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Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (UK Blu-Ray Review)

Dear Hammer Fans,

Icon Home Entertainment have released this statement regarding an alleged fault with the Blu-Ray release of Frankenstein & the Monster from Hell:

“Further to the results of an independent quality control review we can confirm that there was an inherent fault present in the first run of the Blu-Ray included in “Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell”, catalogue number: ICON70235

We will be re-issuing the film from a corrected master with a fresh catalogue number.

We are in the process of setting up a freepost address to which customers affected can send the faulty Blu-Ray disc of “Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell” for replacement by return.

The address and further instructions on the return programme will be confirmed and announced tomorrow.

It’s great to hear all the positive comments about the product and the recognition of the amount of effort that Icon, Hammer and our various partners have put into this release. We’re very proud of it and want to ensure that people have the best possible experience of it. We thank you for your patience in this matter.”

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Last year, Hammer’s valedictory Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1973) saw its first blu-ray outing in Australia. According to Hammer historian, Marcus Hearn, that BD was struck from Hammer’s own CRI print, (a Color Reversal Intermediate, made directly from the cut negative). The print predates the film’s submission to the BBFC and is therefore the most complete version ever seen. The transfer itself was done in 1080i and looked and sounded excellent in every way. Now, Hammer/Icon Home Entertainment have released the film, seemingly struck from the exact same master, although it appears that this time the transfer was done in 1080p, for those who pay attention to such things. Just for fun, the restoration team have tacked on the BBFC certificate to the opening of the film, signifying that it has passed X, and giving us a more authentic viewing experience.

I reviewed the Australian blu-ray release last year, CLICK HERE TO READ, and exactly the same criticism, on both technical and artistic grounds, applies to the new release, so no need to go over it again. However, there is one important difference between the two releases… the inclusion of a second version of the film, framed in a full frame ratio (1.37:1). Visually, this kind of framing makes less sense in this film, at least to my eyes, than in did in say The Curse of Frankenstein. But it’s still a treat to see such a familiar film with extra space on the top and bottom.

If you’ve been itching to see Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell on blu-ray, but didn’t want the Australian release with its dreary cover art, there is no reason to hesitate now. This British release is excellent in every way. Below, we give you screen grabs from both versions included in this release for comparison.

Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant and Madeline Smith in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant and Madeline Smith in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant and Madeline Smith in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant and Madeline Smith in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant and Peter Cushing in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant and Peter Cushing in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant and Peter Cushing in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Shane Briant and Peter Cushing in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

David Prowse in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

David Prowse in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

David Prowse in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

David Prowse in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

 

Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Peter Cushing and Shane Briant in Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973) [Click to enlarge]

Dear Hammer Fans, Icon Home Entertainment have released this statement regarding an alleged fault with the Blu-Ray release of Frankenstein & the Monster from Hell: "Further to the results of an independent quality control review we can confirm that there was an inherent fault present in the first run of the Blu-Ray included in “Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell”, catalogue number: ICON70235 We will be re-issuing the film from a corrected master with a fresh catalogue number. We are in the process of setting up a freepost address to which customers affected can send the…

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User Rating: 4.45 ( 1 votes)

About Dima Ballin

Dima is the founder and publisher of Diabolique Magazine and the co-founder of the Boston Underground Film Festival. He is currently working on several screenplays and trying to attain enlightenment through Buddhism.

3 comments

  1. Not a single word about the faulty encoding causing playback glitches?

  2. Quade,
    We didn’t have this issue on our review copy, but since then we have amended the article with the released statement/recall. Thanks for looking out!

  3. Just received my copy today and was thankful that Amazon Spain has the newer rendering without the defects as some have stated. Icon did a bang up job on Monster From Hell it really is breathtaking to a Yank across the drink to see this film look so darn good. I really didn’t have much hope for this title since U.S. releases really never went out of their way to present this film in all its Hammer glory. I am such a die-hard Hammer fan that when I heard these were out on Blu-ray I purchased a region-free player just for this wonderful series of Hammer Horror. I paid a pretty penny for this Blu-ray but after watching this film in all its glory I have made a wise purchase, this is the definitive version of this fine Terrance Fisher film and I will treasure it.

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