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Maniac
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • English PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • White-Hot Terror: Inside ĎManiací
  • Hammerís Women: Nadia Gray (2017): horror film expert Lindsay Anne Hallam looks at the fascinating life and work of the Romanian stage and screen actor
  • Focus Puller Trevor Wrenn and Clapper Loader Ray Andrew on ĎManiací (2017): original crew members share their memories of working on the film
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Promotional gallery and production photos

Maniac

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Michael Carreras
1963 | 86 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: £42.99 | Series: Indicator
Powerhouse Films

Release Date: October 30, 2017
Review Date: October 31, 2017

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amazon.co.uk

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SYNOPSIS

Four classics from Hammer, each presented on Blu-ray for the very first time in the UK. Whether it's a madman brandishing a welding torch, a mythical monster whose looks can kill, an ancient royal with diabolical powers, or a mad woman wielding a pair of scissors, this set has something to unease everybody. Containing a wealth of new and exclusive extra features Ė including title-specific documentaries, cast and crew interviews, expert appreciations, introductions and more Ė this stunning Blu-ray-only Limited Edition box set is published in a horribly limited, numbered edition of 6,000 units.


PICTURE

Available exclusively in the Indicator box set Hammer Volume One: Fear Warning, Michael Carrerasí Maniac receives a new Blu-ray. The film is presented in the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on a dual-layer disc in 1080p/24hz. Though a UK release the film (and the set) is region free.

Iím not sure where this restoration comes from (I donít yet have copies of the booklets) but, man, does this final presentation look good. Maniac may be the weakest looking one in the set but I really use the word loosely. Any faults that remain lie specifically within the source materials but even then there isnít too much to report on: there are really only a handful of tram lines and small bits of dirt, and then finally a few sequences with stains. Outside of these scattered instances the restoration work has managed to clean up the image and it looks superb in this regard.

The black and white image presents excellent contrast and gray scale, with clean tonal shifts and fairly deep blacks. The digital presentation nicely renders the filmís grain and doesnít present any anomalies of any sort. Itís very clean and incredibly stable, quite film-like in the end.

On the whole the setís presentations are really remarkable and a surprise overall, but Maniacís presentation really floored me and I knew right from this title this set was going to be something really terrific.

8/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The lossless 1.0 PCM mono track features some background noise but itís otherwise clean and sharp. Dialogue is intelligible and fidelity isnít half bad. Nothing special but thereís certainly nothing that stands out against it.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The set overall is packed with features but Maniac ends up coming out with the short-end. Thereís a decent making-of called White-Hot Terror: Inside ĎManiací featuring narration by Claire Louise Amias and interviews with author Jonathan Rigby and cultural historian John J. Johnston that goes over its production (unsurprisingly it was a bit scatter shot with changes to the script as shooting went on) and itís use of interesting locations. Itís very informative but short at 11-minutes. But they also add an interview featuring Lindsay Anne Hallam talking about actor Nadia Gray, offering a fairly in-depth look into her career and some of her more notable roles. This is then followed by a 5-minute piece featuring interviews with focus puller Trevor Wrenn and clapper loader Ray Andrew, the two sharing a few tales about the production and its quick, low-budget shoot. We also learning, rather amusingly, how the filmís ending was created. Itís a fun segment but sadly short.

We then get the filmís trailer followed by a navigable gallery of promotional material, featuring more than 60 posters, lobby cards, clippings, press books (with some close-ups), and so forth. There is then a shorter gallery of on-set photographs. Each title in the set apparently comes with a booklet as well but at the moment I donít have copies of them.

The title doesnít receive a lot but the supplements provided here manage to still give some great context and insight into the film.

4/10

CLOSING

Maniac isnít the most feature loaded disc in the set but itís restoration and final presentation is surprisingly good, the final image looking clean and quite film-like. Itís still a nice way to start out Indicatorís new box set.




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