S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
The Incredible Melting Man [Blu-ray]
(William Sachs, 1977)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)
Video: Shout! Factory /Arrow Films
Region: 'A' /Region 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:26:16.212/ 1:26:17.213
Disc Size: 29,412,024,327 bytes/ 30,940,300,609 bytes
Feature Size: 22,890,061,824 bytes / 22,772,103,168 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps / 29.97 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: July 30th, 2013 / October 13th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1693 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1693 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1633 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1633 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48
kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
English (SDH), none
English (SDH), none
•Audio Commentary With Director William Sachs
• Interview with make-Up Effects Artists Greg Cannom (2:55)
• Interview with writer/director William Sachs and Make-up Effects Artists Rick Baker (19:38)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:48)
• Radio Spot (:31)
• Photo Gallery (4:22)
Audio Commentary with William Sachs
• Promotional Gallery (4:22)
• Trailer (1:01)
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
• Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film
Description: Essentially a seedy '70s version of The Quatermass Experiment, this painfully cheap production from writer/director William Sachs involves the horrific plight of returning astronaut Steve West (Alex Rebar), the sole survivor of a disastrous expedition to the rings of Saturn. The fatal outcome of the mission apparently involved the discovery of a space-borne virus, or radiation, or something (it's never made quite clear) that killed the rest of the crew and is causing West's flesh to melt and slough off his body. For reasons unexplained, the only relief from the pain of his condition can be found by consuming live human cells. After munching on a few bystanders, West escapes into the surrounding woods, pursued by NASA researcher Dr. Nelson (Burr DeBenning) and a disorganized posse of military monster-hunters. Unable to stop his rapid dissolution or resist his cannibalistic urges, West agonizes over his dilemma (as indicated by laughable scenes of Rebar trying to register emotional anguish through layers of goop), but he still finds time to terrorize a few locals, including the topless Rainbeaux Smith and a pair of comic-relief oldsters trying to score some lemons. The film's notorious ad campaign rallied the makeup FX work of Rick Baker, but his talents are largely wasted thanks to AIP's frantic cost-cutting and a truncated shooting schedule that forewent many of Baker's elaborate prosthetics in favor of a cheap latex mask covered with gallons of syrup. Future Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme contributes a brief cameo.
There's a powerful temptation to say that you never thaw a movie as
foolish as "The Incredible Melting Man," but the fact is that
each spring brings similar releases to fill the need of drive-in
operators for something cheap to put on the screen for the kids in the
cars to ignore or laugh at.
What to do with the incredible melting man except have him melt some more? The film-makers never really resolve this sticky problem once their burned-up astronaut busts out of hospital and, at a snail's pace, starts eating the local population. This Z-grade effort, lacking any low-budget energy, takes its cue from the central character: it's tacky and bumbling and sinks into its own morass long before its subject finally dribbles apart, slurp, glub.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Incredible Melting Man is great fun and the Shout! Factory Blu-ray release does everything with their usual competence. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate - the video is 1080P AVC. I can't imagine the film looked much better almost 35 years ago. The visuals are bright, in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and the make-up effects aren't overly transparent even in the higher resolution. Contrast supports decent detail and the image is quite clean and true. This Blu-ray supplied me with a solid presentation without notable flaws of any kind. Thumbs up!
The video seems an exact duplicate - similar bitrate, colors, source and even the graph above looks the same. Also very clean and crisp.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Blu-ray Captures
Audio comes via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1693 kbps. Effects are a little blatant but it sounds 'fresh' and matches up well with the video. Arlon Ober composed the score and he also did work on Eating Raoul and Child's Play. It strikes the right mood and has a tinge of the excessive. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
One difference is that the Arrow have gone with a linear PCM that exports a slightly tighter higher-end although not as much rich depth. It also has optional English subtitles but is region 'B'-locked.
Shout! Factory include an audio commentary with Director William Sachs who is very frank and disavows a lot of what is in the film. He was fully cognoscente of the script representing a tongue-in-cheek, almost satirical comic-book style 50's homage flic where the producers were intent on him 'making it more serious'. Sachs is great to listen to and we can appreciate his honesty. We also get a short interview with make-Up Effects Artists Greg Cannom and a 20-minute one with writer/director William Sachs (not 'Sacks' as spelled by the featurette) and Make-up Effects Artists Rick Baker. There is also a Theatrical Trailer, Radio Spot and Photo Gallery.
Similar. Arrow include the same audio commentary with William Sachs, same two interviews (with Writer/Director William Sachs and Make-up Effects Artist Rick Baker plus Make-up Effects Artist Greg Cannom) however they do correct the spelling of the director's name. Arrow also have a promotional slideshow gallery and trailer but add a 7-minute Super 8 digest version of the film. Super 8 digests were the first home movie distribution format. Most releases had to be edited down to fit onto one or two reels of a Super 8mm film otherwise they would be too expensive and inconvenient to produce. The Incredible Melting Man is presented in what was probably the most common variant of the Super 8 digest, the 200ft seven-minute reel. The quality of the a/v is quite weak - reflecting the source material. The UK package also boasts a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork and a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film as well as a DVD (Dual-Format package).
Arrow nudge ahead with the extras - still a keen, and oddly appealing film. Absolutely recommended to see in 1080P!
July 4th, 2013
October 8th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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