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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Panther Girl of the Kongo [Blu-ray]

 

(Franklin Adreon, 1955)

 

 

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: 0:13:25.429 X 12 (but Chapter 1 differs as it is 0:20:05.621)

Total: 2:47:58

Disc Size: 24,043,502,406 bytes

Chapter Size: 1,909,223,424 bytes bytes X 12

Video Bitrate: 16.00 Mbps

Chapters: 2 per epsiode

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 21st, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1781 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1781 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

• English, None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Average Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The jaw-dropping, eye-popping, edge-of-your-seat exploits of the fearless Panther Girl are brought vividly to life in the Republic Pictures serial Panther Girl of the Kongo starring Phyllis Coates (Perils of the Jungle) as Jean Evans, the Panther Girl of the title; Myron Healey (The Unearthly) as big game hunter Larry Sanders; and Arthur Space (The Red House) as the maddest of the mad scientists, Dr. Morgan.

 


All twelve action-packed jungle adventures (including The Claw Monster, The Killer Beast, Crater of Flame and the thrilling final chapter of the serial, House of Doom), directed by Franklin Adreon (Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe) are now available for your home viewing pleasure in one exciting package.

 

 

The Film:

The Panther Girl of the Kongo is African-wildlife photographer Jean Evans (Phyllis Coates), who’s earned the sobriquet by delivering the Utanga tribe from a man-eating panther. However, she must now contend with another, far more unusual threat–gigantic and ferocious crawfishes that are rampaging through the jungle near the Utanga village and terrorizing the tribe. These creatures have been secretly developed by brilliant but unscrupulous chemist Dr. Morgan (Arthur Space) via a special growth hormone; the doctor intends to use the artificially-enlarged beasts to drive the Utangas from their land–which, unbeknownst to anyone but himself, contains a valuable diamond mine.

Excerpt from TheFilesOfjerryBlake located HERE

 

The lovely and talented Phyllis Coates, who first played Lois Lane opposite George Reeves in the TV series "The Adventures of Superman", stars as Jean Evans, known as "The Panther Girl" by the local natives due to an earlier incident which has become legend. Jean's profession as a fearless wildlife photographer makes her a bit of a female Carl Denham, who once boasted that he would've gotten "a swell shot of a charging rhino" if his assistant hadn't run away with the camera.

Excerpt from HKFilmNews located HERE

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

Panther Girl of the Kongo arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. The 12 chapter serial is on a single-layered disc with a low bitrate. The print used is in decent shape with only a few minor surface scratches and speckles. Density seems reasonable and the contrast is faint but acceptable. There isn't much textures and the detail is of a reasonable level. There is no real depth but this is all certainly watchable, and fairly consistent, in the original 1.37:1 aspect ratio as there are no detrimental flaws. The Blu-ray presentation could have been improved though with a dual-layered transfer and a more technically robust rendering.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Olive's DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1781 kbps (24-bit) handles the audio with room to spare. There are some aggressive effects with jungle beast growls, a giant clawed monster, a few natives and, of course, plenty of gun and rifle shots and the audio transfer exports some depth when called upon but it stays within the restraints of the era and original production. The score is by R. Dale Butts (Too Late For Tears, No Man's Woman, The Shanghai Story, Stranger at My Door, Hell's Half Acre, City That Never Sleeps) and is one of the better attributes of the adventure yarn adding tension and thrills. There are optional English (yellow) subtitles and my Oppo has identified the Blu-ray 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, Panther Girl isn't premium stuff but if you love the whole concept of the 'serial' you may appreciate this from a nostalgia viewpoint. It does remind one of Jungle Girl and, likewise, she's helplessly bound a few times in her similar native-esque tunic-style 'costume'. I think, while the concept was perfect for the genre, it underwhelms - not capitalizing on the milieu and protagonist's heroism feature. The Blu-ray is solid enough but the bare-bones status reduces value. Most of us can be pretty forgiving for thus campy 'B'-style, innocent, entertainment. I hope more of these kitschy serials keep coming to Blu-ray.

 

NOTE: I continue to complain about seeing the start-up (credits, main title etc.) - every chapter. I wish there was an easy bypass option to go right to the continuation of the story without clicking thru. Picky, I know. 

Gary Tooze

February 21st, 2017

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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