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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Invisible Monster [Blu-ray]

 

(Fred C. Brannon, 1950)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Republic Pictures

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Average Chapter Runtime: 0:13:24.178 X 12 (but Chapter 1 differs as it is 20-minutes long)

Disc Size: 42,252,781,747 bytes

Chapter Size: 3,367,569,408 bytes X 12

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Chapters: 2

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 22nd, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1784 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1784 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Having developed a formula, that when applied to clothing renders a person invisible, an evil genius calling himself “The Phantom Ruler” is bent on creating an army of “invisible” soldiers in his efforts to rule the planet. Cloaked in invisibility, “The Phantom Ruler” is able to steal money and materials to move forward with his plans of domination. In steps investigator Lane Carson (Richard Webb, Out of the Past), who’s out to foil those plans. With the assistance of detective Carol Richards (Aline Towne, Send Me No Flowers) they are soon hot on the heels of the would-be dictator and his henchman. With action and adventure at every turn, The Invisible Monster offers 12 heart-pounding chapters that include Slaves of the Phantom, High Voltage Danger and Death’s Highway.

 

 

The Film:

Who is The Phantom Ruler? That's the question posed by the 12-part Republic serial The Invisible Monster. Using four illegal European aliens as his minions, the Phantom Ruler-possessed with the power of invisibility, as indicated by the title-goes on an unchecked crime spree. Insurance company investigator Richard Webb (later TV's Captain Midnight) is assigned to determine the identity of the Phantom Ruler, and to put the cuffs on him. Both Webb and his assistant Aline Towne are subjected to any number of life-threatening perils before justice is meted out in the final chapter. One of the best of the later Republic chapter plays, The Invisible Monster is also available in a 100-minute feature version, The Invisible Monster Strikes.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Back when I covered the feature version of this serial (SLAVES OF THE INVISIBLE MONSTER), I had a grand old time poking fun at the severe limitations of the criminal's power of invisibility; he could only turn invisible while wearing an outfit soaked in a special solution while a bright light was shining on him. Of course, these limitations exist to keep him from using invisibility all the time, which would have driven up the special effects budget for a serial that couldn't afford it. The invisibility gimmick is really the most interesting thing about it; the rest of the serial is a tired regurgitation of all the usual cliffhangers we've seen hundreds of times already (just how many times can you bail out of a car?). At least the fantastic content is much stronger than it usually is for a serial of this ilk.

Excerpt from Dave Sindelar of SciFiFilm.org located HERE

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

The Invisible Monster arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. The 12 chapter serial is on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate. The print used is in decent shape with only a few minor surface scratches and speckles. Density seems reasonable and the contrast is pleasing. I see some textures and the detail is better than I would have expected. There is no real depth but this is all certainly watchable in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio as there are no detrimental flaws. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and it looks strong in-motion.

 

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

Background Description of following Chapter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visible Cue-blip

 

 

Audio :

Stanley Wilson composed for many 40's and 50's westerns like Woman They Almost Lynched and as well as many later TV shows. His score here is typically up and down depending on the action - with a few violent outbursts shifts via in Olive's DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1748 kbps (24-bit). There are some aggressive effects and gunplay and the audio exports some depth when called upon but it stays within the restraints of the era and original production. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Well, what can you say? This is pretty hokey stuff - but I love the whole concept of the 'serial'  -from Jungle Girl to Judex. But is The Invisible Monster in the 'so bad it's good' category? I suppose that depends on your tolerance. I appreciate the innocence of these 50's efforts (well, as compared to today). The Blu-ray is the absolute best way to rifle through these little charmers. If this sounds like it is up your alley - I suggest going for it. Lots of campy 'B'-style enjoyment here. I hope more of these kitschy serials come to Blu-ray.

 

NOTE: My only complaint was seeing the start-up (credits, main title etc.) and rehashing of each chapter - every time. I wish there was a way of bypassing it to go right to the action. 

Gary Tooze

September 17th, 2015

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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