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The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray

United States
Legend | 1959-1965 | 2 Movies | 165 min | Not rated | May 03, 2011

The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: see individual releases
Original aspect ratio: see individual releases

English: Dolby Digital 2.0

See individual releases

25GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (2 BDs)

Region A, B (C untested)

List price: $16.95  

Amazon: $59.99
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Blu-ray rating
Video 3.6 of 53.6
Audio 3.2 of 53.2
Extras 0.8 of 50.8
Based on 4 user reviews

Movie appeal


The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death


The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray offers solid video and decent audio in this enjoyable Blu-ray release

A collector of esoterica, Dr. Maitland (Peter Cushing), buys an unusual skull from his ordinary source of artifacts. The skull is what remains of marquis De Sade. Much too soon he discovers how the skull affects him: by turning him into a frenzied killer...

For more about The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death and the The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray release, see the The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.

Directors: Freddie Francis, Terence Fisher
Writers: Robert Bloch, Barré Lyndon, Milton Subotsky, Jimmy Sangster
Starring: Christopher Lee (I), Anton Diffring, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Patrick Wymark, Jill Bennett

This Blu-ray bundle includes the following titles, see individual titles for specs and details:

The Skull
(No Release Date)

The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

If you can overlook a fair amount of flecks and specks which dot both of these releases, The Man Who Could Cheat Death and The Skull look at the very least decent in these AVC encoded 1080p transfers. The Man Who Could Cheat Death is offered in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio, while The Skull appears in 2.35:1. Cheat has arguably the better, more saturated color, something highlighted by Hammer's proclivity for lurid lighting schemes. There's a slight green cast to a lot of this film, but that simply adds to the ghoulish nature of Bonnet's dissolution. The opening sequence looks like the fog was added optically, and for that reason it is by far the murkiest, hardest to make out sequence in the film. Otherwise the image is decently sharp and certainly robustly saturated. The Skull offers a considerably more subdued palette, and one which seems just slightly pallid at times, especially with regard to fleshtones. Black levels are incredibly full on this film, however, and with excellent contrast help to make the shadowy interiors of Maitland's home very sinister feeling indeed. The image on both of these films is certainly acceptable in terms of sharpness though neither really rises to spectacular levels. As with Legend's other two-pack released this week, Houdini/Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies, there appears to have been absolutely no restoration or digital tweaking done on these releases, so DNR-phobes should have no issue with either of these transfers.

The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.0 of 5

As with Houdini/Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies, Legend has transferred these two films to Blu-ray with standard Dolby 2.0 tracks. The results are okay, nothing more, nothing less, and will probably suffice for most listeners. The Man Who Could Cheat Death suffers from quite a bit of soundtrack damage, with abundant hiss and several loud (and unexpected) pops and cracks which may startle some viewers. The dialogue is fairly crisp, though the film suffers from an overall narrowness that a lossless track could have potentially opened up a little bit. The Skull, while certainly not reference quality audio by any means, is a good deal better, with less damage and slightly less hiss. This is a film that really could have benefited from a lossless audio offering if only to enjoy avant garde composer Elisabeth Luytens' intriguing score with more robust sonics. It's fairly apparent throughout The Skull that several lines were post-looped, but otherwise, while narrow and compressed, this is a consistent sounding track that doesn't present too many issues.

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The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray, News and Updates

Classic Paramount Titles From Legend Films in May - April 16, 2011

Legend Films, who are known for licensing classic catalog titles from Paramount Pictures, have revealed that they will release on Blu-ray a total of six films, as double packs, on May 3rd. The films are: Houdini (George Marshall, 1953), Those Daring Young Men and ...

The Skull / The Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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