Friday, November 20

Children/Dead Things Follow-Up: The VCI "Revision A" Exhumed Edition

First off, what a friggin' great looking DVD cover all around. Just received this one cheap used from Amazon's Marketplace and I figured I'd report primarily on the picture quality. Flashback to September 2007, VCI was about to re-release Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things as a special edition DVD. I'm unsure if the disc actually officially met its release date (some sites received screeners), but VCI issued a complete recall citing an error in a cut version with wonky colors being pressed instead of the finalized uncut version prepped and as advertised.

Marred copies that managed to escape the studio return soared in price on eBay despite VCI stating they'd re-press and release uncut discs. The copy I received is the corrected version with "Revision A" on the back cover and on the disc's face. On the left scan, look on the back right next to the orange splat above the word "AUDIO" for this (tiny) denotation. Both this VCI edition and their 1999 edition run roughly 1:26:35.

As for the transfers, both suffer from some rather annoying issues. The 1999 disc is murky, drab, and in non-anamorphic widescreen. There's a problem with intermittent Laserdisc days dotcrawl that lays over edges (i.e. - the credits) and almost seems to subliminally "flash" every few frames giving the impression of fake film grain.

The 2007 SE is anamorphic with slices of new picture information along the top and bottom of the frame. Colors are much improved, but I can't help but believe they're too pumped up. Alan's shirt seems to shift between bright yellow/orange and facial tones tend to take on whatever the dominant color is on-screen (bright red shirt = reddish skin / bright green shift = grayish skin). Another example of too much color pump in a "remaster" is MGM's Gruesome Edition of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Both CSPwDT transfers are interlaced which especially hurts the SE's potential detail. There's also a layer of odd noise that doesn't quite look like natural grain but more like "artificial" noise introduced to give the false impression of more fine detail. Here's some unresized comparisons between the discs. The SE isn't bad with the extras (aside from the terrible music videos) making up for the transfer's weak points though it could look better. The SE's disc name is "CHILDREN_DEAD_DISC". Hahahaha...



Anthony1138 said...

Sweet, a DVD comparison!

I've got the X-Rated release, but haven't watched it in a couple of years. It looked pretty rough though. I also have the "Revision A" Exhumed Edition, but never opened it. I may have to break that baby out and do a quick comparison.

Thomas L. Vaultonburg said...

I think the colors are one of my favorite parts of this movie. I'd like to see it on the original film once. Dead Things you dare tread upon the staircase?

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