- Actors: Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Elsa Lanchester
- Directors: Tod Browning, James Whale, George Waggner
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English, Arabic, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Turkish, Romanian
- Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 4
- Studio: Universal Pictures UK
- DVD Release Date: 3 Oct. 2011
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- ASIN: B005HDZD3O
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,030 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Cult Horror Collection 2011 [DVD]
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Featuring four cult horror classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Bride of Frankenstein.
Although there have been numerous screen versions of Bram Stoker’s classic tale, Dracula, none is more enduring than this 1931 movie. Towering ominously among the shadows of the Carpathian Mountains, Castle Dracula strikes fear in the hearts of the Transylvanian villagers below. With the superb Bela Lugosi starring as the screen’s most popular vampire Count Dracula, the film’s eerie and chilling mood is enhanced by specialist horror director Tod Browning. Dracula remains a masterpiece not only of the genre, but for all time.
Boris Karloff stars as the screen’s most memorable monster in what many consider to be the greatest horror film ever made. Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) dares to tamper with life and death by creating a human monster (Karloff) out of lifeless body parts. It is director James Whale’s adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel blended with Karloff’s compassionate portrayal of a creature groping for identity that makes Frankenstein a masterpiece not only of the genre, but for all time.
The Wolf Man:
The original horror classic that introduced one of the screen’s most infamous monsters! Lon Chaney Jr. portrays Larry Talbot, who returns to his father’s (Claude Rains) castle in Wales and meets a beautiful woman (Evelyn Ankers). One fateful night, Talbot escorts her to a local carnival where Jenny’s fate is revealed by a mysterious gypsy fortune teller. Today, over 65 years after it was first released, the dreamlike atmospheres and elaborate settings combined with a chilling musical score make The Wolf Man a masterpiece not only of the genre, but for all time!
The Bride of Frankenstein:
One of the most popular horror classics of all time, and an acclaimed sequel to the original Frankenstein. The legendary Boris Karloff reprises his role as the screen’s most misunderstood monster who now longs for a mate of his own. Colin Clive is back as the overly ambitious Dr. Frankenstein, who creates the ill-fated bride (Elsa Lanchester). Directed by the original’s James Whale (his last horror film) and featuring a haunting musical score, The Bride of Frankenstein ranks as one of the finest films not only of the genre, but for all time.
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You might think given the thickness of this set, that it contains a plethora of goodies such as booklets, reproduction movie posters & programs, perhaps some little Dracula, Frankenstein & Wolf Man figurines. Well, sadly, that is something only in my fantasies as this box set has really had the barest of efforts spent on it. It consists of four separate plastic Amaray cases for each film with red and black silhouette artwork and screenshot on the front, with a short synopsis on the back (the same as on this page) with a few tiny photos, repeated on the back of the cardboard sleeve which contains the four cases. No booklets are contained or any other physical extras. All contain the same DVD extras that were on the previous 2004/2005/2007 releases, but none of these are outlined on the Amaray cases or card sleeve. To compound the lazy feel only three of the discs match with an all black theme with 'Universal Cinema Classics' in Gold, whereas Wolf Man just seems to be taken from the 2010 re-release with the Wolf Man blue & white artwork from the cover of that release. For about £5 extra you could buy the Classic Dracula Triple from 2007 with three extra Dracula films, The Wolf Man and Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein releases from 2010.
The picture quality roughly corresponds to the age of these films, The Wolf Man being the better from 1941, Bride of Frankenstein slightly worse from 1935, and lastly both Dracula and Frankenstein from 1931 being quite dirty prints, although both claim to be restored versions. However, Dracula is definitely NOT the same transfer as the U.S. 75th Anniversary Legacy Series released in 2006, so I suspect the Frankenstein also isn't (I will try and compare to the older UK releases to see if there is any difference whatsoever and update). Note the 15 rating only refers to The Bride of Frankenstein documentary 'She's Alive!', all the main films are PG.
UPDATE: A 2 disc Legacy Series remastered version of The Wolf Man was released in the U.S. in 2010, comparing this version to the screenshots of the remastered version on the review at ign, the remastered version is cleaner & brighter, with more contrast, and shows significantly more on the left hand side of the image (although the UK version shows marginally more on the other side). The 75th anniversary Legacy Series version of Dracula also has this brightened image, as well as quite a bit of cropping, so while it is cleaner, it may not suit a purist (see DVDBeaver for more details). I doubt these U.S. versions were remastered in anything other than HD, so the blu ray versions of all of these will no doubt arrive in a couple of years, hopefully with some of the criticisms of the overly bright & cropped Dracula image addressed.
UPDATE2: I can confirm both the Dracula and Frankenstein in this set are identical to the 2002 and 2000 versions, although they are both described as restored, they have been further remastered for the U.S. Legacy Series releases in 2006. Although The Mummy (1932),Vertigo - 50th Anniversary Special Edition [DVD], and To Kill A Mockingbird (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] seem to be the rough equivalent of the Legacy Series extra wise, from David Pattern's comment on Vertigo it doesn't look certain the other two will have used the updated US transfers (Vertigo doesn't according to David).
"The Road To Dracula" -original documentary (35:02 min)
Audio commentary with film historian David J. Skal
Poster & photo montage (with music - 9:12 min)
New Music by Philip Glass performed by Kronos Quartet
"The Frankenstein Files" -documentary (44:50 min)
Audio commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer
"Frankenstein archives" (photo & poster slide show, with music - 9:25 min)
"Boo!" -a short film (9:29 min)
The Wolf Man
"Monster by Moonlight" documentary (32:35)
Audio commentary by film historian Tom Weaver
"The Wolf Man Archives" poster and photo slideshow (6:44)
The Bride of Frankenstein
She's Alive! Creating The Bride of Frankenstein" -documentary (38:52 min)
Audio commentary by film historian Scott Macqueen
"Bride of Frankenstein Archive" (photo & poster slide show, with music - 13:10 min)
The box set features:
Disc 1: DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT/MEMORIAL VALLEY MASSACRE/KILL BABY KILL
Additional Release Material: Horror Movie Trailers
Disc 2: THE DEMON/THE HATCHET MURDERS/PIECES
Additional Release Material: Featurette - FILMING OUR SECRET FEARS
Disc 3: SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT/NIGHT OF BLOODY HORROR/HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB
Additional Release Material: John Carradine Bio
HILARIOUS IF I WASN'T LOSING MONEY, THAT IS....
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