Tuesday, July 26

Captures from Code Red's NIGHTMARE (1981) 30th Anniversary Edition (long entry)

I'll probably do a more in-depth follow-up, but here's some caps from Code Red's new and looooonnnng anticipated two-disc DVD set of Romano Scavolini's Nightmare (1981). The first full frame remaster from 2005 features some odd digital scratch correction that "blanks out" chunks of the picture during fast-motion (see capture #4 of the kid swinging the axe). Also on Disc 1, a better looking version from two of the best surviving prints, the original negative is gone, receives a 16x9 progressively-flagged widescreen transfer that lacks the digital correction problems of the full frame presentation. If anyone remembers the 21th Century Distribution Corp. version that surfaced in complete form on YouTube awhile ago (long since pulled down), it actually was this very '08 remaster. Both versions bear Tom Savini's credit as "Special Effects Director".

Extras for Disc 1, aside from the 2008 remaster, include commentary on the '08 version from make-up artist Cleve Hall and lead Baird Stafford, "Making a Nightmare" featurette featuring interviews with Stafford, Hall, and ex-distributor Tom Ward, and interview with make-up artist Ed French that just barely made it onto this release according to Code Red.

The second disc is where things get interesting because it features a 2011 remaster and infamous 95 minute Italian-language only, unsubtitled Scavolini interview that both sunk this release into delay hell. Mimicking Anchor Bay's Army of Darkness Bootleg Edition, the disc art is designed to look like a DVD-R with logos and Nightmare Disc 2 "handwritten" in marker. The menus have a more professional appearance than the first disc and I'd say it's obvious Code Red intends for this bonus disc to be the primary viewing experience. The years and years long wait proved for the best with each new remaster looking better. Other extras include Nightmare's theatrical trailer (no TV Spots) and several trailers for other Code Red releases (Cutthroats Nine!).

Despite this newly discovered print having its own share of damage, it looks as described on the menu "slightly better" than the previous two--noticeably sharper with grain structure peaking through at times. Savini's opening credit is absent in this version. I already had FleshWoundVideo's Deluxe Extended Edition DVD-R taken from two VHS releases and all three of Code Red's presentations blow away the picture quality of that bootleg (which runs 1:37:55). Pick this one up now and place it right next to Lustig's Maniac. Code Red deserves your support simply based on the absolute hell they went through just to release this! Finally!

2005 Remaster (Scavolini-preferred Full Frame/1:38:23 with Code Red opening/Interlaced)

2008 Remaster (1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen/1:38:14 with 21th Century logo/Progressive)

2011 Remaster (1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen/1:38:09 with 21th Century logo/Progressive)


bruce holecheck said...

When they first announced the title I offered Code Red a finished, subtitled featurette with Scavolini for their disc that was done by David Gregory for the Anchor Bay UK disc but wasn't used. The offer was refused. Amazing that this was their preferred option...

bill w. said...

They didn't use it why? How much were you charging them for it?

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?

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