case has been in significantly worse shape than the cut neg or I/P used for the restoration scan).

          • I too see sync issues in the new The Plague Of The Zombies set, and I don’t think it’s a fault of the original dubbing, as the same scenes on the old DVD release are fine. Some people have said that it might be a player issue, but I see exactly the same problems, in exactly the same places, on both the new DVD and Blu-ray, played on two different machines.

            Suffice to say, I’m really disappointed.

            As TheBaron mentions, some clips early on in the documentary are out of sync too.

          • Hammer,

            Can you please investigate as its obviously not just me looking at further comments..

            I appreciate the restorations so am not nit picking for the sake of it..

            Quite heart broken actually as its my fave Hammer..

            Thanks

          • Both us and StudioCanal have looked into this. As far as we can tell, the film is fine and any synch issues are down to original lip-synching. There may be a very minor issue with film clips in the TPOTZ doco featurette and we are looking into this now (however, if there is an issue, it certainly doesn’t warrant any action). The issue with problems in audio synching appearing only on some hardware and not other, is something we have not yet been able to replicate.

  25. I noticed the synch issue for the film clips in the doc. The rest of the doc was fine, though, and it really didn’t affect my enjoyment of what is an insightful and interesting piece. It was not as out of synch as the early discs of DPOD.
    The film itself seemed to play fine on my Panasonic. Yes, there is some obvious lip-synching but as Hammer say, this is authentic. In my view it shouldn’t be corrected even if it was possible.
    Sometimes minor negatives get more attention than major positives so I’d like to say well done Hammer and StudioCanal on an excellent release of a splendid film! I have the Reptile waiting to watch and have pre-ordered Rasputin/Mummy’s Shroud and look forward to all three of them.

  26. @ Gavin – good point. I experienced some minor (and player-specific) issues with the POTZ disc on my main blu-ray player, but I found that the disc played perfectly on my Sony PS3 (as I reported on the BHF Forum, where I post as ‘Squire Hamilton’). In my opinion, this is not a ‘problem’ disc in the same way that the first batch of Dracula Prince Of Darkness was. Most viewers will likely not detect any kind of problem whatsoever.

    Both of the new releases look and sound excellent, displaying previously unseen levels of detail, and a healthy amount of natural grain. Any limitations would seem to be inherent in the source material, ie. poor quality opticals, dodgy day-for-night, etc. In the main, these transfers are stunning.

    • Hi Stuart, thanks for that! StudioCanal, Pinewood and Hammer worked exceptionally hard on these releases. Believe us, we were as keen to get them right as the fans were to see them so…

  27. Most be heart-warning for Hammer to get this positive feedback. They’re great releases and we’re back on track. My copy of POTZ plays faulty on my portable, but not on my main Bush. Strange. I’m not into all this technical chat’ just wanted to say….”Thank you’ Hammer. Great to see you reply as well. I know we have just got the new releases, but can you tell us what we might expect to see on the next releases in way of features. For example will “Rasputin” have commentary? Also may we expect “The Devil Rides Out” this year and other titles? You’re definitely back on track. Any so-called issues this time, I put down to nit-picking. Great sound and picture on latest restorations. Now’ you’re on the roll. Thank you.

    • Hi Franny, many thanks for your kind words and for sticking with us! The workload on these releases is huge and sometimes we have to focus on the films and step away from the blog, but rest assured we’re still here, reading your comments and taking them all on board (well, most of them!) We’ve got some very tasty releases to come later this year — full restoration update very soon! Thanks again!

  28. I too noticed the sync errors on TPOTZ. It’s not off in every scene and, those that is is, it’s not to the same degree in each. Could this be why some people think it’s player-specific? Is it just me but is the clip in the documentary even more out than the same scene in the film? I don’t think these are due to overdubs because they are too consistent (which, if they were, would make them easier to fix than was suggested by another poster).
    The Reptile also looks as if the sound is very slightly ahead of the video, luckily it’s barely noticeable.
    Incidentally, DPOD is still not perfect – the scene at the end where Andrew Keir is shooting at the ice – the gun clearly discharges earlier than the sound of the shot. This same scene is included in the World of Hammer episode on the same disc and the sound is properly in sync there.
    Also, all three discs exhibit a distinct judder during the documentaries when showing clips from the main feature – clearly down to frame-rate incompatibilities. Does this mean that the docs are pointing to segments of the main title stream instead of having separate clips of the material edited into the recorded program?

    • I too noticed the judder in the film clips on Dracula: Prince Of Darkness, and I was disappointed to find that The Plague Of The Zombies and The Reptile suffer with it too. It’s most noticeable on pans, but it’s there throughout all of the clips, on both the DVD and Blu-ray. The image appears to briefly ‘stick’ every second or so. It does look like a frame-rate issue.

      Thank you to Hammer for looking into the sync problems that some people (including me) are reporting. There are various scenes where the sync drifts for me, but the worst-affected part begins around 47.20 (on the Blu-ray). I realise that Diane Clare was completely dubbed, but John Carson’s sync is out here too until the scene ends (watch his closing line in particular – the profile shot seems to make the issue even more obvious).

      I concede that the drift is slight, which is why I think that it’s not being as widely noticed or reported as the issues that the initial run of Dracula: Prince Of Darkness had. But compared to the same scene(s) on StudioCanal’s 21-disc Hammer box from a few years ago, the sync on the new discs isn’t as tight.

      On the positive side, I’m very happy with the picture on the disc. I very much appreciate the restoration, and I look forward to seeing the film on the big screen in Leicester next month.

      • Thanks for investigating Hammer!

        Dont get me wrong I love these restorations and have the forthcoming ones prebooked!

        However, I do have issues as noted above with POTZ. I was brought up on old kung fu movies so dubbing and lip sync are easy for me to deal with except when there is a true problem, unfortunatley this is one..

        For reference I am using a Sony BDP-S760. Maybe its particular to Sony’s? (although I note a bush above) Anybody else?

          • I have watched both ‘The Plague of the Zombies’ and ‘The Reptile’. I thought they both looked superb. I didn’t spot any synch issues and my only quibble would be the poor quality titles at the beginning of ‘The Reptile’ which I presume Hammer/Studio Canal used as they wanted to use the British titles, personally I would have rather they used the U.S titles if it meant better quality titles. Still, it didn’t ruin my enjoyment and I am looking forward to Septembers releases. Hopefully ‘Frankenstein Created Woman’ isn’t far away as it is one of my favourites.

  29. Thank you for replying “Hammer.” Can’t wait for announcement. Sorry to all the others’ but my copies are great. Purchase it seem a faulty POTZ (frame-stick) but just replaced’ happy as larry now. Guys’ we’re not gonna get better than these releases’ you need to ease-up. Shoot me for being wrong, but I feel that everyone is becoming to sensitive to viewing. Remember the vintage of this material, I feel “Hammer” & Studiocanal are doing excellent work. I admit “DPOD” was a blip, but it was resolved. If this Sync-drift is supposed to be slight then it proves my point’ nit-picking. We have to stop this negativity.
    Have to say “Hammer” love the overall design of the releases. All-round’ fantastic work.

    • Re: “If this Sync-drift is supposed to be slight then it proves my point’ nit-picking. We have to stop this negativity.”

      These releases are meant to be definitive. If some people notice that in places the sync isn’t as tight as previous DVD releases, it can’t have anything to do with the age of the material, and it’s not nit-picking to point it out.

      I very much appreciate of the efforts that Hammer and StudioCanal are going to with these restorations. I’d hope that neither sees the kind of feedback that’s been posted here as ‘negative’. We’re all customers, and we all support the range. For people to not mention problems they’re having would be doing Hammer and StudioCanal a disservice.

    • I can assure you that , as explained above, I was brought up on Kung Fu movies and if you think that “slight” sync problems would bother me then you have obviously never seen one! ;-)

      I do have a problem!

        • Am beginning to wonder whether this requires a new firmware for certain players?

          Have asked the Sony techs to contact Studio Canal to see if they can find anything but uncertain as to if they will or not…

          • Hammer,

            Thanks for your replies.

            I am however still left with a problem,
            possibly down to player specifics.. I do not have this issue with any other Blus in my collection of about 200..

            Do you think that you could ask Studio Canal to talk to Sony Europe?

            They have said that they would be quite open to talking, just to see if some sort of new firmware may work as a fix?

            For ref again my player is a Sony BDP-S760.

            Thanks for the restorations and communications!

  30. Mind you’ others have recommended and praised these titles for their exceptional quality. Surely both parties can’t be right? Stuart Hall states that most will likely not detect any problems whatsoever. If it’s equipment specific’ that isn’t something Hammer/Studiocanal can help resolve. They have worked exceptionally hard on these releases and it shows. Sorry’ but it’s my belief that some folk put on the discs and probably scrutinize it. What about’ putting the film and simply getting lost in the story. If you engage more’ you probably wouldn’t find fault. I can see every release getting this kind of attention. DPOD was a different issue’ most folk sounded the faults as they were glaring. Slight sync-drift’ sorry, it’s nit-picking. For such wonderful releases that the majority are very content with, I’m afraid you do sound ungrateful. Haven’t “Hammer” listened to you and looked-into it. The lip-syncing “issue” is down to the original lip-syncing. As for within documentary’ anything apparently doesn’t warrant action. Hammer have showed their commitment to us’ they could had easily left “DPOD” as it stood. Now I do know that this post will probably anger you and I’m sorry’ but negativity isn’t my thing. I believe there is the minority that are gonna find fault with every release here-on. For “Hammer” to re-issue again’ just for Slight sync-drift would be silly and indeed damaging to the future of the range. I see all the major reviewers haven’t pick-up on any of these supposed faults. I’m afraid you’re in the minority and “Hammer” are not obliged to act. In fact’ Hammer/Studiocanal have been wonderful in their correspondence with us. Finally Darren if the majority are happy with the quality’ that does seen to suggest that you are indeed focusing on the negative. I indeed had a problem with my first copy of “Plague.” I got another copy’ all-fine. Would you not consider this?
    So once again a big THANK YOU to Hammer. Can’t await for this pending update. To hear that we can expect four more releases this year is great news. All this is much appreciated. The true Hammerites are well and truly behind you on this project.
    Oh’ watched “The Woman in Black” dvd and if cuts’ not noticeable, still a great film experience. Though a certificate on a dvd isn’t a useful tool. If a child under twelve wants to view they probably will’ all depending on parental approach. Anyhow’ brilliant release.
    Can’t wait for “Rasputin” and “The Mummy’s Shroud.” My guess is you’ll follow with “The Devil Rides Out” and “Frankenstein Created Woman” We’ll see?

  31. Blimey. So you weren’t sorry at all? I’ve explained myself very clearly above with regards to ‘nit-picking’ and ‘negativity’. I don’t understand, in light of this, why you can’t just accept that I and others (including two reviewers linked up-thread) are experiencing problems with the discs and let Hammer and StudioCanal address it if they wish.

    • Also, with respect, All online previews of the DPOD disc showed no problems whatsoever UNTIL they were brought up here..

  32. Blimey’ scroll-up and you will read that in regards to documentary they reckon it doesn’t warrant attention. Also as far as the film goes’ it’s fine. Like Mr. Hudson I see nothing that can be attributed to technical issues. Believe you me’ can be picky as I suffer from OCD. I originally apologized and reconsidered. If these releases keep getting mauled by some online commentators that might influence sales. This site should be positive and we should endeavour now to get 100% behind these releases. I have no time for those folk that huddle over their laptops’ carefully scrutinizing the dvd for flaws. Now the issue has been addressed, so should be left. If a person isn’t happy with what we have been offered then I suggest they seek a refund. If it’s player specific, then the solution is easy enough. I for one minute’ don’t believe that they have let out another release with quality issues. With the problems experienced by “DPOD” they have learnt from. My last word on the subject as I’m not going to enter into a lengthy debate with anyone who just finds fault. Good on you “Hammer” Great sterling work.

    • Franny, I don’t sit scrutinising films; I watch them purely for enjoyment. When I notice mismatched visuals and audio, it takes me out of the film and stops me enjoying it.

      Your attempted character assessment/assassination of people you don’t know is adding nothing to this discussion, so I’m pleased you’ve said your final word.

  33. Can we expect all the releases to have supporting features, i.e “making of” & so on. They really round the releases off. Another question’ can we expect all the episodes of “World of Hammer” to be released alongside. Greatly enjoying the contributions of Mark Gatiss, he’s coming across with the everyman’s view’ which counterbalances those contributions from Hearn & others.
    You were right about definite versions, so I hope that future releases will have all extant material?
    Off the subject, I reckon that it could be the right time to resurrect a mainstream Hammer publication, along the lines of “The House of Hammer” & “Hammer Horror.”

    • Ha – that should have sat below my previous post, not Franny’s fresh one, which is neither daft nor tangental. :)

  34. PLAGUE looked and sounded great on my end, no sync issues for me. Using a Sherwood BDP-5004 in the US. Good job, Hammer! Thank you!

  35. Any news on the updated “Flesh & Blood” documentary? Watched the “Raising the Dead” feature again earlier, absolutely no problem. Looking forward to the features on “Rasputin” & “mummy’s Shroud” releases. Hope they’re announced soon. Was thrilled to hear that there will be another two releases from you’ this year. When can we expect the big three?

  36. I’ve also experienced the syncing problems with the Plague of Zombies Bluray.I did read the comment about true Hammerites.And I’m pretty sure everyone posting here considers themselves to be true Hammerites.But it very hard to sit back and thoroughly enjoy a film when the syncing is distracting ones viewing pleasure.

  37. It has been investigated and no action is deem necessary. If you’re unhappy then I’m afraid you may need to get a refund. Personally like others’ I’m over the moon with the latest two releases. Absolutely stunning restoration. Kudos to “Hammer.”

  38. Here’s another review that mentions the sync problems that some are seeing: http://tinyurl.com/6qxg473

    To quote: “Less admirable, however, is the out of synch sound that I noticed on the new release (is it the transfer or the original? If you know, let me know).”

    It’s definitely not the original film, as the sync in these scenes runs fine on the old DVD releases.

  39. There’s a person on the Hammer Films Forum’ harking on about quality issues. He then stated he hasn’t seen the discs! Accused Hammer about exploiting the catalogue for profiteering? Geez! When has ever any company released anything in the hope that it doesn’t generate good business? Apparently “Hammer” reinventing the wheel when it comes to quality standards. This is the kind of rubbish that is beginning to surface with these constant criticisms and why I’m so outspoken against them. “For the final time “Hammer” have investigated and couldn’t replicate any of the issues raised. Now can all those critics’ let it lay. Leave the range to those who are genuinely appreciative of all the work done on these releases. “Hammer” could had just as easily just pushed out the same old tired prints.
    Some critics are just being plain vindictive towards the whole project. Valid discussion is one thing’ but Hammer have investigated and stated their conclusion. This constant dripping of criticism is unhealthy. If you’re not happy now’ seek refund and stay with your old editions. Hammer/Studiocanal have bent over backwards to accommodate everyone. Enough already.

  40. Oh’ dear. “Rasputin” and “Mummy’s Shroud” moved back now to Oct 22nd. D’oh! :-( Maybe we’ll have “Curse” beforehand? :-D

  41. Hi

    i’ve only just got DPOD and its the faulty one (catalogue number OPTBD0634). Are Studio Canal still issuing replacement discs?

    thanks

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