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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 8/24/99



The Redemption Films on DVD

reviews by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

back to Redemption index


The Night of the Hunted

The Night of the Hunted
1980 (1999) - 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, film-themed menu screens, scene access (10 chapters), languages: French (DD mono), subtitles: English




Nude for Satan

Nude for Satan
1974 (1999) - Redemption (Image)

Film Rating: C-

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

Specs and Features:

82 mins, NR, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, theatrical trailer in both English and Italian, production and publicity photos, film-themed menu screens, scene access (13 chapters), languages: English & Italian (DD mono), subtitles: English




The Reincarnation of Isabel

The Reincarnation of Isabel
1972 (1998) - Redemption (Image)

Film Rating: C-

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

Specs and Features:

98 mins, NR, letterboxed widescreen (1.66:1), single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, theatrical trailer, original Bravo UK "Nazi" introduction with Eileen Daly, film-themed menu screens, scene access (14 chapters), languages: Italian (DD mono), subtitles: English


The Night of the Hunted

Hail, hail Jean Rollin films... always confusing and always surreal. But with this film, Night of the Hunted, there are no vampires. Huh? That's weird. Anyway, the flick is about a woman running from something that she knows nothing about. She knows nothing because she can't keep her memories. She seems to forget everything after 5 minutes. She's running around in the dark, when a young man named Richard finds her. He takes her back to his house, after trying to find her place (unsucessfully, as she can't remember where she lived). Naturally, they make hot love (for a very long time), because the girl is Brigitte Lahaie, a former French porn star who is strikingly beautiful and very girl next door. I mean, c'mon, you can't have a former porn star in a movie without a little hot sex, can you? Anyway, like most sex, she hardly remembers it after the guy steps out the door to go to work. He does the whole, "just found a mysterious hot chick that's willing to have sex with him" thing, and tells her to stay there until he gets back. He leaves his number at home, just in case. Next thing you know, the girl is visited by a doctor and his ice queen assistant, who take her back to the "black tower". In the black tower, there are huge numbers of people who don't know where they are. Most are being sexual with one another, that is, if the help isn't trying to rape them. It's all very confusing. Why are these people here? What's their deal? Why does such an awful film captivate me?

Night of the Hunted is a cheap cheapy. I mean, it's very cheap. The sets are found, the acting is stiff, and the plot will throw even the most film literate person for a loop. And yet, it's very well done for what it is. You are sucked in right away. Sure, it's a softcore porn film, but it has somewhat of a plot. The women in the film take any and every opportunity to strip down - and that's not a bad thing in my book. The end even has a remarkably haunting closing image, that makes the whole film worthwhile. I liked Night of the Hunted despite myself.

On this DVD, you can tell that the transfer is from a damaged print, but it still looks pretty good regardless. Some of the night shots show a bit of artifacting, but it's easy to overlook. The colors are good, and the blacks are mostly solid. The sound is fine -- it's mono, but gets the job done. There are some good extras, including a stack of publicity and production stills, and a trailer. You also get English subtitles, which can be turned on and off -- a nice touch (often they're burned into the film on B-grade DVDs of foreign films like these). This is a fine flick (for what it is) and a good DVD to see it with. Pick it up if you dare...

Nude for Satan

Nude for Satan has to be one of the cheesiest Gothic, "stranded in a castle" films I've ever had the great joy to witness. The story goes like this: a doctor and a young lady have just been involved in a car accident. The doctor leaves the girl at the accident scene, and runs off to a spooky castle for help. He enters the castle, and finds that it is inhabited by some laughing ghoul (most likely Satan himself). Later, the young lady goes looking for the doctor, and eventually finds her way to the same castle. Except, when the doctor and the girl meet again, they find that they haven't met each other, they've meet their doppelgangers. Got it? It's trippy, psychedelic, and oh so stupid.

Man, this flick is bad... but it's bad in that good way. The translated dialogue is howlingly awful, the special effects are horrid (lots of puff clouds, jarring close-ups of bad make-up, and a monster spider that would make Ed Wood quite proud), and you get to see quite a few naked torsos. Of course, you can't have a film called Nude for Satan without some naked torsos. The great thing about Nude For Satan, is that it's winking at us -- it knows it's the worst thing you'll see this month, but it's proud of that. So many films come out that don't know they're bad, so a film like this is made that much more fun by being aware of its "badness".

Once again, the DVD version of Nude For Satan suffers from a damaged print, but it's still an above-par transfer. This weird film, full of a truckload of deep blacks, is nicely rendered on DVD. The disc mostly does a good job of capturing this stinky treasure. I did spot a few problem areas, but I'd guess you'll be generally happy with the disc. You can watch the film in either Italian with optional subs (on the bottom matt), or dubbed into English. Both are equally fun, and both are a solid Dolby Digital mono. And the extras are more than you would expect: the trailer in both English and Italian, and a gallery of stills. For the fans waiting for this Redemption stuff to come to the States, here's your chance to snatch up one of their better releases.

The Reincarnation of Isabel

What do you do, when your lover is tied to a stake, has her heart torn out, and then she's burned to death right before your eyes? Well, according to this film, you reclaim her body and, centuries later, have your relatives sacrifice young women in her name so that she can come back to life. Seems logical, in a Satanic worshipping kind of way.

The Reincarnation of Isabel jumps back and forth between the 14th century, when Isabel was killed, to the present time, when Isabel's lover's nephew is trying to bring her back. The nephew is the new owner of this castle, that's filled to the brim with a bunch of hotties that run around trying to stay dressed and not get raped. The castle's basement serves as the launching pad for Isabel's reincarnation, where a crew of four Satanists (wearing longjohn pajamas) keep bleeding the chicks. There's an Isabel look-a-like somewhere in all this also, but why she's here (and how the whole thing ends for her) proves to be a big waste. If you like your flicks with whips, chains, female nudity, and badly dressed Satanists performing human sacrifice, then here is your chance to jump on board the Redemption train. Whoo-whoo!

I've heard this film referenced as a lost classic, but although it's brainless cheesy fun, I would hardly consider this a classic. Directed by Renato Polselli, master of the swirling light, Reincarnation Of Isabel has been long considered to be missing, disappearing after its failed initial showing in 1972-1973. I'd guess it was dumped and hidden away (for good reason), but it's recently resurfaced, and been restored by the good folks at Redemption. For an old, lost film, it looks pretty good. There are a few bad spots, but mostly it's a good-looking film. I just wish the film wasn't so confusing, badly written, and woodenly acted.

Although the source print here is in better shape than most of the other films, I'd say that this disc suffers from one of the more mediocre transfers of all the Redemption DVDs. There's plenty of artifacting, and you do see some scratches on the print. The mono soundtrack is also rather ho-hum. But I can't imagine this film ever being released on DVD in any better condition than it's in here. I wouldn't call it perfect, but it's fine for what it is. Overall, I'm just glad this lost film was found, and I'm glad it's on DVD. This is way better than the transferred-from-PAL-onto-a-videotape copy I used to have. As an added bonus, Reincarnation also features a history of Nazis in exploitation film, and a trailer. And I don't care what anyone else says, I like the intros with Eileen Daly, and I want them put back on the newer releases from Redemption and Image. They are just the thing for we fans of Eurosleaze.

Todd Doogan
todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com


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The Night of the Hunted


Nude for Satan


The Reincarnation of Isabel


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