on 2 August 2004
Haven't viewed this edition, but Island of Lost Souls is a great horror film, and originated the line that I believe was the rallying cry of 80's punk band Devo: "Are we not men?" Lost Souls is little a creaky, but in highly addictive 30's style, and has 1 or 2 great scenes, in glorious B&W of course, plus yet another classic and hammy Charles Laughton performance. The story itself is most disturbing. A good print of this one would be worth tracking down, if this is edition IS unwatchable. Until then this would seems a great double feature deal. Serve cold with long pig ( another band name, inspired by the film!)
on 1 May 2001
This is a DVD, which scores both pluses and minuses. There are several good points why NOT buy this item, and only one FOR the purchasing of it - the film "Mystery of the Wax Museum" itself. This sure is one good picture, but what else can you expect from Michael Curtiz - even 10 years before "Casablanca"! The story, much filmed during the last century, seems fresh and fluent, the photography is artistic and beautiful, and the actors do very sensible work - Lionel Atwell especially. Glenda Farrell is witty without overemphasizing the then-so-inevitable comic relief, and even Fay Wray has less opportunities to demonstrate her scream than in other, more unfortunate films like "King Kong". Even the writers seem to have had their heart somewhere near the typewriter. And the most important thing: this is one of the earliest talkies in two stripe technicolor (if you are interested in color only, you may love the "Black Pirate" from 1925, thus a silent flick, or "The Phantom of the Opera", also 1925, with a 3-minute colour scene). Here endeth the praisal. It's always nice to own a double feature on one disc; this time the coupling is however a mismatch. Paired whit "Wax museum" is "The Island of Dr Moreau", also the first version of the overfilmed story. This movie is only so-so, in case you can stand grown men dressed as monkeys, mumbling inarticulately. Then again, it has the most beautiful pantherwoman... But the story is a mess and it tends to get a little boring even with Charles Laughton in the title role. I would have expected "Wax Museum" to be coupled with another Curtiz horror classic from 1932 - "Doctor X", which is also in technicolor, and unfortunately to my knowledge not yet released on DVD. Sadly, the source material of "Dr Moreau" is so worn out it is pain to watch. Even more sadly - the same fate has befallen "Wax Museum". The copy is a tired one, not so bad you can't watch it, but not as good as to be enjoyed. Luckily the sound is good, and the colours (at least some of them) are still there. I am not sure if there exists a better print of this great movie (which is often shown in b/w only), but if there is - I wish I could own one, double feature or not!