Bad Blood (1981)

Transfer source? - christopher robert girvan
Bad Blood is an absolutely brilliant film but.....this transfer is far less than just acceptable. The film damage and scratches are appalling as the reviewer has said but the transfer source material appears to have been taken from a VHS tape recording from a poor reception telecast from SBS TV. And I am not kidding, the opening titles reveal a ghosting effect to the right of screen and darker scenes exhibit an appalling amount of VHS type transmission artefacts. While I agree with the review that this is an outstanding film and performance from Jack Thompson, i cannot agree that this transfer is "acceptable" when it is in fact disgracefull and a travesty to the whole DVD concept. Of course we will never see a better DVD version of this, simply because of the usual DVD tranfer quality versus original film quality formula, meaning the crappiest films seem to get the best transfers, but for anyone who doubts Jack Thompson as an actor, take a look at this and be amazed, and also wonder why British director Mike Newell's career took such an awfull U-turn in later years.

In Reply - Steve Crawford (read my bio)
Hi Chris,
Thanks for your comments and I agree, this transfer is not great by any means. The fact that it isn't enhanced for widescreen displays is in itself very annoying. But, I certianly would not class the transfer as disgraceful. I've seen score's of DVD's that I'd class far worse than Bad Blood in terms of overall quality. It's true that some terrible film's get great transfers to DVD, with considerable time and care spent on the transfer quality. It's clear in this case, the transfer could and should have been much better. Unfortunately, I can't see Bad Blood getting another release, in this format anyway. Cheers. SteveC.

Bad Blood (1981) Bad Blood Masters and Transfer Feedback - Umbrella Entertainment Marketing
Dear Christopher and Steve,
Umbrella Entertainment released BAD BLOOD on DVD because we thought it was a terrific film that deserved rediscovery - if only to see one of Jack Thompson's finest performances. We discovered that apart from half a dozen stills there was no other original materials remaining of the film.
We spent a long time searching for a 35mm print to create a new 16:9 master. The film's original production company no longer existed, the film's original Australian distributors didn't have any materials and the New Zealand Film and Sound archive held only an old release print from the film's 1981 theatrical run - in bad condition - and was not willing to lend it to us, or transfer it to the Australian Film and Sound archive. In the end we managed to locate a digi betacam of a full-gate transfer and we letterboxed it to its correct theatrical ratio for the DVD release. We could have formated this master for 16:9 - but it would've looked even worse (for examples of this see the new releases of the Australian films "Double Deal", "Early Frost" and "The Dark Room"). In the end we concluded that it was better having BAD BLOOD available as an okay 4:3 letterboxed DVD than only having the option of viewing this great film on an ex rental VHS tape.
We do care greatly about the presentation of our Australasian titles - hence the work put into releases such as "Picnic At Hanging Rock", "Don's Party" and most recently "Razorback" - and hence the inclusion of the interview with Jack Thompson about his role in the film.
Kind regards, Mark Hartley
DVD Producer for Umbrella Entertainment

In Reply - Steve Crawford (read my bio)

Hi Mark,
Thanks for the explanation. I also take on board the reason for the non-enhancement.
I still stand by my "acceptable" rating of the transfer. People can and will make up their own minds, but i've seen many transfers much worse than that of Bad Blood.
I haven't seen the DVD of "Don's Party" yet, but agree, "Picnic At Hanging Rock" is clearly the best i've seen of the film outside the cinema. The extras package is also superb.
Thanks again for the explanation.
Cheers. Steve C.

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