Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Comedy of Terrors (1963) | Your favourite creeps together again in HD - the Arrow Video UK release

With the 1963 horror farce, The Comedy of Terrors, now in HD, here's what you get in the new Arrow Video UK Blu-ray/DVD combo release.

The Comedy of Terrors is presented its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 with mono 2.0 audio (uncompressed PCM on Blu-ray). The HD master was made available by MGM via Hollywood Classics, and includes optional English subtitles.

• Audio commentary with David Del Valle and Rapid Heart TV's David DeCocteau. Del Valle dedicates this commentary to actress Joyce Jameson, a great friend to the film historian who tragically took her life in 1987, aged 54. My full analysis of the commentary is coming soon.

Vincent Price: My Life and Crimes: This is the unseen alternate cut of the 1987 David Del Valle interview that was previously released on DVD in 2002 as The Sinister Image. An historic testament to Price, despite the ageing video source material.

Whispering in Distant Chambers: 17-min video essay by David Cairns, exploring the recurrent themes (like the 'nocturnal walk') and stylistic motifs of Tourneur's work. This is quite informative, nicely narrated by Fiona Watson, with Cairns quoting the director.

Richard Matheson Storyteller - Comedy of Terrors This featurette on the late screenwriter also appears on the Shout! Blu-ray and on the older MGM Midnite Movies DVD.

• Original US theatrical trailer The film looks racier and scarier than it actually was in this unrestored trailer.

• Collector’s booklet featuring a critical analysis of the film by Chris Fujiwara, author of Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall, plus archive stills and posters. Nice litte primer for classic horror newbies and film studies students.

• Newly commissioned artwork by digital artist Paul Shipper. See more of his work (here)

Also available on Blu-ray from Scream Factory (from October 2014), an imprint of Shout! Factory, as part of their Vincent Price Collection II bundle, which includes a Iowa Public Television introduction with Price, but no audio commentary. Blu-ray reviewers have praised Arrow’s transfer over this one, both for its excellent print and audio transfer, and for the fact that a couple of seconds that were missing in the Shout! release are present here. A German Blu-ray was also released in May 2013.

No comments: