Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 22nd, 2018
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1979
Director: Jesus Franco
Writer: Jesus Franco
Cast: Lina Romay, Catherine Lafferière, Jesus Franco, Nadine Pascal, Pierre Taylou, Roger Germanes, Monica Swinn, France Nicolas, Sam Marée, François Guillaume, Caroline Rivière, Philippe Lebrun, Olivier Mathoto
BluRay Release Date: April 3rd, 2018
Approximate running time: 99 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Spanish, DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono French
Subtitles: English (for Spanish and French language audio tracks), English SDH (for the English language track)
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Encoding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
Throughout his career, Jess Franco would direct alternate versions of several of his films. And though, the majority of these alternate versions were more explicit versions that were made for specific markets. A film like The Sadist of Notre Dame was one of the rare example of an alternate version that didn’t shift of the focus on adding more explicit content.
The origins of The Sadist of Notre Dame, can be traced back to Exorcism and like so many alternate versions directed by Jess Franco, Exorcism has a more explicit alternate version under the title Demoniac.
The narrative for The Sadist of Notre Dame, rearranges scenes and expands upon, the premise that originated with the aforementioned Exorcism. With the most noticeable difference between these two versions being, how The Sadist of Notre Dame devotes more time to the backstory of the main character, a defrocked priest.
The Sadist of Notre Dame comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Before the film there is a disclaimer about the source used for this transfer.
“The Sadist of Notre Dame was scanned in 4k from the only known print of this version. The element was a 35mm exhibition print and although we have restored some of the more egregious damage, this presentation does exhibit some signs of wear and tear. An element in superior condition is not known to exist.”
This release comes with three audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in English, a DTS-HD mono mix in Spanish and a DTS-HD mono mix in French. The strongest of these three audio mixes is Spanish language track. The other two audio tracks exhibit some mild instances of background noise and these two tracks do not sound as full as the Spanish language track. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. This release comes with two audio options, English subtitles for the Spanish and French language tracks and English SDH subtitles for the English language track.
Extras for this release include, a documentary titled The Gory Days of Le Brady (30 minutes 58 seconds, in French with English subtitles), an audio essay with Robert Monell webmaster I’m In A Jess Franco State of Mind (6 minutes 31 seconds), an interview with Alain Petit, author of Jess Franco Ou Les Prosperites Des Bis (5 minutes 2 seconds, in French with English subtitles) and an interview with Stephen Thrower author of Murderous Passions – The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco (27 minutes 50 seconds).
The audio essay with Robert Monell is billed as a scene select audio commentary. Topics discussed in the extra include, Jess Franco and background information about The Sadist of Notre Dame.
Topics discussed in the interview with Alain Petit include, background information about The Sadist of Notre Dame.
Topics discussed in the interview with Stephen Thrower include, background information about Exorcism and The Sadist of Notre Dame, how these two films differ and his thoughts about The Sadist of Notre Dame.
Overall The Sadist of Notre Dame gets a solid release from Severin Films.
Manga Films Spanish DVD Release