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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

( aka "The Human Monster" or " Dead Eyes of London")

 

Directed by Walter Summers
UK 1939

 

The definitive British horror film and a worthy successor to his work on the Universal Monsters movies, screen icon Bela Lugosi takes centre stage as a demented scientist on a killing spree in The Dark Eyes of London the first British film to receive the H censor rating for being "Horrific for Public Exhibition". Adapted from a novel by Edgar Wallace, in this landmark British film.

A series of mysterious drownings in the Thames set Scotland Yard on the ghoulish trail of one of London's most sinister murderers!

***

Engaging chiller based on an Edgar Wallace novel, with Lugosi giving one of his better performances as the director of an insurance company and (incognito) of a home for the blind where the newly-insured are drowned in a tank and disposed of in the Thames. Let down by extremely conventional characterisation of the intrepid hero and heroine (Williams and Gynt), but weirdly atmospheric, with good use made of the Thames mudflats and a splendidly macabre denouement involving two blind henchmen, one of them a hulking Frankenstein monster (Walter).

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 19th, 1939

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:16:07.875        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 25,291,528,051 bytes

Feature: 17,403,813,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.98 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 English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Network

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 25,291,528,051 bytes

Feature: 17,403,813,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Brand-new audio commentary with Kim Newman and Stephen Jones
  Bela Lugosi in Britain: Kim Newman and Stephen Jones discuss Lugosi's work in the UK at the Edgar Wallace pub in London (29:52)
  US titles (1:39)
  US trailer (1:21)
  Image gallery (5:19)
  Limited edition booklet written by Adrian Smith
  Limited edition O-card (Blu-ray exclusive)
  Limited edition poster postcards (Blu-ray exclusive)


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 11th, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case inside O-card slipcase

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Network Blu-ray (November 2021): Network have transferred Walter Summers' 1939 The Dark Eyes of London to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "a brand-new High Definition remaster from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio". The 1080P image has some inconsistencies; damage most notable in the beginning, wavering density of the source and some flickering contrast. There are speckles and some remarkably strong visuals exporting depth. Generally the HD presentation is acceptable for a film of this age and the aged condition of the source. I really enjoyed my viewing.

NOTE: We have added 62 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Network use a linear PCM dual-mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. The Dark Eyes of London has a few aggressive, gunshots and a fire, that come through with modest depth. The score is credited to Guy Jones (Chamber of Horrors), sounding relatively clean with occasional scattered dialogue in the uncompressed transfer. This probably is not far off ho it sounded theatrically. Network offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The Network Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Kim Newman and Stephen Jones. They are enthusiastic, enjoying the film while commenting on the stars (Norwegian actress Greta Gynt and others), director and production team and plenty of film comparable as well as the career of Lugosi who they saw as at his fittest and healthiest as well as commenting on his strong performance. In a separate supplement they also Kim Newman and Stephen Jones discuss Bela Lugosi's work in the UK while at the Edgar Wallace pub in London. It runs about 1/2 an hour. Extras include the US titles and trailer, an image gallery and the package has a limited edition booklet written by Adrian Smith with limited edition poster postcards.

Bela Lugosi's The Dark Eyes of London has a lot going for it as an earlier police procedural, a mysterious story including a 'Blind Institute' and a series of increasing murders under a dark London atmosphere. Despite an abrupt ending, common for the era, it's a cracker of a chiller/thriller. Fans of this genre and vintage efforts will appreciate the Network Blu-ray that adds value with the commentary, a 1/2 hour discussion, booklet and accoutrements relating to this early creeper of a film. Certainly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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