Blu-ray Reviews: Effects, Bluebeard

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray ReviewLeave a Comment

Effects

A low budget horror movie shoot is covertly turned into a snuff film as the director actually kills his cast and crew while covertly filming it. Effects is a gem that was almost lost to time; shot in 1978 and not unearthed until a DVD release almost three decades later. It was made by a group of George Romero’s friends and colleagues (including Tom Savini who acts and does special effects) on money they pooled together themselves. The resulting film is a little like Animal House meets Maniac.

Home team American Genre Film Archive have really done a spectacular job in restoring the film. Considering they took the last remaining viable elements; a 35MM release print that itself was dubbed off the 16mm (now lost) original many decades ago and created a 1080P image of this quality is nothing short of a miracle. There is some natural wear and lines but if anything that adds to the character of that film. They cleaned out the dirt, kept the grain and fine detail, and brought the color all the way back to its original vibrancy. Blacks are not badly crushed at all; this is a real fear when not transferring from an original negative. The sum total effect is so glorious it will bring a tear to your eye. This is what is so important about AGFA’s work; Effects is incredibly significant genre cinema (and a damn good movie) and no one else would take the time and love to bring it back from the brink. This film was one print away from being lost to full quality presentation for forever and I am insanely excited that AGFA has preserved it.
Special Features:

  • New 4K scan from the only 35mm theatrical print in existence
  • BEASTIE short film
  • Archival commentary track with John Harrison, Dusty Nelson, and Pasquale Buba
  • UBU short film
  • Liner notes by Joseph A. Ziemba of AGFA and Bleeding Skull!
  • AFTER EFFECTS documentary with optional commentary track

 

Bluebeard

Doctor Seung-hoon is unhappy with his life, having recently separated from his wife and lost his private practice. Now he lives alone in an apartment and spends his days performing colonoscopies on the townsfolk. One day he stays late to scope his landlord who, under sedation, gives extensive instructions on how to dismember and dispose of a human body. The landlord’s son is also the local butcher and the doctor is pretty sure he has a human head in a bag in the freezer. The doctor begins to have terrible nightmares and soon women close to him go missing. The doctor finds himself trapped in the midst of a notorious unsolved serial killer case.

Bluebeard  is a hip, 21st century neo-noir film with overtones of Hitchcock and Basic Instinct. Filled with mistaken identities, misdirection, and the most wonderful suspense; Soo-youn Lee’s first narrative since 2003’s The Uninvited is a nail-biting thriller. The paranoia runs deep as Seung-hoon attempts to unmask the murderer while his own grip on reality becomes more and more shaky. It is a tremendous entry for fans of the genre that should not be missed. The Blu-ray disc Bluebeard contains no special features except for the trailer and some other previews of films from Wellgo USA.

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Adam RuhlBlu-ray Reviews: Effects, Bluebeard