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Beast of the Yellow Night (1971) - Blu-ray Review

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Beast of the Yellow Night

Beneath a full moon, one man walks alone.  There is a pain in his side; something within him that is awakened whenever he is sexually aroused.  He, after making a deal with the devil, knows exactly what it means and face it alone he must . . . or at least he needs to be far, far, far away from the people he loves.  There is no joy in this sudden transformation . . . only murder.  And it is all seen under the yellow nights of the Philippines.

But is he a werewolf?  Or just a poorly made-up murderer?  You decide.

"makes for a rather clunky werewolf picture"


Directed by Eddie Romero and starring John Ashley, Beast of the Yellow Night, being the first of Roger Corman’s New World releases, is probably not the best film to start should you ever hunger for Pilipino-produced horror.  That being said, this werewolf-like flick is given a grand send-off as one WWII vet, Langdon (Ashley), makes a pretty shitty deal with Satan (Vic Diaz), sparing him from death but promising him to be a hound from Hell out on the prowl collecting souls for Satan as if they were trophies.

The film was also written by Romero who, admittedly, takes almost every werewolf picture at the time into consideration and spits out a Greatest Hits package of love bites and pawing around as Langdon spends 25 years in servitude to Ol Scratch.  Along the way, during the daylight, he tries to maintain a normal life with Julia (Mary Wilcox), his best gal, and his brother Earl (Ken Metcalfe), who also has the hots for Julia.  Talk about a hair-raising affair! 

But soon after Langdon breaks free from the Devil’s leash, he finds himself wanted by Inspector de Santos (Leopoldo Salcedo) for a whole lot of murders.  Even being shielded by a blind reformed criminal named Sabasas Nan (Andres Centenera) is not going to help this guy escape Satan’s stalking.  On the run and beyond panicked, Langdon discovers that this type of lifestyle is not going to prove fertile, though.

Someone is going to pay for being so close to this howling mad monster.

Okay, so we can already guess how this one ends.  Truly, there is no escape from the devil.  Especially one so deliciously evil as Diaz.  That being said, we simply don’t get enough time with him as Satan to see just how demented he is.  Instead, Romero shines a spotlight on a lot of domestic issues as Julia spends her time pining for a werewolf and finding comfort in the arms of someone else.  This makes for a rather clunky werewolf picture.  Forget the drama, dude, let’s get outside in the chilly night and get our murder face on!Beast of the Yellow Night

The film, interestingly enough, was a financial success and, thankfully, led to bigger and better things for Corman, like The Big Doll House.  You can tell that once Ashley transforms into the beast, he is having fun traversing the city, limping through the night, and attacking ladies left and right.  But as Langdon, man, he’s just barely there, happy enough to be wearing really tight pants and open neck shirts.

Produced from a new 2K restoration from the 35mm picture negative and archival print, Beast of the Yellow Moon is now on a single stand-alone blu-ray release from VCI Entertainment.  Start your howling now!

3 beers

Beast of the Yellow Night - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
87 mins
Director
: Eddie Romero
Writer:
Eddie Romero
Cast:
John Ashley, Mary Charlotte Wilcox, Leopoldo Salcedo
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Returned from the dead to stalk human prey!
Memorable Movie Quote: "As far as you're concerned, I am and can only be... whoever, whatever you think I am."
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
1971
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 26, 2019
Synopsis: Selling your soul to the devil (Vic Diaz) is never a good idea. John Ashley plays Joseph Langdon/Philip Rogers, a tortured soul who cannot be killed and has to bring out evil in others to fulfill his deal with the devil, in Eddie Romero's Beast of the Yellow Night.

Beast of the Yellow Night

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: VCI
Available on Blu-ray
- February 26, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 track
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented by VCI Entertainment, the 2K 1080p transfer – while does have its weaker aspects – is quite good. The crisp transfer, while a bit rough in areas, is presented in a 1.78.1 aspect ratio and looks quite warm in the color department. Reds are the dominant colors. Black levels are solid, though. The film looks crisp and colors are bold, with special attention paid to the animal meets man effects. It’s unlike any other version of the movie released thus far; focused and detailed. The sound is presented in an adequate Dolby Digital 2.0 track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Fans of this B-grade werewolf flick get an interview with Romero and a collection of 30 and 60 seconds adverts.

  • Video interview with director Eddie Romero
  • 30 & 60 second TV Spots
  • Reversible case wrap with alternate cover art

Beast of the Yellow Night - Blu-ray

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