Topic: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1960) on Blu-ray
This title arrived today as part of an amazon order.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is unusual for me in that it's one of the few old "B" horror films that I've never owned on home video. I had low expectations for this new Legend Films Blu-ray release. A lot of these public domain titles can be pretty beat up and not well-suited to Blu-ray. Legend has a somewhat spotty record. Some of their stuff is good but some...not so much.
Having never owned it on any other format, ordering the Blu-ray was a fairly easy decision since I didn't have to question myself about whether or not it was worth an upgrade. Like most things produced by Legend, this presentation includes a colorized version. Fortunately, it also contains the original Black and White version otherwise I would not have purchased it. Legend considers the B&W version as an extra so it must be accessed through the "BONUS" menu.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a very odd film which presents almost as a stage play. It's also interesting for having a unique "beat" or "beatnik" style which it shares with it's cousin BUCKET OF BLOOD. The story is that Little Shop was shot on a low budget with only about two or three days of principle photography in order to make use of the exisiting BUCKET OF BLOOD sets. It's very much a product of 1960.
The Blu-ray print is shown full 1.33:1 open matte. It would not have been shown this way in theaters. IMDB lists the intended aspect ratio as 1.66:1 though I suspect most theaters would have shown it at 1.85:1 (since they are too lazy to change mattes). Fortunately, this is a rare instance where the open matte actually works. There are scenes with important elements right at the bottom of the frame and widescreen matting would have cut them off.
The Blu-ray was a very pleasant surprise...almost a revelation. It looked MUCH better than I expected. It may be the best Legend Films release I've seen. Contrast was perfect and, much to my delight, I could detect none of my arch enemy: edge enhancement. For the most part, print damage consisted of very minor vertical scratches. These scratches are really insignificant. The one unfortunate piece of damage was some obviously missing frames and frame misalignment when Jack Nicholson makes his first appearance. While this barely manifests itself on screen, the missing frames become obvious because it causes part of a name to be dropped and this catches the ear. But, all-in-all this is really a very good blu-ray and well worth the going price.
Last edited by Dex Robinson (2012-03-08 01:05:26)