Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The She Beast|
Actors: Barbara Steele, John Karlsen, Ian Ogilvy, Mel Welles, Jay Riley
Director: Michael Reeves
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
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At last on april 28th!!
bill renek | sunset,utah | 01/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"throw out your old dvd or vhs copy of this michael reeves cult classic on april 28th and get THE legitimate,restored and remastered version on dark sky video!!for years all there have been are terrible copies of this movie floating around but now this is the chance to see this on dvd the way it was meant to.the late michael reeves(1943-1969)made only a handful of movies in his short life and career but each one is unique and should be seen by fans of horror movies.the story takes place in 1960s era communist europe with a couple traveling on their honeymoon and the wife(barbara steele)supposedly drowns in a car crash and when a truck driver tries to save her,up comes the most horrifying movie witches you will ever see.the characters in this movie are different to say the least and while unfortunately barbara steele is really only seen for a brief few minutes--it is a unique and fascinating movie that only a genius like michael reeves could have made(and don't miss mel welles,famous for playing gravis mushnik in the original "little house of horrors")as the sleazy motel innkeeper!!thank you dark sky video."
Unwatchable Transfer Looks Like MUD!!
Chip Kaufmann | 06/18/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I wonder why any movie with BARBARA STEELE on DVD (with the exception of SYNAPSE'S stunning CASTLE OF BLOOD) has to look like crap? I mean this one takes the cake...of course it is only $, but I found it unwatchable.
And the truly bad pan and scanning treats you over and over to BARBARA STEELE'S amazing talking nose. I guess they did not think in anyway about the framing.
Also the sound is hideous, the print is completely faded to the point of almost black and white at parts. And it looks like swamp mud, what can I say. It really is not worth the bucks...wait until someone puts out a decent copy.
A lot of ALPHA'S releases are fine but this one is just really horrendous. The print quality is much scarier than the witch in the movie."
An Underappreciated Low Budget Gem.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 05/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As an aficionado of silent films, it's amazing the impact that a restored print can have on the viewing experience. The same is true of regular movies as well, including a low budget drive-in special like this one. Throw in the fact that this was the debut feature of the tragically short lived British filmmaker Michael Reeves (who would go on to make the legendary WITCHFINDER GENERAL with Vincent Price and like Heath Ledger would die of an accidental prescription drug overdose in his 20s) and you have something really special.
Shot in Italy on a budget of around $40,000 and released in 1966, THE SHE BEAST (REVENGE OF THE BLOOD BEAST in England) clearly prefigures WITCHFINDER GENERAL in some of its scenes and even in some of its camera shots. Compared to the old beat up 16mm prints that were available up to now, this 35mm transfer is a revelation and shows that Reeves had an extraordinary cinematic eye for composing the look of his films. Very few directors could have gotten so much out of so little as he does here.
Barbara Steele was available for one day and is little more than a guest star but she helped to sell the picture. Ian Ogilvy in his first film is all he needs to be while John Karlsen and Mel Welles add necessary spice to the proceedings. Watching this reminded me again of what was lost when the drive-ins disappeared. Today there is no low budget training ground for young directors where their works can be seen by a large number of people. A movie like this would now go straight to DVD and into rental and bargain bin oblivion.
This Dark Sky DVD release is everything a cult film lover could wish for. Not only is the print quality absolutely gorgeous but the guest commentary by Ogilvy, Steele and producer Paul Maslansky is both informative and quite amusing. It helps to explain why the film wildly veers between being an outright horror film, a political satire, and a Keystone style slapstick comedy. Taken as a whole it isn't very good but it does have its moments and is very enjoyable. THE SHE BEAST deserves to be seen by anyone interested in low-budget filmmaking and as a look at the beginning of a short but remarkable career.
Good DVD.....Good film?
Dan Day | South Bend, IN | 05/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The She-Beast has been released as a special-edition DVD by Dark Sky Films. Dark Sky is a company committed to making high-class DVD's of rare and unusual horror product. Their version of The She-Beast is no exception.The print looks about as good as this film will look, and it is anamorphic 2:35 widescreen. The DVD also includes a commentary with stars Barbara Steele, Ian Ogilvy, and producer Paul Maslansky. For Barbara Steele fans, this commentary may be the main reason for purchase, since Steele has made very few interveiws. This film was the official directorial debut for cult director Michael Reeves. Reeves is most famous for Witchfinder General, which The She-Beast has some elements of.
Unfortunately this film has some problems plot-wise. The ending of the film is ruined by a Mack Sennet-style chase which is at odds with the rest of the film. There are some creepy scenes, but the film's low budget and its inconsistent tone make it more cult than classic. However, this DVD is highly recommened to Barbara Steele and Michael Reeves fans."