Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Whip And The Body (Blu-ray Review) - Kino

Directed By: Mario Bava
Written By: Ernesto Gastaldi, Ugo Guerra, Luciano Martino
Starring: Christopher Lee, Daliah Lavi
Color/87 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A

The Film
Daliah Lavi stars as Navenka, the beautiful woman tortured by Kurt Menliff (Christopher Lee), who returns home to his castle at the dismay of everyone else there. After he's found dead the torment continues as Menliff's spirit is vengeful and full of anger. 

The surface level plot of  THE WHIP AND THE BODY isn't anything you haven't heard before. It is the subconcious, the atmosphere, the sadomasochism that the film is steeped in that make it special. The gorgeous photography and excellent staging that make it one of Bava's best films. Christopher Lee is excellent as the Count and Daliah Lavi is so gorgeous and tormented that you feel awful for her, despite how much it drives her actions. THE WHIP AND THE BODY is possibly Mario Bava's cruelest film but it is also one of his most beautiful. This is truly one of the best horror films of the 1960s, a decade filled with incredible horror films.

The Audio & Video
Kino Classics deliver THE WHIP AND THE BODY on Blu-ray for the film's first ever treatment in HD. The 1.78:1 widescreen transfer keeps the film's original aspect ratio in tact and it looks gorgeous. Skin tones are natural and healthy while the colorful lighting and gorgeous gothic castle setting look incredible. Textures are detailed, black levels are deep and inky. The audio side of the disc fares just as well. With 3 separate audio tracks available, English, Italian with English subs and French with English subs. I prefer the English track as there was no live sound recorded and all of the actors were speaking English, either naturally or phonetically, on set The only downside is that another actor was used for Christopher Lee's voice.

Please Note: Images do NOT represent Blu-ray quality

The Extras
Extra features include an older commentary track from Tim Lucas that was ported over from the old VCI DVD release. Also included is the theatrical trailer and several other Bava trailers. 

The Bottom Line
One of horror's greatest director's best films gets a fantastic looking and sounding Blu-ray. Do I really have to say that this one is essential? I shouldn't but I will. This Blu-ray from Kino is essential.


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