Written by: George Pacheco on January 31st, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Mexico, 1953
Director: Chano Urueta
Writer: Chano Urueta
Cast: Miroslava, Carlos Navarro, José María Linares-Rivas
DVD released: March 12th, 2013
Approximate running time: 80 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Spanish
DVD Release: One 7 Movies
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Originally released during the tail end of 1953 in glorious black and white, director Chano Urueta’s The Revived Monster-issued here by One Seven Movies as simply Monster-is a unique riff on the classic mythos of Dr. Frankenstein and his stitched-flesh creation.
Both the character of Frankenstein and The Monster are combined here in Urueta’s creation in the form of Dr. Hermann Ling, a brilliant yet deranged madman, rendered hideous and deformed by his own, twisted experiments on human genetics. Ling is the subject of an interview conducted by local reporter Nora, during which the unbalanced doctor becomes fanatically obsessed with the beautiful reporter.
Played with strength and class by the beautiful, tragic actress Miroslava-the actress would go on to take her own life only two short years after this film, after an apparent love affair gone bad-this character of Nora is refreshingly empowered compared to most female leads of the time, while Jose Rivas’ depiction of the equally tragic doctor is rivetingly intense.
The lighting and cinematography of Victor Herrera is absolutely beautiful here, framing each scene with artistry and class, while the plot and pacing move at a brisk, fluid pace. As such, Monster never feels longer than it’s eighty minute running time, a perfect length to establish Urueta’s vision as a true classic of Mexican cinema, while placing his film alongside Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face and the Universal classic Frankenstein as one of the most memorable “mad scientist” depictions ever committed to celluloid.
This review originally appeared at Examiner.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Note: The DVD portion of this review was written by Michael Den Boer.
One 7 Movies presents Monster in a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. Black levels are at best average, contrast levels at times look to bright, there are some mild instances of print damage that varies in degree throughout and details generally look crisp. Any issues with compression and edge enhancement thankfully are not too intrusive.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in Spanish and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. There are no major issues with background noise or distortion. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include poster / image gallery and a DVD-Rom extra, a Italian photo-novel for the film. Overall Monster gets a serviceable audio/ video presentation from One 7 Movies.