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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Beast of Hollow Mountain / The Neanderthal Man [Blu-ray]


(Edward Nassour, Ismael Rodríguez, 1956 / Ewald André Dupont, 1953)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Películas Rodríguez / Global Productions

Video: Shout! Factory (Scream! Factory)



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

The Beast From Hollow Mountain Runtime: 1:19:08.452

The Neanderthal Man Runtime: 1:18:01.009

Disc Size: 39,510,013,000 bytes

The Beast From Hollow Mountain Feature Size: 19,680,380,928 bytes

The Neanderthal Man Feature Size: 19,656,505,344 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.34 Mbps / 29.95 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: January 28th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 / 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2116 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2116 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)









The Beast of Hollow Mountain



The Neanderthal Man




Description: The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956): An American cowboy living in Mexico discovers his cattle is being eaten by a giant prehistoric dinosaur. The Neanderthal Man (1953) A mad scientist transforms himself into a prehistoric caveman, his cat into a saber-toothed tiger, and his housekeeper into an ape person - which does not enhance his popularity.




The Beast From Hollow Mountain:

Local residents believe that the disappearance of a cowboy's cattle is due to a monster that lives within a mountain surrounded by a swamp.

I believe that this is the first real take on Willis O'Brien's Gwangi concept combining cowboys and dinosaurs. It's not really very successful; the movie is three-quarters through before we ever get a glimpse of the beast, and most of the preceding sixty minutes is fairly dull by monster movie or western standards. Things do pick up around the forty minute mark; there is a scene in a graveyard that actually generates a fair amount of tension, and a stampede sequence that is probably the highlight of the movie.

Excerpt from Dave Sindelar's Fantastic Ramblings located HERE

The Neanderthal Man

In a mountain home, Dr. Cliff Groves (Robert Shayne) is working hard on the theories that have driven him to the point of overbearing obsession, frightening his sister Jan (Joyce Terry), who lives with him. When the local game warden is shocked to see what looks like a saber-tooth tiger in the area, he consults scientist Dr. Ross Harkness (Richard Crane) about the mysterious animal, and the two men decide to find the tiger and kill it. Meanwhile, Groves' experimentation has escalated. One night he injects himself and turns into a savage Neanderthal man who commits a murder and a rape then quickly returns home and transforms back into Groves. When Dr. Harkness finds evidence to incriminate Groves, he confronts the madman, who transforms again, kidnapping a woman and fleeing into the woods. Unfortunately for Groves, a second saber-tooth tiger, created by injecting a housecat with his own formula, tears him to pieces; transforming back to himself, he murmurs "It's better this way," as he dies.

This wearily routine variation on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was directed by E.A. Dupont, who once had a substantial reputation, based on his film Variety; his work here is indistinguishable from that of any standard low-budget hack. However, the dialogue by producers Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen is, if nothing else, highly identifiable -- they wrote some of the most ponderous, hard-to-say lines in movie history. "All I can say," poor Robert Shayne has to say, "is that I cannot determine now which I admire less in you, your humor or your wit." The makeup transformations are weirdly elaborate, though the end result -- the Neanderthal Man himself -- is rendered by a standard rubber mask. The script is not only badly written, it's clumsily organized, with way too much time spent on the saber-tooth tiger, and very little, relatively speaking, on the menace of the title.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Shout! Factory (under the sub 'Scream Factory' identifier) offers up two modest 50's creature-feature-esque films on a lone Blu-ray labeling it as a 'double feature'. These are both 1080P and sit on a dual-layered disc. The image quality is decent enough - especially considering the low-budget productions. Colors in Hollow Mountain are striking - bright and rich although there are extended vertical scratches and light speckles are noticeable. Detail is acceptable - even the dinosaur! Neanderthal Man is black and white in 1.33:1 and also has some HD merit with nicely layered contrast. There is softness but I'd guess it is more a factor of the original production. Overall, for both, the Blu-ray supplied a decent, but not stellar presentation. I really didn't complain too much and Hollow Mountain surpassed my expectations with the richness of the colors.




The Beast of Hollow Mountain











The Neanderthal Man












Audio :

A standard lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1657 kbps supports John Addison original score and the few effects (white stallions, train etc.) come across with decent depth. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.


Extras :

Nothing at all. And here is the only menu screen:



I have a huge soft-spot for these marginal create-feature films from the 50's. I think it reminds of my childhood when these were shown on Saturday and Sunday afternoon TV. Both efforts here have weaknesses - but they are ones I can easily forgive. The Beast of Hollow Mountain takes a while to get into dino-related gear and The Neanderthal Man has decidedly poor effects. Surprisingly, I think they do work for a 'B' night double-feature - neither advancing over the other in a distinct way and both having that same imperfect charm. The Shout! Factory Blu-ray has some value if you treasure these wayward gems as I do. Gotta love Beverly Garland! Obviously nothing classic about these films - and a bare-bones package but I had some fun. I did. 

Gary Tooze

January 18th, 2014


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