11/22/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Man with Nine Lives (1940)

"Let it sink into your head that this is the year 1940, and you've been buried, lost, frozen in the ice for ten years."
- Dr. Leon Kravaal (Boris Karloff)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: December 06, 2005

Stars: Boris Karloff, Roger Pryor, Jo Ann Sayers
Other Stars: Stanley Brown, John Dilson, Hal Taliaferro, Byron Foulger
Director: Nick Grinde

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, human experimentation)
Run Time: 01h:14m:04s
Release Date: October 04, 2005
UPC: 043396111639
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B+B+B D

DVD Review

It's been a very good month indeed for fans of Boris Karloff. Fully ten of the horror maestro's films have arrived on DVD within the space of a few weeks from four different studios, including three of his best in the Val Lewton Collection, four of the five films contained in The Bela Lugosi Collection from Universal, plus Voodoo Island from MGM and his turn as Dr. Jekyll contained on The Best of Abbott & Costello vol. 4. And to top off this welcome whirlwind of Karloffmania, Columbia has released another of the classic "mad doctor" series that he did for them in the early 1940s, following up on 2003's release of The Devil Commands (1941).

Dr. Tim Mason (Roger Pryor) is deeply involved in cryogenics research, along with nurse Judith Blair (Jo Ann Sayers). But the hospital administration feels that he has announced his work prematurely and forces him to go on a leave of absence. Mason takes the time to follow up on the mysterious disappearance of cryogenics pioneer Leon Kravaal (Karloff) ten years earlier; visiting his secluded island cottage, they discover a hidden cellar laboratory and a massive freezer. To their amazement, Kravaal was frozen inside and is revivable. It seems that he had attempted to persuade district attorney John Hawthorne (John Dilson), sheriff Stanton (Hal Taliaferro), coroner Dr. Bassett (Byron Foulger) and angry heir Bob Adams (Stanley Bowen) that he was treating Bob's uncle, not killing him. Intending to immobilize the group with a poisonous gas, Kravaal accidentally stumbled onto a formula that allowed men to be frozen solid and then revived unharmed even years later. But the revived but still angry young Adams destroys the formula, sending Kravaal over the edge into madness, and a determination to experiment on his human guinea pigs to re-discover the lost formula.

Granted, the concept is fairly goofy, but Karloff as usual sells it well enough to be watchable. After all, it's not as if cryogenics isn't still considered to be an option for treatment; while the stories about Walt Disney may be false, it's clear that Ted Williams fell for it hook, line and decapitation. The main problem with the story is the happenstance of the hastily-mixed toxins proving to be the miracle substance that everyone has been searching for. Once you can swallow that tidbit, the film has some interesting things to say about science in the midst of the horror melodrama.

The theme of science gone wrong is nothing new, but it's handled in particularly chilling manner here. Kravaal goes from a charitable savior of mankind to a veritable Josef Mengele on quick provocation, willing to experiment on humans at random. Even more frightening, the supposedly sane Dr. Mason willingly drops into lockstep with Kravaal, participating in the experiments himself until it becomes clear that Kravaal might run out of test subjects and start in on him and Nurse Blair. Only when he falls into personal jeopardy does Mason try to take action to thwart Kravaal and his deranged plans, and Nurse Blair cheerily makes soup and tea for Kravaal and the prisoners through all this until she too is threatened. One might even read the portrayal of these two as comments on the "good Germans," were it not for the fact that the worst atrocities of the concentration camps had not yet been widely publicized or even occurred; Mengele was not assigned to a camp until May of 1943, so this film seems rather prescient in its assessment of conscienceless scientific research.

This picture seems to have had an influence on the development of the then-new character Batman: Kravaal's secret cave hideout is accessible through a grandfather clock, as would be the case for many versions of Bruce Wayne, starting with the 1943 serial, also from Columbia. Most of the supporting cast here is iffy, with stiff and pedestrian performances. Byron Foulger does his usual good character work as the coroner, however. But the three leads do a fine job in selling multidimensional characters that are obsessed with their goals. In particular Karloff uses the role to demonstrate his range, covering the gamut of emotion as Kravaal. He's particularly good in the revival sequence, as he simultaneously comes to the realization that he has lost ten years of time, but also the knowledge that his formula has worked, mixing melancholy with triumph in a subtle portrayal. Now, if we could just get the other two "Mad Doctor" films without having to wait two years for each of them....

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The original full-frame picture is taken from what appears to be a very good condition source. It's crisp and clean, with very little damage. Most of the film demonstrate good greyscale. The final reel seems to get rather dupey and suffers more nicks than the rest of the film put together, suggesting that it may have come from another, lower quality source. But it's still quite watchable for a film 65 years old.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 English mono sounds very good for its vintage. There's a very slight hiss audible at reference levels, but most viewers will never notice it. Dialogue is quite clear. The film has almost no music at all, giving it a cinema verité feel, which otherwise might have revealed some shortcomings in the audio track.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Japanese, French with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Frankenfish, Devour, Vampires: The Turning
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Chaptering is a little thin. There are no extras other than some unrelated horror trailers (two of them red-band R trailers) presented in nonanamorphic widescreen.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

A literally chilling exercise in medical madness, this is a welcome release that looks very nice for the most part.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store