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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 1/6/00

Vampyros Lesbos
1970 (1999) - Synapse Films

review by Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits

Vampyros Lesbos Film Rating: B

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

Specs and Features

90 mins, NR, letterboxed widescreen (1.66:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, theatrical trailer, liner notes by Tim Lucas, film-themed menu screens, scene access (20 chapters), languages: German (DD mono), subtitles: English

Jess Franco's masterpiece of vampirism and lesbianism is now Synapse's newest digital masterpiece. Yes, all you fans of German dubbed Spanish skin flicks can rest easy -- there's one more disc that absolutely needs to be in your collection. Vampyros Lesbos, the film that made every self-respecting male a Soledad Miranda fan, has finally made it to DVD after an almost unbearable two-year wait. Don May, Jr. gives us the reasons for the delay in the liner notes, so I'm not going to spoil the read for you guys. But suffice it to say that whatever hellish wait it was for us fans... it was a literal hell for Mr. May.

Don also sets us up for a pretty bad transfer, but surprise of all surprises, the transfer is pretty sweet. Yes, the "slugs" (slightly distracting black frames that pop up every so often) are noticeable at times and yes, the source is a little on the poorly preserved side. But the painstaking work that Synapse did on this film is comparable to the restoration recently done on the The Last Supper mural (and for all the fans of Vampyros Lesbos, that comparison couldn't be more true). You'll have to look hard to find any artifacting, and the grain is well controlled (especially for a film from the 70s made outside the States). The colors are sharp and the blacks are deep. The soundtrack is less than stellar, but it sounds good for what it is and is relatively free of pops and hiss. The only extras on board are a trailer and a nice liner note from Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas.

All in all, I think this is a nice disc that fans will be proud to own, and you'll find that the wait was worth it. This film is a grail of sorts for genre fans, and when all you have is a bad dub of a PAL copy, having this film on DVD is a godsend. Especially when it looks as good as it does. Now if SOMEONE would just get Jess Franco's She Killed in Ecstasy going, there would be a bunch of even happier Soledad Miranda fans out there.

Todd Doogan
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