Firstly, a massive thank you to our Patreon supporters. Your generosity touches me deeply. These supporters have become the single biggest contributing factor to the survival of DVDBeaver. Your assistance has become essential.

 

What do Patrons receive, that you don't?

 

1) Our weekly Newsletter sent to your Inbox every Monday morning!
2)
Patron-only Silent Auctions - so far over 30 Out-of-Print titles have moved to deserved, appreciative, hands!
3) Access to over 20,000 unpublished screen captures in lossless high-resolution format!

 

Please consider keeping us in existence with a couple of dollars or more each month (your pocket change!) so we can continue to do our best in giving you timely, thorough reviews, calendar updates and detailed comparisons. Thank you very much.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Fantasy of the Monastery" or "The Phantom of the Convent" or "The Phantom of the Monastery")

 

Directed by Fernando de Fuentes
Mexico 1934

 

Made in the wake of La Llorona’s success and directed with flair by Fernando de Fuentes (regarded as one of the masters of early Mexican cinema), The Phantom of the Monastery (El fantasma del convento) tells the macabre tale of a troupe of hikers who become lost in a forest and take refuge in a haunted monastery. There, they encounter shape-shifting shadows, ominous sealed doorways, and a cellar crowded with coffins...

An expressionistic Gothic triumph which has tragically languished in obscurity outside of Mexico, The Phantom of the Monastery has now been lovingly restored and is presented on Blu-ray at long last in a world debut edition, along with a selection of illuminating extras.

***

Alfonso (Del Campo), Eduardo (Villatoro) and Eduardo's wife Cristina (Ruel) get lost when visiting a forest. A strange monk finds them and takes them to an ancient convent. There, the three amigos suffer personality changes, specially Cristina who tries to seduce Alfonso in a strange coincidence to a story told by an old monk. After some efforts to escape, Alfonso is trapped inside a jail and more strange and macabre situations happen.

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 27th, 1934

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

or buy from Indicator:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:14.109        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,994,073,536 bytes

Feature: 20,398,734,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Spanish 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,994,073,536 bytes

Feature: 20,398,734,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with genre-film experts, critics and authors Stephen Jones and Kim Newman (2022)
The Devil in the Detail (2022, 18:01): Abraham Castillo Flores, head programmer of Mexico’s Mórbido Film Fest, considers the impact of this early horror classic
Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Maricruz Castro-Ricalde, screenwriter Juan Bustillo Oro on the making of The Phantom of the Monastery, an archival production report, a look at the film’s original promotion, an overview of contemporary critical responses, Jan-Christopher Horak of the UCLA Film & Television Archive on the restoration, and film credits


Blu-ray Release Date: March 21st, 2022

Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (February 2022): Indicator have transferred Fernando de Fuentes' The Phantom of the Monastery to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "New 4K restoration from the original negative by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in collaboration with the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project". Initial screens state: 'Restored from the 35mm nitrate picture and sound negatives preserved by PERMANENCIA VOLUNTARIA." The 1080P looks marvelous - what a great restoration. The image is consistently thick with rich grain textures, exquisite contrast - leaning to the darker side, a high level of detail in some of the close-ups (monk's faces) and sophisticated camera work with impressive shadow work. There are even instances of depth. A wonderful viewing experience on Blu-ray

NOTE: We have added 66 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original Spanish language. The Phantom of the Monastery doesn't have a credited score (although the film's orchestral music almost 'new' in spots) but has an impressive use of sound from self flagellation and wailing to mysterious creaky monastery noise - all enhancing the mystery elements of the presentation. Dialogue is reasonably consistent - flat and a bit scattered. Indicator offer optional English (SDH) and standard English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Indicator Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Stephen Jones (author of The Mammoth Book of Folk Horror: Evil Lives On in the Land!) and Kim Newman (author of Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s.) They discuss how The Phantom of the Monastery stands well above other Mexican horror efforts of the time period - and for many years beyond. They cover the history of Mexican cinema, how neither had seen this film before, parallels to similar trope efforts, Mexican cultural themes, how this followed the success of La Llorona, co-written by director Fuentes (based on the legendary spirit of the same name), that The Phantom of the Monastery is closer to the Gothic period of cinema than the Universal-style horrors of the 30's. It's brimming with information and really advanced my understanding and appreciation. The Devil in the Detail is a new 18-minute featurette that spends time with Abraham Castillo Flores, head programmer of Mexico’s Mórbido Film Fest, who reflects on the impact of this early horror classic. The package has a fabulous limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Maricruz Castro-Ricalde, screenwriter Juan Bustillo Oro on the making of The Phantom of the Monastery, an archival production report, a look at the film’s original promotion, an overview of contemporary critical responses, Jan-Christopher Horak of the UCLA Film & Television Archive on the restoration, and film credits.

Fernando de Fuentes' The Phantom of the Monastery is a total cinephile gem. The story involves a, romantically linked, trio of hikers who become lost and, conflictingly within the group, seek refuge in a monastery (actually shot on location at the Teotzotlan monastery - 25 miles northeast of Mexico City). When they are there they encounter mysterious monks, corridors to nowhere, skeletons, and ominously open coffins. It's a magnificent beauty of vintage horror and I am thrilled with the Indicator Blu-ray - from a new 4K restoration - what an image. Yes, they have done it again. Cinema joy perfection. Our strongest recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

or buy from Indicator:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!