There is one other person whose work needs to be recognized — well, maybe two. Special effects man Germano Natali and make-up artist Gianetto De Rossi work absolute wonders here. Yes, some of the effects still look fake, but for the low budgets they were working with, and assuming the audience gets behind what is going on, their work is astounding. From the lumbering zombies, to the spider attack (even with the toy spiders), to handling Fulci's desire to do harm to the window to the soul known as the eye, they are fantastic.
Audio/Video. The tech of this release is probably about as good as it is going to get. The widescreen image has a soft look that does not contain an enormous amount of detail. Still, it looks considerably better than the chopped releases that have come before. It is interesting to note that the film was not available uncut prior to 1998 when Quentin Tarantino brought it to midnight showings around the country. In any case, the image may be soft, but it is still clear and is likely the best it will ever look.
The audio is in a similar boat. Everything is dubbed, just like a large portion of Italian films, especially Fulci's films, which had an international cast with everyone speaking in their native tongue. The volume levels are low, so you will need to turn the volume up somewhat to get everything.
Extras. This Anchor Bay release (in Limited Edition tin) includes a nice selection of extras.
- Commentary. This track features stars Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck. It was recorded two weeks prior to Warbeck's death following a long bout with cancer. The track is a great one as the two watch the film and reminisce on things they have not thought of in years. Among the topics are Fulci's relationship with the cast, the lack of a good script, and how much fun it was to work on this project.
- Photo Gallery. There are a few galleries with photos from the set, the production, and some other cast appearances. It cannot be navigated and runs over 16 minutes accompanied by music inspired by the film.
- Trailers. We get a trio of trailers: the US re-release, international theatrical, and German theatrical.
- Alternate Scene. The German color pre-credit sequence is included. There dies not appear to be a big difference between the two openings.
- Music Video. Necrophagia's "And You Will Live in Terror" video incorporates clips from the movie. Nothing special, and not particularly good. This is a death metal act we could do without.
- Easter Eggs. On the "Images from Beyond" feature there is an Eibon symbol underneath the eye, click on it to see a trailer for Fulci's 1990 film Cat in the Brain. Also, there is another symbol on the audio setup page. Click there and you will get the opening sequence for the heavily edited US cut that was titled 7 Doors of Death and directed by "Louis Fuller." It cuts out the entire pre-credit sequence and all of its blood.
- In the Tin Extras. The tin includes a nice booklet filled with thoughts of the film and of Fulci, definitely worth reading for fans. There is also a series of postcards depicting various poster art. Very nice inclusions.
Bottom line. This is a must for horror fans. You may not like it at first - I didn't - but revisit it a few times and its excellence will be revealed. It is very surreal, very bizarre, and highly atmospheric, plus the gore is terrific. This is a classic example of first-rate Italian horror.