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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous Monsters at a Chilling Cheap Price.
It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I bought this box set. "How on earth can they get these shining gems of early horror look good enough for Blu ray?" I asked myself. Actually it was more a statement of "I hope they don't look crap".

Well they look absolutely amazing! The movies have been lovingly restored and are as crisp as a...
Published 19 days ago by Ghost

versus
6 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed "Creature" disc. Disappointing.
I just received my copy today and put in my disc to check out the transfers. I don't own a 3D Bluray player so I was watching the 2D Creature disc. I couldn't believe my eyes as it was glitching. The last 3 chapters are unwatchable. What I can't believe even more is that this problem has been reported on amazon and other sites. A real disappointment that these...
Published on 4 Dec 2012 by paulisdead


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous Monsters at a Chilling Cheap Price., 6 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I bought this box set. "How on earth can they get these shining gems of early horror look good enough for Blu ray?" I asked myself. Actually it was more a statement of "I hope they don't look crap".

Well they look absolutely amazing! The movies have been lovingly restored and are as crisp as a fresh iceberg lettuce. As a child I would watch these movies when they were shown as a Friday night double bill. Ever since they have held a special place in my heart and I am truly delighted that they have been made available in such a fabulous quality. If I was to make one adverse comment it would be about the audio quality in a couple of the movies. There is a mild but audible hiss, which is often present in old movies, however it does not detract from the enjoyment of watching them.

The box set includes Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Phantom of the Opera, The Wolf Man, The Mummy and The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Each disc is printed with a section from the original movie poster ans they are housed in a four-fold digi-pak, each section being printed so they show through the transparent disc holders. In addition to the beautifully presented digi-pak a set of movie postcards and a well thought out booklet are included. The whole lot is then housed in a card slipcase.

To compliment each movie there is a selection of documentaries, movie stills etc which are a great watch in their own right. The documentary on Lon Chaney Jr was especially good. Each movie is pretty short, being about 75 mins, but the actors pack a lot into the time and you just don't get a chance to get bored. They are masterpieces of chilling suspense and horror and Dwight Frye was genuinely disturbing as Renfield, in Dracula. In fact so many of the actors are masterful at giving you the heebie jeebies, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Elsa Lanchester to name but a few of the cast of these movies.

If you want to recapture the Horror Genre of old, escaping from the overtly graphic and plotless offerings in the cinemas today, then this box set is an absolute essential. It is a collection of classic movies at a stupidly low price, and you can return to them again and again and still be amazed by the clarity of the transfer and the love that was lavished on their creation and restoration.

Watch them as an afternoon treat or an evening marathon, cuddle-up in winter to them or save them for Halloween. Watch them how you want, but remember to lock your door and check behind the sofa first.

Thanks for reading!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing set of monster movies, 10 Feb 2013
By 
Su (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This boxset contains so many memories for me. Memories of BBC on Friday nights after 11 pm when they used to show monster movies - the old ones with the little aeroplane circling the globe at the beginning along with Hammer Horrors and the like.

The box-set contains 8 postcards illustrating the movie posters for the 8 films within this box-set: Dracula; Frankenstein; The Mummy; The Invisible Man; The Bride of Frankenstein; The Wolf Man; The Phantom of the Opera; and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

There is an interesting booklet about Univeral and the monster movies which they made.

.
DRACULA - 1931

Bella Legosi stars as the infamous blood sucker of Bram Stoker's famous book, with Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing, Dwight Frye as Renfield, Helen Chandler as Mina and David Manners as John Harker.

Extras:
- Commentary - David J Skal (film historian)
- Road to Dracula
- Lugosi - Dark Prince
- Dracula the Restoration
- Monster Tracks (interactive/pop-up facts)
- Dracula Archives
- Score by Philip Glass
- Trailer Gallery

.
FRANKENSTEIN - 1931

Boris Karloff as "The Monster" in the film that made him a star. Frankenstein was "based" on the famous novel by Mary Shelley.

Extras:
- Commentary - Rudy Behlmer (film historian)
- Commentary - Sir Christopher Frayling
- Frankenstein Files - How Hollywood made a Monster
- Karloff - The Gentle Monster
- Monster Tracks
- Universal Horror
- Frankenstein Archives
- Boo! - Short Film
- 100 Years of Universal - Restoring the Classics
- Trailer Gallery

.
THE MUMMY - 1932

Boris Karloff appears in another of his famous "monster" roles.

Extras:
- Commentary - Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns and Brent Armstrong
- Commentary - Paul M Jensen (film historian)
- Mummy Dearest - A Horror Tradition Unearthed
- He Who Made Monsters - Life and Art of Jack Pierce
- Unravelling the Legacy of the Mummy
- Mummy Archives
- 100 Years of Universal - Carl Laemmle Era
- Trailer Gallery

.
THE INVISIBLE MEN - 1933

Claude Rains takes on a role of the man whose experiments turn him invisible and paranoid.

Extras:
- Commentary - Rudy Behlmer (film historian)
- Now You See Him - The Invisible Man Revealed
- Production Photographs
- 100 Years of Universal - Unforgettable Characters

.
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN - 1935

Elsa Lanchester joins Boris Karloff in this sequel to the 1931 hit.

Extras:
- Commentary - Scott MacQueen
- She's Alive - Creating the Bride of Frankenstein
- Bride of Frankenstein Archives
- 100 Years of Universal - Restoring the Classics
- Trailer Gallery

.
THE WOLF MAN - 1941

Lon Chaney appears as the iconic lycanthrope.

Extras:
- Commentary - Tom Weaver (film historian)
- Monsters by Moonlight
- Wolfman - From Ancient Curse to Modern Myth
- Pure in Heart - Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney Jr
- He Who made Monsters - the Life and Art of Jack Pierce
- Wolfman Archives
- 100 Years of Universal - The Lot
- Trailer Gallery

.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - 1943

Claude Rains, Nelson Eddy and Susanna Foster appear in this story of fame, talent and a love triangle.

Extras:
- Commentary - Scott MacQueen (film historian)
- The Opera Ghost - A Phantom Unmasked
- Production Photographs
- 100 years of Universal - the Lot
- Theatrical Trailer

.
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON - 1954

Extras:
- Commentary - Tom Weaver (film historian)
- 3D Blu-ray version (requires compatible 3D player, TV and glasses)
- Back to the Black Lagoon
- Production Photographs
- 100 years of Universal - The Lot
- Trailer Gallery

.
Many of these extras give a fascinating insight into the workings of Universal Studios and the "monster" movie genre.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Universal, 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Just received the Universal Monsters on Blu-ray and I am very pleased with the results. Creature is presented in 1.85:1 for the first time. Dracula looks very good (but still lots of grain), and yet in the Spanish version there is hardly any grain at all. Hard to believe they were shot at the same time as each other. But no matter what, the Blu-ray brings out things that you never noticed before. And the sound is truly amazing. Top marks for this box set.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Creatures!!!, 2 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Well, what to say about this lavish boxset unleashed upon us by Universal. 8 classic monster movies (9 if you count the Spanish Dracula seperately) immaculately presented on Bluray for our viewing pleasure.

All I can say after viewing both Draculas, Frankenstein and a quick viewing of the other movies in the set, is STUNNING! Thank you Universal. The picture quality is quite incredible as far as I can see. Viewing on a 42" TV through a PS3. The upgrade in picture and sound quality, from the DVD editions, is remarkable as you would expect. I have compared them haha.

My only little gripe is the version of Phantom of the Opera is not the version from 1925 with a really creepy phantom but the 1943 one which I havent seen but Im sure is a fine film and is also the only colour film of the entire set and as such, to me, seems slightly out of place. Nevermind though, with a package this good it seems churlish to gripe.

Extras for all the films vary in quality but all have at least a commentary or 2 from some well regarded film historian/buff/scholar and some form of making of the production included. Great stuff all round. In particular the featurette on restoring Dracula for HD was very interesting.

We even get a 3D version of Creature From the Black Lagoon whcich will be nice when I get my 3DTV :)

Rounded out with a set of postcards with the original posters for the films and a brilliant booklet brimming with info this set is a must own at its ridiculously cheap price!!

Highly recommended.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray Box: LANGUAGES AND SUBTITLES, 10 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Since Amazon seem to be unable to provide their customers with this useful info for foreign buyers, I'll do it myself (after receiving my copy and checking the specs on the back)

Languages on each disc: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish.

Subtitles: to match all the languages above, plus Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Outstanding, 3 Oct 2012
By 
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
What Universal have done here is nothing short of a miracle. The treatment that the transfers of each movie has been given is truly magnificent. Dracula has been in the past nothing short of unwatchable due to the terrible hiss on the soundtrack and old worn image. Now it's finally returned to the way it should have been seen. Im sure all of these movies look better than they did when they were released.

I'm honestly lost for words in telling you just how brilliant these discs are. I haven't been able to watch creature in 3d as i don't have a tv compatible with it but watching in the standard view its breathtaking Mrs Adams has never looked so sexy . you can see everything. the blacks are black the whites white, the sound is beautiful and movies have always been brilliant just not this brilliant.

this will be a box set you'll treasure forever and will be able to share your kids in future. What universal have done is make these movies acceptable for audiences of all types and they have saved and restored these classics to an unbelieveable standard.

Well done Universal
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the whole great, just one small issue..., 17 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. R. J. Lee (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
A glorious box set at an unbelievable with just one exception for me...

All the films barring one play perfectly, the quality of these is brilliant considering the age of these productions. However, here's the rub. I have, so far, had to have 2 copies of this set because Creature From The Black Lagoon will not play in my main player (a Logik LBD1000 with latest updates for the firmware), but will play in my external Blu-Ray drive for my laptop. I am going to test it in another player next week to see if I get the same fault there. The problem is that I get approximately 8 minutes of the film in perfect quality, then the sound starts to drop in and out, and the video starts to stutter.

As far as Amazon are concerned, they have so far treated me very well with regards to this issue, no complaints there at all. I just hope they continue to support me if I decide to try again :)
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfection, 6 Nov 2012
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I own a significant number of films on a variety of formats.
When I was a young lad, I remember watching these Universal dark fantasy films on a black & white television and I would tape the dialogue on an old cassette recorder and play it back over and over, playing the movie in my mind.
In 1980, a friend of mine invited me to his house and played a beta video of a movie on his tv. I was dumbstruck. He actually "owned" a movie.
The floodgates soon opened.
In the following years, if it was Universal Horror, I bought it.
Universal was quite prolific introducing their library to the masses. I think they put EVERYTHING on VHS or damn near. So I bought it and was enraptured.
Now in this day and age of torture porn and slasher flicks, none of these movies are horror. They are dark fantasy and as far as Frankenstein is concerned, science fiction. Works for me.
Following the release of Van Helsing, (a "good" movie) Stephen Sommers advocated for the re-release of these classic horror films on dvd in the "Legacy Series". For this alone, if nothing else, this man must be applauded.
Not only did we receive the main classics but all the sequels and affiliated movies. I was awe struck and bought them all.
Now, Universal has taken these main classics and given them the care and attention they so richly deserve.
The difference from previous releases is staggering.
They are as good, if not better than seen the first time in theatre.
And Creature From The Black Lagoon in 3D...are you serious? Worth the price of the entire set alone!
If you do not buy this set, you are losing out on not just great movies but a chance to touch history. You actually get to "OWN" the movie. I'm humbled.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE was put into this set!, 11 April 2013
By 
KingV911 (Eau Claire, WI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Me, being an American, typically have to deal with the fact the foreign releases are usually better. In the case of the Universal Monsters set it is especially true. Fortunately, even with the exchange rate out of my favor I still spent over 30% less ordering the UK version from Amazon UK rather than purchasing the inferior US version....WHOOPEE!!!

Anyways, this set is great. The bells and whistles are all there - glossy lobby cards, info book with interesting factoids and historical pictures, and the disc layout is great to look at and safely houses the discs themselves -- unlike the US edition.

Most importantly, Universal did a first rate job on the restorations and digital transfers. The movies look fantastic, with the majority of defects from the source material all but removed. Even with the digital restoration that took place the movies still have a film-like look to them.

There is nothing like these movies. They take me back to my childhood in the 1990's, getting home from trick-or-treating and then watching Creature from the Black Lagoon, Wolfman, etc. with my parents when I returned home.

A MUST BUY! For any USofA folks reading this who have not purchased anything from Amazon UK before, I want you to know it was a smooth transaction. The shipping charge was very inexpensive, and the product arrived all the way to me in WI in less than two weeks. Double check with your credit card co. to see if they charge foreign transaction fees. Some do, some don't - it's usually pretty cheap anyways. Cheers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A monster of a boxset, 10 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
What a fabulous boxset. £14 in the Lightning Sale. A stunning bargain!

You have some epic horror classics that made history and are still fabulous unto 83 years later.

Films from 1931 really shouldn't still look this good in 2014. Universal have done a incredible job with the restorations of these films both on picture and sound quality. Dracula was made just barely a few years after sound was possible on film and it's sounds great (for what it is) A true, proper restoration with labour of love and done with the utmost respect. Only Criterion Studios would match the efforts made here.

Each films has some great extra's with some nice into's and history and all with at least one commentary track. It's a great incite into the early years of horror.

A fabulous collection that should be in any horror fans collection
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