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Monday, June 24, 2024

The Devil’s Honey (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


A woman goes off the deep end, kidnapping and torturtng the doctor who failed to save her boyfriend's life.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci is known for his shocking, gore-riddled horror like The New York Ripper, Zombie, and City of the Living Dead, but with The Devil’s Honey, he takes a turn away from the horror into the trashy, sexploitation usually inhabited by the likes of Jess Franco, Tinto Brass, and Jean Rollin.

Starting us off with a smooth, saxophone-driven sex act between musician and sex addict Johnny (Stefano Madia) and his girlfriend Jessica (Blanca Marsillach), Fulci gives us a look into their wildly enthusiastic and somewhat perverted love life, before shocking us with Johnny’s sudden accident. He is attended to in the emergency room by Dr. Wendell Simpson (Brett Halsey), whom we have already seen has a taste for picking up prostitutes and is somewhat of a masochist. When Simpson does not save Johnny’s life, Jessica becomes obsessed with making Simpson pay. She kidnaps the doctor and takes him to one of her and Johnny’s lovemaking locations where she subjects him to sexual torture. But the good doctor, masochist that he is, begins to like the torture and fall in love with Jessica in a sexualized twist on Stockholm Syndrome.

The Devil’s Honey has more meat on its proverbial bones than that of a Franco film, for sure, and competes with Tinto Brass’ eye for cinema, but it does not rise to the level of surrealism of a Rollin film. It is obviously better funded and better edited than most of Franco’s films, and it delivers the spice for those who enjoy this sort of 1970s – 1980s Euro-erotica. Blanca Marsillach is unbelievably gorgeous and very believable as the unhinged and grieving girlfriend. The way the story resolves feels somewhat unsatisfyingly contrived, but is anyone really watching this film for the greatest storytelling?

Purchase The Devil’s Honey (2-Disc Collector’s Edition) [4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray] on Amazon.com

  • Blanca Marsillach and Stefano Madia in The Devil's Honey (1986)
  • Brett Halsey in The Devil's Honey (1986)
  • Brett Halsey in The Devil's Honey (1986)
  • Blanca Marsillach and Stefano Madia in The Devil's Honey (1986)
  • The Devil's Honey 4K Ultra HD Combo (Severin Films)
  • The Devil's Honey 4K Ultra HD Combo (Severin Films)
  • The Devil's Honey 4K Ultra HD Combo (Web Exclusive) (Severin Films)

The Video

The Devil’s Honey was scanned in 4K from the original negative and is presented in a 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) HDR10 encodement with a MaxLL of 1000 nits and MaxFALL of 400 nits.  I have never owned a copy of this film on any format so I cannot compare it to anything else, but I can say that this new 4K transfer from Severin, although it looks natural, also looks fairly soft and somewhat lacking in focus. There are some slight scratches that can still be seen throughout, but at least this has not been scrubbed and smoothed over, so the grain structure still looks natural and eve with the film softness delivers a decent amount of detail. The HDR10 grading looks dim, with little ‘pop’ in the highlights or overall brightness. So far, out of this May 28, 2024, collection of 4K releases landing from Severin, this one is the least satisfying to my eyes. Also, oddly enough, each one I have viewed all have the same HDR10 metadata MaxLL and MaxFALL numbers.

The Audio

The “cool Jazz” inspired score and dialogue for The Devil’s Honey get both English and Italian versions in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono mixes. They have narrow dynamics and a bit of sibilance on the dialogue but serve the content well enough.

The Supplements

The bulk of the bonus features are on the Blu-ray Disc, including an excellent audio essay from Troy Howarth and some interviews.

Bonus Features:

  • Trailer (1080p; 00:02:46)

Bonus Features on Blu-ray Only:

  • Sax, Lies, and Videotape – Interview with Actress Blanca Marsillach (1080p; 00:14:36)
  • Archival Audio Interview with Director Lucio Fulci by Michele Romagnoli (1080p; 00:06:28)
  • The Devil’s Halsey – Interview with Actor Brett Halsey (1080p; 00:17:26)
  • Wild Flower – Interview with Actress Corinne Cléry (1080p; 00:12:13)
  • Producing Honey – Interview with Producer Vincenzo Salviani (1080p; 00:13:22)
  • The Devil’s Sax – Interview with Composer Claudio Natili (1080p; 00:09:51)
  • Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, on the Devil’s Honey (1080p; 00:21:44)
  • Fulci’s Honey – Audio Essay by Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films (1080p; 00:16:56)
  • Alternate Opening (SD; 00:06:23)

The Final Assessment

An interesting, sexy, sleazy, and well filmed piece of erotica that shows another side of Lucio Fulci, upgraded on 4K from Severin Films. It may not reach reference level, but it looks natural, unlike some more high profile releases on 4K recently.

The Devil’s Honey is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo May 28, 2024 from Severin Films

Purchase The Devil’s Honey (2-Disc Collector’s Edition) [4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray] on Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: R (for strong sexuality, and for language)
  • Studios & Distributors: Selvaggia Film | Producciones Cinematográficas Balcazar | Severin Films
  • Director: Lucio Fulci
  • Written By: Ludovica Marineo | Vincenzo Salviani | Jaime Jesús Balcázar
  • Run Time: 83 Mins.
  • Street Date: 28 May 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: HDR10
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 1000 nits
    • MaxFALL: 400 nits
    • Max. Luminance: 1000 nits
    • Min. Luminance: 0.0001 nits
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Secondary Audio: Italian DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English SDH | English for Italian Audio

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A woman goes off the deep end, kidnapping and torturtng the doctor who failed to save her boyfriend's life.The Devil's Honey (4K UHD Review)