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Author Topic: Living Dead Girl / La Morte Vivante (1982, Jean Rollin)  (Read 6389 times)

ecc

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As the film opens, three shady types are storing toxic waste barrels in the tomb of the Valmont family who have all died out.  An earth tremor causes a spill which kills one of the men and resurrects Catherine Valmont (Francoise Blanchard) who died a year ago (and is amazingly well preserved - speaking of "well preserved", the recent interview on the Encore disc shows that she's aged very well).  She gouges out the eyes of one of the men and punctures the throat of another (early work by premiere French special effects artist Benoit LeStang).  As she wanders through the countryside towards her abandoned chateau, an American actress (Carina Barone) - whose boyfriend (Mike Marshall) has encouraged her to take up photography - snaps a photograph of her and finds out from the locals that the girl has been dead for a year.  Meanwhile, Catherine returns to her home and kills and drinks the blood of an estate agent and her boyfriend and places a wordless call to her childhood friend Helene (Walerian Borowcyzk muse Marina Pierro) who drives to the chateau and disposes of the bodies.  Feeling guilty because she broke their childhood vow in not following Catherine into death, Helene scours the village for more victims until the actress and her boyfriend stumble upon their activities for the gory and genuinely tragic climax.

Rollin ups the gore quotient in this (his earlier "zombie" film GRAPES OF DEATH was also gory and made use of Italian technicians) but keeps the poetic sense in beautiful shots of Catherine wandering the countryside, sitting nude at the piano after shedding her blood-spattered clothing, floating in the lake as she tries to drown herself.  The American couple's sync-sound dialogue sounds very naturalistic to an English speaker amidst the French performances but it is Pierro and Blanchard who anchor the emotional aspect of the film.

For DVDBeaver, I compared the old Image 1.66:1 transfer (supervised by Marc Morris and properly converted to NTSC) and Encore's new 1.78:1 transfer as part of their three disc set for the film (one disc for the film, one for extras, and a soundtrack CD).  While their otherwise exquisite double disc of RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE stretched the 1.66:1 image to 1.78:1, Encore's transfer of LIVING DEAD GIRL (apparently the title of the film was the inspiration for the Rob Zombie song) is neither stretched nor cropped, it actually reveals more information on both sides of the frame while the vertical compositions are the same.  The one place where the Image disc is superior is the tinting.  The Image disc favors a cooler look which looks more accurate in the night exteriors and the flesh tones.  The Encore disc has a warmer look which is nice for some shots but not the aforementioned night shots (see the last capture of my comparison).

Here's the comparison link: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews38/the_living_dead_girl.htm

Luca Canali

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Re: Living Dead Girl / La Morte Vivante (1982, Jean Rollin)
« Reply #1 on: 11 Jun 2008 - 12:23 »

A beautiful, beautiful film..one of my very favourite horror films. One of the very few that manages to be both extremely gory and moving at the same time. Rollins best effort in my opinion.
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MarcMorris

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Re: Living Dead Girl / La Morte Vivante (1982, Jean Rollin)
« Reply #2 on: 11 Jun 2008 - 14:43 »

The original transfer was done in PAL in London back in the mid 90s, before anamorphic enhancement was possible. And of course with today's telecine equipment, better grading is possible. I should imagine all of the Encore Rollin discs are significant improvements over the previous Redemption editions.
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Peter Neal

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Re: Living Dead Girl / La Morte Vivante (1982, Jean Rollin)
« Reply #3 on: 11 Jun 2008 - 17:42 »

I'm still a bit lazy catching up with Rollin's movies- this is the only one I caught so far (on the superb Encore presentation)- but on the basis of "The Living Dead Girl" alone, I got certainly curious to track down more titles.
AWE has a line of pretty cheap Rollin DVDs...but sadly, they only offer Scandinavian subtitles and my French is less than satisfying anyway >:(
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ecc

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Re: Living Dead Girl / La Morte Vivante (1982, Jean Rollin)
« Reply #4 on: 11 Jun 2008 - 19:15 »

The Encore disc is sharper and has more picture information but I like the cooler tint on the Image transfer

Image (top); Encore (bottom)

Michael Blanton

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Re: Living Dead Girl / La Morte Vivante (1982, Jean Rollin)
« Reply #5 on: 11 Jun 2008 - 23:31 »

I like the cooler tint on the Image transfer

The Image transfer is nice, but I think the nipples look more realistic (and tastier :-\ ) on the Encore print.
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Re: Living Dead Girl / La Morte Vivante (1982, Jean Rollin)
« Reply #6 on: 12 Jun 2008 - 13:49 »

I like the cooler tint on the Image transfer

The Image transfer is nice, but I think the nipples look more realistic (and tastier :-\ ) on the Encore print.
Ha Ha, like the explanation
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