Friday, September 27

Zombie (サンゲリア) (1979) - 1985 Sony Video Software/Mount Light Video Japan VHS

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Here's another one of my recent addition, Japan's second video release of Lucio Fulci's fantastic Zombie (1979) from Sony/Mount Light released in 1985. The first Japanese video, from Toshiba as a glassbox (seen here), was actually the country's censored theatrical version entitled "Sanguelia" presented in cropped full screen. The opening "tell the crew..." scene is missing and all of the gore shots shift to a dark blue to obscure the blood/gore and then pop back into full color (see a sample of the color changes here).

So while the Toshiba is more a collector curiosity, this Sony fixed its issues by not only providing a fully uncut version, bearing the screen title of "Zombies 2", but also a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation (over a decade before the U.S. saw a widescreen video release). The color and clarity, especially being a mid '80s video, is surprisingly great. My HDTV has a zoom setting that can display non-anamorphic 2.35:1 material without picture loss and even zoomed-in the video quality isn't bad at all. The Japanese subtitles are even placed out-of-frame in the bottom matte bar with the image bumped up a little to accommodate. Definitely a kick ass and historically important VHS release!

1 comment:

DrunkethWizerd said...

Cool find. The dark blue over those gore shots in the other version is really annoying and horrible.

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