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Monster

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    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Monster



    Released by: One 7 Movies
    Released on: March 12, 2013.
    Director: Chano Urueta
    Cast: Miroslava, Carlos Navarro
    Year: 1953
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Alternately titled The Revived Monster and shortened here as simply Monster, this 1953 film from prolific Mexican director is an interesting retelling of the tried and true Frankenstein story with a couple of fun twists and changes evident throughout.

    When the movie begins, a journalist named Nora (Miroslava) meets her editor (Fernando Wagner) in a café where he shows to her a strange classified ad placed by a mysterious man named Doctor Ling (Linares Rivas). Basically a personal ad in which the doctor notes his need for companionship in exchange for reward, the plan is to send Nora to meet with him in hopes that they'll get an interesting story out of this.

    Before you know it, Nora meets up with Ling, a strange man whose face is clad in wrapped black cloth, and they're driving off to his house which is situated just on the other side of a rather large and ominous cemetery. As Nora gets to know Ling, he opens up to her about his past and shows her his real face which has been horribly disfigured - which helps to explain his expertise in the field of plastic surgery and which also explains why he was ostracized by his fellow scientists. As Ling starts to fall for the beautiful reporter, his fear that she will expose him and his clandestine experiments starts to become all consuming. To stop Nora from going public with what she knows, he resurrects the dormant body of a man named Ariel (Carlos Navarro), recently deceased at his own hand, by putting a new brain into his body. Once brought back to life, Ariel gives chase in hopes that he'll be able to bring Nora back to Ling for good.

    The story gets a bit muddled here and there but ultimately proves to be pretty enjoyable thanks to some impressive, albeit low budget, set design and some pretty solid cinematography that makes good use of shadow and light. Moody and atmospheric, the story may not win any points for originality but the cast are all game with Rivas stealing the show as the mad doctor at large. The lovely Miroslava makes for a perfectly fine female lead and is convincing enough in the role while Carlos Navarro is fine as the resurrected monster under Ling's control.

    The makeup effects used to make Doctor Ling as monstrous looking as he is sometimes wind up making him look more like a pig than anything else but they do manage to give the movie a weird enough vibe. He's not always particularly threatening but the fog shrouded cemetery and dimly lit laboratory have a nice classic monster movie feel to them that helps to compensate. The film goes at a good pace and features a nice mix of action and suspense in amidst the more traditional gothic horror elements. Not a perfect film, but definitely an entertaining one and a picture that fans of vintage Mexican horror films ought to really enjoy.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    One 7 Movies presents the movie in 1.33.1 fullframe and judging by the compositions and the fact that other Mexican horror films made around the same time share that aspect ratio, we can assume this is correct. Taken from an unrestored print that has seen better days, scratches and print damage are evident throughout but the movie is watchable enough. Blacks sometimes look closer to dark grey and there are instances where contrast looks blown out but overall, if this isn't on par with what we got from the late, great Case Negra releases, it's sufficient. Not great, but sufficient.

    Likewise, the Spanish language Dolby Digital Mono track shows its age with various instances of pop and hiss present during the duration of the movie. The optional English subtitles are easy enough to read and the levels are properly balanced but a little more cleanup work might have helped here.

    Extras are slim, limited to a static menu, chapter selection and the inclusion of a quick still gallery of promotional art. Additionally, those equipped with a DVD-Rom can pop the disc into their computer and check out an Italian photo-novel of the movie.

    The Final Word:

    If it's a bit clunky in spots so be it, Monster gets a lot more right than it does wrong. It might not be the most original story ever told but it's got some fun performances, loads of bizarre gothic atmosphere and benefits from some impressive set pieces. If the DVD release from One 7 Movies won't win any awards for quality, it's watchable enough and currently the easiest way to see it with English subtitles.




















    • Scyther
      #1
      Scyther
      Senior Member
      Scyther commented
      Editing a comment
      I really enjoyed this one. Ian, did they send you Bloody Flesh, as well? If so, what did you think?

    • Ian Jane
      #2
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      Ian Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      They did, and there will be a full review soon!

    • Scyther
      #3
      Scyther
      Senior Member
      Scyther commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Ian Jane
      They did, and there will be a full review soon!
      Nice! Looking forward to it! They sent it to me to review, as well, and I liked it overall. Took a while to get going, but the final third really entered WTF territory for me...in a good way!
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