Interested in PQ? We compare Arrow’s new Blu-ray transfer to Severin’s earlier Release
This article contains several comparisons which contrast the older Severin Blu-ray transfer with the new Arrow version. The frames aren’t necessarily exact matches, but should give a solid indication of the visual differences.
Arrow’s new edition of Bloody Birthday is now available.
Director Ed Hunt’s scuzzy 1981 horror film about a trio of murderous kids is back on Blu from Arrow Video. The movie was previously released on Blu-ray by the fine folks at Severin; that edition is now out of print. It featured a then-new HD transfer, but Arrow’s release has opted for a new 2K restoration.
Comparing the two versions, the biggest major difference is clearly the color timing. The Severin version had a yellow bias, which is striking as a vintage sort of look, but not a natural one.
The Severin transfer also had a much “chunkier” structure — I hesitate to call it grain; seems more like digital noise. Regardless, Arrow’s new version looks finer and more detailed.
One other observation; Arrow pulls back a tad to show a bit more of the frame — the picture is wider than before. It also has very slight letterbox effect (“back bars”, not on the Severin image), likely as a direct result of this.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS (as provided by Arrow)
- Brand new 2K restoration from original film element
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original Uncompressed mono audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with director Ed Hunt
- Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
- Brand new interview with actress Lori Lethin
- Bad Seeds and Body Counts — a brand new video appreciation of Bloody Birthday and the killer kid sub-genre by film journalist Chris Alexander
- Archival interview with producer Max Rosenberg
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Timothy Pittides
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Lee Gambin
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Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system. All package photography was taken by the reviewer.