The Hateful Eight: Target Exclusive (DVD/ Blu-ray Comparison)

Quentin Tarantino's Academy Award winning The Hateful Eight on DVD and Blu-ray.  This is it?  There's just the one, practically barebones edition of the shorter, theatrical cut out there?  Even internationally?  Where's the fancy, six-disc, boxed in an authentic, working stagecoach edition?  There's got to be something out there, some smarter buy, some fancy collector's edition.  Well, there is the Target exclusive edition with its own bonus disc; that's a little bit better.
If you slept through 2015, The Hateful Eight is Tarantino's latest and supposedly eighth film.  I mean, lord knows how you'd come to all of that.  Even assuming we only mean his films as director, as opposed to writer, producer and/or actor (sorry, Destiny Turns On the Radio), so no True Romance or From Dusk Till Dawn, it still leaves a lot of questions.  Do Four Rooms or Sin City count?  Or not, because they're only partially directed by him?  If partials don't count, what about Grindhouse?  He only directed half (less if you count the fake trailers) of that one, but maybe Death Proof counts on its own?  And it's probably safe to assume pre-Reservoir Dogs juvenilia doesn't count, but how about Kill Bill?  Is that one or two?  I feel like the books had to be cooked a little to arrive at this cutesy Eight is eighth heading; it was a little more straight-forward in Fellini's case, but let's just let him have it.
Anyway, The Hateful Eight has some of Tarantino's usual depictions of excessive violence (thanks to Greg Nicotero), but for the most part it's a light, Western whodunit.  Kurt Russell is a bounty hunter escorting his convict, Jennifer Jason Leigh, to the hangman.  But he gets waylaid at a small in during a massive blizzard with a colorful rogues gallery, some or all of whom might secretly be there to take his prisoner.  As a light entertainment, it's pretty long and self-indulgent, but that's Tarantino for you.  Anyway, it's masterfully done enough that it keeps you hanging on to every second.  Beautiful, 70mm photography, a fantastic cast full of Tarantino regulars like Samuel Jackson, Michael Madsen and Tim Roth, and a score by Ennio Morricone.
If you've been following this film, then you should know there's an alternate, even longer cut of this film, called The Roadshow version - so called because Tarantino was touring with a 70mm print of this film.  The film as released, and the one that played in most theaters across the country, is almost three hours, but the Roadshow version is over three.  Now, a large chunk of that time came be accounted for by an overture and intermission in the Roadshow version, but there are also extended and exclusive scenes in that cut.  So where's that version on home video?  Nowhere.
And seeing as this film went to great expense to film on 70mm, it's surprising there's no 4k UltraHD disc.  Plus, with only two tiny featurettes for extras, is this a release to skip?  Is it like Nymphomaniac, where the full, director's cut would come follow it up just a few months later?  Or like The Hobbit movies, where they hold onto the extended cuts with all the better extras for half a year, after letting all the suckers by the theatrical versions first?  Is a Criterion edition just around the corner?  Well, maybe; but it's been a while now and there haven't been any signs yet.  Tarantino might want to preserve the exclusive nature of his theatrical prints forever, and this might just be the best edition we'll ever get.  Maybe.  Who knows with Tarantino.  Let's just see what's available now.
Anchor Bay 2015 DVD on top, and their blu-ray below.
You can buy the DVD by itself, but the blu is a combo-pack, so you're going to wind up with the standard definition version anyway you slice it.  At least that gives me an easy comparison.  This film is super wide, framed at 2.75:1.  Having been shot in 70mm gives it the capacity for detail and image quality very few other films have the potential to achieve, and the cinematography wisely exploits that throughout the film.  In HD, detail is super crisp and sharp.  If you're looking for a blu-ray to test your set-up, The Hateful Eight would be a great choice.  That increased resolution really makes a difference, which you see when you get in close to the DVD.
Anchor Bay 2015 blu-ray on top, and their DVD below.
So much information is just washed away in SD.  In close-up, it looks like I'm comparing the blu to some old, non-anamorphic DVD from the 90s.  The blu-ray really makes a difference here, especially if you have the screen size to appreciate it.  Again, it makes you wonder how it could look in true 4k.

Audio-wise, the film is mixed in 5.1 and featured in DTS-HD.  There's also a Spanish dub and optional subtitles in both languages.
So, let's talk extras.  On most versions, there are just two short featurettes: one making of that runs seven and a half minutes long, and one about the 70mm format that's under five.  And about half of that second one is really a shameless advertisement for the roadshow.  They're not terrible, fans should give them a watch, but it's a pittance.  But the Target exclusive version has a bonus DVD with a roughly thirty-minute long documentary that is at least distinctly better.  First of all, though, I have to point out that it's essentially an extended version of what's on the first disc.  Or, more accurately, the two short featurettes are cut out of this original, longer feature.  All of the footage in those two featurettes (except a little of the blatantly commercial talk in the second one) is contained in the bonus disc one.  But that one also has extended interviews with the cast, a behind-the-scenes look at scoring the film, and more on the 70mm stuff.  So it's definitely better.  And if you get it, there's absolutely zero reason to watch the short extras on disc 1.  Skip 'em; they're completely redundant.
content only on the bonus disc.
But I don't want to overhype it.  Even this bonus disc documentary isn't exactly Burden of Dreams.  It's still pretty short and not the special edition you'd expect for a film like this.  But it is a worthwhile improvement that feels more substantive than what everyone else gets.  The Target version also comes with a cool, lenticular slipcover.  The standard version comes in a slipcover, too, but not with that holographic-style front.  ...And, it should be pointed out, that Best Buy has an exclusive steelbook case, but no bonus disc.  Just in terms of content, the Target version is the only one that makes an improvement.
If you're a fan of this film, you don't have a lot of options.  The difference between the blu and the DVD is definitely noticeable, though.  And the Target exclusive isn't exactly amazing, but it gives you more than any other release, and as of this writing, can still be ordered new direct from their website.  So that's definitely what I'd recommend, unless you're going to hold out hope for a stellar Roadshow Edition a few more years down the pike.

The One and Only Lair Of the White Worm (DVD/ Blu-ray Comparison)

Well, you know, curious cult films that lay way off the beaten path are right up this site's alley.  And you see I've been writing about a whole bunch of Ken Russell films.  Plus, I've been covering almost the entire Vestron line.  So was there ever any doubt that we'd be looking at the new, 2017 special edition blu-ray release of The Lair Of the White Worm?  I really love that Vestron isn't just going for the most obvious, franchise titles first, and instead creating a really diverse line-up of creative and interesting films.  And nothing says diverse, creative and interesting like Lair Of the White Worm.
Oh man, this film gets better every time I see it.  I mean, seeing it in HD for the first time might be part of it, but I really think it's my appreciation of the material that keeps rising the most.  Lair is a smart, trippy experience where Russell films the abridged and altered version of Bram Stoker's final, delirious novel, and of course lays his own layers of eccentric sensibilities on top of that.  I've seen (and okay, even taken part in) online arguments over whether this should be categorized as a comedy rather than a horror movie.  I mean, if you're calling it a comedy, you're not wrong.  Certainly, there's plenty of intentional wit (when the cop radios for back up and the voice over the radio responds, "I can't; you've got the car!") and campy humor to be enjoyed, and Ken even tosses the terms "satire" and "spoof" around in his audio commentary; but if you force the film to only play through that lens, I think you're missing something.  At it's heart, it's a "straight" horror film that's not afraid of its absurd roots and proud to indulge some wild divergences.
And apart from bringing the film to modern times, this is a more faithful adaptation than you might think.  Certainly, Russell adds a lot, like the crazy dream sequence, and there are a few scenes, like the worm rising over the forest, that you just know Russell would've loved to include but Vestron's budget wouldn't allow.  But instead of moping over what isn't here, let's celebrate everything that is.  This is a great cast, including an early role for Hugh Grant, who's better in this than he is in a lot of his later work.  Peter Capaldi makes a strong male lead decades before he'd become Doctor Who himself.  And Amanda Donahue, who would go on to do one more film with Russell and then spend years as a regular cast member on LA Law, is the ultimate vamp.  The worm itself looks a fair bit dodgy, and the actual pit is a pure throwback to drive-in cinema; but the rest of the effects are great, from the super huge vampire fangs, an incredible, gruesome bisection scene and of course the wonderfully ambitious, video composite hallucination sequences.  It's also got some great locations, costumes and set design, plus one of the all-time great horror movie theme songs.
For the longest time, the counter-intuitive rule with this film was the oldest DVD was the best.  Pioneer/ Artisan released this as a nice, anamorphic widescreen special edition DVD way back in 1999, with an audio commentary and everything.  Unfortunately, when that went out of print, Artisan replaced it with a blander, no frills DVD in 2003, and that's been the official US release until, finally, now.  Vestron has just released a 2017, loaded Collectors Series blu-ray to render everything else here and abroad obsolete.
1999 Pioneer DVD top; 2017 Vestron blu-ray below.
The Pioneer DVD was slightly matted to 1.82:1, but the later DVD and this blu open it up to 1.78:1.  But you'll notice not just the expected slivers of additional picture along the top and bottom, but also along the sides, particularly the right.  Colors are also warmer and more vivid and lines edges are a lot clearer and more natural.  We don't really discover much more detail, though the finer points are smudgier and softer on the DVD, which the blu certainly smartens up.  And we can easily make out the fine grain throughout, which suggests we're seeing pretty much all there ever was to see.  But I do wonder where they got this master from (an IP or what?), and if maybe a high-end scan of the OCN couldn't pull out a little more.  At this point, though, I'm just speculating; and there's no doubt that what we have here is an attractive HD image that pulls way ahead of the old DVD.

Audio-wise, Vestron gives us the same stereo 2.0 mix, but this in DTS-HD, and for the first time ever, give this film some (optional English) subtitles.
Now, the original Pioneer DVD was a special edition, primarily by virtue of having a terrific audio commentary by Ken Russell.  Now Russell always did good commentary tracks, but here he's adopted a bit of a performative element in conjunction with the tone of the film, which is highly entertaining.  But don't get me wrong, it's not him being self indulgent and silly; it's a highly informative track that gives legitimate answers to the questions viewers of this film would have.  But he definitely adds some flavorful character as well.  Besides that, there's the trailer, some text-screen filmographies, and the DVD came with a nice insert.
Hi, Ken!
But Vestron, as we've come to know by now, plays to win.  Working again with Red Shirt Pictures, who are really the top of the line guys in special features these days, Vestron starts out by yes, thankfully importing the original Ken Russell commentary.  Then they've created a new, second audio commentary with Lisi Russell, Ken's widow, and film historian Matthew Melia.  It's a pretty strong commentary, too, although Melia has an annoying habit of telling us what Russell said in his commentary (thanks, we just listened to it)... it would've been a lot better if he chose a magazine article or just about any other source in the world to quote Russell from.  Also, I'd suggest making a drinking game out of all the times Lisi exclaims "YES!" to something Matthew says, but I'd be liable for the fatalities.  But those quibbles aside, it is an engaging commentary that does provide some new insight as well.
And there's plenty more.  Several of the effects artists are interviewed to tell their boisterous anecdotes of working on this film at a young age in a nearly half-hour featurette.  Editor Peter Davies and actress Sammi Davis also get to share their personal experiences in two separate on-camera interviews.  And we get to hear from producer Dan Ireland for a quick episode of Trailers From Hell (oh good; Vestron is working with them now?  Let's hope to see them appear on more discs in future then).  The trailer's also here ("hang onto your asp!"), as well as a stills gallery; and as always, this disc comes in an attractive, glossy slipcover.
Can you tell I recommend this film?  I haven't been too subtle, have I?  Like a lot of Lions Gate catalog titles, this has been locked up for far too long, and getting this in an HD special edition has been long-awaited.  And it's turned out maybe even more satisfying that I expected, as my appreciation for this film continues to rise. Now bring us Warlock 1 & 2, Rawhead Rex, Nightwish, Eyes of Fire, Beyond Re-Animator, Alligator, Sundown: the Vampire In Retreat, Gothic, Metamorphosis: The Alien Factor, and all the other awesome titles you've got!

The Strange Oeuvre of Coffin Joe, Part 1

Update 1/30/15 - 2/12/17: It's update time, boys and girls!  Synapse has just released their Coffin Joe Trilogy 3-DVD set.  How are the transfers?  What are the extras?  Is there anything new?  Should we replace our previous editions?  Let's have a look!  Oh, and I have also updated Part 2, but most of the pertinent new Synapse stuff is covered here in part 1.

Collecting José Mojica Marins movies can be almost as weird and confusing as the films themselves. You'll find yourself encountering unreleased films, double-dips, alternate aspect ratios and untranslated imports. It's as frustrating as it is fun. Marins is a Brazillian exploitation director best known for his iconic horror character Zé do Caixão, or Coffin Joe to us English speakers. His work practically defines the concept "not for everyone," but if you're of the right mindset, there's a lot to be appreciated in his ambitious films, especially the Coffin Joe titles. When you get past those, you're really putting on your "I Am a Curiosity Seeker" hat.

His films are primarily available in three main DVD collections (though there's more, and we'll get to them, too). The Coffin Joe Trilogy from Fantoma came out first in 2002, after their success and notoriety via a series of VHS tapes from Something Weird. The titles were all sold separately or available together in a pretty wicked awesome coffin-shaped boxed set. Each DVD also came with a cool, reprint of a Coffin Joe comic book, and you got a bonus fourth if you got the coffin set. It's now long out of print, but was reissued in Australia in 2011 with the same transfers and extras, minus only the coffin box and comic books.

Soon after, Marins released a huge boxed set of elaborate special editions through Cinemagia in Brazil called Coleção Zé do Caixão. A lot of it was untranslated, including most of the extras (we'll get into all those specifics, don't worry), but the films were, and it included several more titles than the original trilogy. Then, in 2009, in conjunction with the release of his Marins' comeback film, Anchor Bay released another boxed set in the UK called The Coffin Joe Collection, which included most of the same titles, but also had a few exclusives.

And now in 2017, we have Synapse's The Coffin Joe Trilogy, which features the original two Coffin Joe films, plus his 2008 comeback, Embodiment of Evil, as opposed to the Fantoma set, which included Awakening Of the Beast as its third entry.  It also has more extras that the Fantoma set, much of which comes from the Cinemagia box.  Though fan hopes that they'd add subtitles to all the wonderful features there that lacked subtitles are mostly dashed; Synapse did at least do a little something.  But more on all the specifics as we come to them.
At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul is the debut of Coffin Joe from 1963, the first of the trilogy. Here we're introduced to the evil undertaker (played by Marins himself) who keeps a small village under his thumb and is determined to find the perfect mate to give him a heir. He defies God by eating lamb on Good Friday and screaming monologues at the sky, treats people terribly, kidnaps potential concubines and even murders those who oppose him. It's a weird and original story, and Joe is a fantastic character. Opposed to those great elements are a low budget and non-professional filmmaking techniques as Brazil really didn't have a film industry. The flaws will drive most people far away from these films, but those remaining will have a huge grin on their face. This is something wild.
Fantoma first, Cinemagia second, Anchor Bay third and Synapse fourth.
The original Fantoma set boasted of their 1.66:1 widescreen transfer from the 35mm negative and supervised by Marins himself. Unfortunately, the discs are non-anamorphic, but I guess with 1.66 you can just about get away with that; but they're still going to look window-boxed on your widescreen TVs. I'm sure they look heaps better than the old video tapes, but they still look soft and dirty and sound hissy. I imagine the condition of the original elements have a lot to do with that. Anyway, the Cinemagia transfer looks almost identical, but a bit brighter and softer. And as we can see the Anchor Bay set is very different, being both unmatted at about 1.25:1, and... yellow.  The Synapse is fullscreen but at a more traditional 1.33:1 and without the yellow tinting.  It has deeper blacks, like the Fantoma (as opposed to the faded Cinemagia), and it also seems to have been a bit cleaned up - note the absence of most of the dust and dirt in the sky - but possibly at the cost of smoothing some grain.  That may be why Syanpse opted to make these DVD only, where the grain doesn't really bear out no matter what you do, anyway.
Fantoma first, Cinemagia second, Anchor Bay third and Synapse fourth.
Marins supervised the matted, widescreen sets, and used them for his own box, so it seems likely that the letterboxed is his preferred AR. But there's at least some curiosity value in the full frame viewing. And who knows?  Maybe matting it was revisionist.  It's also important to point out that the subtitles are removable on the Fantoma, Cinemagia and Synapse sets, but burned into the print on the AB set.
Extras-wise, the Fantoma disc has an insightful ten minute interview with Marins as its main feature. It's also got trailers for all three films in the set, the comic book (which is a seriously high quality, 35 page reproduction of an original Coffin Joe story - don't underestimate these bad boys), and an insert with notes from his biographer. Anchor Bay has... nothing.

And the Cinemagia disc? Oh man. Well, it starts with a really cool claymation Coffin Joe intro, that appears on all the Cine discs. Then the film opens with a tragically unsubtitled introduction by Marins in character as Coffin Joe. Other untranslated extras include an audio commentary, audio from two Coffin Joe records, a silent short film called Bloody Kingdom (with commentary by Marins) and clips of two other short films, interviews with the editor, composer, two DPs, and the screenwriter, a new (2002) Coffin Joe scene that ties into a scene from this movie, a new interview with Marins, a featurette called Who's Afraid of Coffin Joe where people seem to be asked on the street about their Coffin Joe memories, a short featurette on his website and multiple trailers. There's also the complete, infamous footage of his eye surgery, which has no audio, so English speakers can "enjoy" this feature as much as anybody else, as well as several stills galleries.

With all of that said, again, Synapse isn't giving us the definitive boxed set we all hoped they would with all those wonderful extras translated.  But they have given us a pretty sweet package.  First of all, they do have that cool claymation opening.  And next, it has the interview from the Fantoma disc.  Then, it includes the newer interview with Marins from the Brazilian set, finally translated!  It also includes the film intro from that set - finally translated!  It features that new scene - finally translated!  And it features the Bloody Kingdom short with the commentary, you guessed it - finally translated!  And finally, it includes two trailers for the film.  So it's pretty awesome... just try to block all the other, wonderful extras from the Brazillian set, like the interviews with the editor, composer and DPs, that got left behind.
This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse (1966) is a the direct sequel to At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul, and Coffin Joe is back to up the ante. I hope I'm not giving too much away when I say that this is the film where Coffin Joe goes to Hell! I mean, literally, we see him walking around there and interacting; and those scenes are in full color, too. Holy shit, it's amazing! And no, that's not the ending. That just happens midway through; because Joe gets out to wreak more havoc on his quest to sire an heir and defeat God. And this time he has a hunchback assistant, too.
Fantoma first, Cinemagia second, Anchor Bay third and Synapse fourth.
The first thing you'll notice is that This Night looks much better preserved than At Midnight. Probably partially because the negatives were kept in better condition, and partially because he had better equipment and more money this time around. Still, the differences between the transfers in At Midnight still seem to hold true here. The Cinemagia disc is still softer (possibly a compression issue with all the extras), though maybe not any brighter this time. AB is still yellow, full-frame (though a closer to normal 1.31:1 this time) and the subs are still burnt in.  And as with At Midnight, Synapse basically looks like a 1.33:1 version of the Fantoma set, which was at least the best of the bunch.
Fantoma first, Cinemagia second, Anchor Bay third and Synapse fourth.
Even the color scenes look a little off on the AB disc, with the blacks looking blue. Worse, though, is the fact that Anchor Bay also has this crappy interlacing issue going on, which is probably the result of a poor NTSC to PAL transfer. Fantoma and Synapse clearly have the superior transfers (in this rare color section, we see the colors are a little more natural on the Synapse version), with Cinemagia a reasonably close second, while Anchor Bay's are a mess.  I had originally written they were at least interesting if you were really keen to see the open matte footage, but now thanks to Synapse, there's a better way to do that.
The feature comparison is pretty unchanged, too. Once again, Fantoma has a Marins interview, plus the trailers, comic (they're all different) and another insert. And Anchor Bay has nothing again.

Cinemagia continues to blow the others away, except for the fact that they're untranslated. It starts out with a new Coffin Joe intro the film. There's another audio commentary. There's two more vintage recordings. There's six interviews, a featurette of Marins giving a tour of his museum, outtakes from a Coffin Joe commercial for Cinema Trash, a special effects make-up demonstration from some Marins project called Bruno (I think), a screaming test with a couple of actresses, another interview with Marins, a bunch of trailers, a website interview which might be the same as the last one and another episode of Who's Afraid of Coffin Joe. For us English speakers, well, there's a bunch of stills galleries... oh and an almost 30 minute documentary called The Universe of Mojica Marins! It has subtitles and it's pretty neat. It's a vintage doc about Coffin Joe from 1978 - if you've got the set and skipping the extras because they're not in English, go back and watch this.

And once again, Synapse comes in with a nice set of extras, but still leaving so much awesome Cinemagia stuff behind.  But we do get the Fantoma interview.  And we get one of the few already translated extras from the Brazilian box, the Universe documentary.  But newly translated from the Brazilian box are the new interview with Marins, the museum tour, and the introduction.  All those other interviews and stuff are not carried over, though we do also get the trailer and a photo gallery.
Now, Fantoma calls their set The Coffin Joe Trilogy and the third film they include is Awakening of the Beast (1969). But it's really just an unrelated, totally wacked out Marins film that, like many of his movies, has a hint of the Coffin Joe character in it. Marins himself has often said the trilogy was unfinished, and it was only in the late 2000s, when he made Embodiment of Evil (well after the Fantoma set had already come out), that he finally finished it. If you've been enjoying the Coffin Joe horror films so far, prepare for a huge shift and possibly a major disappointment. But if you can get past the fact that this isn't Coffin Joe 3, or even a horror movie at all, it's still pretty good, or at least interesting.

This is a very 60s film, showing the shocking things people might do while on LSD. Lots of dancing to bad music, sleazy sex... mostly those two things. Basically the film is a series of vignettes. Characters come, have their shocking LSD-induced moment, and then disappear, all being narrated by a couple of doctors talking about the effects of LSD. What would've been shocking in the 60s is tame now, making this pretty plodding and dull if you ask me. But the film picks up in the third act when Marins starts to get involved, playing himself. He experiments on some people, showing them his comics and movies (we even watch a clip of This Night), and talks about his work having strong psychological effects on people. It sounds like BS until he injects them with LSD and they hallucinate a crazy, full color sequence of Coffin Joe menacing them. It's trippy, imaginative, and a total blast. Coffin Joe walks across a bridge made of screaming humans, butts talk. Honestly, now that I've seen this film all the way through the first time, I tend to just skip to this part. It's got a great ending, too, which always makes me smile. The first half is just so rough to get through. So, I really don't think it has the broader appeal of the other Coffin Joe movies at all. But it is the most released of his films, not only included in all three sets, but as an individual release by Mondo Macabro. That's right, this next comparison is going to be a four-way.
Fantoma on top, Cinemagia next, Anchor Bay third and Mondo Macabro on the bottom.
Things get different here, and not just because we've added an extra disc into the mix. Anchor Bay, you'll notice, isn't full-screen and yellow... well, faintly more yellowish than most of the others, but not like before. Its subtitles are still burnt in, though.
Fantoma on top, Cinemagia next, Anchor Bay third and Mondo Macabro on the bottom.
Cinemagia still looks very similar to Fantoma but a bit fuzzier. And Mondo Macabro actually looks the softest and fuzziest of all. Online sources sometimes cite MM as being fullscreen (example: filmaf), but they're framed exactly the same at 1.66:1. They're all actually pretty close, with Anchor Bay rivaling Cinemagia. But Fantoma still looks the clearest, while Mondo Macabro looks almost VHS sourced.
Mondo Macabro gets back into the race in the extras department, though. They've got a nice, little documentary called The Nightmares of Coffin Joe, which runs about 26 minutes and interviews not only Marins, but some of his collaborators, who we normally never get to hear from (they're on the Cinemagia set, sure, but not translated). If you're a big enough Coffin Joe fan, and starved for material like we all are, Nightmares is worth the price of admission alone. It's why I've got. Fantoma, meanwhile, comes slow but steady with another Marins interview, comic book, insert and set of trailers. And Anchor Bay - wait for it... has nothing.

And what has Cinemagia got for us this time? Another untranslated intro, commentary, pair of recordings, a 15 minute doc film on Joe called Fogo-Fatuo, five interviews, some kind of visit to the national archives about Marin's films, a weird orientation where Marins yells at what looks like college students and they squirm in their seats (hey, don't look at me), another Marins interview, another episode of Who's Afraid, more trailers, more stills galleries, and that website thing again (I don't know, maybe they are different on every disc). Nothing in English; move along.
Marins from the Fantoma interviews, say goodbye to these
So that gets us through the "Coffin Joe Trilogy" (really two-thirds and a bonus Marins film), but there's still plenty more to go. But what will we do now that we no longer have the consistently superior Fantoma (and in some cases, Synapse) transfers to cling to? Well, this post has started getting unwieldy in length and we've still got a long way to go, so to find out, stay tuned for Part 2...