BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Dr. Cyclops (1940) - Blu-ray Review

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Doctor Cyclops

A tiny horse. One mad scientist.  And a really big wrench.  These are only part of the gonzo territory of Ernest R. Schoedsack and Merrian C. Cooper’s shrink ray-centered tale of B-grade science and terror.  Dr. Cyclops and the obsession with shrinking things lives on!  The heroes in this Technicolor classic are one-fifth their natural size, but that only means the terror they face in the Amazon jungle is that much bigger.

"there is clearly intelligence and lots of fabulous trick photography going on throughout the thrills and chills"


With oversized sets and one really big, twitching prosthetic hand at the center of these jungle shenanigans, Dr. Cyclops - thanks to Kino Lorber Studio Classics - is playing strong once again.  And it is well worth the price of admission.  Played by a dominating Albert Dekker (The Killers), the good doctor might be a megalomaniac, but he’s guarding a scientific secret discovery that he wants no one to know about - just yet.  It comes with the stare.  And Dekker, completely mad in the role, definitely sells his unique brand of crazy.

The world isn’t ready for his experimentation with radium.  And the jungle - as he has discovered - is full of the rare silvery white mineral.  He’s happy being hidden, but when Biologists Dr. Mary Robinson (Janice Logan), Dr. Rupert Bulfinch (Charles Halton), mineralogist Bill Stockton (Thomas Coley), and Steve Baker (Victor Kilian) come to the Amazon to see just what he’s up to, the good doctor lives up to his paranoid ways and, in an effort to protect his crazy experiments, shrinks those who are out to stop him.

His bald head and red-rimmed eyeballs, as terrifying as they are, are reminders of just how cosmically creative the Schoedsack and Cooper team - responsible for King Kong, The Most Dangerous Game, and Mighty Joe Young - could be when it comes to B-grade marvels.  Because once the trespassers are caught, they are shrunk and immediately their surroundings attack with ferocious cats, really big dogs, a hungry alligator, a sudden storm, and, well, just escaping Dr. Cyclops lab is a chore in and of itself. Doctor Cyclops Co-starring Frank Yaconelli as Pedro Caroz, Dr. Cyclops was nominated for an Academy Award in Effects due to the trick photography and special effects wizardry of Farciot Edouart and Gordon Jennings.  While the effects might be dated (and fairly humorous) thanks to a modern-day viewing, there is clearly intelligence and lots of fabulous trick photography going on throughout the thrills and chills of this 77-minute flick thanks to large model hands, oversized practical sets, and miniatures.  

Adding to the flash and the bang is the use of three-strip Technicolor for this horror film.  In fact, this film is the first to employ such technology and, thanks to Kino Lorber’s brand-new 4K master, the color here is absolutely bursting through the screen.  

Long before Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, there was the villainous view to a kill of Dr. Cyclops!

4/5 stars

Doctor Cyclops

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- January 7, 2010
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Kino Lorber gives Dr. Cyclops a nice polish thanks to this strong 4K master.  With great Technicolor bursts of color and strong shadows, this 1080p transfer will have you seeing green - NEON green, that is!  Vibrant with colors and crisp shadows, this release of a classic “so bad it’s good” title makes for some awesome HD viewing.

Video: 

Now on blu-ray with a 1080p transfer that has been framed in 1.37:1, Dr. Cyclops does not disappoint.  The bright colors are solid, making the HD upgrade of this Technicolor horror flick a worthy endeavor.  Skin tones are appropriately saturated.  Details in the backgrounds and in the textures of the costumes are noticeable and appreciated it.  And the black levels are solid with thick, unwavering lines.  The greens and browns of the wild jungle are authentically replicated with a fine textures throughout.

Audio:

The sound is atmospheric and immortal thanks to an engrossing English 1.0 DTS-HD MA track of atmosphere.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Fans are treated to an audio commentary recorded by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith who fills its listeners with a vivid history of the film and its special effects.

Special Features:

Kino Lorber gives fans a fun Trailers from Hell for the film as well as the film’s original trailer.

  • Trailers from Hell with Jesus Trevina
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

Doctor Cyclops

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
77 mins
Director
: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Writer:
Tom Kilpatrick
Cast:
Albert Dekker, Thomas Coley, Janice Logan
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The thrill of the year!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Now you can call me "cyclops", because I have one good eye."
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 10, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 7, 2020.
Synopsis: Technicolor science-fiction classic about a brilliant but deranged physicist who learns how to shrink his enemies to one-fifth their normal size! Four explorers are summoned to the remote jungle laboratory of the legendary scientist Dr. Thorkel (Albert Dekker, Kiss Me Deadly, The Killers, Beau Geste). When they arrive, they discover that his brilliant mind has been warped by radiation and decide to return him to civilization for help. But the half-blind, half-mad Dr. Cyclops will have none of that and uses his experimental body-shrinking device to stop them. Now, harmless items and small creatures suddenly become giant-sized instruments of death!

Doctor Cyclops

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