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Man Who Could Cheat Death / The Skull [Blu-ray] [US Import]


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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Lee
  • Format: Colour
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Legend Films
  • DVD Release Date: 3 May 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004W6JJXC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,115 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 Dec 2011
The Man Who Could Cheat Death is a minor Hammer film from 1959 that offers a rare lead role for Anton Diffring and an even rarer opportunity not to play a Nazi - instead he gets to play a mad scientist who has managed to find the secret of eternal youth, just as long as every ten years he has an operation that requires a gland from an unwilling donor. A remake of The Man in Half Moon Street, it's professionally made with decent enough production values even if it rarely ventures outside the house but, despite a good supporting cast including Hazel Court, Christopher Lee (playing the hero this time) and Francis Dewolff, Terence Fisher's direction is more solid than inspired, leaving it with the feeling of a decent supporting feature rather than the main attraction. Which makes it rather handy that Legend's all-region US Blu-ray is conveniently double-billed with another film that probably wouldn't satisfy on its own, Freddie Francis' The Skull from 1965.

An Amicus film with a look closer to a slightly better funded Herman Cohen 50s British horror film - it even co-stars Michael Gough - than Hammer, it sees Peter Cushing's author increasingly tempted to acquire the skull of the Marquis de Sade from Patrick Wymark's dodgy dealer despite the warnings of Christopher Lee, the rich collector it was stolen from. You'd think when Christopher Lee is afraid of the dark forces it channels and the invisible worshippers it attracts you'd take the hint, but Cushing's curiosity gets the better of him and the body count starts to mount.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rich on 15 Jun 2011
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First up Hammer's The Man Who Could Cheat Death directed by Terence Fisher. Taking place on a very foggy Parisian set at Bray studios and starring Anton Differing, Christopher Lee and Brit proto scream-queen Hazel Court.

Set in the late 19th century Differing plays Georges Bonnet, two of my favourite horror villains at once, namely the mad doctor who moonlights as a mad artist. His problem is that he is 104 years old and consequently needs to transplant a gland, from a human donor into himself every decade or so to keep his youthfull appearance. It's all pretty much bad science with Differing quoffing down vials of green fluid to fight off the aging effect while wooing the amply cleavaged Court and knocking out the occasional sculpture for Parisian high society.

Christopher Lee gets to play the hero for a change as a rival for Court's affections who is forced into helping the increasingly demented Differing with his operation.

The film has a classic Hammer look and the slight make-up, which basically boils down to a few wrinkles under the docs eyes and a colour filter is quite creepy.

Next The Skull by Freddie Francis based on a story by Robert Bloch from Amicus.

Collector of occult pariphanelia Christopher Maitland played by Peter Cushing obtains the skull of The Marquis de Sade from dodgy antique dealer Marco (the ever dependable Patrick Wymark). It turns out that the skull was lifted from the collection of Maitland's friend Sir Mathew Philips
(Christopher Lee, In what is really an extended cameo) and Philips is pleased to be shot of it. As the movie unfolds the skull begins to effect Maitland who suffers from hallucinations and terrors until his sanity is totally shredded.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Murray on 6 Sep 2011
Despite claims that the two dics in this set are region A, even on the back cover of the case, they are in fact region free. Both played perfectly well on my region B player.

I've only given four stars because no remastering has been done. I can only speak for The Skull as I've not seen The Man Who Could Cheat Death before but picture quality is only marginally better than the DVD release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pete. on 6 Jun 2014
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If you like old Hammer and Amicus films this is a great buy.

These are two good old fashioned films with some great names of the horror genre.

In bluray and with a great price.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Lason on 11 Jun 2012
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Of course, the 2 movies are great ones with some nostalgy, in the cast and in the way of shooting. It'a kind of duel Hammer vs. Amicus. But I'd like to write about the BRs, in their technical aspect. I've bought this set with some doubt in my mind. As it's an american product, normaly "region 1" I was really delighted that they works on my BR machine, in France,"region 2"!!! So, even if nothing is written about it on the printed cover, go on, it works in "region 2" zone, in UK for instance.
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By Steve Reeves on 13 April 2014
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An excellent double bill. Unfortunately not remastered and the transfer is only DVD quality. At this price, it doesn't really matter.
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I had not seen either of these movies and so I decided at a rather attractive price to add the set to my collection. I found The Man Who Could Cheat Death to be somewhat tedious with a rather poor leading performance from Anton Diffring - obviously a good actor who seemed far to melodramatic in this role. The plot was a mixture of Dr Jekyl & Mr Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray. The supporting cast particularly Christopher Lee and Hazel Court were very good. The story itself was flimsy and not thought through.

Presented in 1.66:1 the print was - like The Skull - unrestored. Whilst the cover proclaims "beautiful HD" it is a great shame that a label with Legend's claim of being a leading restoration house should leave so many speckles and jumps on an otherwise pleasing print. Simple domestic software could have cleaned up most of the damage.

The Skull was rather more entertaining with another good cast including this time the great Peter Cushing, A supporting cast with Zulu stars Nigel Green and Patrick Magee, Patrick Wymark and a cameo from Michael Gough makes this an A list of 60s horror and drama stars. "Guest Star" Christopher Lee adds a little extra weight to the ensemble.

Presented in 2.35:1 the print again exhibits niggling damage (slight skips due to missing frames, and white flecks) dog the start of the film for about three minutes before it settles down into a colourful and stable print.

Overall the price makes this set a winner and the films are good to watch but probably won't be on the top of the must watch once a month list. The prints whilst colourful are rather displeasing in this day and age. Of the films I would give The Man Who Could Cheat Death a 2/5 and The Skull 4/5 with an average of 3 stars.
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