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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Press Release from StudioCanal
Notice from StudioCanal UK regarding faulty Dracula Prince Of Darkness Blu-ray/DVD Double-Play discs:

"We recently discovered a small audio synch issue within a couple of scenes of the Dracula Prince Of Darkness discs that were released on the 5th of March.

This problem occurred at the authoring stage where a fix was not implemented despite being...
Published on 7 Mar 2012 by Mr. R. Foster

versus
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Audio sync issues
Various reviews have surfaced online that report noticeable audio sync issues on both the blu ray and DVD copies in this set. I have cancelled my pre-order until such time that this issue is fixed and either a re-release happens or a replacement disc is announced. Very disappointing news for Hammer fans who have looked forward to a decent home video release of this film.
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Sean Brady


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Audio sync issues, 3 Mar 2012
By 
Sean Brady (Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
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Various reviews have surfaced online that report noticeable audio sync issues on both the blu ray and DVD copies in this set. I have cancelled my pre-order until such time that this issue is fixed and either a re-release happens or a replacement disc is announced. Very disappointing news for Hammer fans who have looked forward to a decent home video release of this film.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sound Sync and DNR issues, 5 Mar 2012
I have just done a like-for-like comparison with my really old Anchor Bay DVD copy and though on that the sound has a kind of divorced pro-synced look and sound, the blu-ray is definitely out of sync and badly so at certain points.
Also DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) has been applied quite aggressively in some places. Notably in the flashback to the original Hammer Dracula at the beginning. I was quite horrified when I first put the disc in. It has a real painting-by-numbers look about it, with all the tones flattened out. I suspect some idiot who hasn't a clue what they were doing thought all that smoke over the image was wrong. Admittedly the rest of the film visually gets better after that truly awful opening.
It beggars belief a lot of the website reviews have not picked up on this really sub-standard release. Plus even the Hammer restoration website tried to tell us everything was alright.
I suggest we all reject this release so something will be done.
What a shame after the superb Quartermass and the Pit blu-ray.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very distracting audio synchronicity error, 4 Mar 2012
By 
Ross Gowland (West Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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I've watched the first twenty or so minutes of this and, for the most part, the audio track is wildly out of synch with the visuals. It's apparent even in the first dialogue-free scenes when a falling trapdoor produces a bang almost a second too late. The scenes in the pub are a frame or two adrift but, by the time the travellers reach Castle Dracula, things are so out of synch it's like watching a dubbed foreign film. The problem is the same on both the Blu-ray disc and the DVD, so the fault is in the master.

I really want these Hammer Blu-rays to succeed, but this particular product is substandard. Was no quality control done at all? Studio Canal need to do the decent thing: recall and replace these discs. They also need to put in place procedures to make sure future titles are unaffected.

UPDATE (7/3/12): Hammer/Studio Canal have announced a replacement scheme. Once I have received the corrected disc I shall alter this review accordingly, presuming that the fault has been fixed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Press Release from StudioCanal, 7 Mar 2012
By 
Mr. R. Foster - See all my reviews
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Notice from StudioCanal UK regarding faulty Dracula Prince Of Darkness Blu-ray/DVD Double-Play discs:

"We recently discovered a small audio synch issue within a couple of scenes of the Dracula Prince Of Darkness discs that were released on the 5th of March.

This problem occurred at the authoring stage where a fix was not implemented despite being supplied.

With this in mind we will be replacing any discs that have this issue present.

Please send your proof of payment and your address to enquiries@vdcgroup.com and we will endeavour to send a working replacement to you promptly."Dracula: Prince Of Darkness [Blu-ray + DVD] [1966]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than many realise, 9 Mar 2012
By 
I. J. Foxon "Lord Jagged" (Enfield) - See all my reviews
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Firstly, this is one of my favourite Hammer films. For whatever reasons I have always found it one of the most enjoyable to watch, and this release doesn't dull that for me in any way.

Audio sync issues aside (which are being remedied by studio canal). Most people seem to be taking issue with the transfer on this. What they need to realise is that this was originally shot in Techniscope which is a poor man's non anamorphic scope format.

Essentially the process devides the 35mm frame into 2 wide frames one above the other so halving the resolution and doubling the grain that would be apparent in a conventional anamorphic process like Cinemascope. It's a bit like the widescreen equivalent of 110 still film.

Techniscope was adopted by those on very low budgets. Allowing a widescreen picture to be shot on conventional lenses to compete with anamorphic widescreen processes requiring expensive specialist equipment. It was consequently short lived due to it's limitations. Limitations which will obviously be accented by blu ray's high resolution. ie. you're really going to notice the grain etc. on this.

Due to the age and condition of the source materials there is also some evident blurring. I suspect the posterised look of the first film is due in part to trying to correct these issues compounded by the fact it is duped from the original film onto a much smaller negative area.

There is noticeable lack of shadow detail, but you can see why when you look at the comparison of the washed out original image to the restored image in the extras. I daresay they had there work cut out for them on this one and to my mind they have done as good a job as they possibly could with it.

For those that seem to believe blu ray should always mean everything is pin sharp I have news for you, blu ray means you get to see the orignal elements as near as they were when new, and if they were poor quality when new blu ray will show it up, whereas lower resolution mediums (VHS, DVD) will tend to hide some of the problems. This was never going to look great on Blu Ray, but if you are a Hammer fan it's still a must buy.

I should also note that I was present at the flicker club screening Mr Tompkinson refers to in his scathing review and can assure him that we were laughing at the film's intentionally comedic moments. Frankly if you have no appreciation of Hammer's stylised output; which should be firmly viewed as a product of it's time then it beggars belief why you would bother buying it, let alone attempting to justly review it! Perhaps sir would prefer something by Ewe Boll.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Lee returns as the vampire count, 25 Mar 2011
By 
Andrew Banks - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula Prince Of Darkness [DVD] (DVD)
In 1966 'Dracula, Prince of Darkness' marked Christopher Lee's return to the role of Count Dracula for the first time since his debut in the part in Hammer's 1958 Dracula film. Mr Lee's performance is full of menace, and the count's resurrection scene is an undoubted high point of the movie. However, Christopher Lee's return as Dracula is somewhat diminished by the character's limited screen time and the fact that he does not speak a line of dialogue throughout the whole film.

There is a lot to admire in this film. The director Terence Fisher handles the suspense well, Bernard Robinson's set designs are as usual outstanding, and there are some good performances from the supporting cast. The admirable Barbara Shelley is excellent as Helen and Philip Latham is very good as Dracula's sinister man servant Klove. The character of Renfield was omitted from Hammer's first Dracula film in 1958, so it is good to see Hammer regular Thorley Walters giving a striking performance as Ludwig, a part clearly modelled on Renfield in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel.

However, it has to be said that Peter Cushing's Van Helsing is very much conspicuous by his absence. The part of the vampire hunter is supplied by Andrew Keir's character Father Sandor. Andrew Keir is a good actor, and he is good in this film, but he just doesn't have the same charisma and screen presence as Peter Cushing.

So, on the whole this is a good example of Hammer Gothic, but not up to the heights of a solid gold Hammer classic like 'Horror of Dracula' or 'Revenge of Frankenstein.'

The DVD extras include an interesting documentary in which Christopher Lee talks about his career in films. This includes quite a moving testimony from Mr Lee about his late friend Peter Cushing.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine sequel, 20 Aug 2007
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula Prince Of Darkness [DVD] (DVD)
This is the second Hammer Dracula film to feature Christopher Lee in the title role. Although Peter Cushing sadly does not reprise his definitive role as Van Helsing this has much to offer.

The film starts with a replay of the final few minutes of the first Hammer Dracula (aka The Horror of Dracula), which is perhaps the greatest moment in the history of Hammer films. From there it develops quickly, with two couples ending up staying at Castle Dracula. Some well known faces make up the rest of the cast including Francis Matthews, Barbara Shelley and Andrew Keir. This film was made eight years after the original and its quite surprising how much more violent and gory it is.

The film was directed by Terence Fisher and you always know with a Hammer film that if he was the director you would get a quality film. He also directed Curse of Frankenstein, The Devil Rides Out, Hound of The Baskervilles, Brides of Dracula and of course the original Dracula (all worth buying). Add this to James Bernard's great score and you have a fine horror film that has stood the test of time really well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Darkness - pineapple lump, 29 Dec 2010
This review is from: Dracula Prince Of Darkness [DVD] (DVD)
The films not aged as well as some others. Lee's performance is strong and works well without dialog. But overall I found the movie somewhat bland and dissapointing. The script perhaps being the main culprit. But Barbara Shelley's under used. Dabble if u dare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Hammer Horror, 3 Nov 2012
This review is from: Dracula Prince Of Darkness [DVD] (DVD)
Dracula Prince of Darkness was the second sequel to Hammer's brilliant Dracula (1958) and the first to return the actual character of Dracula. It is a good solid horror that doesn't portent to be anything more than an entertaining horror film. The films follows a group of travellers who are arrive Count Dracula's castle and inadvertently help return the Count back to life. A creepy yet hospitable servant rules the house and convinces them to stay but when night arrives he uses one of them for a horrific sacrifice scene to bring Dracula back to life. While the others must fend for their lives as Dracula seeks to drink all of their blood. The film has a slow build up but nicely builds the tension up when Dracula is finally risen from the grave. Christopher Lee chose to play the role without dialogue which serves the story well it makes him more sinister. The four travellers are frankly a bunch of irritating lot I would have much preferred it if Peter Cushing returned to take on Dracula for the third time. The film has some bad aspects: the poor acting and some laughable dialogue but the many good aspects dominate: Terence Fisher's atmospheric direction, a plot that delivers thrills and entertainment and the final showdown with Dracula (the ending is quite original). Eight sequels followed the original I like to consider this to be part of Terence Fisher Dracula Trilogy as he directed the three best: Dracula (1958), Brides of Dracula (1960) and Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Drawn out but not altogether bad, 15 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula Prince Of Darkness [DVD] (DVD)
Dracula Prince of Darkness was Hammer's only Scope entry in the Christopher Lee series, but it's frankly a rather dull and dragged out affair - Drac doesn't appear for 49 minutes and the first hour of the film could have been done much better in half the time. Lee is clearly bored and has little to do, but Andrew Keir's gun-totting monk is one of Hammer's most interesting characters and there's no doubting the effectiveness of Barbara Shelley's transformation from uptight sister in law to hottie demon dyke ("You don't need Charles!"). There are good moments, from Dracula's reincarnation to the Dracula-on-Ice finale, and the fact that the hero and heroine are called Charles and Diana is good for a few unintentional laughs, but this is far to sedate and drawn out for its own good.
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