One of the great things about being a modern horror fan in this day and age is to see and hear about new collections that arrive on the market. Certainly one of this year’s, if not finest collection and surprise, is the announcement and release of the “Universal Classic Monsters 30-film Collection”
We have seen Universal release prior sets and titles, most recently the “Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection” of 2013, however nothing to the extent of this new collective. Now most readers will instantly make the comparison and want to know the differences, seeing that many viewers may have purchased thus previous set. The previous set was very nice, but limited to 8 bluray disks containing the core essential releases of each character (Not to mention a smattering of extras).
This set surpasses that collective by far featuring 30 bluray disks that contain impressive collectives of each of the Famous Monsters. This means that one whole collective features Dracula and a whole mess of titles released under his character alone. The same goes for the Mummy, Frankenstein, Wolf man, Invisible Man, Phantom of the Opera, and Creature from the black Lagoon.
Fans not only get the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but the 2 sequels that followed, so that you can enjoy the full run of this Famous Monster. This goes for the other feature characters included in this pack. “The Mummy” collective alone features 6 restored titles under one package. As an added bonus we get all of the Abbott and Costello releases (featuring famous monsters themes), a surprise in that aspect alone!
Then of course the primary reason collectors grab these sets up, the restoration and re-digitization of all the titles into 1080p HD quality never before see under a package as extensive as this!
Those creatures that captured our youth (well ok, maybe my Grandma’s youth) and sent chills down the spines of past eras brings the films of the 30’s,40’s, and 50’s into a presentation quality that even upon original release were never as sharp as they are today. Hard to believe that the original viewers of these films, may have never gotten the chance to see them as crisp, clear, and vivid as the 21st century. Audio as well is top notch to the point where the original actors would have been not only impressed but proud of this day.
Now while I call this a review, it would be hard pressed to binge-watch 30 pack-full disks without taking several weeks/months to do so. Rather I chose to focus of the features, the inclusions, the quality and the simply fact that no-one up this point had all these in one tidy little package.
(Now if only they could do the same with all the Texas Chainsaw films!……ugh, maybe one day)
Ok, so ready for the list!!
The Mummy (1932)
The Invisible Man (1933)
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Werewolf of London (1935)
Dracula’s Daughter (1936)
Son of Frankenstein (1939)
The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
The Invisible Woman (1940)
The Mummy’s Hand (1940)
The Wolf Man (1941)
The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
The Mummy’s Ghost (1942)
The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)
Invisible Agent (1942)
Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Son of Dracula (1943)
House of Frankenstein (1944)
The Mummy’s Curse (1944)
The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944)
House of Dracula (1945)
She-Wolf of London (1946)
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
Revenge of the Creature (1955)
The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
All of that and more, and by more I mean a special 48-page collectable book and the inclusion of hours upon hours of bonus features, trailers, photos, archival footage and more!
Perhaps this set will re-ignite the so-named “Dark Universe” of famous monster remakes that Universal was on course to make. I sure wouldn’t mind myself seeing a modern “Creature from the Black Lagoon” come to life.
What else? 2 3D versions of the Creature added for good measure!
Needless to say (though I will anyway) this collection represents the early era of horror when horror was still in its infancy. Collectors and genre enthusiasts should run to the stores to own this piece of history. It’s the kind of horror you can watch with your kids (who already are conditioned by Walking Dead and Twilight series monsters) to educate them on the origins of movie monsters. Still to this day, inspired films emerge that base their foundations of these very creatures. Give yourself a break from the demon possessions and SAW films to enjoy a simper time when makeup and FX were produced per innovation vs cgi green screening and technical know-how.