I'll just get this out of the way. I loved Night of Death. The fact that this movie evaded my EuroCult loving radar for so long is shocking to me. Night of Death is an atmospheric horror masterpiece, and I couldn't be happier that Synapse has gotten around to releasing such an obscure gem.
Night of Death tells the story of Martine(Isabelle Goguey) a woman who has been unemployed for a period of few months. She has a fight with her boyfriend Serge(Michel Duchezeau) and leaves to take a job he found for her at Deadlock House, a retirement home in the French countryside. Deadlock House is the home of a curious group of vegetarian senior citizens.
During her first few days working at Deadlock House she is assisted by Nicole, with whom she becomes fast friends. Unfortunately, Nicole goes out one night, and never comes back. After Nicole's disappearance she begins to investigate, and discovers that the residents of Deadlock House are not quite who they seem.
Night of Death moves at a languid pace, that works in it's favor. The director Raphael Delpard has succeeded in creating a sense of atmospheric dread throughout every frame of the films running time. Also, do not let the cover fool you, this is not a splatter every second Eurocult flick, there is violence in the film, but it's not in abundance, and although limited in it's usage is used well when it is.
Synapse has done an amazing job cleaning up Night of Death. The film barely has any instances of scratching or grain on the print, which is a minor miracle for a film of this age, and of this budget. The film is presented in a 1:66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer.
Synapse has presented Night of Death with a mono French soundtrack with optional English subtitles. The sound is perfectly audible and crisp, and the score practically explodes from the speakers at certain points in the film.
Unfortunately, there are no extras included on Night of Death which is a shame, this film is so amazing, I would have liked to learn more about it.
This film is absolutely a brilliant piece of atmospheric French horror. Synapse has done a great thing bringing this obscure gem to the North American market, and I hope true fans of the horror genre take the time to hunt this one down, because it is definitely worth it. The only downside to this disc is the lack of any extras, however do not let that stop you from picking up Night of Death.