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Kidnapped: Comparison (Lucertola Media vs. Astro Records and Filmworks vs. Anchor Bay) 
Written by: on May 2nd, 2007

Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1974
Director: Mario Bava
Writers: Cesare Frugoni, Alessandro Parenzo
Cast: Riccardo Cucciolla, Maurice Poli, Lea Lander, Luigi Montefiori, Aldo Caponi

DVD released: 2001 2007
Approximate running time: 92m25s  95m15s (Kidnapped) 96m15s (Rabid Dogs)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 non-Anamorphic Widescreen  1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen 
Rating: NR
NR
Sound: Dolby Digital mono Italian & German with no English subtitles Dolby Digital mono Italian with English subtitles
DVD Release: Astro Records and Filmworks Anchor Bay
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95 $19.95

Lucertola Media’s Region 0 DVD

Astro Records and Filmworks’s Region 0 DVD

Anchor Bay’s Region 1 DVD

Astro Records and Filmworks Region 0 DVD

Anchor Bay’s Region 1 DVD

Astro Records and Filmworks Region 0 DVD

Anchor Bay’s Region 1 DVD


The Film :

Four criminals pull off a daring daylight bank robber and in the process of getting away from the police the driver of the getaway car is killed which leads to the other three men finding other transportation. The police corner the men in parking garage and when they kill one of two women they are holding hostage they police stand down which allows them to get away once again. To further elude the police the trio decides too switch cars at the next traffic light which places them in a car with Riccardo who is taking his sick son who lays in the backseat to the hospital. What unfolds next is a hellish road trip that will claim a few of the passengers’ lives before all is said and done.

Video:

Anchor Bay’s release has the most picture information out of any release of this film to date. The Astro Records and Filmworks while colorful in tone it does look oversaturated especially when compared to the more natural looking transfer from Anchor Bay. Overall both releases are free of any print damage with the edge going to the Anchor Bay release which looks more natural.

Audio:

Astro Records and Filmworks release comes with two audio options the films original Italian language track and a German audio track. Both are presented in a Dolby Digital mono that is in pretty good shape considering the limitations of a mono source. There are no problems with hiss or distortion. One major flaw in the Astro Records and Filmworks release is that it doesn’t come with any English subtitles. Both versions included on Anchor Bay’s release each come with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian. Both audio mixes on the Anchor Bay mix offer clean sounding soundtracks that sound robust and clear. The Anchor Bay release also comes with English subtitles. Overall the two audio mixes included on the Anchor Bay release are the best this film has ever sounded.

Extras:

Extras for the Astro Records and Filmworks release include a trailer for the film and a photo gallery that includes about twenty pictures. Other extras include the films original opening and closing credits as well as opening credits that were used for the region 1 Lucertola Media DVD. Rounding out the extras is a text piece about the film that is in German. Extras for the Anchor Bay release include trailers for other Mario Bava films currently available form Anchor Bay on DVD and a Mario Bava bio. Other extras include a fascinating seventeen minute documentary titled “End of the Road” which features comments from Lamberto Bava, Alfredo Leone and Lea Lander. The main extra for this release is a audio commentary with Mario Bava expert Tim Lucas. This audio commentary is only accessible via the Rabid Dogs version of the film. Anchor Bay’s release easily beats the Astro Records and Filmworks in the extras department.

Overall:

To date this is now the third DVD for Rabid Digs that I have purchased. After two less then perfect releases I can finally say that Anchor Bay’s release is the definitive release of this film and topping it would be very hard.

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