Just picked it up at Best Buy with the limited lenticular cover. It's always two steps forward, one step back with Grindhouse Releasing. Their DVD releases of I Drink Your Blood and The Beyond are damn near perfect on all fronts. Seriously two of the best genre DVDs ever created. The Deluxe Edition of Cannibal Holocaust was massively anticipated and delivered for the most part. The problem was the transfer was interlaced and suffered from a undetailed "thick" color appearance, despite reviews raining praise like manna from heaven.
Now brings the DE of Fulci's A Cat in the Brain unleashed (after years) this past Tuesday and it delivers...for the most part. The good news is the transfer is progressively encoded; which means it will look halfway decent on digital displays and one doesn't need a good DVD player with strong deinterlacing capabilities to make it look good. Still, it doesn't look all too great, especially for a supposed "hi-definition...digital restoration."
Grindhouse Releasing TOP / Screen Entertainment U.K. (unmatted) BOTTOM: (click to enlarge)
(captures unresized, untouched, captured as lossless .pngs, converted to high quality .jpgs)
Now, the Screen Entertainment disc hailing from Britain (uncut also) does suffer from weak encoding, but I'll damned if the inherent film grain and better color balance (despite the greenish lean) doesn't look vastly superior to my eyes. Really, the Grindhouse disc looks like a muddling Dutch DVD from EC Entertainment years ago, but anamorphic. Black levels that obscure detail, hot color, and barely any fine detail at all. The transfer doesn't look downconverted from an HD master in the slightest. Interestingly, the (fleeting) flecks of print damage are identical on both discs. It appears the U.K. disc's transfer source is Italy's Minerva Pictures.
Grindhouse certainly do excellent work overall (this release is stacked), but in my blog scum opinion they simply aren't high rollers when it comes to quality digital transfers. I might catch some flak for this, but I also suggest completely disregarding both DVD Drive-In's and A/V Maniacs' reviews of the disc. They have no idea.
Pulp Pages #9: Rage (Feb 1957)
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