Topic: HORROR EXPRESS Blu-ray
You know you are buying too many movies when you get an order that you don't remember placing. Well, in this case, I remembered the order but I forgot that I had added HORROR EXPRESS to the package. Sometimes I'l throw in an extra title just to make the shipping charges worthwhile.
As much as I like the movie, I had been reluctant to order the Blu-ray following a number of bad reviews. These reviews often speak of compression artifacts and excessive Digital Noise Reduction. Having watched the movie on my 60" screen, I now conclude that a number of those previous reviewers are either smoking crack or they are just plain stupid.
Ok. That's harsh. But I sometimes think that reviewers are coming from the wrong place. You can't watch AVATAR, TRANSFORMERS amd IRON MAN then suddenly review a small 40 year old Spanish movie. I have an embarrassingly large Blu-ray collection with a very heavy emphasis on small catalogue titles. And I've seen HORROR EXPRESS on DVD...and it was pretty bad. I had very low expectations for the Blu-ray.
In fact, I found the Blu-ray to be excellent and at least a bajillion times bettter than any DVD of the movie.
Let's start with what's wrong with the Blu-ray. Well, it's a Spanish print with all of the credits in Spanish and the captioned scenes (ie. captions to show the location of an event) are in Spanish with no English subtitles...so some guess work is involved. That's very mildly annoying but doesn't really impede the movie. There is print damage but I also find it quite tolerable. While we see dirt, splotches and occasional damage, there don't appear to be any missing frames or jump cuts. My biggest complaint is visible edge enhancement. That being said, Universal studios has put out a few Blu-ray with even worse edge enhancment so I can't beat up Severin too much about this. The sound is plain Dolby; not lossless.
What right? The colors are extremely strong. They are well saturated and the whites are generally quite pure. I thought the detail was excellent...certainly magnitudes above the DVDs I've seen. The sound, even though plain Dolby, was very good. It's framed at 1.66:1. Compression artifacts and DNR weren't obvious to my eyes. For a Severin release, I'd actually say this is one of their better efforts.
I have no regrets about buying this. My sole regret is that some scary reviews stopped me from buying it earlier.
I should say that not all other reviewd have been bad. This is from dvddrive-in and more closely reflects my opinion.:
"Severin Films has transferred HORROR EXPRESS in Hi-Definition from the original camera negative for this Blu-ray release, and needless to say, the film finally looks as stunning as its modest but resourceful production values dictate. Presented in a 1.66:1 anamorphic format with 1080p full HD resolution, the level of detail in every scene is simply amazing when compared to what we’ve previously been dealt with on this title, with fleshtones and background scenery coming to life on screen."