Thursday, February 24, 2022

Flesh for Frankenstein – Vinegar Syndrome (4k UHD/Blu-ray Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: USA/Italy/France, 1973
Director: Paul Morrissey
Writers: Paul Morrissey, Tonino Guerra, Pat Hackett, Mary Shelley
Cast: Joe Dallesandro, Monique van Vooren, Udo Kier, Arno Jürging, Dalila Di Lazzaro, Srdjan Zelenovic, Nicoletta Elmi, Marco Liofredi, Liù Bosisio, Fiorella Masselli, Cristina Gaioni, Rosita Torosh, Carla Mancini, Imelde Marani

Release Date: November 26th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 95 Minutes 11 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / HDR10
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $79.98

"Deranged scientist, Baron von Frankenstein, with the help of his bizarre assistant, Otto, is determined to create a new master race, of which he will be the leader. To achieve his objective, he constructs two perfect ‘zombies’ from an assemblage of body parts, intending them to mate. Meanwhile, complications ensue as Nicholas, a farm hand, begins an affair with the Baron’s sexually frustrated wife all while searching for his missing friend Sacha, whose head and brain have been used for Frankenstein’s male "zombie"!" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 5/5 (4k UHD), 4.75 (Blu-ray 2-D version), 4.75 (Blu-ray 3-D version)

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm original camera negative."

Flesh for Frankenstein comes on a 66 GB dual layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 59.5 GB

Feature: 59 GB

The source used for this transfer looks excellent. Color saturation, contrast, image clarity, and black levels are solid; there are no issues with compression, and the grain looks organic. It should be noted that when the game was originally released, colors and contrast looked too hot, and Vinegar Syndrome has since fixed these issues with a new disc.

Flesh for Frankenstein 2-D version comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 46.2 GB

Feature: 26.2 GB

Though the Blu-ray uses the same source as the 4K UHD, the result is a solid transfer that’s just a notch below the 4K UHD’s transfer.

Flesh for Frankenstein 3-D version comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 42.8 GB

Feature: 42.5 GB

The 3-D version offers two ways to watch: a 3-D capable TV and player or red-and-cyan 3-D glasses that work on all TVs. This release comes with a pair of red-cyan 3-D glasses.

The 3-D version looks solid.

Audio: 5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio is in excellent shape; the dialog always comes through clearly, and everything sounds balanced and robust when it should. Range-wise, things sound surprisingly full for a mono audio track.

Extras:

Extras on the 4K UHD disc is an audio commentary with film historians and authors Samm Deighan, Heather Drain and Kat Ellinger.

Extras on the 2-D Blu-ray disc include a theatrical trailer (3 minutes 21 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English with removable English SDH subtitles), two radio spots (1 minute 6 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English with removable English SDH subtitles), an extensive promotional still gallery with music from the film playing in the background (stills/lobby cards/posters/press releases/other promotional materials), audio Recollections with writer/director Paul Morrissey (23 minutes 45 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), screen test footage with audio commentary by Paul Morrissey (4 minutes 12 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), raw Q&A footage from 2012 with Paul Morrissey (33 minutes 36 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with assistant director Paolo Pietrangeli titled Feed My Frankenstein (16 minutes 26 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with actress Liù Bosisio titled Don’t Say a Word (13 minutes, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with art director Gianni Giovagnoni tilted Building the world of Frankenstein (28 minutes 31 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with film historian & author Stephen Thrower titled Andy’s Shadow (15 minutes 31 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with producer Andrew Braunsberg titled Dimension in Fear (11 minutes 15 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with actor Joe Dallesandro titled In the Flesh (12 minutes 48 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with actor Udo Kier titled The Ecstasy of Frankenstein (17 minutes 50 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an archival interview with Paul Morrissey titled Trans - Human Flesh & Blood (50 minutes 5 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles) and an audio commentary with Samm Deighan, Heather Drain and Kat Ellinger.

Other extras include reversible cover art and slipcovers.

Summary:

Frankenstein is a literary character that's been adapted numerous times. And though there have been films that tried to remain faithful to Mary Shelley’s source novel, there are many instances where film adaptations use nothing more than the name Frankenstein and/or the basic framework of how Frankenstein created his monster. A film like Flesh for Frankenstein falls into the latter category.

From its opening moments, Flesh for Frankenstein establishes that it is not your usual adaptation. In fact, Flesh for Frankenstein is arguably the most original take on Mary Shelley’s source novel.

"To know death, you have to fuck life in the gallbladder." - Baron Frankenstein

Though there’s not an area where Flesh for Frankenstein excels. It's hard to imagine another actor than Udo Kier (Mark of the Devil) in the role of Baron Frankenstein. He delivers a delirious performance that perfectly captures Baron Frankenstein’s dedication to his experiments. Other notable cast members include Joe Dallesandro (Savage Three) in the role of Nicholas, a servant who seduces Baroness Frankenstein, Monique van Vooren (Sugar Cookies) in the role of Baroness Katrin Frankenstein, Nicoletta Elmi (Deep Red), Baron Frankenstein’s daughter, and Dalila Di Lazzaro (The Pyjama Girl Case) in the role of the female monster.

Flesh for Frankenstein is a period-set film whose set design and costumes are top notch. Also, Claudio Gizzi’s (Blood for Dracula) superb score does a great job of setting the mood. Visually, Flesh for Frankenstein is filled with beautiful imagery that takes full advantage of the 2.35:1 scope frame. Special effects are another area where Flesh for Frankenstein delivers and then some. The special effects, like the decapitation scene, are gruesome. Ultimately, Flesh for Frankenstein is a wild ride that fans of 1970’s exploitation cinema are sure to enjoy.

Flesh for Frankenstein gets a definitive release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.

                                                        4K UHD screenshots.












Written by Michael Den Boer

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