I Spit On Your Grave Special Edition Blu-ray Box set arrived November 10th from Ronin Flix
To be completely honest, this was my first title from Ronin Flix and I didn’t know what to expect from the indie distro. The packaging was immaculate and the presentation of the discs was impressive, but that’s not what this post is about. The cover on the 2020 release of the infamous 1978 exploitation classic boasted a “A New 4K Scan From the Original Camera Negative”, and I was excited to check it out given the previous release was almost a decade old at this point. I was surprised at what I found when I started digging in to compare the two releases head to head, you can check out my findings and screenshots after the jump.
My primary complaint with the Anchor Bay disc was and still is the brightness and contrast of the image, which didn’t bode well at times, given how fair lead Camille Keaton’s complexion is. Another issue is the color correction or lack thereof especially given the the use of red in the film, which is a transformative color for the heroine, it appears almost as a pink or magenta in some scenes because of this color imbalance present. The more I dug into the Anchor Bay release for this review, the clearer it became, that the detail in the older scan was a symptom of the brightness and contrast being maxed out to summon the digital details, along with a bit of a DNR thrown in for good measure. Don’t get me wrong for its time this was a solid transfer, but these tricks haven’t aged well and I also think the trend for a more natural and “film-like” transfer has only benefitted recent releases.
The first thing you notice about the Ronin transfer right off the bat is the color correction, skin tones (primarily our lead’s) on this new transfer appear more natural and pleasing to the eye. The colors aren’t as washed out or murky as the Anchor Bay disc tend to be, with reds most definitely bright red. The image also doesn’t look as blown out or artificial in brighter scenes and there’s a pleasing contrast throughout. The film grain is thankfully left intact, with little to no DNR visible. This coupled with the film’s original restored mono track, only hammer home what Ronin was going for with their restoration here, delivering the closest thing you’ll get to seeing a new 35mm print unspool for the first time.
But don’t simply take my word for it, check out the screens below:
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.