Saturday, April 4

Grindhouse's Cat in the Brain - Deluxe Edition

Just picked it up at Best Buy with the limited lenticular cover. It's always two steps forward, one step back with Grindhouse Releasing. Their DVD releases of I Drink Your Blood and The Beyond are damn near perfect on all fronts. Seriously two of the best genre DVDs ever created. The Deluxe Edition of Cannibal Holocaust was massively anticipated and delivered for the most part. The problem was the transfer was interlaced and suffered from a undetailed "thick" color appearance, despite reviews raining praise like manna from heaven.

Now brings the DE of Fulci's A Cat in the Brain unleashed (after years) this past Tuesday and it delivers...for the most part. The good news is the transfer is progressively encoded; which means it will look halfway decent on digital displays and one doesn't need a good DVD player with strong deinterlacing capabilities to make it look good. Still, it doesn't look all too great, especially for a supposed " restoration."

Grindhouse Releasing TOP / Screen Entertainment U.K. (unmatted) BOTTOM: (click to enlarge)

(captures unresized, untouched, captured as lossless .pngs, converted to high quality .jpgs)

Now, the Screen Entertainment disc hailing from Britain (uncut also) does suffer from weak encoding, but I'll damned if the inherent film grain and better color balance (despite the greenish lean) doesn't look vastly superior to my eyes. Really, the Grindhouse disc looks like a muddling Dutch DVD from EC Entertainment years ago, but anamorphic. Black levels that obscure detail, hot color, and barely any fine detail at all. The transfer doesn't look downconverted from an HD master in the slightest. Interestingly, the (fleeting) flecks of print damage are identical on both discs. It appears the U.K. disc's transfer source is Italy's Minerva Pictures.

Grindhouse certainly do excellent work overall (this release is stacked), but in my blog scum opinion they simply aren't high rollers when it comes to quality digital transfers. I might catch some flak for this, but I also suggest completely disregarding both DVD Drive-In's and A/V Maniacs' reviews of the disc. They have no idea.


Tower Farm said...

I just came across this DVD at Borders today and, though it looked interesting, decided against it. I had not heard of this one.

The girl on the phone. Where do I know her from. Was she in Tenebre or something?

Thanks for the overview. I will probably pick this up (at Best Buy, where it is sure to be $10 cheaper).


Tower Farm said...

Wait a minute... was the girl on the phone in Demons??


Johnny 666 said...

Yeah, I have been wondering wether it is worth my while picking this up, seeing as I have the UK version already. I think I will give it a miss.

Jayson Kennedy said...

Yep JM, I'm fairly sure that's the girl from Demons. I did a little review of the movie, a link is in the Review Archive on the left.

Also I just remembered GH released Pieces as well, but I haven't gotten around to viewing that disc yet.

I'm a Fulci collector of sorts so I don't mind having this release, but I wish it was truly definitive. I'm tempted to grab the Italian DVD and do a three-way comparison.

DrunkethWizerd said...

Damn, that UK Version's picture quality is very nice compared to this one you and I just bought. Too bad about the loss of film grain and details...

...oh, and it's Definately the 2'nd chick from Demons. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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