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UPC: 025192123825

Format: DVD

Release Date: Oct 19, 2004

Rating: R

Regular price $12.95 USD
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The sexy 1978 film production of Dracula hits DVD for the second time with this release from Universal Home Video. Controversy has surrounded the picture ever since the original laserdisc release, when director John Badham desaturated the original vibrant photography to try and finally realize his original stark vision for the film. This disc finds the helmer tweaking away once again, though the results are actually quite startling. While the theatrical film struck a chord right at the height of the garish disco era, this new version's look and feel evokes the classic mythos far more effectively than the released print (though the colorful psychedelic love scene is still intact). The good news for the black-and-white detractors is that at least this time, the film is presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen format, (updated from Image's previously cropped 2.15:1 disc) and its anamorphic face-lift is impressive to say the least. The disc has the benefit of a few new bonus features that prove Universal's dedication when it comes to their reissues, starting with the inclusion of Badham's audio commentary. The newly recorded track finds the director a few years older and wiser as he looks back at a film from his early career. Coming straight off of Saturday Night Fever, Badham was shocked to find himself directing a quite frail Sir Laurence Olivier and a stern leading man (Frank Langella) whose battles with the producers are now legendary. The 40-minute "Revamping of Dracula" featurette delves even more into the production and contains interviews with Langella, John Williams, and others, while the photo gallery is packed with incredible production designs as well as behind-the-scenes photos and promotional advertising. This release might scream of the same kind of questionable revisionism that rocked the Star Wars set, but it does right in giving the film much more love than what was there before, and that is certainly a good thing.
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