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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Banana Monster")

 

Directed by John Landis
USA 1973

 

From writer/director John Landis, the mind behind The Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf in London, comes a love story that transcends the boundaries of nature and good taste the one and only Schlock!

Carnage! Terror! Banana skins! The mighty prehistoric ape Schlocktropus has emerged from hiding to embark on a full-scale rampage across a quiet Southern Californian suburb. The police are baffled. The army is powerless. The body count is rising. But when Schlocktropus encounters a kindly blind woman (Eliza Garrett, National Lampoon's Animal House) who sees beyond his grotesque visage, the homicidal simian is presented with a chance at redemption.

Shot over twelve days on a micro-budget, Schlock launched the careers of both Landis and legendary effects makeup artist Rick Baker (Videodrome). An uproarious pastiche of monster movies, packed to the gills with irreverent humor and biting satire, Schlock serves as the outrageous missing link between the creature features of yesteryear and its creators' subsequent varied and celebrated careers.

***

Southern California is being terrorized by a mysterious murderous monster living in a cave. As the bodies pile up -- with incriminating banana peels always near by the crime scene -- a group of teens stumble on the guilty party: a 20-million-year-old Schlockthropus, an ape-like creature with a sense of the absurd. Schlocky moves easily through a strangely stupid suburban society, the members of which don't seem to see him as a hairy menace. Young Mindy Binermen (Eliza Garrett), blind for the last three years, falls in love with him thinking he's a dog. When an operation to restore her eyesight proves successful, she discovers her pet is a lovesick gorilla being chased by the National Guard.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 7th, 1973 (Trieste Sci-fi Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Arrow - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

There is also a, Region FREE, Turbine Mediabook Blu-ray out of Germany:

Distribution Arrow - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:19:03.738       
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc One: 42,563,871,010 bytes

Feature: 24,167,669,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34,83 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 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

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

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc One: 42,563,871,010 bytes

Feature: 24,167,669,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34,83 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary by writer/director John Landis and makeup artist Rick Baker
New video interview with author and critic Kim Newman (17:51)
Birth of a Schlock, a 2017 video interview with John Landis (41:27)
Archival video interview with cinematographer Bob Collins (7:34)
1972, 1979 and 1982 US theatrical trailers (1:34, 1:38, 1:31)
US radio spots (2:19)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joe Bob Briggs


Blu-ray Release Date: October 15th-16th, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

Arrow's new Blu-ray is advertised as being from a "4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative". The hour-20-minute film is on a dual-layered Blu-ray with a max'ed out bitrate. There may be a slight teal-encroachment but the image looks fine with consistent textured grain, fine detail, bright colors and occasional depth, I didn't see many speckles or any damage marks. It looks super in-motion.

Arrow provide a linear PCM 1.0 channel mono track (24-bit) track in the original English language. The film has few aggressive effects but this is where the film shows more of its modest roots where the audio is imperfect but dialogue is audible. There is a kind of, suitably, goofy score by David Gibson (his only composition film credit). Arrow add optional English (SDH) subtitles and is available in North American and the Europe (UK) - it is a Region 'A' / 'B' Blu-ray.

Arrow's disc offers an optional audio commentary (from 2011?) by writer/director John Landis and makeup artist Rick Baker that has some fun moments as Landis states "Do you know much this movie's cost me over the years?". It's light and friendly. There is a new, 18-minute, video interview with author and critic Kim Newman who finds some interesting, typically lesser-known, data to export about the production. 'Birth of a Schlock' is a 2017 video interview with John Landis that runs over 40-minutes. He talks about wanting to be a director from a very young age and shares some anecdotes before eventually getting to discussing Schlock. There is also an archival video interview with cinematographer Bob Collins (1978's Superman, Octopussy) running over 7-minutes. We lost him in 2008. There are US trailers from 1972, 1979 and 1982 and some radio spots. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys and the first pressing gets an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joe Bob Briggs.

Schlock is amusing in its own, obvious, way. It makes some loose, satirical, allegories that aren't particularly witty but it holds together with the slapstick situations and the awareness that we're all 'in' on the bad jokes. It is available in regions 'A' and 'B' for those who might be keen and the Arrow 
Blu-ray is another of their impressive packages.  

Gary Tooze

 


 


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

 

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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

There is also a, Region FREE, Turbine Mediabook Blu-ray out of Germany:

Distribution Arrow - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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