54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

Discuss Blu-rays released by Indicator and the films on them.

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Florinaldo
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#76 Post by Florinaldo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:37 pm

I received the Hammer Volume 4 a few days ago and it looks very good alongside its older siblings, standing out with its lighter color. As usual an excellent job of physical packaging.

I am dismayed ( :wink: ) by one aspect though. Every time I look at the list of extras on a disc's back cover I wonder when I will find the time to watch it all, on top of all the other valued new titles from Indicator and other labels! Which leads me to wonder how much of such a stacked release reviewers really take the time to watch. Some are honest enough to state that they will catch up with all the contents eventually, but others seem to imply they have watched it all (although they sometimes just repeat the publisher's listings). Don't these people ever sleep?

I have only had time to browse through the booklets (nice assortment of essays and relevant archival material) and to check each disc to make sure it is playable; the differences between the titles which did get a restoration and those that were simply upscaled is noticeable, although not a deal-breaker.

Once again, good work all around from that label.

When I opened the parcel, I though Indicator had sent me an early Christmas card, but the big black envelope contained the bonus poster for those who order directly from them. On one side a garish Revenge of Frankenstein and a bland The Two Faces of Dr jekyll on the other. I am sorry they did not use the one from the US release of The Damned with the creepy girl and her equally strange doll; that one I might have put on a wall somewhere.
Last edited by Florinaldo on Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tenia
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#77 Post by tenia » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:37 am

I read all the books or booklets but otherwise barely watched extras, even for reviews. I simply list them as thoroughly as I can but can't do more. It's probably even worse when they're so numerous : I might check a lone extra in order to "tick" a disc as 100% watched, but when they're that numerous, I usually don't watch any.
But count on me to rant when there aren't many extras !

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Altair
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#78 Post by Altair » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:46 am

I too have reached the stage where I will seldom watch extras, unless they're there to explain varient versions or are a visual essay which seems worthwhile. At this point I value watching new films, rather than spending days for diminishing returns going through a disc's complete contents.

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MichaelB
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#79 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:02 am

Florinaldo wrote:I am dismayed by one aspect though. Every time I look at the list of extras on a disc's back cover I wonder when I will find the time to watch it all, on top of all the other valued new titles from Indicator and other labels! Which leads me to wonder how much of such a stacked release reviewers really take the time to watch. Some are honest enough to state that they will catch up with all the contents eventually, but others seem to imply they have watched it all (although they sometimes just repeat the publisher's listings). Don't these people ever sleep?
Gloriously, one “reviewer” once “reviewed” - as in criticised, not merely described - an interview that didn’t actually exist! It was announced in the press release, but then had to be cancelled because the interviewee unfortunately fell ill and we couldn’t reschedule in time. I already had pretty strong suspicions about just how much this guy bothered to watch the discs that he was sent, but that was a particularly impressive bit of self-ownage.

As for reviewers who do clearly watch everything properly, CineOutsider would be my primary recommendation. They’re always apologising for late reviews, but it takes time to do it properly - and their reviews of the Indicator Hammer sets (volumes one, two, three and four) are the most comprehensive out there.
I have only had time to browse through the booklets (nice assortment of essays and relevant archival material) and to check each disc to make sure it is playable; the differences between the titles which did get a restoration and those that were simply upscaled is noticeable, although not a deal-breaker.
I’m sure you didn’t mean to write “upscaled”, but I just thought I’d make it absolutely clear that all four features are natively high definition.

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tenia
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#80 Post by tenia » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:40 am

Altair wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:46 am
I too have reached the stage where I will seldom watch extras, unless they're there to explain varient versions or are a visual essay which seems worthwhile. At this point I value watching new films, rather than spending days for diminishing returns going through a disc's complete contents.
That's pretty much my rationale too : I prioritize movies over extras, very simply, but make (rare) exceptions.

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MichaelB
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#81 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:55 am

It never ceases to astound me what people will find to complain about! Mind you, the Emperor Franz Josef II thought that Mozart wrote "too many notes" (one of the few aspects of Amadeus that really does seem to be based on historical fact), so the Indicator boxes are in excellent company.

Of course, going barebones these days is pretty much a recipe for irrelevance - as streaming services bite an even bigger chunk out of the physical media market, and the quality gap becomes less and less noticeable, intelligent curation and contextualisation will be the thing that keeps physical media alive.

Of course, I stress the word "intelligent" here - there's nothing more tedious than having to QC a disc whose extras consist mostly or entirely of ephemeral EPK fluff - but with these Hammer boxes virtually all the extras had to be created from scratch because there was so little available off the shelf (a couple of commentaries for volume three, and the Jimmy Sangster archival interviews on Taste of Fear), which had the happy by-product of being able to apply very consistent quality control. Besides the two Sangster interviews, I'm very pleasantly surprised by how little information overlap there was - even the two commentaries on Revenge of Frankenstein have their own distinct takes.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#82 Post by Dr Amicus » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:09 am

Extras are something I value in theory - but find myself rarely with the time to properly appreciate them. Certainly where the film is in an area I find particularly interesting, or it's a Dr Who release, I will double dip in extremis. Indeed, one problem I have is that I will often watch extras on my laptop (we only have one tv in the house) which doesn't have a BluRay drive - so I've watched a lot of extras from my Dr Who DVDs, very few from any Blu Rays.

But I'd echo MichaelB's comments above - EPK it-was-wonderful-working-with-X nonsense is a waste of time, proper analyses / interviews are a different matter. As I keep meaning to return to my PhD Thesis (on Amicus & Hammer), I'm particularly keen to dig in to these extras when I have the chance - the contributors are exactly the people I would want to see on Hammer related extras.

As a final question - has anyone ever managed to get David Pirie to contribute? His Heritage of Horror was (and remains) a cornerstone for critical approaches to Hammer and British horror in general.

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tenia
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#83 Post by tenia » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:42 am

MichaelB wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:55 am
It never ceases to astound me what people will find to complain about! Mind you, the Emperor Franz Josef II thought that Mozart wrote "too many notes" (one of the few aspects of Amadeus that really does seem to be based on historical fact), so the Indicator boxes are in excellent company.
I don't think it's not a complain, but that "dismayed" was written as a jest.
I'm quite certain I'm not the only one despising bare-bones releases while not having the time at all to watch most of the extras most boutique labels include, and finding it frustrating in a way having so much to see and so little time to do so.

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Florinaldo
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#84 Post by Florinaldo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:35 am

MichaelB wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:02 am
I’m sure you didn’t mean to write “upscaled”, but I just thought I’d make it absolutely clear that all four features are natively high definition.
You are quite correct: "upscaled" was not the appropriate technical term. I should have said that two of the titles are HD remasters, whereas the other two are 2K and 4K restorations, the latter two looking sharper judging from the minute or two I watched from each of the four films.

Amusing anecdote about the reviewer who commented on a non-existent feature. CineOutsider is indeed a reliable site, which I regularly refer to.
tenia wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:42 am
I don't think it's not a complain, but that "dismayed" was written as a jest.
I thought that all the gushing I wrote about this release made it clear that the word was used with ironic intent. I may edit in an emoji to make it more obvious.

I love a stacked disc, as long as the extra features are relevant or substantive and enhance my appreciation of a film, which not all labels make a point of doing. Some like to fill the disc with meandering and pointless reminiscences. I remember listening to the younger cast audio commentary on the first part of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and thinking "are people really interested in this drivel?".

This Indicator release is not only exemplary in using reliable and always interesting contributors, at least judging from their past contributions, but it goes the extra kilometer (or two).

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GaryC
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Re: 54-61, 80-83, 89-92 Hammer Volumes 1-4: Fear Warning, Criminal Intent, Blood & Terror, Faces of Fear

#85 Post by GaryC » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:44 pm

For my reviews for The Digital Fix, I do watch (or listen to) everything on the disc, plus the booklet if there is one, and I will try to obtain a copy of that booklet if one isn't supplied for review. I will try to describe each extra to some extent in a review of 2000 words or so. (For various reasons, reviews much longer than that, let alone multipart reviews of box sets are generally a thing of the past.) I've reviewed only one Indicator release, which was Age of Consent for Australia Day this year.

For Black Static, that's a column of around 6000 words max in a print magazine, in which I will have as many as 20+ different titles to cover, so extras don't get watched for review and are listed in the as part of the column.

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