[Test

Picture: 4/5



Dracula, Dead and Happy To Be was shot on 35MM film (Panavision Panaflex) and the Blu-ray, in the respected 1.77:1 format, is very good, although it does have a few minor flaws. Regarding the definition, the publisher did a lot of work on the film: we clearly gain in definition compared to previous DVD editions (the film is unreleased on Blu-ray), whether on the faces (we can clearly see the make-up ), the costumes or the sets. All with excellent depth of field. The grain is present, fine, homogeneous and not fixed. Many film defects (hair, etc.) have been erased, but a few remain, minimal. There is still a drop in definition on some shots, with an increase in grain – and not necessarily on the darkest shots. We also feel that there has been a slight use of DNR.

The colors are quite vibrant. We will obviously note a preponderance of red. The contrasts are also good, especially since there are quite a few fairly dark shots. The whites are good and the blacks not clogged except for a few shots. Finally, skin tones are respected. An imperfect master therefore, but which nevertheless remains the best way to view the feature film. A few jerks were detected during viewing, but nothing too serious. The average image bit rate is 36.2MBPS.

Sound: 2/5

Gaumont offers us two tracks in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. These are quite powerful, but could have been even more so. They are well distributed over both channels, with the music and effects properly mixed. The dialogues are clear for the original version. Regarding the French version, the dubbing is good and the volume of it is level and does not encroach on the original mix. Two good tracks in 2.0, therefore. Could we have had better? That doesn’t seem the case given the type of feature film we have here. The average throughput is 968 KBPS, with peaks at 1.3 MBPS. (nb: the rating system for the sound is also based on the different track formats that currently exist and therefore, although these are two good tracks, we cannot put more than the rating indicated).

Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are available.

Bonuses: 1.5/5

  • Audio commentary by Mel Brooks and his team
  • The last parody of Mel Brooks (17′)

Only bonus of this edition, Mel Brooks’ Last Parody returns, with Thibault Decoster (author and film columnist), to the casting of Leslie Nielsen in Dracula, the parodies of Mel Brooks, the French version of the film, the failure of the film, the end of the parodies and the end of the director’s career . A good featurette, quite complete.

Test conditions

  • Sony Bravia KD49XF7077SAEP 4K UHD TV
  • Sony BDV-E2100 Blu-ray player
  • Yamaha 4K UHD YHT-1840 amplifier

Synopsis

Count Dracula acquires Carfax Abbey in London through the intermediary of the notary Renfield, found in a state of dementia on a ghost ship coming from the Carpathians. Once settled in London, Count Dracula meets the Stewart family, whose doctor father runs an insane asylum with enemas…

The film

Parody of Dracula of Francis Ford Coppola but inspired, mainly, by that of Bela Lugosi, Dracula, Dead and Happy To Be is Mel Brooks’ latest feature film. It flopped at the box office on its release despite the presence in its cast of Leslie Nielsen, who was still in top form and success. Even if some gags and replicas work, it’s still too winded.

It must also be said that Brooks had accustomed us to quality production and sets at the level of his ambition. Here, this is clearly not the case, and that is a shame. There are still the actors, who do tons for our greatest pleasure.

[Test – Blu-ray] Dracula, Dead and Happy to be – Gaumont