Friday, July 10

The Bouncing Boogeyman

Yesterday I picked up Sony's 2008 re-issue of Uli Lommel's The Boogeyman and The Return of the Boogeyman that was previously released by Anchor Bay in the same double feature configuration but with The Devonsville Terror in place of Return... way back in 1997.

I merely bought it out of curiosity since Sony kinda sneaked it out last year and the studio didn't do a bad job, at least with The Boogeyman. The back states the feature being "Mastered in High Definition" or re-transferred in HD and then downconverted for this DVD from the new HD master. I don't doubt the claim, the picture wavers from good-to-great, despite mysteriously having new computer generated opening credits over a black screen.

It looks solid for a low budgeter from 1980 probably given the quickie treatment for this DVD all told. I didn't check, but I have no doubts the picture quality rolls right over Anchor Bay's ultra outdated non-anamorphic DVD. 1993's Return is presented on the flip side in a murky full screen VHS transfer and the film would likely put me on suicide watch if an actual viewing attempt was made.

Though it's not all roses, the Boogeyman transfer has one monstrous flaw--sprocket jitter. Either by misaligned equipment used during the HD telecine film transfer process or worn sprocket holes on the actual film reels, there's incessant vertical bouncing of the picture. It's subtle enough not to one think something is obviously wrong right away, but once noticed the film becomes about impossible to watch as your eyes catch every unnatural tick in the frame.

So beware even with this disc being the price of a value meal, unless you're a big fan.


I Like Horror Movies said...

The quality of the Anchor Bay version isnt any better, pretty bad transfer and blurry throughout most of the picture. Devonsville Terror < all

E.S. Coakley said...

Just the name Ulli Lommel has the power to send waves of fear all through my body: Some of his films are the most frighteningly, gut-wrenchingly, suicidally, PAINFUL experiences I've ever had in my life! I'm still recovering from ZOMBIE NATION and I saw that a long while ago...

Someone gave me a copy of TENDERNESS OF THE WOLVES...he said it wasn't too bad...but I'm still so traumatized, I'm actually afraid to watch it!

Anonymous said...

Just found this post today after I saw two different copies at a used record store yesterday. The covers for both Sony releases are similar. The back says simply "1.85:1 widescreen" for the first film and 1.33:1 for the second. The back of the other says 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen for the first film and 1.33:1 for the second, and "mastered in high definition" for both films (which had me doubting that even the first film might be a new anamorphic transfer). After reading your post, I think I'll grab the copy that lists "anamorphic" in the specs (just to be safe). you dare tread upon the staircase?

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