|Category||Black Comedy||Theatrical Trailer(s)||None|
|Year Released||1960||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||71:49||Other Extras||Menu Audio & Animation
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||2.0 mono|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 224 Kb/s)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||?||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Jack Nicholson has a small cameo here, and being only 23 he looks very young, but plays his role of a masochistic undertaker with the kind of spark which screams "this actor is going to go places".
Made on a shoe-string budget in 1960, The Little Shop Of Horrors is definitely a classic piece of movie-making. The script was reputedly whipped up in less than a week, and the entire movie filmed in a few days on a set which was left over from a previous production. Most of my criticism must be taken in the context of absolutes; this film simply is not going to look and sound like a contemporary, big-budgeted production. It does have a certain charm about it though which transcends the limitations of its production, and I enjoyed watching all 72 minutes of it.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ration of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. I am unable to verify the theatrical aspect ratio, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was much more than the ratio we have here. Certainly I saw no evidence of Pan & Scan at work, and scene composition looked fine within the frame.
The image is quite lacklustre in all areas, having very little contrast to it. Sharpness is quite poor, with little detail resolved in the picture. Shadow detail was at times very poor, and other times acceptable. There is no low-level noise; in fact, this transfer simply doesn't have the clarity to resolve noise or film grain anyway.
This movie is in Black & White, though on my display it comes across as slightly warmer, or sepia.
In keeping with the other Force Video discs I have watched, this one suffered dreadfully from poor MPEG compression, and it is this area where VHS would actually look superior. One of the worst kinds of artefacts in my book is the dreaded blurring whenever motion occurs; it is very off-putting especially on a larger screen. It is rife with this transfer, and it begs the question: do these discs actually go through any kind of quality control? It would appear not.
There was little in the way of film artefacts. Film-to-video artefacts were also absent, save for the dreadful MPEG encoding.
There is just the one "digitally remastered" soundtrack, that being Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. The menu gives you the initial impression that there are two soundtracks, one being the standard and the other being the remaster. In fact, there is only the one, though it certainly doesn't sound as good as you might expect for a remaster.
Dialogue was generally intelligible, though some of the voice-over film-noir type narration was difficult to understand given that the person saying it mumbled through it.
Audio sync was generally good, though at times it hinted of going astray.
The score is distinctly different, being playful and slightly bent. It suits the movie quite well. The sound quality is shrill and sometimes jarring, sounding very thin and lifeless. I am not going to be too picky with a budget 1960 film, but I will say that at times is seems that the "remastering" may have made things worse. Quite often, foley effects sounded "doubled up", giving a comb-filter effect on them and making them sound even thinner and more indistinct than usual. Vocals would sometimes suffer this effect also.
The soundtrack never descends to a depth even remotely close to the subwoofer, so it stayed quiet.
A short description of the movie, and of little value.
Again, very short and of questionable value.
The video quality is no better than VHS.
The audio is listenable, but of low quality.
There are no substantial extras.
|DVD||Panasonic A350A S-Video output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm Widescreen 16x9|
|Audio Decoder||Internal Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD Player)|
|Amplification||Sony STRDE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ|
|Speakers||Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt; Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders; Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive|