Monday, August 1, 2022

Two Undercover Angels / Kiss Me Monster – Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Dates: West Germany/Spain, 1969 (Two Undercover Angels, Kiss Me Monster)
Director: Jesús Franco (Both Films)
Cast: Janine Reynaud, Rosanna Yanni, Chris Howland, Manolo Otero, Adrian Hoven, Michel Lemoine, Jesús Franco 

Release Date: July 26th, 2022
Approximate Running Times: 79 Minutes 3 Seconds (Two Undercover Angels), 79 Minutes 40 Seconds (Kiss Me Monster)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (Both Films)
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono German (Both Films)
Subtitles: English SDH (Both Films)
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $47.98

"TWO UNDERCOVER ANGELS (aka SADIST EROTICA and RED LIPS): Diana and Regina are The Red Lips, a duo of sexy sleuths who take on only the most intriguing cases. After stumbling upon the strange disappearances of several pretty young women and realizing a connection exists between several of the missing and an enigmatic artist, whose identity is shrouded in mystery, they begin an intense undercover investigation which takes them on an unexpected trail of monsters, murder, and striptease!

KISS ME MONSTER: In their second adventure, Diana and Regina have been tasked with locating a mysterious red box but quickly discover that they’re not the only ones after its contents and find themselves at odds with a secret sect, which controls a small zombie army, and who are hoping to harness the power of human cloning — the formula to which is contained within the box. As bodies (some nude, some dead) pile up, Diana and Regina race against time to stop the diabolical organization!" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5 (Two Undercover Angels, Kiss Me Monster)

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfers. "Newly scanned and restored in 4K from their 35mm original camera negatives."

Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster come on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 42.5 GB

Feature: 21 GB (Two Undercover Angels), 21.1 GB (Kiss Me Monster)

Though there are a few very minor source-related imperfections, mostly in the form of white specks, the sources used for each film transfer look fantastic. Colors are nicely saturated, flesh tones look correct, the image looks crisp, black levels are strong, and grain remains intact. That said, this is easily the best Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster have ever looked on home video.

All of the extras are on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 19.7 GB

Feature: 6.8 GB (Two Undercover Angels - Spanish Version), 5 GB (Kiss Me Monster - Spanish Version)

The Spanish versions are sourced from tape, and they look as good as one would expect considering their sources.

Audio: 4/5 (DTS-HD Mono English), 4.25/5 (DTS-HD Mono German)

Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster each come with two audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and a DTS-HD mono mix in German. The English language track is free of any background hiss, the dialog comes through clearly, the ambient sounds are well-represented, and the score sounds robust. Also, there are a few moments where the shift in the audio from soft to loud or vice versa can be jarring. That said, the English language track was created in post-production, and this leads me to believe that these audio level shifts are a byproduct of dubbing audio tracks. The German language track sounds clean, clear, and balanced. Included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles for the English language track. There are no subtitles for the German language track.

Extras:

Extras for this release are all included on a second Blu-ray disc. The extras on this disc include stills galleries with music from the film’s playing in the background for Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster, a theatrical trailer for Two Undercover Angels (3 minutes 4 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English with removable English SDH subtitles), a theatrical trailer for Kiss Me Monster (2 minutes 58 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English with removable English SDH subtitles), an archival interview with director Jess Franco titled Jess’ Tangents (22 minutes 7 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo French with removable English subtitles), an archival interview with Jess Franco titled The Case of the Red Lips (13 minutes 59 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo French with removable English subtitles), an interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco titled The Red Lips Diaries (46 minutes 8 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), the Spanish version of Two Undercover Angels (92 minutes 26 seconds, Dolby Digital mono Spanish with removable English SDH subtitles), and the Spanish version of Kiss Me Monster (84 minutes 34 seconds, Dolby Digital mono Spanish with removable English SDH subtitles).

Other extras include reversible covert, Two Undercover Angels on one side, and Kiss Me Monster on the other side, and an embossed and spot gloss slipcover limited to 6,000 units.

Summary:

In 1967, Jess Franco would direct two spy films, Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monsters (both films would be released in 1969). These two films are also known as the Red Lips films. Both films would star Janine Reynaud and Rosanna Yanni as the dynamic spy duo, Diana and Regina.

Two Undercover Angels is the better of the two films for many reasons, the two most glaring being that it has a better plot and the lead actress's wardrobe is more spectacular. By the time Jess Franco got around to shooting Kiss Me Monster, which just happened to be shot right after Two Undercover Angels ended, someone decided that less would be better for the sequel. One other misstep in Kiss Me Monster is the padding of the narrative with scenes from Two Undercover Angels. To its credit, Kiss Me Monster is a more wide-open film as more locations are used. The script is another story as it is just a melting pot of gimmicks and spy film cliches.

The two lead actresses are what make Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster as enjoyable as they are, as they not only look stunning throughout. They are also willing to do just about anything, no matter how absurd it may seem. Diana and Regina, besides being super sexy spies, also have a tremendous knack for psychological slapstick comedy. Janine Reynaud (The Case of the Scorpion's Tail) in the role of Diana and Rosanna Yanni (The Fox with a Velvet Tail) in the role of Regina perfectly play off each other and make a wonderful comedy pair.

Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster both feature the obligatory night club scene, which can be found in just about every film Jess Franco ever made. Their jazz-infused scores work well with the film's offbeat comedy and general craziness. Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster are not like Jess Franco’s other films from around this time. Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster, like many European exports made around the same time, feature a horrendous English-dubbed audio track. Still, in all of its awfulness, there is something about a bad mix like this that just makes a film more entertaining.

Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster didn’t leave that great of an impression on me when I first saw them via Anchor Bay’s flawed DVD releases. Since then, my appreciation for Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster has grown considerably. That said, Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster are not top-tier Jess Franco, but they are still a lot of fun.

Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster make their way to Blu-ray via an excellent release from Vinegar Syndrome that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a wealth of extra content, including alternate Spanish versions, highly recommended.



















                                Two Undercover Angels Spanish Version Screenshots.







                                    Kiss Me Monster Spanish Version Screenshots.






Written by Michael Den Boer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Yes, Madam! – Eureka Video (Blu-ray) Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1985 Director: Corey Yuen Writers: James Clouse, Barry Wong Cast: M...