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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues [Blu-ray]


(Dan Milner, 1955)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Milner Brothers Productions

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:20:39.584 

Disc Size: 17,381,694,175 bytes

Feature Size: 16,533,454,848 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.95 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 4th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1629 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1629 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps






• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
"Trailers From Hell" with Joe Dante (2:21)
Trailer for The Monster That Challenged the World (1:35)





Description: Before there was Jaws or Orca The Killer Whale there was The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues the mother of all monsters from the deep! This classic 1950's science fiction feature was a huge hit at drive-in theatres and aquariums across America! When a scientist tries to create a radioactive death ray, the experiment backfires causing a small turtle to revert to a giant prehistoric size monster. Dr. Ted Stevens (Kent Taylor, The Crawling Hand) meets a government investigators, at the scene of another beach murder caused by this hideous sea monster, while marine biologist Professor King (Michael Whalen, The Dawn Express), who created the monster in his laboratory, is being pursued by a beautiful femme fatale who is blackmailing or killing everyone in sight in an effort to acquire King's top secret files for the Russians. Directed by veteran Hollywood editor Dan Milner (From Hell It Came), his second of three directorial efforts.



The Film:

A series of mysterious deaths of fishermen and swimmers along a stretch of beach attract the attention of scientist Dr. Ted Stevens (Kent Taylor) and government investigator William Grant (Rodney Bell) -- they both want to know why the victims and their boats all show signs of exposure to atomic radiation, and if there's a connection between the deaths and the nearby Pacific College of Oceanography, run by Professor King (Michael Whalen); and they're also interested in why King's assistant, George Thomas (Phillip Pine), is always lurking around the beach, often armed with a spear gun. Stevens establishes a friendship with King's daughter Lois (Cathy Downs) that turns to romance, but he's principally concerned with finding out about an apparent source of radiation on the ocean floor, and what its connection might be with the unearthly sea creature rumored to be stalking that section of the beach. Helene Stanton hangs around in a fairly revealing (for the time) bathing suit, waiting on the beach for some top-secret information, and Vivi Janiss overacts nicely as a woman with too much on her mind for her own good.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE



A scientist who has been performing radiation tests in the sea, not only manages to create an ultra powerful death ray, but creates a hideous, mutated sea monster in the process. Ted Stevens, a scientist, and Bill Grant, a special investigator for the Department of Defense, are sent to investigate when strange, radiation related deaths begin to occur in the sea around the College of Oceanography. Will Inspector Grant and Dr. Stevens be able to solve this mystery and stop the creature before it kills again?

Excerpt from B-Movie Central located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is about what we might expect. It has decent grain textures and pleasing contrast layering on the 1080P. The underwater sequences are cloudy - as, I'm sure, the original (you can still see the monsters wire manipulation in the higher resolution). The source is pretty clean, and has some surprisingly tight visuals closer to the film's conclusion. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable, but unremarkable, viewing in regards to the picture quality. I expect it's as good as it's going to get for The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues.



















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1629 kbps in the original English language. There are only modest effects in the film - but what helps is the score by Ronald Stein) an AIP regular who has done more than his share of exploitive 'B', Drive-In flics (Queen of Blood, She Creature, It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, Dementai 13, Spider Baby etc.)  It all sounds less dynamic but more the production and it has clear consistent dialogue. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

There is a very worthwhile audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith who knows his stuff and he rarely sugar-coats it filling the void with plenty of helpful details. I enjoyed his comments very much. There is also a brief "Trailers From Hell" piece with Joe Dante and a trailer for The Monster That Challenged the World (none for this film in existence, presumably.)



The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is pure promotional schlock - but that's not such a bad thing.  The cover (and presumably posters of the time) have a gal being attacked underwater by 'the phantom'. No such scene - not gals in the water at all either although two of them are lounging on the beach at different junctures. This is baaaad but often that is what I crave - mindless, low-budget, black and white, Drive-In fodder, creature-feature thrills. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray
is far from stellar but it did give me the opportunity to see the film in 1080P looking decent and far better than SD. I knew what to expect (or what not to expect) and relaxed to a quintessential B-flic of the 50's. The commentary gives it much-added value. 

Gary Tooze

January 3rd, 2016

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.

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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
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Gary W. Tooze






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