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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Region 2 Cop Out!!
Whilst for value for money and just the fact of being able to own these wonderful originals is fantastic, I really DON'T understand why Universal are not releasing these sets in the same way as in the USA.
The boxsets statside have ALL the movies from the franchise, not just two or in the case of one of the region 2 releases just one of the movies.
Personally I...
Published on 25 Feb. 2005 by Stephen Ketch

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twice bitten...
Watching this black and white, original Universal horror icon, you can see why it is a classic. Bela Lugosi IS Count Dracula, and the famous scenes really are very memorable.
It's a shame then that the rest of the film is not much cop. It's slow, lazy and dull. It's spiced up a bit by Dracula's arch-nemesis Van Helsing, but apart from that the...
Published on 9 Nov. 2005 by Mr. J. WARE


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twice bitten..., 9 Nov. 2005
By 
Mr. J. WARE "wolvieware" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
Watching this black and white, original Universal horror icon, you can see why it is a classic. Bela Lugosi IS Count Dracula, and the famous scenes really are very memorable.
It's a shame then that the rest of the film is not much cop. It's slow, lazy and dull. It's spiced up a bit by Dracula's arch-nemesis Van Helsing, but apart from that the rest of the characters are instantly forgetable.
As Dracula's castle is grand, sweeping and gothic, back in England it's rigidly dull, and extremely slow-plotted, even over its hour ten minute length.
The stand out moments - the first time Van Helsing discovers Dracula doesn't cast a reflection is brilliant, and whenever Lugosi awakes from his coffin - really make you glad you have this film on DVD, but can't make the rest of the film seem better.
Meanwhile House of Dracula is a worthless piece of film that does little to nothing to further enhance Universal's horror icons - but in fact tries to dispel the mythological legends as just people with a disease. And so this film concerns itself with a Doctor who is trying to cure Dracula and the Wolfman.
That set up ruins the whol horror premise, as we are not meant to understand these creatures - they are supernatural. And this film tries to explain them, and obviously fails. The inclusion of the Wolfman played by Lon Chaney was inspired, but the extended cameo of Frankenstein's monster was pointless.
As usual for this series of DVDs, the extras are pretty in-depth, and intelligent to watch. More interesting than the actual films!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good if you don't want the full set, 13 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
The Region 2 release contains Tod Browning's seminal 1931 Dracula (the first sound version of the story) with, for some reason, the 1945 House of Dracula and not, say, the Spanish version of Browning's film or its immediate (and superior) sequel Dracula's Daughter.
The Bela Lugosi Dracula isn't actually all that good as a film - because it was adapted from the vaudeville stage version, the action tends to be stiff and the dialogue stilted. Nevertheless, there are some fine and memorable moments - Renfield's entry into Dracula's castle, his bat-driven coach ride, the discovery of the shipwreck with its murdered crew. However, most of the film is given over to lengthy explanations and it is clear that Browning was uncomfortable with the new medium of talking cinema. Over all this Lugosi's performance shines like a beacon. The disc also contains Philip Glass's new score for the movie performed by the Kronos Quartet, and a genuinely illuminating documentary about the background to the film (much better than the extras we're accustomed to on other discs).
The companion, House of Dracula, was Universal milking both its Dracula and Frankenstein franchises dry. There isn't very much to commend the film - script and acting are generally poor, and the story has been cobbled together with a view to overloading one piece of action upon another. Onslow Stevens tries his best as the kindly doctor corrupted by Dracula's influence, and there are some original elements (the use of light and shadow, the introduction of a science-based approach to the monster myth, the juxtaposition of beauty and disfigurement in Jane Adams's hunchbacked nurse), but these are really small compensation for the overall feeling of not trying hard enough.
The packaging is pleasant on the eye, and the extras are mostly worthwhile (although I didn't appreciate the blatant marketing for the Van Helsing film). Of the two discs, the Dracula one is by far the most rewarding; but one wonders why they couldn't have come up with a more exciting coupling. Completists will certainly want the full 'Monster Legacy' set, but for those who only want Lugosi this is an adequate offering at a low price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of Universal horror, 6 Feb. 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
Take Bela Lugosi away from Tod Browning's Dracula and it would collapse completely. Even with him it doesn't hold up at all well, making 70 minutes feel like seven hours as it crawls its flatfooted way through the plot points with barely a trace of style or imagination, making for possibly the dullest classic ever made. George Melford's Spanish version shot simultaneously on the same sets and included on the US DVD (but not, unforgiveably, on this Region 2 issue) is infinitely superior thanks to beautifully fluid direction and a better script, but even that eventually runs aground in endless dialog scenes and is hindered by the absence of Lugosi. Aside from the absence of the Spanish version, the R2 DVD does at least have a decent selection of extras.

House of Dracula is another one of the Universal's classic monster mashes, but and enjoyable one with good doctor Onslow Stevens finding himself with Dracula, the Wolfman and the Frankenstein Monster among his patients. But having spent so much time killing Dracula and curing Talbot (his lycanthropy is psychosomatic, apparently), it suffers from a rushed ending that barely has time to fit the good doctor going mad, reviving the Frankenstein monster, killing his loyal hunchbacked nurse before everything goes up in flames: in fact, he's so rushed off his feet that even Lionel Atwill's police chief and the rioting villagers only get a couple of shots, turning up just in time to run away. The real star of the show is John Carradine's Dracula, one of the most interesting screen interpretations, seducing his victim through music with a sad dignity that reminds you that sometimes the Devil really is a gentleman.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Region 2 Cop Out!!, 25 Feb. 2005
By 
Stephen Ketch (Louth, Lincolnshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
Whilst for value for money and just the fact of being able to own these wonderful originals is fantastic, I really DON'T understand why Universal are not releasing these sets in the same way as in the USA.
The boxsets statside have ALL the movies from the franchise, not just two or in the case of one of the region 2 releases just one of the movies.
Personally I brought the sets from the states and am extremely happy with them, but come on Universal stop trying to sell your European fans short!
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Love the films, hate this disc, 13 May 2004
By 
Mr. S. G. Brown "stevegregbrown" (Horsham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
because the same package in region 1 also contains an extra disc, and includes the Spanish version of Dracula, plus Dracula's Daughter and Son of Dracula. If you've any sense you'll buy the Monster Legacy DVD Collection as a whole, which contains all of the old Dracula, Wolfman and Frankenstein movies, and cost me £35 including shipping. The above disc is really poor value and completists will be very disappointed. Your choice.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The overrated and the underrated in one box., 12 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
It's impossible to fairly judge Tod Browning's "Dracula" in 2006, so long after the film's original release, so my thoughts are biased. To me, it's much too short to do the book justice and simply doesn't frighten me in the slightest. Lugosi's evil stares are certainly effective, but he attacks his victims so slowly, it becomes a question of why they don't simply run away. In 1931 this wouldn't be a problem. Anyway, it's worth watching for Lugosi, along with Dwight Frye's fantastically weird Renfield and Edward Von Sloan's Van Helsing... even if the Professor is occasionally creepier than Lugosi.
"House of Dracula" has been a bit slated, and I think it deserves better. Yes, the inclusion of Frankenstein's Monster is laughably superfluous, and John Carradine's Dracula - who shouldn't be in the same collection as Lugosi, as comparisons are inevitable and very unfavourable - gets bumped off much too easily. However, Lon Chaney Jr. is fantastic as the Wolf-Man, and saved the film for me. His struggle with his conscience was compelling to watch, and remarkably the director doesn't depend on his wolf-outs to keep the character intriguing (he's barely ever the Wolf-Man). Looking at the film from his angle, it's great stuff. Onslow Stevens is also a great tragic figure as Doctor Edelman, cursed by Dracula and the accidental inheritor of his powers. Seriously, give this film a break: just because it's lumped into the "multiple monster movie" list doesn't mean it has any silly scenes of them battling.
Getting the two films for a low price is a complete steal, and it's great value for money. There are brilliant moments in "Dracula" even if the whole is weaker than its parts, and "House", if you can ignore some unwise story choices, isn't at all bad. A very worthwhile DVD, so long as you ignore the advertising for the putrid "Van Helsing".
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3.0 out of 5 stars Look at the price, 17 April 2013
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This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
The Bela Lugosi Dracula is one of the classics, despite its issues. It is also good to have the option of the new (very good) Philip Glass soundtrack. But the commentary has been taken from another release and although it contains much interesting info about the actors and the making of the film, it keeps on saying things like 'see the Spanish version for how this scene was meant to finish'... and the Spanish version isn't on the disc or in this set! Instead we're given what must have been regarded as filler even in its time in the form of House of Dracula. The booklet disagrees with the commentary about some points (my money is on the latter) and there's too much puffery for the dire Van Helsing film.

So this is worth what you'd pay for the first film with the option of the new soundtrack. If it's priced less than that, go for it. If it's more, you will be disappointed.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make your own mind up, 13 Nov. 2004
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This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
Given that another reviewer slates this issue due to apparent poor value, I felt I should post a review in it's defense. The price is £7.49 - for 2 discs! So, lets do the rather simple maths, which seems to have escaped the aforementioned, if you get all three sets (Wolfman/Dracula and Frankenstein). That's six films on six discs all for £22.47, post-free if you get them together, which I did. The transfers are not at all bad and they also have some pretty good documentary extras. Kind of makes it rather good value after all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 29 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
good-ok
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare To Be Bitten!!!, 23 Jan. 2005
By 
Mr. R. S. Clancy "deejayclancy" (GUERNSEY CHANNEL ISLANDS) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dracula (1931)/House Of Dracula (1945) [DVD] (DVD)
If you like Horror than you will like this, I'm from the old school of Horror and much prefer the Peter Cushing and Chris Reeves versions.But never the less these versions are entertaining and well acted,just keep a wooden stake and some holy water handy!!! or Dracula will bite your neck.
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