|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Return of the Ape Man [Blu-ray]
(Phil Rosen, 1944)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Banner Productions
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 15,307,809,948 bytes
Feature Size: 15,116,820,480 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 31st, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1888 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1888 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• English (SDH), None
The titular ape man (incarnated by Frank Moran, The
Corpse Vanishes, and fleetingly by George Zucco,
Voodoo Man) is featured alongside Bela Lugosi (Dracula),
John Carradine (Voodoo Man) and Mary Currier (Joan
of Arc) in the fright fest Return of the Ape Man.
The movie opens with a newspaper headline about the ongoing mysterious disappearance of a notorious "tramp." Cut to a laboratory, where professors Dexter (Bela Lugosi) and Gilmore (John Carradine) are removing a body from an odd-looking glass-walled chamber. They lay him out on a table, inject him with something, and pretty soon the man is sitting up and rubbing his head, to the obvious delight of the scientists. The subject, obviously the tramp of the newspaper story, wonders how long he was unconscious. Dexter and Gilmore just smile knowingly. Dexter gives him some money and sends him on his way. We learn that he'd been kidnapped by the unethical scientists four months previously, and had been frozen in suspended animation all that time.Excerpt from FilmFromBeyond located HERE
Obsessed by the idea of eternal life, Professor Dexter and his fellow researcher, Professor John Gilmore, awaken a tramp they have frozen in slumber for four months. To prove his theory that life can be sustained indefinitely, Dexter decides to travel to the Arctic to uncover a prehistoric man who has been imprisoned in the ice for a millennium. After a grueling ten-month search, Dexter and Gilmore unearth a body and transport it back to Dexter's laboratory. Upon defrosting the creature, the scientists discover that it is neither man nor beast, lacking the basic abilities of speech and reason. To civilize the creature, Dexter decides to transplant a portion of a modern man's brain into its skull.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Return of the Ape Man arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and can look very poor in the first half of the film - marks, damage, artifacts, flickering contrast etc. It's very inconsistent - having some later scenes that look far more reasonable. The grain is heavy and clunky, which I don't mind so much, but overall this is far below Olive's standard for vintage films. It looks like the source is compromised. The Blu-ray offers a weak in-motion, presentation. Beware.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master mono (24-bit) track at 1888 kbps. There is no real score (some generic action-based music in spots.) It is all pretty unremarkable with dialogue bordering on being inaudible - often sounding hollow with no depth. To counter this there are optional, yellow, subtitles (see sample) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.
October 27th, 2017