Horror Rises From the Tomb appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Given the movie’s age and origins, I didn’t expect much from the transfer, but it turned out to look great.
Overall sharpness seemed solid. Occasional signs of minor edge haloes crept into the image, but those failed to create a real distraction, and the majority of the film offered tight, concise visuals.
No signs of jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and with a good layer of grain, I discerned no evidence of digital noise reduction. Print flaws remained a non-factor in this clean presentation.
Colors offered a highlight of the image, as they seemed vivid and full. Blacks came across with nice depth and darkness, while low-light shots displayed a good sense of clarity. I felt very pleased with this impressive transfer.
On the other hand, the movie’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack seemed more problematic, as it really showed its age. Speech tended to be sibilant and tinny, with plenty of bad dubbing on display. Virtually all the dialogue was looped, and the lines never felt natural or well-integrated.
Music fared better but still seemed somewhat shrill, and effects followed suit. Those elements came across as rough around the edges and lacked realistic qualities. Considering the film’s vintage and roots, this didn’t become an awful track, but even when I adjusted for those factors, it still seemed below average.
Note that the Blu-ray also includes an English dub of Tomb. It actually offered superior audio quality – at least in terms of dialogue – but I’d still go with the original Castillian. Even with its flaws, it seemed more organic than the iffy English version, as the latter suffered from some fairly terrible voice acting.
A few extras round out the disc, and these include an audio commentary fromfilm historians Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn. The guys behind “NaschyCast”, they sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the film’s cast and crew, sets and locations, music, its place in the Naschy filmography, story/character and related domains.
Going into this track, I feared it’d offer little more than a frothy “fanboy” chat. Happily, Barnett and Guinn prove much more informative than that, as they dig into a lot of useful topics. Throw in perspective about the film and this turns into a winning discussion.
Under Alternate Clothed Sequences, we find five minutes, 49 seconds of footage. As implied by the title, this domain features movie scenes that went with nudity in the “official cut” but that covered up the actors for exhibition in Spain. Given how hot the women involved are, this seems tragic!
I can’t imagine why anyone would want to see them clothed, but this material is here for the completists in the audience, I guess. Note that only a few scenes were reshot to clothe the actors, though – instead, most just edit around the nudity.
An Altenate End Sequence lasts two minutes, 37 seconds. Presented without audio, it shows the fate of a talisman found in the movie, but it takes far too long to get to that point. The filmmakers were wise to cut this tedious sequence.
A Still Gallery offers a running montage. Across three minutes, 38 seconds, it presents 46 images that mix publicity materials and shots from the movie. It’s a decent collection.
Finally, the disc includes two trailers - one in Spanish, the other in English. They’re identical except for the language used. Oddly, the English narrator calls the film Fear Rises From the Tomb, not Horror Rises.
The package concludes with a booklet. It provides production notes for Tomb and four other Paul Naschy movies. The booklet finishes the set in a positive manner.
At no point does Horror Rises From the Tomb threaten to turn into a genre classic, but it offers a reasonably creepy affair. Even with some flaws, the movie gives us a mostly engaging frightfest. The Blu-ray provides very good picture along with lackluster audio and a few useful supplements. Tomb turns into a suitably spooky affair.
Note that Horror Rises From the Tomb can be purchased only as part of a five-disc “Paul Naschy Collection”. The set also includes Vengeance of the Zombies, Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, Human Beasts and Night of the Werewolf.