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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 8/23/99



The Redemption Films on DVD

reviews by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

back to Redemption index


The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance

The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance
1975 (1998) - Redemption (Image)

Film Rating: D-

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B+/B

Specs and Features:

89 mins, NR, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, theatrical trailer (in Italian with no subs), original Bravo UK "Slasher/Psycho" introduction with Eileen Daly, film-themed menu screens, scene access (19 chapters), languages: English (DD mono), subtitles: none




Cold Eyes of Fear

Cold Eyes of Fear
1970 (1998) - Redemption (Image)

Film Rating: B

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/B-/B

Specs and Features:

91 mins, NR, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, theatrical trailer (same movie, different title: Desperate Moments), original Bravo UK "Catgirl" introduction with Eileen Daly, film-themed menu screens, scene access (18 chapters), languages: English (DD mono), subtitles: none




Devil's Nightmare

Devil's Nightmare
1971 (1998) - Redemption (Image)

Film Rating: B-

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B-/B+/B+

Specs and Features:

93 mins, NR, letterboxed widescreen (1.66:1), single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, theatrical trailer, original Bravo UK "Cannibal" introduction with Eileen Daly, film-themed menu screens, scene access (18 chapters), languages: English (DD mono) and Italian (DD mono), subtitles: none


The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance

There's some false advertising going on with this title. Bloodsucker Leads the Dance contains no bloodsucking, no dancing, and no bloodsuckers leading any dances. Man, I feel dirty now. If it's not about dancing bloodsuckers, then what's it about? Well... that's a good question. And even after you watch it, the answer's still not very clear.

This is an Italian film, with Italian actors, set in Ireland in 1902. This Count (but not a vampire) invites some actresses to his castle after their playhouse is closed down. Two of the girls are lesbians -- which is a selling point I guess. I mean, what would a castle be without lesbians? There are a few badly staged sexual antics, and a little bit of gratuitous nudity (although nothing to throw away your copy of Night of the Hunted for) and a decapitation ala Hitchcock's Under Capricorn. In the end, you'll scratch your head trying to put all the pieces together. But while you're popping the disc out on the ol' DVD player, you'll think to yourself, "Gee - that wasn't about vampires. That pretty much sucked." And you wanna know what? You'll be right.

This disc has a very nice DVD transfer. It's a damn shame that this, one of the worst films in the Redemption bunch, would have what is most likely the best transfer of all of them. The print has some minor damage, but there's very little digital artifacting going on in the picture. The sound is mono and unassuming (but fine), and the extras are basically a trailer (which is in Italian instead of English like the rest of the film) and the sweet, sweet intro with Eileen Daly, vampiress to the stars.

Cold Eyes of Fear

While watching Cold Eyes of Fear, the question most often to pop into one's mind is, "Is this a crime drama, or is it an out and out thriller?" Well, it's both -- actually, maybe a bit more of a crime drama, but it has that whole "giallo" feel to it. This Italian film, dubbed into accented English (with bad accents, I might add), follows a psychotic baddie, who takes a guy named Patrick (and his paid escort) hostage in his uncle's home. The guy doesn't really want Patrick and the girl -- he's after Patrick's uncle, who is a corrupt lawyer. Eventually, Patrick gets a message to his uncle to call the cops. And when the cop arrives, we find that he's in on this plan as well. Twists and turns abound, and some play out surprisingly well.

Directed by Enzo Castellari, a filmmaker known more for his spaghetti westerns and post-apocalyptic films than for his thrillers, this movie proves to be quite enthralling. Castellari does a very great job here. The acting is pretty good overall, but the thing that takes the film down is the bad dubbing. Something as tight as this needed better dubbing to really work in another language. As it stands, it's more laughable than anything else. Still, Cold Eyes of Fear is a worthy entry in the Redemption line, and I'm glad I got a chance to see it. It did make me nostalgic for spaghetti westerns though -- we really need some great Italian westerns on DVD.

As Redemption DVDs go, this is a pretty good disc. The film elements are, as per usual, pretty damaged, but the DVD still looks nice. The soundtrack is the cool thing here -- a retro-70s fest featuring the talents of Ennio Morricone, Italian composer extraordinaire. The track is a straight mono, which upset me a little (not only because of a slightly audible hiss, but also because I wanted more Ennio flowing around me). Oh, well -- at least I have the soundtrack in some form. Extras available here are a trailer, and the requisite Eileen Daly intro, this time focusing on Catgirls. What it has to do with the movie is anyone's guess, but I think it's still pretty cool.

Devil's Nightmare

"Yes. People do die of fear."

There is nothing better than a bad film. Especially when you go in knowing it's a bad film. With that said -- this is a great flick. I love Devil's Nightmare. I love it so much, that I will say this (and I mean it): I think that this DVD is one of the absolute must-own library titles out there. I think that if everyone in the DVD community had a copy of this film, the world would be a better place. It's the perfect piece of Eurosleaze, and the best way to spend a night with friends.

Some of you may have seen this film late at night on TV. When I first picked up a copy, I called my buddy Johnny B. up and told him, and he was over in less than 10 minutes (and he lives 20 minutes away). We popped it in and proceeded to quote the film left and right. God, I love this flick. Johnny had a videotape of an old TV exhibition of the movie, that was pretty much worn out from years of watching it. And I had a bad dupe made from the original English Redemption videotape. Needless to say, both of us were in heaven when this DVD surfaced.

The film is a true epic, starting out in Berlin, 1945 -- that's what the title card (played over the bad stock footage of WWII) says at least. We cut to a woman giving birth. She must be in Berlin during the war, because we hear bombing outside, and streams of dust fall around her as she writhes in pain. A Nazi is seen looking distraught at his wife's pain, as he gets bad news about the war. More bad stock footage and soon a baby's cry is heard. The woman has died during childbirth, and to make matters worse, the baby was born a little girl. Worse for the Nazi at least -- by the look on this guy's face, this is bad news indeed. He then proceeds to stick a huge knife in the baby. Cue the truly bad music.

From there we jump to a castle in the modern day. The Nazi is still alive somehow, and we see that the above events are all part of his life, as described to a reporter. He goes on about how his family has been cursed, and that he was just trying to stop the curse. The reporter insists that she take some photos, but is flatly told no. After she takes the photos anyway, she is hunted down by a mysterious creature, and dies of fright. That's all in the first 20 minutes. The rest of the film is dedicated to a bus filled with seven typical horror film victims, who have to spend the night in the castle until they can get back on the road. There's the angry middle-aged married couple, a mean old man, a fat tour guide, a priest, and two hot bisexual chicks. Okay, so it's not THAT typical, but it's still a cool film, because not only are the tourists stuck there... so is THE SUCCUBUS (complete with weird theme music and a straight-out-of-the-70s wardrobe)! The acting is bad, the set is goofy, and most of the dialogue will make you laugh so hard, you'll have to pause the film. It's great. The seven tourists even meet their ends in ways befitting the seven deadly sins. You can't ask for more than that.

So now you know what I think of the film, but what do I think of the disc? As compared to my 3rd generation dupe (and Johnny's bad TV copy), this is the bomb. There isn't too much digital artifacting on the disc. The source print was pretty damaged, but it still looks pretty decent. The mono sound is good, but there are a few problem spots throughout the English dub. As before, extras on the disc include a trailer, and a killer opening featuring Eileen Daly (who can suck my blood anytime she wants -- just don't tell the wife). All in all, Devil's Nightmare is a great film, and a DVD worthy of picking up. I think you'll really enjoy it (especially if you're trapped in a castle with a bunch of boring tourists).

Todd Doogan
todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com


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The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance


Cold Eyes of Fear


Devil's Nightmare


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