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Inner Sanctum Mysteries: Complete Movie Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FWHW90
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,692 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Based on the radio series of the same name, this is a complete collection of six low-budget psychological dramas from the 1940's, mostly made up of whodunits, with familiar themes including murder and mystery. Universal horror stalwart Lon Chaney Jr is handed the lead role in each tale. A number of familiar Universal players co-star, including Evelyn Ankers, with the performances being OK. Although I wouldn't describe this collection as vintage Universal, I still found the storytelling to be enjoyable old-fashioned entertainment, and I have a bit of a soft spot for them. IMO the stories are of variable quality (hence the four stars instead of five). The picture and sound quality on this black and white collection is good, there are no extras. The subtitles are in English and French.

With each tale running for a little over an hour, the collection kicks off with CALLING DR. DEATH (1hr 3mins). Chaney Jr plays a wealthy doctor, a doctor in distress thanks to his scheming, unfaithful wife. The voices swirling around his mind encourage him to end his marriage - permanently, in this whodunit with a twist ending.

Up next is WEIRD WOMAN (1hr 4mins). When a professor (Chaney Jr) marries a woman raised by voodoo practitioners in the jungle, superstition, suspicion and death follow.

Story number three is DEAD MAN'S EYES (1hr 4mins). following an accident, an artist (Chaney Jr) loses his sight. His future father in-law decides to bequeath his own eyes upon his death. Another whodunit, this time involving jealousy.

The next story is THE FROZEN GHOST (1hr 2mins). Gregor The Great (Chaney Jr) presents a mind-reading act.
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Six 60-minute restored B&W films. Stoically underplayed
by Lon Chaney as the regular guy, always trying to fathom
out his predicament. Good productions and scores.

Calling Dr. Death 1943 4/5,
Weird Woman 1944 4/5,
Dead Man's Eyes 1944 4/5,
The Frozen Ghost 1945 3/5,
Pillow Of Death 1945 5/5,
Strange Confession 1945 2/5.
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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 Dec. 2011
"This is the Inner Sanctum. A strange fantastic world controlled by a mass of living, pulsating flesh, the mind. It destroys, distorts, creates monsters, commits murder! Yes, even you without knowing can commit murder!"

So informs us the floating head and bulbously distorted nose of actor David Hoffman, conveniently placed in a crystal ball in the middle of a table in an empty boardroom at the beginning of the first five (of six) of Universal's Inner Sanctum mysteries. Only loosely inspired by the popular radio series and dispensing with its frequently jocular tone, they veer more towards traditional mysteries and light noirs rather than gothic horrors, all headlined by Lon Chaney Jr. as he neared the end of his Universal contract. The parts aren't exactly within his usual comfort range, calling for brilliant doctors/professors/professionals who have women fighting over them (which may be why he's often recommended having a workout and a shower in the gym in a few of them), but he acquits himself surprisingly well and taken as a whole it's a surprisingly enjoyable if resolutely undemanding series.

Calling Dr. Death is a decent enough little noir with mild horror undertones as Lon Chaney Jr.'s psychiatrist who can see into the mind of his patients but not through the women in his life starts to wonder whether he's broken his Hippocratic Oath and is responsible for the murder of his unfaithful wife after he has one of his blackouts. A tale of hypnosis, amnesia and obligatory stylised dream scenes with much of the opening section of the picture carried by Chaney's voice over inner monologue, it's a slick programmer with a couple of decent twists even if it is straining credibility a tad that the ladies just can't resist him. But it's J.
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