The Snake Girl and the Silver Haired Witch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though some problems occasionally emerged, this usually felt like a good presentation.
Really, only one prominent issue materialized here: defects on the print. While much of the film passed without flaws, we occasionally got batches of scratches. These became so strong that it could look like rain.
The presence of these defects felt like a shame, as the rest of the movie offered appealing visuals. Sharpness usually worked fine, as delineation seemed appealing. A little softness crept into some shots, but most of the film brought positive delineation.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and edge haloes remained absent. Grain seemed natural.
Blacks appeared deep and dense, while shadows brought nice clarity. Lose the scratches and this would become a much stronger image.
I felt the DTS-HD MA monaural audio of Witch seemed lackluster but acceptable given the movie’s age and origins. I couldn’t easily judge intelligibility since I don’t speak Japanese. The lines felt a bit edgy and metallic much of the time.
Music was generally adequate. The score could sound somewhat shrill at times, but it usually appeared acceptably full.
The same went for effects. While these occasionally came across as distorted, they still provided acceptable clarity. Nothing here was memorable, but the mix was acceptable for its period.
A smattering of extras round out the disc, and we find an audio commentary from film historian David Kalat. He provides a running, screen-specific look at filmmaker Noriaki Yuasa, cast and crew, aspects of the genre, the source manga and its adaptation, and production notes.
Kalat provides an enthusiastic, brisk look at the film. He gets into a mix of subjects and does so in a thorough manner. Expect an informative and enjoyable commentary.
This Charming Woman runs 27 minutes, 40 seconds and brings remarks from manga/folklore scholar Zack Davisson. He covers mythology and monsters in Japanese culture as well as aspects of Witch. Davisson provides an informative and engaging overview.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we end with an image gallery. It shows 12 elements that mix movie shots, ads and VHS art. It’s too insubstantial a collection to mean much.
Perhaps someone finds chills and scares in The Snake Girl and the Silver Haired Witch, but I can’t. The movie seems erratic and free from much tension or intriguing material. The Blu-ray offers acceptable picture and audio along with a few bonus features. The film doesn’t go anywhere interesting.