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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Murders in the Rue Morgue aka "Double assassinat dans la rue Morgue" [Blu-ray]

 

(Robert Florey, 1932)

 

     

 

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

 

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 Son of Frankenstein (1956) Blu-ray

The Invisible Man Returns (1940) Blu-ray The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944) Blu-ray The Mummy's Curse (1944) Blu-ray The Mummy's Hand (1940) Blu-ray Cat People (1982)

 

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: 1:00:35.631

Disc Size: 20,754,771,180 bytes

Feature Size: 13,043,927,424 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.50 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: January 25th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1641 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1641 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

French, none

 

Extras:

• Le Film Par Jean-Pierre Dionnet (10:16)
• Trailers (1:48 for film)
• Egalement Disponibles

Gallery Photos (6:01)
• Credits
Second disc DVD included

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In 1845 Paris, mysterious Dr. Mirakle (Bela Lugosi) demonstrates his theories on evolution using his ape, Erik, at a carnival visited by medical student Pierre Dupin (Leon Waycoff) and his girlfriend, Camille Espanaye (Sidney Fox). Unknown to his audience, Mirakle performs experiments in his secret laboratory that involve mixing human blood with that of Erik's. After three prostitutes are found dead from being injected with a strange substance, Pierre is alarmed when Camille goes missing.

 

 

The Film:

Lugosi lost out on his chance to be Universal's top horror star upon the release of Murders in the Rue Morgue; the studio instead put its publicity machine behind Boris Karloff to the point of giving him the one-word billing of "Karloff." Lugosi did not remain idle long. Following unforgettable turns in White Zombie (1932) and Island of Lost Souls (1933), Lugosi was paired with Karloff in the first of several horror star team-ups, The Black Cat (1934).

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Very loosely based on a tale by Poe, this is a pedestrian but still highly enjoyable account of a mad scientist (Lugosi) scouring Paris for young female victims to prove his rather unusual theory of evolution: experiments involve mixing the blood of the women with that of a gorilla. The perverse and sordid sexual implications of the story are rarely made explicit, although there are a couple of genuinely unpleasant scenes. Stylistically (it's beautifully shot by Karl Freund) the whole thing owes more to The Cabinet of Dr Caligari than to Poe.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

The Pre-code Murders in the Rue Morgue delightfully comes to Blu-ray from Elephant Films in France - along with a history of many past Uni-Horrors not picked-up for North American release. The image is 1080P transferred and the source is excellent with plenty of rich grain textures and some scenes look like 8 X 10 glossies they are so crisp. There are predictable surface scratches and speckles - but they run a distant second to the impressive contrast and high level of detail. Wow. This Blu-ray visuals are very appreciated by fans for this 85-year old film.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Elephant Films use a lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1641 kbps (16-bit) in the original English with optional (via your remote's 'subtitle button') French subtitles. With the usual atmospheric conventions and some may note Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake Overture in the film's music - it sounds supportive in lossless. There are, fully optional, French subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable worldwide.

 

NOTE: Tim Lucas tells us in our FB Group: "...this release contains newly added music to augment dramatic scenes previously without it. This is a terrible liberty to take with a classic film, especially without also offering it in its original form. It is indeed a beautiful transfer but the musical impositions will make this a deal-breaker for many fans."

 

 

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 5 trailers of films from this collection. A PAL DVD is included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Murders in the Rue Morgue maintains the strong desirability of unflinching Pre-code, (scantily clad dancing girls, bondage, sadistic torture, bestiality etc.) although the effects are dated - it still has immense appeal as a horror. Bela is at some of his most dramatic and the story is rich with genre charisma. Wow. The Elephant Blu-ray has the, unforgivable, black-mark of the added music and is essentially bare-bones for English-buyers. Let's hope Universal release it in the US, on Blu-ray with original music and extras.. soon! 

Gary Tooze

September 27th, 2017

 

     

 

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

 

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 Son of Frankenstein (1956) Blu-ray

The Invisible Man Returns (1940) Blu-ray The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944) Blu-ray The Mummy's Curse (1944) Blu-ray The Mummy's Hand (1940) Blu-ray Cat People (1982)

 


 




 

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