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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing set of monster movies, 10 Feb. 2013
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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.

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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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Dec 2014 19:13:01 GMT
I have just got this box-set and WOW!! I love it, thanks for the information.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2014 16:40:08 GMT
Su says:
I am so happy that you like them.

I was unfamiliar with the Black Lagoon before I bought mine, I can't remember ever seeing it before - don't know why.

I found the extras fascinating learning about the pecking at the studio - Boris Karloff above Bela Lugosi even when Karloff was only a bit part and Lugosi the lead.

The sad thing is that we had to call the paramedics on 15 September and when they finally left they had walked with over £5000 of our things including teddy bears, items bought for birthdays and Christmas, a lot of my sewing and crafting equipment and some blurays and dvds including my Hammer movies boxset and my Universal Monsters.

I am starting to replace the stuff and managed a new box of Monsters in November - I'm hoping Santa might stump up the Hammer boxset.

I hope you enjoy these films as much as I do and I hope you have a happy Christmas.

Su

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2014 22:25:34 GMT
I have the hammer box-set and it is very nice, but hoping there will be a Blu-ray release and thanks am sorry I did not wish you a merry Christmas I have been away, hope you have a better new year such a shame about the items you lost.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2014 22:36:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Dec 2014 23:09:33 GMT
Oh and you are right about the pecking order the sad thing for Lugosi he could not shake off the Dracula part, you could say he was one of the first type cast actors, Karloff was more versatile, but still both just as good if you ask me.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2015 15:53:06 GMT
Su says:
Sorry for the late reply.

The shame about it is the idiots who stole from us even took a snow-globe. My mum thinks that they would sell the stuff on one of the hospital car-boots. Apparently they hold them in the car parks, as if it isn't hard enough to find parking at a hospital.

Santa brought a battered Hammer box set - I'm guessing zoverstocks had one on the cheap!

You're right about Lugosi being one of first type cast actors - even towards his death he was still "Dracula" in comedies with such as Abbott and Costello. It is a shame since he was apparently such a great actor.

In the Hammer set Christopher Lee waxes lyrical about Lugosi (real hero worship stuff) he seems to know about his background, history and even has the ring Lugosi wore in Dracula ... and I thought I was obsessive.

I have to admit that all Draculas are compared to Lugosi - the first Dracula I saw (on a Friday night on BBC during the monster double bill) maybe it's true that the first is always the best.
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