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Ape Man

Ape Man

UPC: 089218402196

Format: DVD

Release Date: Jul 30, 2002

Rating: Not Rated

Regular price $13.95 USD
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Terrible as it is, not even William Beaudine's The Ape Man deserves the shoddy treatment that it gets on this DVD from the Alpha Video. Derived from a dark, barely servicable print, with rough sound and lots of variations in detail and density, it's a chore to watch even within the context of delightfully bad horror movies. Of course, given that the movie lapsed into the public domain in 1971, the chances of anyone turning up a source significantly better than this are next to non-existent. Dark clothes in any shot simply have no detail, and the smallest drop in light shrouds upward of a third of the image at any given moment -- when Minerva Urecal as the sister of the man-turned-monster enters the basement where her brother (Bela Lugosi) is hidden, the light and the detail simply disappear, and scenes on night-shrouded streets are utterly worthless. What makes this disc strange is that there is evidence that it source could have looked better -- not only are some scenes passable, but in the transitions between shots, one does see signs of good detail and useful light levels, only to have them brought down again, apparently by the telecine operator. This reviewer has seen better quality 16mm transfers done on old 60's-era decks, and it speaks pretty ill of the producers at Alpha that they couldn't come up with a better source than this to work from. The five chapter breaks are also less than adequate, and the first copy that this review had also locked up during playback at several points.
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