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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:31 am 
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Location: Idaho
I think it's more of a matter of the Beaver's comparison having dull caps though not "wrong" (the cap of the trumpeter looks pretty much how it does on my screen, the green of the jacket and wall looking the same shade), just lacking in color in general. Flipping through the disc, the color on the red robes and the prostitutes' dresses all look good. The colored liquid in the bottles behind young Fenix as he takes off the mustache early on are really vibrant and pop out. If I had a way of making some caps, I'd toss that one up for sure. Overall, I'd say the color is fine. Now if it's looks like it's supposed to, I have no idea, but I had no qualms with it during my viewing.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:13 am 
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I think they've upped the levels across the board, so the whole thing has a washed out look. There's no true black in any of those screenshots in the Beaver review, and the trumpeter one looks especially poor. It may look ok if your tv settings can compensate but it definitely doesn't look right in those stills.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:14 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA
James wrote:
Really? How are they going to stay around if they put films like that on Blu-ray?

Isn't Brian Trenchard-Smith having a major reconsideration as some major Austrailia genre director?


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Thanks for the comments on Santa Sangre. I don't think my tv could adequately compensate - so I think I'll wait and see if a UK label does anything with the otherwise spectacular transfer.

Brian Trenchard-Smith's career has had a bit of a reconsideration thanks to the Not Quite Hollywood ozploitation documentary. I've only seen The Man From Hong Kong, Dead-End Drive In* and BMX Bandits - and going on those I'd describe him as talented but hardly major.

*Just checked Dead-End Drive In on IMDB to confirm I had the title right - it turns out Peter Carey wrote the script, who knew?


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:42 pm 
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Blu-ray.com has the cap I was referring to.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:24 pm
RE: BMX Bandits

The Blu-ray is outstanding. Way better than the film probably deserves.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:22 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm
James wrote:
Really? How are they going to stay around if they put films like that on Blu-ray?

Three words: Nicole. Kidman's. Boobs.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:18 pm 
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AlexHansen wrote:


Looking at the screencaps on DVD Beaver in comparison to Blu-ray.com is like night and day. Blu-ray.com's screens are vibrant, detailed and showcase how the film truly looks in 1080p. I now see why Mondo Vision disagreed with Beaver's presentation of their early titles.


Last edited by Psicosis on Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Wow, they're putting out the Stunt Man on Blu in June!


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:37 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
Wow, they're putting out the Stunt Man on Blu in June!

Beaver on the blu


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:56 am 
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Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
I have just gotten to the new Blu-ray of House On Straw Hill, which I was very pleasantly surprised by, especially for a film that made the notorious video nasties list in the UK in the 1980s. The film plays as sort of an exploitation version of Straw Dogs, or The Servant. Straw Dogs is much better but this uses its single location well, manages to throw in gratuitous sex scenes (and make them kind of necessary to the plot as everyone is trying to prove they have the upper hand by seducing a third party!) and even a brief rape scene that is also necessary in its gratuitous-ness (the woman passively and suggestively playing with one of the rapist's guns until she gets the upper hand again - this film is all about who has the power in relationships).

The murder scenes are a little poor (knives leaving a little trail of red on people's necks or breasts), and sex starlet Fiona Richmond isn't great in her role (but appropriate as someone just being used for sex) but that has to be set against the beautiful location filming and wonderfully nervily edited dream sequences that are truly magnificent!

Udo Kier and Linda Hayden are perfect in the two main roles, really committing to some of the naughtier scenes with gusto (amusing to see Kier cast in a role as a heterosexual stud!)! The big twist of the film isn't really much of a surprise at all, and all the pieces are there to figure it out even five minutes in, but it was satisfying to see it all play out. Kier (dubbed with a kind of American accent) plays a magnificent bastard here, and it is great to see his pompous character get his comeuppance! Though it seems as if he was punishing himself long before Hayden's character turned up. Is she a real character at all or was she willed into existence by him in order to meet out the proper punishment?

It also has one of the best double entendres in 1970s British cinema (no small feat!) in which Hayden, after taking advantage of a break in dictation to retire to her room to masturbate over a picture of her loved one, returns to Kier:

"You took a long time"
"In coming?"

My one issue with the film is: why did Fiona Richmond's Susanne run from the bedroom with its numerous locks on its door, to hide in the bathroom with no lock, and try to prop a rickety chair against it? That's the kind of horror movie fault that a character deserves to die for!


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:16 am
Savant's review of DEAD KIDS is here.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:38 am 
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Coming soon:

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:27 pm 
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I assume that these are DVD rather than Blu?

I don't mind She Killed In Ecstasy but anything would pale in comparison to perhaps the ultimate Jess Franco film, Vampyos Lesbos! It is strange as She Killed In Ecstasy has a bit more of a plot, in that it involves a woman killing off the people who caused her lover to commit suicide, but Vampyros Lesbos really proves that a Franco film is usually far better when focused on tone and texture than its plot! In fact the only time Vampyros Lesbos really stumbles atmospherically is during the rather strange and pointless diversion into the heroine being captured and tied up by a strange pervert, played of course by Franco himself! However both are well worth watching just for Soledad Miranda.

Not to mention that Vampyros Lesbos has perhaps the quintessential 1960s/70s era soundtrack!


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:56 pm 
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No, they're both definitely Blu-ray.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:56 pm 
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Synapse's Vampyros Lesbos was my first DVD purchased (along with Image's Black Sunday). So glad it finally comes to blu-ray...


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:21 pm 
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Specs for Vampyros Lesbos and She Killed in Ecstasy
Quote:
VAMPYROS LESBOS (Limited edition of 7,500)

Disc 1 (Blu-Ray):
• Newly remastered HD presentation of the feature in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio
• “Vampyros Jesus”: Interview featurette with Franco
• “Sublime Soledad”: Interview with Soledad Miranda Historian Amy Brown
• “Stephen Thrower on VAMPYROS LESBOS”: Interview with the author of MURDEROUS PASSIONS—THE DELIRIOUS CINEMA OF JESS FRANCO
• “Jess is Yoda” Clip
• Alternate German opening-title sequence: DRACULA’S HEIRESS
• German trailer

Disc 2 (DVD):
• LAS VAMPIRAS: Alternate Spanish-language VHS version with optional English subtitles

Specially packaged in die-cut slipcase with newly created cover art by Wes Benscoter

SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY (Limited edition of 4,000)

Disc 1 (Blu-Ray):
• Newly remastered HD presentation of the feature in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio
• “Jess Killed in Ecstasy”: Interview with Franco
• “Sublime Soledad”: Interview with Soledad Miranda Historian Amy Brown
• “Stephen Thrower on SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY”: Interview with the author of MURDEROUS PASSIONS—THE DELIRIOUS CINEMA OF JESS FRANCO
• “Paul Muller on Jess Franco”: Interview with frequent Franco star
• German trailer

Disc 2 (CD):
• Original Motion Picture Soundtracks—3 Films By Jess Franco: VAMPYROS LESBOS/SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY/THE DEVIL CAME FROM AKASAVA (repressing of the ultra-rare 24 track CD)

Specially packaged in die-cut slipcase with newly created cover art by Wes Benscoter


Also, Severin will be releasing Blu-rays of Dust Devil, Nightmare Castle, and The Sinful Dwarf and the limited edition of their Richard Stanley doc will feature that German silent version of Dr. Moreau that Criterion tried to include on their Island of Lost Souls release.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Of course I just bought a copy of Axe on ebay. So for the two people that care, you're welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 am 
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Mondo Digital reviews for She Killed in Ecstasy and Vampyros Lesbos.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 1:54 pm 
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Severin is going to release Turkey Shoot (aka Escape 2000) on Blu-ray
Quote:
Ok TURKEY SHOOT it is for the US Blu-ray debut! Wasn't seriously in question to be honest, but wanted to know if our US audience knew it mainly under the duller ESCAPE 2000 title. Last month we shot a discussion on Aussie exploitation with Antony Ginnane, Brian Trenchard-Smith and Vince Monton together.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:01 pm 
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I watched the Severin Blu-ray of Vampyros Lesbos recently and still think it is one of Jess Franco's best films, featuring the mesmerising Soledad Miranda as a "Countess Corody", heir to the Dracula clan (which presumably means she inherited their collection of 70s chic modernist fittings and beachhouse), who takes a shine to a hapless female estate agent in between her stints performing strip shows at a cabaret frequented by jaded married couples. Like many of Franco's films, it is a film to get lost in the languid tone of as much as to be interested in the plight of the characters, making it a good test of whether a viewer might want to explore more of his work. The strange meaningfully haphazard edits between, and focusing on, symbolic flying kites and scorpions drowning in swimming pools somehow creates a beautifully roving atmosphere in which anything can feel significantly tied together and inexplicably random at the same time!

Strangely the film feels as if it benefits from a knowledge of Dracula (and Universal's Dracula's Daughter. And Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla), while being an abstract take on the well worn sources, with sexy stripteases, tourist trap locations and weirdly fab home decor taking precedence as much as the plot! Really, as I mentioned before, the only flaw comes when the film tries too hard to throw out of nowhere plot twists in there seemingly to pad out the running time a little further, that leads to the utterly bizarre scenes involving the crazed serial killer that Franco himself plays (though his character is just one of three or four separate characters all vying to be the Renfield figure here! Who knew that a slave to Soledad Miranda would be the most desirable part to play?). The way Franco's character gets shoehorned into the main plot in his speech explaining his motivations is slightly touching (for an irredeemable psycho), but still goofy and ridiculous!

By the way the extra feature on the disc in which Amy Brown discusses Soledad Miranda's career, with lots of brief clips from her earlier films that I never thought I would have the chance to see anything from, is fascinating.

Addition: I've also started watching through the included DVD of the 'bootleg' Spanish language version of the film. It is interesting to compare this quite tamed down version of Vampyros Lesbos to the more explicit German version (the version that I was previously familiar with, and which seems to be the widest available one) that is on the Blu-ray. It is not just tamed down in terms of the sex scenes themselves but also in the way that the film itself is being made slightly more accessible.

For example the opening sequence of images of Istanbul, a butterfly fluttering in a net, a scorpion, a kite and so on, plays completely without context in the German version, whereas in this Spanish language version we get a male narrator introducing the backstory of "Countess Corody" over the Istanbul footage, then we move into Linda relating her dream to a psychiatrist, which just happens to involve describing in detail a kite, a butterfly and a scorpion as we see those images! The images are given a concrete context in the Spanish language version whereas in the German language version they seen inexplicable at first, and really are never concretely explained, but by the final scenes of the film I think it is clear to the audience that the scorpion and the kite are sort of representing the presence of the Countess, while perhaps the buttefly caught in the net are signifying the various victims that she has used and discarded, Linda among them.

The scene with the psychiatrist is interesting in itself for the way that the Spanish version of the film is also softening some of the frankness of the film (It also turns up as the very first scene here, while in the German version the film moves from the images into the first nightclub act scene, which gets cut out of the Spanish version). In this Spanish version Linda (or Alice as she is pointlessly renamed) relates her dream of the strange woman calling her to a strange place and the bored psychiatrist breaks off from his absent minded stick figure doodling to tell her that she is simply overworked and that she just needs some time off to be with her husband and strengthen her relationship. This makes for quite an amusing contrast to the German version in which Linda, instead of talking about a dream talks about the woman she saw performing at the nightclub being the same stranger who had been calling to her. She also talks about the sexual attraction to her and the strong pull to visit her, to which the psychiatrist responds that this all means that she is not being sexually satisfied by her husband and that she really needs to go out and find a better lover on the side! The psychiatrist in both scenes is pretty useless, but I found it wonderful to contrast the way that one version plays that scene as about endorsing adultery whilst the other one is about reaffirming the relationship with the husband above all! Strangely either way that scene plays throws a new light on the subsequent events of the film, turning the Spanish version more into a woman rejecting a lesbian tryst for the sake of her marriage, whilst the German one is sort of more about a doomed love affair that perhaps had a greater impact for Linda than her marriage did!

So while the Spanish bootleg version of the film should not really take primacy over the German version (if just due to the interlaced, changing aspect ratio, VHS quality it is presented in on the additional DVD), this still makes for a fascinating and extremely worthwhile addition to the set.


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:33 pm 
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Just a quick note that there is an easter egg on the "Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr Moreau" disc. On the second H.G. Wells themed disc, press right and an option appears to play a 7 minute Pathé film from 1909 called The Invisible Thief which is a trick film piece riffing on The Invisible Man as was mentioned during the interview with Sylvia Hardy about some of the various adaptations of H.G. Wells elsewhere on the disc.

It is quite fun in that it involves a chap getting excited by reading a copy of "L'homme invisible" by "G.H. Wells" on his way up the three steep flights of stairs to his garret apartment. He happens upon a page providing all of the ingredients for turning invisible himself, tries it and turns into ghostly double-exposed shape before throwing his clothes off and disappearing completely, at which point we get some really neat shots of him robbing a house, involving a floating crowbar levering open doors and some great, almost Jan Svankmajer-anticipating stop motion animation in which cupboards come to life and totter into the centre of the room before opening their doors to show their crockery contents dancing around before stacking together, wrapping themselves in brown paper and neatly tying themselves up with string!

Unfortunately the short sort of peters out after this great scene as 'for some reason' the criminal, after pulling off the perfect crime, decides to put on his clothes and some sort of weird flesh mask and gloves and go on an entirely visible pickpocketing spree! He leads a pair of cops up the stairs to his garret apartment, lets them grab him and then suddenly pops invisible again, the character's invisibility being weirdly (and implausibly! [-( ) equated to being able to suddenly physically disappear as well so that the policemen are just holding an empty jacket or pair of trousers! Then we get a strange bit of what I can only imagine to be wish fulfilment as the invisible thief starts throwing the policemen around and hurling furniture at them as they run out of the apartment and alternately run/fall down all three flights of stairs, furniture following them! Then the film abruptly ends!

The short is not in great shape (rougher than the 1921 Island of the Lost also on the disc), but at least it is there and was a fun watch!


Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:21 pm 
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As you might have guessed from the above post I have spent much of the last week immersed in that Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr Moreau set from Severin. It is fascinating to view even for someone such as myself who has never seen the apparently disastrous 1996 John Frankenheimer directed film that resulted from all the turmoil around Stanley getting replaced and Brando and Kilmer's battling egos. I would say that I avoided the Frankenheimer film on principle, but I seem to remember that at the time I only had the funds to choose one Val Kilmer starring period wild animal film and opted for The Ghost and the Darkness instead, which seemingly was the far better choice! Watching this documentary has left me perversely wanting to see the Frankenheimer Island of Dr Moreau though, as I cannot imagine it turning out well, but I get the impression that the final result was more just dull than disastrous! (It was interesting to hear Frankenheimer's comments in the archive interview on the disc though that he felt that his version would have been approved of by H.G. Wells as it was getting the closest to condemning science for meddling with nature, when it kind of seems that in the novel that Moreau is sort of sympathetically portrayed, albeit delusional!)

Lost Soul, while obviously being sympathetic to Richard Stanley’s point of view, does also give everyone else their moments. Except Val Kilmer, he still comes out of it badly! (Though there is the comment that this was all happening at the time that his marriage to Joanne Whalley was falling apart, which seemed to make him extra controlling and aggressive). Frankenheimer doesn’t come out of it too well either, though as someone drafted in at the eleventh hour it makes sense that he wouldn’t have any particular investment in the project aside from just getting it to the finishing line. I also lost quite a lot of sympathy for Bob Shaye during this film, especially in his example of Richard Stanley always doing something “goofy” to ruin meetings being a description of the time when Stanley asked for three or four sugars in his tea during a meeting! Very strange that animosity can rest on something as petty as that, to the extent of it being remembered decades later! As a three sugar in tea person myself, I was squarely on Stanley’s side there! But it does lead to a great quote:

Bob Shaye wrote:
"Nobody takes four sugars in a cup of coffee and walks out as a solid citizen"

It was fascinating to hear Stanley go into his ideas for his version of the Island of Dr Moreau, something that would have stuck a little closer to the original novel, although I really liked his idea for modernising the opening from a shipwreck to a plane being brought down by an electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear bomb, leaving the isolated island as potentially the last vestige of ‘humanity’, which seems as if it would have helped to emphasise the suggestion from the novel of the horrible legacy which has been left to the animals that have been cut and moulded into men, instilled with imposed morals, ethics and religious codes, only to be left entirely alone to clean up the devastation that humanity had wrought and with their inherent bestial natures nagging at them to revert. And I really like the idea that Stanley was going to throw in a few ideas from Joseph Conrad into his adaptation too (the 'panther woman', which wasn't there in the same form in the novel but had been added for the previous film versions (in a strange way making the otherwise tamer film versions in need of a shoehorned in love interest become even more perverse with their suggestions of bestiality!) being in Stanley's script apparently taken from a character in Conrad's Outcast of the Islands) to make up for Conrad having apparently copied the structure of Island of Dr Moreau for Heart of Darkness!

I agree with some of the reviews of this documentary that have said that it was really folly from the start to have tried to do such a hugely ambitious adaptation, keeping all of the inherent perversities of the novel and even seemingly elaborating on them further, with a Hollywood studio. (Stanley on a love scene with the panther woman: "There this moment when he's working his way down from one nipple to the next and realises along the way that she is not human, which really upset [the New Line executive] who said that it would upset menopausal women all over America") Though the early part of the documentary suggests that this was the only way it could have ever have even potentially been made, as you’d need a studio to do the negotiating with H.G. Wells’s estate (which arguably aside from Spielberg’s War of the Worlds has not been well served by films in recent decades. The Island of Dr Moreau debacle was the most notorious, but the 2002 version of The Time Machine, directed by Wells’ great-grandson no less, still spectacularly failed to grasp the nuances of its source material), so without that backing there would probably be little chance of an independent producer getting a version off the ground.

The documentary does a great job of sketching in all of the terrible series of unfortunate events that all combined into complete disaster. Personal problems (with Kilmer’s divorce and the suicide of Brando’s daughter just before shooting, which I assume meant that their minds were more focused on other matters than the film itself), studio wranglings and even small environmental problems of the sets getting flooded and shut down by a hurricane all combine to totally hamstring the production from almost the very beginning, seemingly providing a lot of the pretexts for the directorial change (after all I remember stories of terrible storms occurring during the shooting of Jurassic Park, but those acts of God were setbacks but did not cause such an upheaval to the production as to remove a director), even if Stanley had chosen the rainiest part of an isolated area of Australia for a location! It more seems that everyone approached the project with wildly different perspectives that all clashed together and in particular it sounds as if New Line greenlit the film but then did not really back it, with the suggestion that moving more upscale in terms of prestigious productions made a horror sci-fi film look less appealing (as suggested by the way that they attempted to get Roman Polanski to direct it at one stage, which appalled Stanley who thought that he was the actual director! Though he heartbreakingly says that he perhaps should not have fought so hard at that stage and maybe just stayed on the project as some kind of support to Polanski, and that would have at least resulted in a decent film, if not his film). There is the tantalising casting section of all of the potential casting of the film, with Brando, James Woods and Bruce Willis mooted for roles, before all the directorial changes and Kilmer wanting to swap roles ended up with actors dropping out.

It was interesting to note from his extended interview in the extras that Stanley had been offered the chance to direct the Stallone version of Judge Dredd around this time but had turned it down, which he says in retrospect was probably the wrong choice. Although from the sound of it the problematic script rewrites that were manipulating the source material of even that film were already taking place even at that stage. Perhaps it would have been easier to wrangle or compromise with material that was not quite so close to his heart though, as it really seems that the Dr Moreau experience destroyed Stanley as a filmmaker, not just career-wise but also from the enjoyment of making films for a while.

This really illustrates that studio interference patently did not help the film in any way. The film that Richard Stanley had been planning on might have been wildly uncommercial or potentially not very good either, but at least even a unsatisfying resultant film would have had a vision or sense of discernable purpose about it (I’m thinking of something like Clive Barker's Nightbreed here, which I respect more than like at the moment, though I haven’t seen the director’s cut of that yet which may be better!) The journey of the documentary is one of showing a passion project getting degraded down further and further until the forced directorial change to Frankenheimer kills any sense of interest or commitment that anyone has in the project. The final film ends up just being made not because it is a fascinating tale that might speak to modern audiences, or even just an entertaining brainless action romp (like the 70s version), but instead it seems to have been finished just because it would have been far more expensive to just stop the production outright. Even the colossal, embarrassing flop that destroyed (or at least stunted for a while) careers and reputations was less important than the box office that could be made from releasing the resulting mess.

The interviews with Rob Morrow, Fairuza Balk and Marco Hofschneider are amazing and it is also heartbreaking to see their enthusiasms for the project getting lost as they see everything fall apart. Balk gets forced to stay on the production but it sounds as if her character was left with little to do. Hofschneider gets what sounds like a key and important role completely removed from him (though he sadly recalls that his agent was happy as his client had made lots of money from the overrunning production! In artistic terms though, it sounds as if Hofschneider had one of the worst times on set. Especially in recounting a confrontation with Kilmer in which Kilmer praises Hofschneider for his previous role in Europa, Europa and then tells him words to the effect that there is only room for one lead actor on the set!) From the sound of it, it sounds as if Brando, coming onto set late once everything had fallen apart, had the right idea in treating the entire situation with the utter contempt it deserved (though he was probably in a better position from seemingly not having too much of an interest in the production due to various circumstances) and it seems that a lot of the crazier mannerisms, such as the whiteface makeup, came from his early discussions about the character with Stanley (I like that moment when Stanley talks about Brando having the idea of disappearing into the darkness, but that he had already done this with Apocalypse Now, so they thought the white makeup would be an interesting contrast!) So, while the documentary mentions the infamous (and metaphorically apt) story of Stanley sneaking back onto set dressed as one of the beast-men extras, it sort of sounds as if Brando was already raising the ghost of the previous director and signalling his contempt for the production by invoking some of Stanley’s ideas from when the film actually was going to have some meaning about it!

I guess it would be interesting to hear the views of Val Kilmer and David Thewlis about the film too, but I do not think that is ever realistically going to happen. Thewlis might have an interesting perspective on all this as someone who only came onto set once it became a John Frankenheimer film and Rob Morrow quit, but then he may not have had anything to contribute to the film having arrived at such a late stage of a disastrous production. Although he was taking over the ‘lead’ role of the audience identification character.

The three disc edition features a great extra of a CD-ROM with mp3s of Stanley reading the original story (22 chapters running 4 hours and 50 minutes) and another disc focused on H.G. Wells with an interesting recently discovered German silent film that is kind of based on the story, called Island of the Lost. Island of the Lost has a really strange set up for its story though, as a man (who seemingly has a submarine to command at whim?!?!?) reads in a newspaper that they have found a named SOS note from his previous fiancée who went missing on a boating expedition. The newspaper, despite having a name and presumably there being records of a missing person, and despite printing the note on their front page, describes it as a hoax! But our 'hero' decides that he'd better take his submarine and go searching for her, if only because he needs to silence her before his new fiancée finds out about the whole affair! There is a whole love triangle (love square?) set up between this awful guy, his friend and his two girls (one of whom heads the rescue mission, which is sort of a successful version of the girlfriend looking for her horrible boyfriend in the much later Cannibal Ferox!) which is the kind of set up that makes the island inhabited by a crazed vivisectionist seem tame when it finally arrives! There are also a couple of 'of their time' racial stereotypes around, such as the Chinese henchman who spends his time begging the doctor for opium, or the cowardly black butler who 'goes native' with the last remaining islander (why exactly the submarine needed a tuxedo clad butler in the first place is a good question to ask, but I guess it allows him to throw off his suit and don a tribal chieftan's garb, complete with nose ring, later on! And then hurriedly put the tuxedo back on to abandon his native bride when it looks as if a ship is arriving! Only for her to beat him up when the ship does not stop!), and the mad scientist here is much more into 'mixing and matching' his animals and stitching different parts of them together than sculpting a single animal into a human-looking one, which makes him more of your generic prototype mad scientist figure than a Dr Moreau one specifically, despite his speech about being a 'sculptor' early on. Though that does allow the bullied Chinese henchman the chance to get his own back by giving the mad scientist a tiger's heart instead of the heroine's human one to stick into his 'artificial person'!

Anyway it is a fascinating set (with a few flaws: the Severin watermark popping up in the right hand corner of the screen for thirty seconds every five minutes or so on Island of the Lost and the unrestored nature of that film (though its not bad at all for a film of its vintage) and The Invisible Thief, though their rarity prevents me from being too harsh! The Invisible Thief is presented completely silent, while Island of the Lost has a strangely emphatically upbeat piano score for what is a rather blackly comic film! And there are hard of hearing subtitles on the documentary itself but unfortunately they are full of spelling mistakes, and one moment in which an actor's name is turned into another name entirely, so if you require those prepare yourself for a few "faux pa"), though if you are only interested in the controversy about the 1996 film and not so much in the reading of the H.G. Wells novel or the Wells-centric features and silent films then there is a Blu-ray of just that single disc available (the other two discs feature in the "House of Pain" three disc edition!).

This is not really related to anything above but amusingly I have also recently been listening through a compilation of music by Orbital and their track from their Snivilisation album Are We Here? feels apt as a nice piece of end credits music for my Dr Moreau experience(s)!


Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:54 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:28 pm
That is one thorough review! Much appreciated


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 Post subject: Re: Severin Films
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:07 am 
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Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
Thanks captveg! On the 'upbeat' score for Island of the Lost, a couple of the pieces had seemed familiar to me and it turns out during the musical credits at the end of the film that it was all scored to library music by Kevin MacLeod, used under a creative commons licence. I realised that I had been hearing snatches of these pieces for a while now, often used at the beginning and end of the Errant Signal series video reviews (the opening of the Gamification episode uses a snatch of the same music)!


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