Saturday, July 23, 2022

Mansion of the Living Dead – Severin Films (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1982
Director: Jesús Franco
Writer: Jesús Franco
Cast: Lina Romay, Antonio Mayans, Mabel Escaño, Albino Graziani, Mari Carmen Nieto, Elisa Vela, Eva León

Release Date: June 10th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 92 Minutes 52 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Spanish
Subtitles: English
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95

"When four topless cocktail waitresses – led by Lina Romay (aka Candy Coster) at her most luscious – arrive at a deserted resort, they’ll unlock a perverse netherworld of lesbianism, sadism and unholy violation by a zombie religious sect inspired by de Ossorio’s BLIND DEAD series." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, “now scanned in 2K from the original negative for the first time ever.”

Mansion of the Living Dead comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 35.6 GB

Feature: 25.1 GB

The source used for this transfer is in great shape. Colors are nicely saturated, flesh tones look correct, image clarity is strong, black levels look good, and the image retains an organic look.

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in Spanish, and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio is free of any background hiss or distortion; dialog comes through clearly; everything sounds balanced; ambient sounds are well-represented.

Extras:

Extras for this release include an archival interview with director Jess Franco, and actress Lina Romay titled The Mansion That Jess Built (19 minutes 10 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English and Spanish with removable English subtitles), and an interview with Stephen Thrower, author Of Flowers Of Perversion: The Delirious Cinema Of Jesús Franco titled Jess Franco: Heretic (36 minutes 24 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles).

Summary:

It has been said that Mansion of the Living Dead is Jess Franco’s Blind Dead film, and while there may be similarities between the two, Mansion of the Living Dead is not a sequel or continuation of that series by any means. Mansion of the Living Dead was loosely inspired by the first Blind Dead film, Tombs of the Blind Dead, and here is where most of the similarities most likely arise. The title, Mansion of the Living Dead, is kind of a misnomer since there are no mansions, only monasteries and hotels in this film.

Once again, Jess Franco shows restraint as he never overuses his technique in Mansion of the Living Dead. He makes good use of the spacious Techniscope frame, and one scene that instantly springs to mind is when the four strippers are sunbathing and a meat cleaver is thrown at them from the hotel above. He also uses the hotel to its fullest as he uses every inch of the frame to emphasize the isolation of the empty hotel. The acting, while substandard, doesn’t hurt Mansion of the Living Dead, and in fact, the cast of mostly women is all attractive, making for lots of eye candy.

Mansion of the Living Dead does feel padded at times, and if it weren’t for its tremendous amount of atmosphere, this flaw would have been more serious. The living dead in this one are unlike any you will ever encounter in any other living dead or zombie film. The one thing that sets them apart most might have to be the fact that they rape their victims before they kill them for being unvirtuous. Ultimately, Mansion of the Living Dead is an average film in the hands of just about any other filmmaker, and somehow Jess Franco’s unique style makes Mansion of the Living Dead more engaging than it should be.

Mansion of the Living Dead gets an excellent release from Severin Films that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a pair of insightful extras, highly recommended.








Written by Michael Den Boer

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