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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Faceless combines goofy, bizarre Franco-elements with solid tech; a must for Franco fans.

    Faceless 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Severin Films' 4K UHD release of 'Faceless' boasts an organic, detail-enhanced transfer from the original negative, with a cooler, slightly grayed presentation compared to its 1080 version, yet retains heavy, sometimes clumpy grain and minor damage. Score: 4.25.

  • Audio
  • Faceless offers DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 in English/French with minimal difference, featuring an unforgettable theme song, clear dialogue/score/effects, and optional English subtitles.

  • Extra
  • Both 4K UHD and 1080 discs feature Franco and Romay's commentary in French, trailers, and diverse interviews. Extras include a parody short, in-depth discussions on Franco's work, and spoiler-marked insights.

  • Movie
  • Including expert commentary and eclectic casting, films explore the dark themes of disfigurement by mad surgeons, blending horror with humor and intricate plots.

    Video: 69

    Severin Films' release of "Faceless" in 4K UHD is a commendable effort to upgrade the film's visuals to the modern era. With a presentation in 2160p resolution and a 1.67:1 aspect ratio, this edition has been scanned for the first time in 4K from the original negative, as vaguely mentioned on its packaging. This release doesn't inundate viewers with technical details but promises an enhanced viewing experience compared to its 1080p counterpart. The 4K UHD transfer, while maintaining an organic feel, seems to lean towards a cooler color palette with shades of gray and blue more pronounced, diverging slightly from the warmth of the 1080 version. Nevertheless, it introduces a fresh perspective with its more distinct, albeit conservative, HDR application.

    Detail levels exhibit a noteworthy improvement, providing a clearer and more engaging picture. However, the grain structure, though expected in 4K transfers to retain a filmic texture, occasionally appears overemphasized, manifesting as clumpy and yellowish in low light conditions—Ingrid's bedroom scene serves as a prime example. Moreover, while the overall image quality signifies a significant step up, there's an unavoidable presence of minor damage such as specks and scratches, most notably in the film's opening sequence with Mozer. These artifacts, although not debilitating, remind viewers of the film's age and physical history.

    Despite these minor quibbles, this 4K UHD release by Severin Films impresses with its visual enhancements, making "Faceless" more vivid and visually appealing than ever before. The balancing act between preserving the film’s original character and integrating modern technology is commendable. The cooler hues and detailed textile can slightly detract from the nostalgic essence for some, yet they simultaneously offer a refined visual experience that celebrates both the film's legacy and the advancements in home cinema technology. My rating mirrors these sentiments with a score of 4.25, acknowledging both the strides made and the modest room for improvement.

    Audio: 69

    The audio presentation on the 4K UHD Blu-Ray of "Faceless" is delivered via DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 options, available in both English and French languages. Upon extensive listening and comparison, one can discern that there's minimal variance between the two language tracks regarding overall volume levels and mixing strategies. This revelation underlines a consistent auditory experience irrespective of the chosen language, ensuring that the essence and intensity of the film's audio are maintained across the board. The presence of optional English subtitles adds an additional layer of accessibility, catering to a broader audience spectrum.

    At the heart of the audio experience is the film's theme song, which stands out as an audibly gripping component. Its catchy composition is likely to linger in the minds of listeners long after the viewing, especially for those delving into the supplementary material where it prominently features. This memorable piece signifies the effective utilization of music within the film's auditory landscape, enhancing emotional engagement and recall.

    The mix of dialogue, score, and sound effects is executed with clarity and precision. There's a deliberate balance across these elements, ensuring that each is distinguishable without overshadowing the others. This harmonious interplay contributes to a seamless listening experience, where every line of dialogue, musical cue, and background noise is presented with crispness and clarity. The audio treatment in "Faceless" demonstrates meticulous attention to detail, affirming the film's immersive auditory appeal on the 4K UHD Blu-Ray format.

    Extra: 69

    The special features of the "Faceless" 4K UHD Blu-ray provide a rewarding deep dive for enthusiasts and scholars of Jess Franco's work, blending rich commentary, insightful interviews, and unique extras with technical finesse. Noteworthy is the audio commentary with Jess Franco and Lina Romay, available in both the main and bonus features, presenting a bilingual option that highlights the director's intentions and the on-set dynamics. The inclusion of both French and English trailers alongside a diverse array of interviews, including a standout piece with Brigitte Lahaie and critical perspectives from Kim Newman and Stephen Thrower, enriches understanding. The EPK interviews and archival content further cement this edition as essential for collectors, offering a comprehensive view behind the scenes. "Therese II: The Mission," a humorous short, adds a lighter, yet significant layer to the extras, showcasing Franco's influence and reach in European cinema.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary with Director Jess Franco and Actress Lina Romay: Available under either the Bonus or Setup Menus, in French with English subtitles.
    • The Female Predator: A fun interview with actress Brigitte Lahaie, in French with English subtitles.
    • Facial Recognition: Subtitled "Cinema's Plastic Surgery Nightmares," features Kim Newman.
    • Parisian Encounters: An interview with actress Caroline Munro.
    • Predators of the Night: Stephen Thrower's thoughts on Franco and the film.
    • EPK Interviews with Actors Helmut Berger, Chris Mitchum, and Telly Savalas.
    • Archival Interview with Director Jess Franco: Known as "The Brain Behind Faceless".
    • Archival Interview with Actor Chris Mitchum.
    • Selected Scene Commentary with Chris Mitchum.
    • Therese II: The Mission (1987): A parody short starring Brigitte Lahaie, produced for the French theatrical release of "Faceless".
    • French Trailer.
    • English Trailer.

    Movie: 59

    Faceless," presented in stunning 4K UHD Blu-ray, emerges not only as a grotesquely fascinating narrative shaped by the hands of Jess Franco, but also a noteworthy entry in the cult horror genre centered on the macabre fascination with plastic surgery gone awry. Helmut Berger delivers a chilling performance as Dr. Frank Flamand, who, alongside his nurse Nathalie (Brigitte Lahaie), embarks on a nefarious journey to perform a face transplant for his disfigured sister, Ingrid (Christiane Jean). Their descent into darkness is fueled by a series of kidnappings aimed at harvesting faces for this unholy purpose. This core storyline, however, is merely the tip of the iceberg in a film brimming with eclectic characters and bizarre subplots, including a private detective's quest and the involvement of an ex-Nazi surgeon, which contribute to the film's labyrinthine narrative structure.

    The casting choices alone make "Faceless" a celluloid curiosity, with appearances by Caroline Munro, Telly Savalas, and Howard Vernon adding layers of intrigue to an already convoluted tale. Yet, it is Franco's handling of the film's potentially gruesome subject matter that captivates. Despite a penchant for over-the-top gore, some of "Faceless"'s shock value is mitigated by moments of unintended humor and conspicuously low-budget effects. Nonetheless, segments showcasing skillful makeup work afford the film an unsettling veneer that resonates with fans of the genre.

    It is apparent through supplementary materials, including a humorous parody revealed to have been shown in French theaters, that "Faceless" doesn't take itself too seriously, allowing audiences to revel in its camp and gore. Critics like Kim Newman and Stephen Thrower provide insight into Franco's motivations and the film's place within the broader context of horror cinema obsessed with bodily disfigurement. Despite its erratic pacing and occasionally jarring narrative diversions, "Faceless" stands out for its audacity and creative use of special effects, clinging to its status as a cult classic that entertains as much as it horrifies.

    Total: 79

    Faceless," in its 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation, undeniably embraces the peculiarity and eccentricity inherent to Jess Franco's cinematic realm. This film amalgamates a fascinatingly bizarre cast that transcends ordinary belief, perched neatly at the intersection of titillation and the grotesquely grandiose, notably featuring moments of extreme Grand Guignol flair alongside more disturbing visuals like eyeball immolations and facial disfigurements. Severin's release of this film does justice to its unique essence, boasting solid technical prowess that enhances Franco's distinctive blend of horror and sensuality, making it an intriguing experience for viewers attuned to his filmmaking style.

    The 4K UHD edition not only offers a visual and auditory enhancement that brings out the intricate details and vibrant colors inherent in Franco's creative vision, but it also comes packed with exceptional supplements that delve deeper into the making and legacy of "Faceless." These additions provide a richer context and understanding of the film, elevating the viewing experience for aficionados and newcomers alike who are courageous enough to dive into this unconventional narrative. The upgrade in presentation quality ensures that both the unapologetically quirky elements and the more intense scenes are delivered with an unprecedented clarity, allowing for a fully immersive experience.

    In conclusion, the 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Faceless" serves as a testament to the enduring allure of Jess Franco's work, presented with technical finesse by Severin. It is geared towards an audience that finds beauty in cinema’s more avant-garde and risqué territories. This edition is not only recommended for those already versed in Franco’s filmography but also provides a compelling gateway for the uninitiated, promising a blend of shock, awe, and artistic merit. With its improved visuals, sound quality, and supplemental materials, this release invites viewers to explore the depth of Franco's vision in a manner that’s as engaging as it is unconventional.