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Spotlight On A Murderer Blu-ray Review


“Spotlight On A Murderer” is an ineffective mystery.

After an ill wealthy Count goes missing and is presumed dead, his family’s heirs are bummed to discover that they have to wait 5 years to inherit anything as no body was ever found. In order to keep the Count’s castle up and running, the would be heirs decide to create a sort of tourist attraction at the castle while they try to find the Count’s body. However, the plan goes horribly awry as people begin to wind up dead. Is the house haunted? Is there a murderer on the loose? All is revealed in the predictable end.

When I saw “Eyes Without A Face” director Georges Franju’s name attached to “Spotlight On A Murderer,” my curiosity was piqued. Unfortunately, it turns out there’s a reason this 1961 French film has been remained an obscurity. It’s simply not very good.

While beautifully shot by DP Marcel Fradetal, the movie’s visual style goes to waste in a bland and slow paced whodunit that feels like a lesser version of the original “House on Haunted Hill” or a classic Agatha Christie mystery. The main problem with the film is that nothing feels remotely human or convincing here. Characters wander around and never seem to emote at all when people start dying. In fact, no one seems to care. Where’s the police? Where’s the paranoia? Where’s the drama? There is none! How can a mystery be thrilling if the characters don’t even care? How can a mystery work when there are bizarre transitions from a death scene to the next scene? It can’t.


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? This Blu-ray disc boasts a breathtaking B&W transfer.

Audio Track: Uncompressed French Mono 1.0 PCM. How does it sound?  A crisp track that handles the film’s various forms of audio quite well.

* DVD copy.
* “Spotlight On A Murderer” trailer.
* A booklet featuring credits, stills, essays by authors Chris Fujiwara and Raymond Durgnat and a previously published interview with Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac and Georges Franju.
* “Le Courrier du Cinema”- A 27 minute 1960 TV documentary about the making of “Spotlight Of A Murderer” that contains interviews with cast and crew members.

June 4, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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