Blind Woman's Curse

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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TonyleStephanois
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Blind Woman's Curse

#1 Post by TonyleStephanois » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:57 am

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Blind Woman's Curse

From Teruo Ishii “The King of Cult”, Blind Woman’s Curse (also known as Black Cat’s Revenge) is a thrilling yakuza film featuring eye-popping visuals, sensational fight sequences and the gorgeous Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock), in her first major role.

Akemi (Kaji) is a dragon-tattooed leader of the Tachibana yakuza clan. In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat appears, to lap the blood from the gushing wound. The cat along with the eye-victim go on to pursue Akemi’s gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies.

A bizarre blend of the female yakuza film and traditional Japanese ghost story, with a strong dash of grotesque-erotica (the same movement was a sensibility of Edogawa Rampo whose works were adapted by Ishii in Horrors of Malformed Men), Blind Woman’s Curse is a delirious mash-up of classic genre tropes, of which Ishii was no stranger, having directed everything from Super Giant films to Biker movies!

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
- New high definition digital transfer of the film prepared by Nikkatsu Studios
- Presented in High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD
- Uncompressed mono PCM audio
- Newly translated English subtitles
- Audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp
- Original Trailer
- Trailers for four of the films in the Meiko Kaji-starring Stray Cat Rock series, made at the same studio as Blind Woman’s Curse
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes, illustrated with original archive stills

Region 2/B
RRP £19.99
Last edited by TonyleStephanois on Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#2 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:36 pm

Full specs announced:
Full specs for BLIND WOMAN'S CURSE, out 31/03/14!

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

- New high definition digital transfer of the film prepared by Nikkatsu Studios
- Presented in High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD
- Uncompressed mono PCM audio
- Newly translated English subtitles
- Audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp
- Original Trailer
- Trailers for four of the films in the Meiko Kaji-starring Stray Cat Rock series, made at the same studio as Blind Woman’s Curse
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes, illustrated with original archive stills.
More details (inc artwork) here.

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colinr0380
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#3 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:03 pm

Count me in for another Jasper Sharp commentary! His discussions on the Angel Guts films were excellent (the co-writer of this film Chûsei Sone went on to write and direct the second film in that series, Red Classroom).
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#4 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:06 pm

He was also invaluable when it came to establishing the correct aspect ratio - Jasper did his PhD on the history of Japanese widescreen cinema!

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#5 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:52 pm

Was that a published dissertation by any chance? David Desser's discussion of it in his book Eros Plus Massacre was quite fascinating.


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EddieLarkin
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#7 Post by EddieLarkin » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:55 pm

It may just be because it's up next to the contrasty DVD, and I'll gladly be corrected, but do the black levels seem not right to anyone else? Not that the DVD is better in that regard, there's tons of detail lost in the darkness (6th comparison), but the caps in the 1st and 3rd comparison look pretty grey.

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tenia
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#8 Post by tenia » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:24 am

It reminds me of Lady Snowblood. Black levels are clearly not deep enough and I would not be surprised it's coming from an incorrect color space.

On the other end, the DVD was probably contrast boosted as fck. As you mentioned, plenty of caps show lost shadow details.

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manicsounds
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#9 Post by manicsounds » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:08 am


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antnield
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#10 Post by antnield » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:04 am


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manicsounds
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#11 Post by manicsounds » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:30 pm

The Jasper Sharp commentary on this is excellent, maybe better than the one he did on "Guilty Of Romance" (what others has he done?), like a younger Tony Rayns. In the commentary he talks about a little on Ishii's "Horrors Of Malformed Men", which has a lot of similar qualities to "Blind Woman's Curse", and considers them companion pieces made a year apart. Wonder what the chances are for Arrow to put that out. The US DVD is quite good, but an HD release would be killer.

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colinr0380
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#12 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:52 pm

The Jasper Sharp commentaries that I'm aware of are the ones he did for the old Artsmagic DVD label in the US in the mid-2000s, most notably commentaries over five of the most controversial of Nikkatsu Roman Porno films, the Angel Guts films, which were released in a box set. I was hesitant to mention this after Michael's comment about Sharp having done his PhD on widescreen cinema above, but while all of the other films in the set are in the correct aspect ratio the first film in the series, Angel Guts: High School Co-Ed, starts in 2.35:1 for its opening credits and then crops down to 1.85:1 for the film itself! A real shame as the film is one of the more visually striking of the series (after the lunatic Argento-esque third entry, Nami, of course!), especially in its nightmarish bleached-out dream sequence and the climactic scene in the train yard as Nami is assaulted on the tracks between two carriages in the middle of a rainstorm, but it might have been the only option available to release the film in and dropping it from the set completely would have been even more of a shame.

Sharp's commentaries are great, though with much of the films being about extended sex scenes (especially, but unsurprisingly, Red Porno!) he does repeat a lot of information in each, though it is always interesting to hear about the background to Nikkatsu and their Roman Porno line, and Takashi Ishii's creation of the original manga series, and there is always a lot of specific material in each commentary too (there is also the amusing bit where Sharp says that he might stay silent over the scene involving the schoolgirl, a condom, an egg and a pencil, saying that he thinks it speaks for itself!).

Sadly the final film in the series from 1994, Angel Guts: Red Flash, wasn't in the set, presumably because it falls outside of the Nikkatsu Roman Porno era (1971-88). I'd certainly be interested to see that film some time, if only to complete the series! Though I highly doubt that Arrow or any UK distributor would be able to release any of those films, which all include quite extensive rape scenes, without extensive cuts if not outright rejection by the BBFC. Unfortunately on a quick check of Amazon.com, it looks as if the box set is out of print and while a couple of the films are available standalone, they are going for around $100.

There were also commentaries over two of the four 'Pink films' that Artsmagic released too, Under The Carp Banner and Rafureshia. Both of those still look to be available on Amazon for $15-$20.

He also did commentaries for the three Shinji Aoyama films Artsmagic released, Wild Life, An Obsession and EM: Embalming.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#13 Post by EddieLarkin » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:51 am

As I suspected from the caps, this disc definitely suffers from an incorrect colour space. Switching over to PC Level on my Oppo fixes the problem instantly; the blacks go from a murky green to a rich deep black and the colours get a boost as well. This doesn't affect shadow detail at all; I specifically checked dark scenes where detail was already hard to discern and when switching over the detail remains the same, only the shadows themselves get darker. I popped in Lady Snowblood and both of those films are afflicted to an even greater degree (and by the looks of the caps, All Ladies Do It and The Key also). I thought this was only a Toho thing but apparently Nikkatsu are at it as well. If the Stray Cat Rock masters suffer from this same problem I hope Arrow will correct them first.

I was hoping to post some comparison caps but I cannot make the necessary corrections on my PC, only through my Blu-ray player. For those who want to see this improvement for themselves, on Oppo players the option is found as follows: Setup-Video Setup-HDMI options-Color Space-RGB PC Level (this will typically be set to Auto, which is what 99% of discs require). On the PS3 it can be found as follows: Settings>Display Settings> RGB Full Range (HDMI)>Full (this will typically be set to Limited, which again is correct for all your other discs). Other players may have a similar option, and I think via my old Panasonics it was: TV/Device Connection>HDMI Connection>HDMI Color Mode.

Orlac
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#14 Post by Orlac » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:16 pm

EddieLarkin wrote:As I suspected from the caps, this disc definitely suffers from an incorrect colour space. Switching over to PC Level on my Oppo fixes the problem instantly; the blacks go from a murky green to a rich deep black and the colours get a boost as well. This doesn't affect shadow detail at all; I specifically checked dark scenes where detail was already hard to discern and when switching over the detail remains the same, only the shadows themselves get darker. I popped in Lady Snowblood and both of those films are afflicted to an even greater degree (and by the looks of the caps, All Ladies Do It and The Key also). I thought this was only a Toho thing but apparently Nikkatsu are at it as well. If the Stray Cat Rock masters suffer from this same problem I hope Arrow will correct them first.

I was hoping to post some comparison caps but I cannot make the necessary corrections on my PC, only through my Blu-ray player. For those who want to see this improvement for themselves, on Oppo players the option is found as follows: Setup-Video Setup-HDMI options-Color Space-RGB PC Level (this will typically be set to Auto, which is what 99% of discs require). On the PS3 it can be found as follows: Settings>Display Settings> RGB Full Range (HDMI)>Full (this will typically be set to Limited, which again is correct for all your other discs). Other players may have a similar option, and I think via my old Panasonics it was: TV/Device Connection>HDMI Connection>HDMI Color Mode.
I think it's a Japanese thing. Something to do with their TVs?

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#15 Post by EddieLarkin » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:21 pm

It's more common with stuff coming out of Japan, but not limited to them (see All Ladies Do It and The Key; also I have plenty of Japanese Blu-rays that are fine). The US had a different IRE level for NTSC video to Japan, but this is no longer relevant. Colour space should be 16-235 (Video Level) regardless of the country. Presumably this problem occurs when the colour space for the master is set to 0-255 (PC Level); when the film is played back on a player and TV set to 16-235, the information below 16 and above 235 in the video gets clipped. Adjusting your player to 0-255 fixes the problem.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#16 Post by EddieLarkin » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:56 am

How Lady Snowblood (and Blind Woman's Curse) looks before and after a colour space adjustment (see the bottom; thanks Palander).

For the record, the following discs can also be corrected with the same adjustment:

Destroy All Monsters (Media Blasters)
Godzilla vs. Biollante (Echo Bridge)
Gatchaman: Complete Collection + OVAs (Sentai)
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Tetsuo II: Body Hammer is fine) (Third Window Films)
Gamera: Ultimate Collection Volume 1&2 (Mill Creek)
Maniac (Blue Underground)
All Ladies Do It (Arrow)
The Key (Arrow)
Last edited by EddieLarkin on Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Palander
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#17 Post by Palander » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Thanks EddieLarkin for taking the trouble for posting those links and the info about how to get correct colour.
The links don't work, for my anyway. I found the screenshots by searcing for the review for dvdactive.
Your links just bring me to a dvd active placeholder.
Any the link is to the review with the screenshots is http://www.dvdactive.com/reviews/dvd/la ... blood.html
Btw, it looked fine to me when I viewed it and Blind Woman's Curse.
And Tsetso.
I'll check again.

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#18 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:11 am

Looking for some help here...
Regarding the DVD disc replacement that was done for the US edition (as per this post), does anyone know how to tell the difference between the original & replacement discs?

I've had a few replacement discs sitting in a pile for it would seem, over a year now, and I'm not sure if I ever got around to replacing the disc in its case or not. ](*,)

The only obvious difference I can see is on the data side...
One DVD has 'FCD889BL0 22 A00' and the other 'AV003DVDL1 01'. I'm assuming the latter is the corrected disc?

UPDATE: yes, the latter was the correct disc. The original disc was incorrectly formatted in PAL.
Last edited by Adam Grikepelis on Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kuzine
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Re: Blind Woman's Curse

#19 Post by kuzine » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:12 pm

EddieLarkin wrote:How Lady Snowblood (and Blind Woman's Curse) looks before and after a colour space adjustment (see the bottom; thanks Palander).

For the record, the following discs can also be corrected with the same adjustment:

Destroy All Monsters (Media Blasters)
Godzilla vs. Biollante (Echo Bridge)
Gatchaman: Complete Collection + OVAs (Sentai)
Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Tetsuo II: Body Hammer is fine) (Third Window Films)
Gamera: Ultimate Collection Volume 1&2 (Mill Creek)
Maniac (Blue Underground)
All Ladies Do It (Arrow)
The Key (Arrow)
Couldn't find a catch all thread for this, so thought I'd add it here.
Played the Eureka Guilty of Romance disk tonight and I think it suffers from the same issue (it looked way better in any case after adjusting the colour space on my Oppo).

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