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Geisterstunde 
Written by: on December 5th, 2005


Alternate titles: Todesvisionen (Malum / Julia / Kristalltod / Biss dass der Tod uns scheidet)
Release Date: Germany 1987
Directors: Volker Morlock / Susanne Aernecke / Pascal Hoffmann / Dirk Eickhoff
Writers: Volker Morlock / Susanne Aernecke / Andreas Marschall / Dirk Eickhoff
Cast: Angelika Bender / Isabell Emminger, Clause Ringer / Stella Adorf, Judith Rossmaier / Marietta Meade, Alison Welles

DVD released: December 4, 2002
Running time: 92m46s
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Fullframe / 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: FSK-18
Sound: German, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
DVD Label: e-m-s
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (Germany)
Retail Price: 5 EUR
Discs: 1xDVD-5
EAN: 4020974151436


The Film :

This is a collection of 4 short horror stories of which I couldn’t find much info but I think they are made by students from the Munich Film and Television Academy (Münchner Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen).

Malum: A woman buys a hunting idol for a friend’s birthday. The statuette has a strange effect on her cat.

Julia: Julia, the wife of an important politician discovers a double taking her place.

Kristalltod (Crystal Death): Two girls steal a crystal object in a mysterious antique store. The storekeeper takes revenge as they become pawns in his game of chess.

Biss dass der Tod uns scheidet (Until Death Do Us Part): A woman kills her violent husband in self-defence and returns home a month later. However, the deceased turns back up.

Video:

All shorts are presented in 1.33:1 fullframe except for Julia which is in 1.66:1 non-anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is interlaced and in pretty bad condition with lots of blemishes and faded colours. The image is very noisy, unsharp and so dark it’s often hard to see anything. This is mainly a problem in Malum and Kristalltod.

Audio:

There is a German and English track available in dolby digital 2.0 mono. Both are limited but seem free of background hiss are other annoyances. Dialogue is easy to understand although the German track sounds rather hollow. There are no subtitles but the English dubbing is not too bad.

Extras:

The menu is very annoying as I couldn’t even read the fancy red letters on my TV. There’s a play all button but the shorts can also be accessed directly. The only extras are 6 German trailers for other e-m-s DVDs. The cover, using artwork of Kristalltod, looks pretty nice.

Overall:

These shorts turned out better than I expected. Malum (12m) is a fast and fun animal goes berserk story, Julia (15m) creates a strange atmosphere and Kristalltod (25m) has a nice giallo feel to it. The overlong Biss dass der Tod uns scheidet (40m) is the weakest and failed to keep my interest.

Technically the DVD is below VHS level, although I guess this is for a large part due to the low production values of the shorts. Especially Kristalltod, my personal favourite, really suffers. Still, the low price and available English audio make it a recommendation.

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