on 18 April 2013
Well, my friends, it seems that future events DID affect this film in the future. Not just content to use their Blu-ray-guns on this classic, those Earth fiends at Legend Films have only gone and dropped the Colouranite bomb on it as well. Cue dialogue -
Colonel Tom Edwards: "This is the most fantastic story I've ever heard."
Jeff Trent: "And every word of it's true, too."
Colonel Tom Edwards: "That's the fantastic part of it."
So, are all of Earth idiots by allowing this to happen? It seems not. If, like me, you know, love and have this film already in its original black and white, this is a welcome alternative edition for you to own. The actual blu-ray itself is region-free and plays fine in a PS3. Don't expect any widescreen or 5.1 surround, the picture is displayed in 4:3 ratio, and audio is 2.0 stereo. This is a film made in 1956, remember, so don't expect miracles! However, the quality of the transfer to blu-ray is very impressive. The picture is very sharp, and very clean, (though with the odd scratch still there that couldn't be restored), and much better to look at than the dvd version. The actual colourization is done very well, so now it just looks like a movie that was shot in colour. It appears that the people who decided on the precise colours to use had some fun, just check out the Aliens' purple uniforms and their Ruler's (Bunny Breckinridge giving a very camp I-can't-be-bothered-I'm-too-good-for-all-this performance) lime green shirt and pink boots! And watch Eros's face turn green when he is hit. Which leads me to a point that purists might not be happy with. This is something which didn't happen in the original b&w version, obviously, as you wouldn't see it, but there are two other alterations to the film which are more intrusive to anyone who knows the film well. Legend had auctioned off the opportunity to have a photograph digitally inserted into a picture frame on Paula Trent's bedroom wall during her scene with the Ghoul Man, and so now there is a modern picture of the winning couple in it. This is made even more obvious by the fact that the picture changes to one of a building a few seconds later in the same scene! The other alteration is that a previously plain gravestone which is by the side of the murdered Inspector Clay now has the names 'Paula & Russell' inscribed on it. Maybe I'm being picky, but I did find these two things slightly distracting and incongruous to the viewing experience. Though I wouldn't imagine most people will even notice these things. Or they probably wouldn't have till I pointed them out...sorry!
As for extras, there aren't many, and frankly the MPIC dvd release has better ones, including the documentary Flying Saucers over Hollywood. The blu-ray does have quite an interesting pop-up trivia quote option, though this can sometimes be hit and miss. It is mostly informative, but I did feel that they missed a few tricks. For instance, they could have mentioned that the actor in the quick shot of a man holding a newspaper was actually Ed Wood. And maybe I didn't need to know quite so much about the subject of pillow-hugging that went on for, well, nearly all night. Unless, of course, I'm missing something here, and they're just joining in with the Woodian spirit of "Hey, that looks good, let's stick it in the movie!"
So, all in all, this colourized version is definitely a worthy addition to the film collection of any Ed Wood fan. Or to anyone new to the man, who can appreciate and find humour in a film whose cast is composed mainly of the director's backers and misfit friends, whose acting is atrocious, whose dialogue is inane and nonsensical, whose continuity is completely off, whose special effects are atrocious, whose end result is the display of enthusiasm over ability. I love this film. It never fails to make me laugh and entertain me. And now it's in colour too! So, go and watch it. And, should you fail to like it, then all I can say is......"Your stupid minds! STUPID! STUPID!!!"