Friday, June 10, 2005


"Universal has just announced two fantastic DVD box sets both due out on September 6. “The Hammer Horror Series” will include BRIDES OF DRACULA (anamorphic 1.66:1), THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (anamorphic 1.85:1), THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1962) (anamorphic 2.00:1), PARANOIAC (anamorphic 2.35:1) on disc one, and KISS OF THE VAMPIRE (anamorphic 1.85:1), NIGHTMARE (anamorphic 2.35:1), NIGHT CREATURES (anamorphic 2.00:1), and THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (anamorphic 1.85:1). The eight-title set will set you back a whopping $19.98 (Universal's pre-order price)! “The Bela Lugosi Collection” also pays tribute to Boris Karloff and includes THE BLACK CAT (1934) THE RAVEN, THE INVISIBLE RAY, MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE and BLACK FRIDAY all on one disc. All Lugosi titles are in their original full screen aspect ratio, and this set also retails for $19.98 (Universal's pre-order price). Thank you Universal!"

Wow! Universal has done this before, in terms of releasing large numbers of movies on extremely cheap two-disc set. These have usually been series; Abbott & Costello movies, Ma & Pa Kettle, the Airport films, etc.

Purists (and I'm close to being one myself) will no doubt kvetch that the films won't be afforded the presentation they could have been on separate discs, about a lack of extras, etc. And they'll be right. However, that only shows us how spoiled we've become by DVD. Here the average horror buff will about able to lay out probably less than $30 for both sets (assuming somebody sells it at a 25% discount, and chances are it will be available cheaper than that), and get 13 movies for that price.

And if the presentation is not as immaculate as what could possibly be delivered, they will all look much better than they possibly would have looked on VHS, and at (say) $15 a pop, the same collection separately would have cost about $200. Imagine what great cheap stock stuffers and b-day presents these will make.

As well, all these films have never been available on DVD before, and many of the Hammers have never even been released on VHS.

We'll feud in the future, but let's tip our hats to Universal today.


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