This article contains several comparisons which contrast the older Shout! Factory Blu-ray transfer with the new Arrow restoration. The frames aren’t necessarily exact matches (though in this case I believe they all are), but should give a solid indication of the visual differences.
Just released and already getting hard due to its limited pressing, Arrow Video’s new box set “Enter the Video Store: Empire of Screams” collects several terrific Empire International Pictures titles, most of which have been on Blu-ray before.
We already took a look at The Dungeonmaster, and next up up is Cellar Dweller which was similarly released in 2015 by Shout! Factory as part of a double feature. Arrow’s new edition describes itself as having “additional picture restoration by Arrow Films”.
Here are my observations of the new release:
- A boost in clarity and fineness of grain (very typical for Arrow releases)
- Cleaner images with respect to dust, scratches, and random splotches.
- In terms of framing, Arrow’s disc is just a hair tighter and has some slight letterboxing.
- In other important respects, the transfers are very similar: color quality and brightness appear virtually identical. This is not particularly surprising given the description of “additional restoration”.
The “slider” images below allow for a quick comparison of the stills from both discs by color, cleanliness, framing, but are downscaled and not representative of the full 1080p resolution. These are only illustrative of differences, and not definitive, especially in terms of resolution and clarity.
For a truer direct comparison, it’s recommended to download the image files and view them at full size on a large monitor with 1080p or higher resolution. You can download all images at full resolution in a single file zipfile below: