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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man [Blu-ray]
(Roy William Neill, 1943)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Universal Pictures Company Inc.
Video: Elephant Films
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,909,084,392 bytes
Feature Size: 19,740,094,464 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase
Release date: October 21st, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2046 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2046 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1822 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1822 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
•Frankenstein par Jean-Pierre Dionnet (11:17)
• Le Film Par Jean-Pierre Dionnet (6:46)
• 27 Galerie Photos (1:56)
• 5 Bands-Announces
Second disc DVD included
Description: The fifth film in Universal's "Frankenstein" series goes for the box-office gold by combining two--count 'em, two!--of the studio's star monsters. We all thought that Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.), alias The Wolf Man, had been shot dead in his own starring film in 1941, but the opening scenes of Frankenstein vs. the Wolf Man prove us incorrect. Brought back to the land of the living, the anguished Talbot commiserates with gypsy lady Maria Ouspenskaya, who advises him that the only way he'll stay dead is to confer with Dr. Frankenstein. The good doctor has passed on, but his equipment is intact. With the help of scientist Patric Knowles and Frankenstein descendant Ilona Massey, Talbot attempts to have the life forces sucked from his body and transferred to that of Frankenstein's monster. The latter character is played by Bela Lugosi, who'd turned the same role down in 1931 because he felt it was beneath his dignity. By 1943, however, Lugosi was in no position to refuse the part of the lumbering monster. The actor was relieved to learn that the monster would have the power of speech, a leftover from 1942's Ghost of Frankenstein; likewise held over from that previous film was the monster's blindness, which would give Lugosi an opportunity to do some swell sightless emoting. But when the preview audience heard the Monster bemoaning his fate in Lugosi's voice, they laughed till they cried. As a result, Universal ordered that all of Lugosi's dialogue be cut. Worse still, the studio also cut all expository dialogue alluding to the monster's blindness, so the film as it stands finds poor Lugosi flailing about with his eyes closed for no apparent reason. At least Lon Chaney Jr. was permitted to portray his Wolfman character without molestation, and this he does very well. So successful was this "monster rally" that Universal rapidly concocted two follow-ups, House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula, both of which added Dracula (John Carradine) to the witches' brew.
From the first bubble of the elixir that forms the credits in chemical
smoke to the last crash of the final battle of titans, Frankenstein
Meets the Wolf Man is quite a treat for the Universal fan. Not only do
you get two exciting monsters for the price of one, but they're placed
in a vigorous storyline that, while slight, is too much fun to dislike.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is one of the stranger efforts to
come from Universal's golden age of horror.
Surprisingly, it rises above the challenge of its odd premise and is a
good deal of fun.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man delightfully comes to Blu-ray from Elephant Films in France - along with a few other Uni-Horrors not picked-up for North American release. The image is modestly transferred with a low bitrate but the source is excellent with plenty of rich grain textures. There are some surface scratches and speckles - but they are minimal. Contrast layering benefits the 1080P visuals. This Blu-ray has a genuine feel with a reasonable film-like sense to it. Visually I was pleased.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Elephant Films use an uncompressed DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at2046 kbps (24-bit) in the original English with a similar optional French DUB. Aside from usual atmospheric conventions, the drama is exported adeptly via the score by Hans J. Salter (Man Without a Star, Cover Up, The Wolfman, The Mole People) sounds supportive in lossless. There are, fully, optional French subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable worldwide.
Some discussion (in 1080i) in French by Jean-Pierre Dionnet, and introduction, but not English-friendly (no subs). There is a photos gallery and 5 trailers of films from this collection. A PAL DVD is included.
April 20th, 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 3500 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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