Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Faceless Monster|
Actors: Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga LinÚ, Laurence Clift, Giuseppe Addobbati
Director: Mario Caiano
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
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So-so Video Transfer... Still Worth Owning
The Magician | New York, NY | 05/06/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like the other posts have mentioned: the video quality is decidedly poor. It seems to have been taken from a videotape source due to the numerous drop outs that are evident througout. Still, it's by far the best version available (aka Nightmare Castle on other low-quality labels) and it's far from unwatchable and even fairly crisp in spots. The audio is okay, the dubbed dialogue is clear even if there's a slight hiss to it.
As for the film... it's a blast! This is my favorite Barbara Steele performance and she plays two roles: the insatiable, insane, raven-haired Muriel and the demure, blonde and driven insane Jenny. The whole thing's encased in a fog-thick atmosphere of dread, sadism and passion that even outdoes many of the Corman/Poe adaptions. Witness the doctor's torture of Muriel and her lover and then Muriel's gleeful climactic revenge. Pretty powerful stuff even by today's standards... and although it's draggy in spots it has many memorable scenes that make it worthwhile.
The print's uncut and 100 min. It's incorrectly framed at what looks like 1.50:1 instead of 1.66:1 and the first couple of credit titles are video generated. There also seems to be some new sound efx of crickets and such added over the first scene for some inexplicable reason.
The box cover art is hideously wretched (doesn't Retromedia have a designer that knows rudimentary Photoshop?). The slightly animated menus are passable as is a small photo gallery set to Ennio Morricone's cool theme.
Again, the quality should have been better but if you can score it for $... so (and you're a fan) than it's definitely worth it... until a superior version comes along."
DREADFUL TRANSFER !
The Magician | 03/04/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I adore Barbara Steele, but this transfer is truly one of the worst DVD transferd ever. It looks to have been mastered from a videotape without any type of effort to clean it up whatsoever. It has a constant fluttering throughout most of the film which gives the picture a quality that is NOT in anyway seamless.
The box art is [bad] and this is definateley a sub par release.
In comparison with SYNAPSE'S beautiful job on CASTLE OF BLOOD starring BARBARA STEELE this disc is an atrocity.
THE ONLY REASON to buy this DVD is if you are such a fanatic for BARBARA STEELE that you cannot wait for someone else to put out a better copy. Surely, and hopefully, someone will. Cuz RETROMEDIA'S release would not even be competition if someone came out with an even slightly better version.
I mean they should pay people to watch this disc rather than charge them."
I am in Dork Heaven!
Bob the Bear | At the Mountains of Madness | 05/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been looking high and low for an uncut version of this movie and Retro Media has done a bang-up job of restoring it. The transfer is clear, the sound quality is top-natch and Barbara does her own dub! ( insert pathetic squeal of joy ) The still gallery was a nice bonus too. Retro Media, you are truly gods among men. Keep up the good work. So, if you're a gothic Italian horror/Barbara Steele buff, then this is a sound investment.
Barbara Steele Gets Wicked...
Bindy Sue Fr°nkŘnschtein | under the rubble | 03/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stephen, an evil, sadistic mad scientist lives in an old castle with his beautiful wife, Muriel (Barbara Steele). He has no idea that Muriel's been getting real familiar with David the gardener. One evening, he catches them getting busy in the greenhouse and goes ballistic! He takes the two down to his private dungeon, chains them up, tortures them, then electrocutes them together! Well, Muriel has an identical twin step-sister named Jenny (Babs again) who stands to inherit all of Muriel's vast fortune. So, hubby tracks her down and marries her! This doesn't sit well with his house-keeper / partner in crime, Solange. She never figured on more competition! Not to worry, Stephen plans on driving Jenny crazy, so she can be declared incompetant, therefore forfeiting her right to her sister's land and money. All goes well, until Jenny begins hearing Muriel's ghost laughing and telling her to do strange things. Soon, Muriel appears with David's ghost in order to exact their grizzly vengeance. Ms. Steele looks really creepy! NIGHTMARE CASTLE allows her to be a truly evil presence, full of remorseless hate and malice! Highly recommended..."