Robert Monell & Alex Mendíbil Blog Alliance

GRITOS EN LA NOCHE (1961): a note on the Spanish DVD.

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I realize it looks very dark, but this is how GRITOS EN LA NOCHE, Jess Franco’s first horror film,  should look in terms of contrast. Very dark with light highlights. Not like the previously released DVDs/Blu-rays of the reworked French version, English title: THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF, released in 1964. This is how it looks on the 2012 Spanish Regia DVD.

Also, recently watching the Spanish version on that DVD, I noted that the first female victim staggers across the room to confront her own image in the upright mirror as the credit Director JESUS FRANCO appears. A kind of mission statement from the newly born auteur, who featured increasingly intensive mirror imagery in his subsequent filmography.

DVD/Blu-ray releases have a tendency to brighten everything up and add light where none or very little was intended. ” State of the art technology” also has a tendency to subject every image to DNR [Digital Noise Reduction] which reduces grain and other textures to nothingness while the bottomless, overwhelming blacks of GRITOS EN LA NOCHE are presented in 50 shades of gray.  No longer vintage Black and White.

You really haven’t seen the film as it was intended until you’ve seen this longer Spanish version (R2 DVD runtime: 93m, 40s), which is available on Spanish DVD. Very preferable to the previous DVDs in release of the abridged French language version. Horror reaching out of the darkness, toward light it never quite finds. Also, the music commentary is very different, in a more upbeat tone at times, as in the music hall gala in the final shots as the inspector and his friends walk away.  Needless to say, this is a highly recommended must-have for the serious collector of Jess Franco films.

  • Gritos En La Noche [DVD]
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Gritos En La Noche [DVD]

Thanks to Nzoog for helping me see the Spanish DVD of the original version.

(C) Robert Monell, 2017

Written by Robert Monell

2 julio 2017 a 3:03 AM


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