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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Werewolf of London aka "Le Monstre de Londres" [Blu-ray]

 

(Stuart Walker, 1935)

 

     

 

Werewolf of London was previously available HERE shared on a 2001 Universal DVD disc with She-Wolf of London.

 

Elephant Films in France have been bringing many classic Universal Horrors with Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff to REGION FREE Blu-ray for the first time.

 

Revenge of the Creature (1955) Blu-ray

House of Dracula (1945) Blu-ray Werewolf of London (1935) Blu-ray Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) Blu-ray Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1956) Blu-ray

On DVD from Elephant Films

Dracula's Daughter (1936)

Son of Dracula (1943) She-Wolf of London (1946) Werewolf of London (1935) The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal Pictures Company Inc.

Video: Elephant Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:14:58.535

Disc Size: 23,736,380,069 bytes

Feature Size: 20,138,072,064 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.97 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: April 27th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1804 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1804 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1919 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1919 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

French, none

 

Extras:

• "Le Loup-garou" par Jean-Pierre Dionnet (8:41)
• Le Film Par Jean-Pierre Dionnet (9:53)
• Galerie Photos
• Bands-Announces (1:40 trailer for Werewolf of London and 10 others - all with French subtitles)
Advert booklet (in French)
Second disc DVD included

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Originally intended as a vehicle for Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, this Universal production predated The Wolf Man by six years, but failed to whip up audience enthusiasm for the monster popularized by Lon Chaney, Jr. in the studio's later classic. Henry Hull stars as botanist Dr. Glendon, whose foray through Tibet in search of a rare night-blooming "marifasa lupina" ends when he is savagely attacked by man-beast Yogami (Warner Oland). Recovering back in London, Glendon begins to undergo the hideous transformation into a wolf-like monster at the next full moon (courtesy of makeup work by Jack Pierce), and learns that only the bloom of the marifasa can reverse his condition -- a cure which is currently being sought by yet another lycanthropic predator.

 

 

The Film:

"Werewolf of London," a Universal picture featuring Henry Hull, is credited to a story by Robert Harris, but it goes back further than that. It goes, in fact, back to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," and permits Mr. Hull to be transformed, before the startled eyes of the audience, from a frock-coated botanist into a fanged apeman with homicidal tendencies and a wolf's howl swelling in his throat.

This charming bit of lycanthropy follows the botanist's expedition into a Tibetan valley in quest of a strange flower, the "mariphasa," which takes its life from the moon. Ignoring native warnings that demons inhabit the valley, Dr. Glendon presses on. After many months he finds the flower, but is attacked and clawed by a howling monster before he stuns him and escapes with the prized mariphasa. Later, in London, he hears from a strange Dr. Yogami that two werewolves are at loose in the city. Only the blooming mariphasa can serve as an antidote to keep the werewolves from killing those they love best at the full of the moon, Dr. Yogami tells the botanist.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

As seems to be the case with so many Universal pictures of this genre, 'Werewolf of London' revolves around a soon-to-be-tragic scientist Dr. Glendon (Henry Hull), who while on a trip to Tibet to search for a rare flower is bitten by a werewolf. Returning to London with the said flower he's visited by Dr. Yogami (Warner Oland) who reveals that he was the wolf and explains Glendons fate to him.

Boasting a confidence at sweeping from location to location and coming in at just over an hour 'Werewolf of London' boasts a good pace and incident-packed narrative that other Universal films sometimes lacked. Instead of building the wait for the monster up like the more famous 'Wolf Man' does, it sets its stall out from the very beginning and has a werewolf attack in the first ten minutes.

And once Glendon returns to London, the further attacks and transformations are pleasingly not cut back, giving you plenty of monster for the money. Although the film's dated quite noticeably, the look of Ye Olde London is still spookily atmospheric, conjuring up associations of Jack the Ripper and Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde as Glendon prowls the streets as a wolf killing at leisure.

Excerpt from eFilmCritic  located HERE

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

Werewolf of London arrives on Blu-ray from Elephant Films in France - along with a few other Uni-Horrors not picked-up for North American release. The image is adeptly transferred with a high bitrate but the source is excellent with plenty of rich grain textures. The visuals are clean - very few speckles - and no remarkable damage. Contrast layering benefits the 1080P visuals. This Blu-ray has a genuine feel with a reasonable film-like sense to it. Visually I expect most fans will be very pleased.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Elephant Films use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1804 kbps (24-bit) in the original English with a similar optional French DUB. It suffers from its age but its consistent. Aside from usual atmospheric conventions, the drama is exported adeptly via the score by Karl Hajos (Supernatural, Summer Storm) sounding supportive via the lossless. There are, fully, optional French subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Some discussion (in 1080i) in French by Jean-Pierre Dionnet, and introduction, but not English-friendly (no subs). There is a photos gallery and 11 trailers of films from this collection including one for this film. A PAL DVD is included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Werewolf of London is an early entry into what would become a proud film tradition of horror films by Universal. Effects are modest and reflect the time the film was made. It still maintains the atmospheric conventions that fans tend to gravitate to. We all love these Uni-werewolf flics. The Blu-ray is essentially bare-bones for English-buyers but the price-to-value ratio can make it extremely enticing if you desire a very film-like presentation of this addictive genre effort. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

June 17th, 2016

 

     

 

Werewolf of London was previously available HERE shared on a 2001 Universal DVD disc with She-Wolf of London.

 

Elephant Films in France have been bringing many classic Universal Horrors with Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff to REGION FREE Blu-ray for the first time.

 

Revenge of the Creature (1955) Blu-ray

House of Dracula (1945) Blu-ray Werewolf of London (1935) Blu-ray Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) Blu-ray Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1956) Blu-ray

On DVD from Elephant Films

Dracula's Daughter (1936)

Son of Dracula (1943) She-Wolf of London (1946) Werewolf of London (1935) The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)


 

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.

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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