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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vast improvement...
Well I got the replacement discs today and it's a vast improvement. The sound issues have been corrected, the pretitle sequence has been totally redone. I0000% better. Still not happy at the amount of DNR in the main film but it's still the best version to date until we see what any USA company does.
Impressed with the fact that Studio Canal listened to the...
Published on 25 April 2012 by R. Shore

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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sound Sync and DNR issues
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...
Published on 5 Mar. 2012 by Markonesmile


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29 of 29 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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36 of 36 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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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vast improvement..., 25 April 2012
By 
R. Shore (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Well I got the replacement discs today and it's a vast improvement. The sound issues have been corrected, the pretitle sequence has been totally redone. I0000% better. Still not happy at the amount of DNR in the main film but it's still the best version to date until we see what any USA company does.
Impressed with the fact that Studio Canal listened to the complaints. Hopefully there will be no more problems with the widescreen hammer films and leave the grain alone.........

Roger Shore
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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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LEE IS THE ULTIMATE DRACULA, 8 Jun. 2014
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THE MOVIE

DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS is the first sequel to 1958's Hammer classic Dracula and not only one of the best Hammer Dracula movies, but also one of the best Dracula/Vampire movies in general.
Needless to say that Christopher Lee gives another superb performance as the Count, relying only on body language, his presence and charisma and mimic, as again he does not speak a single word, which is very effective as it makes him more menacing. As usual he steals the show.
Unfortunately Peter Cushing does not reprise his role in PRINCE OF DARKNESS, but there are a number of good actors to make up for his absence, namely Andrew Keir, Francis Matthews, Charles Tingwell, Barbara Shelley and Suzan Farmer.
Great direction by Terence Fisher, who doesn't rely much on effects and gore, but on a good score. I especially like the way Dracula feeds by lifting his cape, the camera remains in a distance and the picture fades out. That is brilliant filmmaking without special effects, but very effective. The actual violence is only imagined.
The very few effects PRINCE OF DARKNESS has are very dated and won't shock anyone anymore. This definitely could be a PG today.
I prefer these Hammer Dracula's to any modern Dracula movie, even to 1992's Bram Stoker's DRACULA or INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE.

RATING: 10 / 10

THE BLU-RAY

Reviewed version: 2012 StudioCanal UK Blu-ray
Feature running time: 90 mins. (Unrated)
Rating: Unrated (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.36:1 / 16x9
Audio: English 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English for the Hearing Impaired
Chapters: 12
Extras: Commentaries, Behind the scenes, World of Hammer, Documentary, Restoration comparison, Trailers
Region: B (locked)

Picture quality: C (average picture quality, nothing spectacular)
Audio quality: B (remarkably good for 2.0 mono)
Extras: A (plenty of new extras)
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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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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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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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prince of Hammer, 25 May 2012
By 
John Graham - See all my reviews
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Dracula Prince of Darkness is a great Blu-ray.
The film was shot during hammer's golden era when they made some films in widescreen using a 35mm Half frame pulldown technique.
If your like me a Hammer or even a Christopher Lee/Dracula fan then this is a must have for your collection.
The restoration is reasonably good and the colour is great.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS REGION 2 BLU-RAY/DVD, 6 Feb. 2013
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I Grew up watching Hammer's Dracula films
so when i found out that DRACULA-PRINCE OF DARKNESS was being released on blu-ray and dvd combo i knew i had to buy it

the first thing i watched was the new Documentary Back to black, fantastic Doco
has interviews with Hammer films Biographers aswell as Barbara shelley and Francis mathews and they've aged bigtime there both in the 80's now
the Doco is excellent Francis and Barbara talk about there experience in the film
it's very unfortunate Christopher lee wasn't interviewed or susan farmer

the other extras are the same as the region 1 Anchor bay release from over 10years ago now
the audio commentary is nothing new that was recorded on the Anchor bay release
aswell as the behind the scenes footage that's on the Anchor bay release aswell

so the only new extra/special feature is the Back to black Documentary

now regarding the picture and audio quality of this dvd and blu-ray release
i've watched both and compared the quality, the region 2 dvd is the same as the original region 2 dvd release from over 5 years ago
but the blu-ray version is pretty good, the picture quality is excellent superb the audio is pretty good to

so i recommend buying this blu-ray/dvd release just for the blu-ray version and the new Back to black Documentary

the Blu-ray is not available on it's own unfortunately and not available in the U.S. too it's only available to buy on amazon uk

if your a big fan of this film, like i am you have to buy the combo that has both Discs, definitely worth the money
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