CineSavant Column

Saturday March 2, 2024



Welcome March … hope the weather isn’t hitting you too badly.

More 4K Ultra HD release news, this time from Vinegar Syndrome — it’s the first of the Amicus omnibus films, 1965’s Techniscope & color chiller Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors.

It’s the one with Peter Cushing as the title character whose Tarot deck predicts horrible fates for his fellow travelers in a railroad compartment. Among them are Christopher Lee and Donald Sutherland, who as usual runs away with the movie.

The old Olive Blu-ray was one of Cinesavant’s first reviews when invited to become Trailers from Hell’s guest reviewer … over eight years ago. We can’t praise disc boutiques like Vinegar Syndrome enough … Wayne Schmidt just remarked today that their popular releases are what’s keeping hard media discs alive.

Dr. Terror is announced for April 30, about 60 days away from now. We have no qualms forwarding the direct Dr. Terror pre-order page link.



Here’s a foreign disc we’re itching to buy, even though we’ve seen the picture so often, we can now close our eyes and play it on the inside of our eyelids. We mentioned it a few weeks back, and asked buyers to let us know what they thought of the purchase.

Correspondent David Dishaw ordered this 4K disc of Mario Bava’s La maschera del Demonio directly from Italy. Here’s his welcome report:

Hello Glenn — Just a note to say that my copy of Bava’s “Mask of Satan” 4KULT edition arrived today from Italy. The 4K disc of the 2023 restoration of the film is very impressive. The second Blu-ray disc is a locked Region B pressing. The picture quality is outstanding! As is the audio!

Both discs contain two versions of the film, the original Italian and the dubbed American recut. One caveat: There are no English subtitles for the Italian language versions. As this is one of my very favourite films of all time, I am very happy to have the 2 disc set!

Well, it sounds really desirable to us. It’s good to read about somebody’s personal experience before buying an attractive-sounding foreign disc.

By now our Bava shelf must hold six or seven DVD and Blu-ray copies of this particular movie — but we’ve still never heard the original Italian audio. We’re shameless language snobs We really prefer movies in their original language, and never cared for the English dub.

Not having English subs would normally be a deal killer, except that we stumble along quite well with our first-semester Italian from 50 years ago … and face it, by now we have this movie memorized. If a full translation is wanted, I’m married to a linguist who knows Italian well. That’s always helped when stuck with some goofy found item.

This has been another Public Service Aid for video disc addicts, especially those with empty wallets.



We’ve already written up our piece on Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail, the 1930 epic western starring John Wayne in his first leading role, and filmed in an early 70mm process called ‘Grandeur.’

Over at the Brenton Film page Brent Reid has laid out an exhaustive practical aide to all the versions available to the disc collector:

Multiple-Language Version Film Collectors Guide: The Big Trail

Besides links to every known release out there (so many!) Reid includes reference links to the film’s history, Raoul Walsh, additional reviews, etcetera. He even identifies susbstandard Pirate discs, to be avoided.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson