The Devil's Backbone [Special Edition] [DVD] [2001]

  • SKU: 6757707
  • Release Date: 07/27/2004
  • Rating: R
The polar opposite of director Guillermo del Toro's flashy Hollywood action feature Blade II, The Devil's Backbone receives its second official stateside DVD release courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. With a brand-new audio commentary track and a wide selection of special features that make the previous release look positively bare-bones (despite the fact that it did contain some impressive extras), this release is certain to please del Toro fans who prefer deep chills to pulse-pounding vampire mayhem. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the high-definition transfer is nothing short of pristine -- the ideal conduit for cinematographer Guillermo Navarro's moody photography. As with the previous release, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack perfectly balances the mournful score with a variety of impressive and effectively unsettling directional effects. With such a solid presentation of the feature itself, Sony Pictures Classics could have called it a day there, but del Toro's rapidly growing fan base will undoubtedly thank them for gathering some truly impressive bonus materials. A newly recorded commentary track offers the soft-spoken but engaging director a chance to voice his opinions on the "gothic romance" genre and the symbiotic relationship between horror and context while taking the informative track in an entirely new direction than the one that graced the previous release. It's great to hear him talk about his influences, which range from the literary works of Horace Walpole to the haunting hallways of his grandmother's home -- a lingering memory that fuels one of the film's most effective fright sequences. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, a making-of documentary entitled "What is a Ghost?: The Making of The Devil's Backbone" goes into even more depth by offering detailed interviews with the cast and crew of the film. From the original concept for the story to special effects and the talented cast, the impressive featurette leaves no stone unturned as it explored every aspect of production. Aspiring filmmakers who may like to see how visual concepts are fleshed out from concept to execution will undoubtedly want to check out the director's thumbnail track, which is in turn expanded upon with a thumbnail-to-storyboard feature that divides the screen into three segments: thumbnails, storyboards, and the film itself. Deleted scenes with optional director's commentary find del Toro emphasizing the importance of pacing while offering a little more characterization and setup, while five galleries offer a wealth of imagery related to characters, art direction/set design, prosthetic effects, thumbnails, and, best of all, del Toro's personal director's notebook. A trio of previews for such features as del Toro's Hellboy top the features off nicely, making this definitive release of The Devil's Backbone a must-have.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (7 out of 7)

Special Features


  • Brand-new director-supervised HD film transfer
  • New audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro
  • Deleted scenes with optional director commentary
  • "Que Es Un Fantasma?": The Making of The Devil's Backbone documentary
  • Director's thumbnail track
  • Storyboard thumbnail comparisons
  • Conceptual art galleries
  • Excerpts from del Toro's director notebook
  • Previews

Synopsis


The Devil's Backbone
Guillermo del Toro, who quickly became one of the most talked-about directors in contemporary horror films with his first two features, Chronos and Mimic, takes on a more subtle tale of terror with this psychological suspense piece. Casares (Federico Luppi) and Carmen (Marisa Paredes) operate a small home for orphans in a remote part of Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Helping the couple mind the orphanage are Jacinto (Eduardo Noriega), the groundskeeper, and Conchita (Irene Visedo), a teacher who is also involved with Jacinto. Casares and Carmen are aligned with the Republican loyalists, and are hiding a large cache of gold that's used to back the Republican treasury; perhaps not coincidentally, the orphanage has also been subject to attacks from Franco's troops, and an unexploded bomb waits to be defused in the home's courtyard. One day, a boy named Carlos (Fernando Tielve) arrives at the home, looking for a place to stay after being left behind by his parents. Casares and Carmen take him in, and the boy soon strikes up an unlikely friendship with Jaime (Inigo Garces), a boy with a reputation for tormenting other kids. But Carlos soon begins having visions of a mysterious apparition he can't identify, and hears strange stories about a child named Santi who went missing the day the bomb appeared near the orphanage. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Marisa Paredes
    Marisa Paredes - Carmen
  • Eduardo Noriega
    Eduardo Noriega - Jacinto
  • Federico Luppi
    Federico Luppi - Casares
  • Fernando Tielve
    Fernando Tielve
  • Image coming soon
    Inigo Garces - Jaime



Customer rating

5.0
100%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Must See

    Posted
    Jaxlo
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Guillermo Del Torro is absolutely brilliant. His films are works of art and smart. You get pulled in and they never disappoint. I loved this film when I first watched it and knew at that time that this man was a genius and would continue to deliver high quality and intriging movies. If you haven't yet watched this movie I highly recommend u do. It's in Spanish but has English subtitles so u can follow along and won't get lost. It's creepy and scary is such a fantastic way and well worth a watch or 2.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A WELL CRAFTED PIECE OF FILM

    Posted
    moviehulk

    **** / **** If Guillermo Del Toro continues to craft such powerful and compelling films as this gem and Pan's Labyrinth he will be worshiped by many if not all. The only thing I would like to mention is that this is not a horror film which it is advertised to be. But don't let that deter you from watching it.This is a must see. Also recommended Pan's Labyrinth.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great movie

    Posted
    MissingNAxion1988
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    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I have not seen a movie yet that Guiellrmo Del Toro directed that was bad. The cover looks like a Transformer style movie but it is SO MUCH MORE. Everything is awesome about this movie...

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great early del Toro masterpiece

    Posted
    MoreHumanThanHuman
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    This movie got a lot of things right with horror and showed that Guillermo del Toro is a great director. A good pick for horror fans who love haunting movies.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    del toros best work

    Posted
    chicho
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    this is his best work and easily one of the best folk tale ghost story this is the essential del toro ghost tale

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic horror film

    Posted
    theWolfofWalMart
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    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The film is a classic, and it's also one of my favorite horror films. I recommend that you watch it if you haven't,

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent

    Posted
    jojonz
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Part murder mystery, part coming of age story. Very atmospheric and entertaining.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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