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View Full Version : Hammer's The Devil Rides Out Has Been Lucasized?



Ian Jane
09-27-2012, 11:55 AM
OK, the first review (http://www.strangethingsarehappening.com/devilridesout.html) of the new upcoming Studio Canal Blu-ray release of The Devil Rides Out, which I was seriously looking forward to getting next month, contains this piece of interesting (and I must say unsettling) information:

"One of the most impressive sequences in The Devil Rides Out – not quite the climax, but near enough – has the heroes inside a magic circle as Mocata’s satanic forces are sent to attack them. It’s a powerful, dramatic, almost hysterical scene that ranks amongst the best of Hammer’s dramatic set pieces, and renders the actual finale of the film a bit of an anti-climax. It’s also long been one of the most problematic moments of the film thanks to some special effects that were pitiful even at the time. Both the giant tarantula and the Angel of Death that Mocata send to attack are neutered by really, really rotten optical effects. This new version tweaks these and other effects in a surprising George Lucas style spot of digital revisionism. Okay, it’s not that dramatic – but unusually, there are several moments of new digitally created or revised effects in the film to improve on original imperfections. These are most obvious in this scene – the spider is made much more effective, the arrival (and facial close-up) of The Angel of Death arguably less so (simply because they are more obvious digitally created). None of these changes alter the dramatic thrust of the film, and I’d argue that even the most questionable are actually improvements over what was there to begin with – Hammer purists, however, might want to hold on to their old DVDs as well as own this."

Barry M
09-27-2012, 11:58 AM
I'm going to pretend this is a fan edit, and approve.

Ian Jane
09-27-2012, 12:07 PM
I'll probably still buy it but I reserve the right to complain about it on the internet.

Barry M
09-27-2012, 12:21 PM
And it's George Lucas' fault.

Scott
09-27-2012, 01:08 PM
Great, now George Lucas is touching other people's movies, when will this maniac be stopped!

My un-CGI'd DVD will keep me warm at night.

bgart13
09-27-2012, 01:12 PM
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/ss67/Damascinos/MovieQuiz_960-5.jpg

Ian Jane
09-27-2012, 01:30 PM
Needs more Hayden Christensen.

Horace Cordier
09-27-2012, 01:38 PM
I'll keep the DVD buy the Blu and bitch on the Internet.

It's the completist way.

Horace Cordier
09-27-2012, 02:19 PM
It does occur to me however that who do the powers that be actually think are buying these things? Do they think moronic digital age kiddies who hate anything "old" are suddenly going to think these movies are "cool" and buy them because of some dubiously thought out new cgi insertions?

The mandate should be brutally simple: restore the films, using original elements, to the best possible quality.

Period.

Skip the dnr and all this other nonsense or at least offer a branching option with the original unmolested footage.

Ian Jane
09-27-2012, 02:35 PM
I think the new Hammer is hoping to pull in more younger viewers with these releases. Yes, the base will be movie geeks like us who want it the way it's always been but with movies like The Woman In Black hitting it big with the PG-13 crowd, maybe they're hoping there will be some crossover interest in the classic titles?

Robert W
09-27-2012, 02:52 PM
Pathetic.

Will be avoiding this release like the plague.

Richard--W
09-27-2012, 05:20 PM
Isn't the original version included?
with the version with new effects an option?

Ian Jane
09-27-2012, 05:26 PM
Not accoring to the review I linked, no. It's possible that the reviewer didn't mention it though.

Richard--W
09-27-2012, 06:03 PM
Big mistake.

For the record, I approve of the revision if it's properly done, but to deny viewers the original theatrical version right next to it is just plain dumb.

Apronikoff
09-27-2012, 08:27 PM
Was just reading about this on Hammer's twitter feed. They do confirm that the blu-ray will not feature the original version (which I agree with Richard is a mistake).

But, I'm reserving judgment until I see for myself, as they point out in one of their posts, they did not go George Lucas on it:


Absolutely not "revisionist" (that would have meant an entirely new tarantula).

If, as that implies, they did not replace any of the practical effects but merely improved the optical effects than that is something I'm 100% in favor of. That sounds similar to what Ridley Scott did with the Final Cut of Blade Runner, which I thought was a marvelous example of how subtle use of digital adjustment can be used in restoring classic films.

Who know, maybe they did do a crap job of it, but I'll see for myself before I assume they did...

Horace Cordier
09-27-2012, 09:04 PM
I'm a bit less than homicidal over this now that I've found that the fairly recently issued UK DVD is dirt cheap. I'll watch the new version and pick up the DVD later if need be.

Right now all I have is the old Anchor Bay twofer with RASPUTIN (which I also ordered on Blu) which I'd like to sell off since it goes for decent bucks on eBay apparently.

Richard--W
09-27-2012, 09:20 PM
Haven't played Blade Runner, but the original Star Trek is another example of analog-era effects that lose viability in the digital realm and need to be replaced with digital effects. The revision was an accurate replica of the original effects with an slight, occasional enhancement. The revision was 100% successful. Nobody complains. Of course, the original episodes are included, so you can watch the program either way.

When The Devil Rides Out comes to region A, if it ever does, Hammer and it's distributor would be well-advised to give us both versions on the disc.

Apronikoff
09-27-2012, 11:01 PM
Haven't played Blade Runner, but the original Star Trek is another example of analog-era effects that lose viability in the digital realm and need to be replaced with digital effects. The revision was an accurate replica of the original effects with an slight, occasional enhancement. The revision was 100% successful. Nobody complains. Of course, the original episodes are included, so you can watch the program either way.


Absolutely. I thought the Star Trek blu-rays were a perfect example of how to do digital enhancement right.

Clive Smith
09-28-2012, 02:48 AM
I can't believe that such minor tinkering would be intended to help expand their market demographic. I think their heart was probably in the right place and this was well-intentioned, but they were naive not to expect the serious fanbase to go tits.

Ian Jane
09-28-2012, 09:50 AM
they were naive not to expect the serious fanbase to go tits.

Very true. And not including the original version makes it easy to go tits over it. Had they simply included it, it would have been no problem for most I'm sure.

Barry M
09-28-2012, 10:22 AM
Doing it this way is kind of like at half-time the topless cheerleaders held up letters spelling out G O T I T S. Which picture probably isn't on the internet, stupid internet.

bgart13
09-28-2012, 11:26 AM
http://m.sfx.co.uk/2012/09/28/blog-enhanced-effects-restoration-or-desecration/

Clive Smith
09-28-2012, 11:32 AM
Doing it this way is kind of like at half-time the topless cheerleaders held up letters spelling out G O T I T S. Which picture probably isn't on the internet, stupid internet.

You just made me peep for it... no dice. Dumb.

Ian Jane
09-28-2012, 11:38 AM
Thanks for the link, Ben. Interesting to see the comparison images here (http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/09/28/blog-enhanced-effects-restoration-or-desecration/2/).

Clive Smith
09-28-2012, 11:38 AM
http://m.sfx.co.uk/2012/09/28/blog-enhanced-effects-restoration-or-desecration/

Good find, Ben. As Ian wrote a couple of posts back, they're nuts not to include both versions. NUTS < TITS.

Dick Ringeisen
09-28-2012, 12:00 PM
I don't know why they bothered. The effects used at the time, go with when the movie was made. i don't see much improved with the first two changes noted in that link. The last change, though, yeah, it looks more modern, but, it seems out of place considering when this movie was filmed.

This is one of those things, where if someone had told me this, without any other proof, I would have thought, "Get outta here...".

If anything why don't they try to add effects to other Hammer films than have been remade, or are going to be remade, such as And Soon the Darkness? It would also make more sense to tinker with effects in the numerous Dracula films. That or mummy, plague of the zombies (Zombies are all the rage, you know), etc...

I'm a bit unfamiliar with these new blu-rays coming out, I already have the Hammer stuff I want on DVD, and, some of it, when the price is right, I may pickup a blu-ray of.

This is odd. Like someone in this thread already mentioned, Is it to bring younger fans to the movies? If someone can't understand that back when this film was made, there were limitation, then, why bother watching it, just wait for a remake.

I'm curious if all the Hammer films are due for digital tweaking. hahaha, i jsut got a laugh out of that. Wow, that could be the plan, however.

I wouldn't have believed it, if I heard it, but seeing the proof, and what little it did to the scenes, and that lightning really not fitting with the time when the movie was filmed....

bgart13
09-28-2012, 12:13 PM
So far now tweaking, except the colors for DPoD. This is the exception -- so far. Hammer is responsive to fans, so even though I'd hate to have to wait longer for it I'd like to see them delay this and include the original version.

Apronikoff
09-28-2012, 01:19 PM
So far now tweaking, except the colors for DPoD. This is the exception -- so far.

According to Hammer the reason this one got singled out was because Fisher and Lee had begged for more time/money to finish the effects during the production and had been denied at the time and both were deeply dissatisfied with the end product.

Not saying that does or does not justify the tweaking.

Ehren H
09-28-2012, 01:28 PM
Personally, based on those screen caps I don't think they either improve OR detract from the movie, I see it as kind of pointless. I always found most of the creepiness in this movie to be the psychological stuff, not anything that was seen onscreen. I know on the 100 Years of Horror series that Lee hosts, on one of the episodes they show the particular scene with the Angel of Death on horseback and afterwards Lee says, "Remake, anyone?"... I think a lot involved had some problems with how the effects turned out at the time, like Apronikoff said.

All that said, this is my personal favorite Hammer flick, and I really look forward to having it in hi-def, even with the tweaking. I lost my old DVD, and it's definitely getting pricy to replace, so I consider this welcome in a way. Rather have it tweaked (not like it was cut), than not have it at all.

Ian Jane
09-28-2012, 01:49 PM
I think I was impressionable enough when I first saw the movie as a kid that I found the Angel of Death sequence frightening in the original version. That's the version I remember and that's the version I want.

Ehren H
09-28-2012, 02:00 PM
If they're not going to have both versions on the release, maybe a special feature that included the original sequences as a part of a featurette on how and why they did the upgrades would be welcome? I never thought the original effects were that horrible, regardless of what the crew thought, and the scene at the ritual features the coolest onscreen devil in history in my opinion (which I hope they didn't tamper with!). But, like I said, based on the screenshots, the digitization seems more pointless than anything. It doesn't really make the effects worse, but it definitely doesn't improve them. I'd rather have that money spent on a featurette with guys like Kim Newman and Alan Jones talking about the film itself than the money spent on ineffectual and pointless digitization haha

Still glad it's getting an HD release, though.

Ian Jane
09-28-2012, 02:06 PM
Like I said, I'll still get it because I love the movie and I don't see another version coming out any time soon (if it gets a US release it'll probably be like all the other Studio Canal releases put out by Lionsgate, which have so far been the same as the Euro discs). The effects aren't horrible, but I guess if you're familiar with the movie they seem out of place?

It is puzzling that Hammer's PR team didn't say anything about this beforehand. Or if they did, apparantly most of us missed it.

Clive Smith
09-28-2012, 04:41 PM
Yeah, that. I'm also wondering how these will eventually turn up and be marketed in the States. I've not picked up any yet and might hold out to see what happens. I really don't want to be double-dipping on Blu's at this stage of the game.

I've held off on the Bava's too - thus far - for the same reason... let me know if you think that's crazytalk.

Paul L
09-28-2012, 05:36 PM
I haven't bought this new batch of releases (or the US Bava Blu-rays*) simply because I'm skint :drum: I have put money aside for the CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN BD later in the month, though.

* Having said that, if a good print of BLOOD AND BLACK LACE appeared on Blu, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat. It's taking all I can to resist buying LISA AND THE DEVIL.

Clive Smith
09-28-2012, 05:54 PM
It's tempting to jump in. B&BL would be a given but with it being held by VCI... I don't see anything satisfactory happening anytime soon.

Paul L
09-28-2012, 07:07 PM
It's tempting to jump in. B&BL would be a given but with it being held by VCI... I don't see anything satisfactory happening anytime soon.
Yep, but on the other hand it'd be lovely if a European distributor would give the film a chance on Blu-ray. The Anolis DVD looked lovely, for example.