Fangs of the Living Dead – Shout! Factory (Blu-ray)
Theatrical Release Date: Spain/Italy, 1969
Director: Amando de Ossorio
Writer: Amando de Ossorio
Cast: Anita Ekberg, Gianni Medici, Diana Lorys, Adriana Ambesi, César Benet, Carlos Casaravilla, Fernando Bilbao, Paul Muller, Adriana Santucci, Aurelia Treviño, Juanita Ramírez, Rosanna Yanni, Julián Ugarte
Release Date: February 20th, 2018
Approximate running time: 94 Minutes 14 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Spanish, DTS-HD Mono English
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $27.99
"Beautiful fashion model Sylvia Morel (Anita Ekberg) receives news that she has inherited a castle from her uncle. Her curiosity leads her to journey to a remote village to see her new house. Once there, she learns of her family’s history and soon falls under the spell of her uncle. He wants her to become the new matriarch of the family … a clan of vampires!” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
Fangs of the Living Dead comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 27.7 GB
Feature: 25.9 GB
No information is provided about the source used for this transfer. Though the source is in good shape, there is print debris throughout this transfer. Flesh tones look correct, colors look very good, the image is generally crisp, black levels are adequate, and compression is very good. Also, there appears to be some digital noise reduction, which is more noticeable in some scenes than in others.
Audio: 3.25/5 (DTS-HD Mono Spanish), 3.5/5 (DTS-HD Mono English)
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in Spanish and a DTS-HD mono mix in English. When compared to the English-language track, the Spanish-language track sounds muffled. Also, the English language track is not without its own shortcomings; it has hiss, pops, crackles, and some sibilance issues. That said, dialog comes through clearly and range-wise, and the English language track is satisfactory. Included are removable English subtitles for the Spanish-language track.
Extras for this release include a reversible cover art, a theatrical trailer (2 minutes 51 seconds, DTS-HD mono Spanish with removable English subtitles), Spanish title sequence (2 minutes 13 seconds, DTS-HD mono), alternate ending (2 minutes 53 seconds, DTS-HD mono Spanish, no subtitles), and an audio commentary with author Troy Howarth.
Directed by Amando de Ossorio, who is most known for directing four Blind Dead films: Tombs of the Blind Dead, Return of the Blind Dead, The Ghost Galleon, and Night of the Seagulls. Other notable films that he directed are Fangs of the Living Dead, and The Loreley's Grasp.
The narrative revolves around a woman who inherits a castle infested with vampires.
Three years before he directed The Tombs of the Blind Dead, Amando de Ossorio would direct his first horror film, Fangs of the Living Dead. And though horror cinema was starting to gain traction in Spanish cinema, notably because of the films of Paul Naschy, a film like Fangs of the Living Dead is not a good example of what Spanish horror cinema has to offer; it is arguably Amando de Ossorio’s weakest horror film.
Despite having a strong premise and many of the core elements that one has come to expect from Euro-cult horror cinema, notably a cast filled with recognizable faces and strong visuals, which greatly add to the mood, the result is a film that starts off well but never really builds any sustainable momentum. Most of the narrative is spent following characters doing mundane things or scenarios that are never frightening, despite Fangs of the Living Dead being a horror film. Another area where Fangs of the Living Dead comes up short is its vampires, who are never menacing, and they spend most of their screen time flashing their fangs and not much more.
That said, Fangs of the Living Dead does have a solid cast that is filled with several recognizable faces for anyone familiar with 1960s and 1970s Euro-cult cinema. Anita Ekberg (Killer Nun) is cast in the dual roles of Sylvia De Morel, the woman who inherited a castle, and Malenka, her lookalike descendant. Other notable cast members are Diana Lorys (Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll), Paul Muller (She Killed in Ecstasy), and Rosanna Yanni (Two Undercover Angels). The performances, like pretty much everything about Fangs of the Living Dead, are underwhelming.
When one thinks of horror films, one of their main draws is their kill scenes. Unfortunately, in this regard, Fangs of the Living Dead is lacking in this area. Also, for a film that is virtually devoid of frights, it is a dialogue-heavy film. That said, Fangs of the Living Dead is a film that relies heavily on atmosphere. Fortunately, this is one area where Fangs of the Living Dead does reasonably well. Ultimately, Fangs of the Living Dead is a melodrama that tries to pass itself off as horror.
Fangs of the Living Dead gets a strong release from Shout! Factory that comes with a good audio/video presentation and an informative audio commentary.
Written by Michael Den Boer