Monday, January 7, 2013
When Women Had Tails (1970)
"Who Thought Upscaling a VHS Tape Was a Good Idea?"
When Women Had Tails is a pre-historic Italian comedy from 1970. A group of brothers are abandoned as children as their mother is beaten and taken away by cavemen. We cut to several years later as they are all grown up and living on an island with an abundant food source. One stormy night, lightning hits a tree and the boys have fire. While they decide who gets to take care of the flame, one of the brothers proceeds to burn down all of the vegitation on the island. They swim off to a new land and soon come across a strange "animal". A beautiful cavewoman, Filli, played by Senta Berger.
Ulli, played by Giuliano Gema, takes an interest in Filli and spares her from being dinner. Soon after, she teaches him about sex and this sparks the brothers into a frenzy as they all begin to fight each other in order to be the dominant male. Ulli and Filli go on the run to save themselves from the others.
The movie was ok. But, before I continue, this is the German cut which is about fifteen minutes shorter than the Italian version. Nothing seemed incomprehensible, as opposed to watching the German cut version of A Serbian Film. Some of the slap-stick comedy made me laugh, but at the end of the day; the film was just slightly above average. Senta Berger was a fine thing back in the day. And Giuliano Gema is awesome as a caveman. I give the film a 3/5.
This Blu-ray is from "Best Entertainment", the same studio that did the Night of the Living Dead Blu-ray, which I reviewed a while back. And like that release, this one too has horrible video. This looks like it was sourced from a VHS tape. And a worn out one too. Was it really that hard to contact the Italian studio to get their hands on a print of this film? We could have gotten the film uncut, because I don't see what could have been so bad for them to cut fifteen minutes. Colors are bland as hell. Even when we have close ups of faces, not even close to HD. Such a shame. Video gets a .5/5.
While the audio is decent, it's not that great. Only audio track is a German Dolby Digital 5.1 track. We couldn't get Best Entertainment to try and sync up an Italian audio track to the film? Or perhaps an English track since the print from the VHS source is all in English except for the title screen. Audio gets a 2.5/5.
While Best Entertainment could care to make a "Special Features" section on the disc, all of the bonus material is scattered through the main menu. There is a group of trailers which are oddly all trailers for movies from Troma. We have "Cannibal: The Musical", "Monster in the Closet", and "Sizzle Beach, USA". Then we have a slide show of German press material for the film. And finally, in German, bios for Senta Berger and Giuliano Gema. Too bad there wasn't any trailers for the film itself included in the extras. That would have been nice. Extras get a 2/5.
Am I being fair by giving this release a 2/5? Well, the copy I did get was Metal Pak, however it was dinged to hell. I picked this up from Grooves Inc for a little over $5. If you speak German, then, I'd only recommend it if you got time to kill. It's not something that everyone should search out unless they're into Italian films from that era of filmmaking. 2/5.