Dracula Prince of Darkness…Hammer classic now restored and released on Region B Blu-ray…But reports of audio synch errors

Posted: 5 March, 2012 in BBFC Uncut, New Releases
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Read more Latest UK Cuts at MelonFarmers.co.uk

5th February 2012. See article from cinemart-online.co.uk
See trailer from youtube.com
See further details at Melon Farmers Video Hits: Dracula Prince of Darkness

Dracula Prince Of Darkness Blu rayDracula: Prince of Darkness is a 1966 UK horror film by Terence Fisher. With Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley and Andrew Keir. See IMDb

Studio Canal have teamed up with Hammer to restore the classic Dracula: Prince of Darkness.

UK: Passed 15 uncut for:

  • UK 2012 Hammer/Studio Canal Restored Version R2 DVD/RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released today on 5th March 2012

Update: It is widely reported that the master used for this edition exhibits audio sync errors of up to 1 second. this is apparent on both Blu-ray and DVD disks and seems to be most obvious during the first 15 minutes of the film.

Extras:

  • Commentary featuring Christopher Lee, Suzan Farmer, Francis Matthews & Barbara Shelley
  • World of Hammer episode Hammer Stars: Christopher Lee
  • Back to Black
  • Super 8mm Behind the Scenes footage
  • Restoration comparison
  • Trailer
  • Double bill Trailer
  • Original USA Titles
  • Original Print UK Theatrical Titles.

Previously Cut:

The cut cinema version was passed 15 without further BBFC cuts for:

  • UK 1999 15 rated Warner VHS
  • UK 1993 15 rated Lumiere VHS
  • UK 1992 15 rated Warner VHS
  • UK 1966 X (16) rated cinema release

The BBFC cuts were

  • The second of three shots of blood pouring onto Dracula’s ashes, together with a linking shot of his servant, has been deleted
  • A close-up of blood coming out of the stake in Barbara Shelley’s chest has been removed – in the censored print loss of soundtrack has been bridged with an additional reaction shot of Francis Matthews against the wall which appears to be the taken from another shot of him in this position but at a slightly different speed
  • After Dracula cuts open his chest, about 5s-10s of footage of Susan Farmer gradually coming closer to him has been removed presumably on the grounds that this makes it clearer that she was going to drink the blood on Dracula’s chest. The offscreen shout which ends Dracula’s advances appears against a different on-screen image in the cut version (because the original footage is missing) after not before Farmer has fainted

Update: Restored Titles

8th February 2012. See article from blog.hammerfilms.com

On the subject of main and end titles. Both our restoration partners and ourselves are doing everything we can to ensure that Hammer films are restored from the very best available materials. Often these materials are of the US rather than the UK version, which leads to a search for viable first and last reels so that the UK titles can be restored.

Dracula: Prince of Darkness was restored from an original cinema negative featuring US main titles but UK end titles. Using the first reel of a badly-damaged print as a source, Pinewood Studios have done a fantastic job restoring the original UK main titles, meaning that the final restored film has UK titles at the beginning (Associated British Productions Limited Presents // A Hammer Film Production) and the end (A Hammer Film Production produced at Bray Studios, England // Released through Warner-Pathe Distributors Limited).

Studio Canal and Hammer plan further restorations on such films as George Gilling’s The Plague of The Zombies and The Reptile.

Update: Statement from Hammer Films offering replacement disks re audio synch error

7th March. See article from hammerfilms.com

Notice from StudioCanal UK regarding faulty Dracula Prince Of Darkness Blu-ray/DVD Double-Play discs:

We recently discovered a small audio synch issue within a couple of scenes of the Dracula Prince Of Darkness discs that were released on the 5th of March.

This problem occurred at the authoring stage where a fix was not implemented despite being supplied.

With this in mind we will be replacing any discs that have this issue present.

Please send your proof of payment and your address to enquiries@vdcgroup.com and we will endeavour to send a working replacement to you promptly.

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Comments
  1. cultlabs says:

    Official statement about sound syncing issues:

    “We recently discovered a small audio synch issue within a couple of scenes of the ‘Dracula Prince of Darkness’ discs that were released on the 5th of March.

    This problem occurred at the authoring stage where a fix was not implemented despite being supplied.

    With this in mind we will be replacing any discs that have this issue present.

    Please send your proof of payment and your address to enquiries@vdcgroup.com and we will endeavour to send a working replacement to you promptly.”