Tuesday, September 06, 2005

This week on DVD (09/06/05)...

Lots of great stuff today, especially for fans of classic movies. Prices are rough estimates based on the listings at Internet dealers. See DVDpricesearch.com for specifics on any title.

The DVD of the week is the Bela Lugosi Collection, gathering five movies (four of which co-star Boris Karloff) into one economical package. The set collects Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, The Raven, Black Friday and The Invisible Ray. The set is available for around an eye-popping $20.

Universal is also today releasing another two-disc set of EIGHT (!) Hammer Horror films, including some never even available on VHS before. The titles, including some really great movies, include Brides of Dracula, The Curse of the Werewolf, The Phantom of the Opera (1962), Paranoiac, Kiss of the Vampire, Nightmare, Night Creatures and The Evil of Frankenstein.

Greta Garbo fans are treated to a 10 (!) disc set featuring many classics, including Anna Christie, Anna Karenina, Camille, Flesh & the Devil, Grand Hotel, the Great Garbo Documentary, Mata Hari, Mysterious Lady, TheTemptress, Ninotchka and Queen Christina. The set can be found for around $70.

TV shows this week (code key: ‘S’ equals ‘season; S3 being Season 3, etc.) 21 Jump Street S3, Buffalo Bill S1 & 2, Charmed S2, Degrassi Junior High S3, Doctor Who episodes The Mind Robbers (Troughton) and The Horror of Fang Rock (Baker), Dougie Houser MD S2, The Fat Albert Halloween Special, Lost S1, MacGyver S3, Millennium S3, Rocky & Bullwinkle S3, Space Above & Beyond Complete Series.

Speaking of TV productions, several BBC mini-series adaptations of the novels of Charles Dickens are out today, many of which were seen here on Masterpiece Theater. These features terrific casts of British actors, including Denham Eliot and Paul Scofield. Titles include Bleak House (still a powerful satire/exposé of the legal profession), Great Expectations, Hard Times, Martin Chuzzlewit, Oliver Twist, Our Mutual Friend. All are also available in a box collection (The Charles Dickens Collection), featuring over thirty hours (!) of material, which you can get for a fabulous $45.

Several classic films are being reissued today in special collector’s two-disc sets. These include such essential titles as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sting, The Deer Hunter and Toy Story.

Fans of ‘80s horror might enjoy the double release of The Boogeyman and The Return of the Boogyman. If I remember correctly, the sequel is about 40% made up of footage from the earlier movie. Still, two movies for $10.

The highly pointless 1962 remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is out today, available for around $10-12.

Dead & Breakfast is a zombie horror/comedy featuring David Carradine and featuring two separate commentary tracks. It’s being put out by Anchor Bay, so that’s a good sign. Around $12-14.

The Doctor and the Devils is based on the real life Burke & Hare British graverobbing scandal of the 1800s. The stellar cast features Jonathon Price, Julian Sands, Timothy Dalton and Patrick Stewart. The box set Back from the Grave mentioned below include The Flesh and the Fiends, another film based on the events and starring Peter Cushing.

Serial buffs will rejoice to hear that the classic Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe is out in a nifty looking five disc set, for around $20. The set features a zillion extras, including episodes of a Flash Gordon TV show and much other stuff.

Guide for the Married Man, while not a great movie, features an extraordinary cast of ‘60s comedians and comic actors: Walter Matthau, Robert Morse, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Joey Bishop, Sid Caesar, Art Carney, Phil Silvers and Jayne Mansfield.

Gunslinger’s Revenge is a 2005 “neo-Spaghetti Western” starring David Bowie (!) and Harvey Keitel.

The classic 1961 ghost movie The Innocents is out for around $10.

The classic Preston Sturges comedy The Miracle of Morgan Creek is out, circa $10.

Image is tossing together ‘sets’ bundling previously available DVDs. Still, if you hadn’t previously bought any of the films (which lets me out, of course), the sets are a great deal, being available for about $15-20 a pop. Many of the discs also feature extensive extras like commentaries, alternate versions of the film, etc.

Back From the Grave” features The Flesh and the Fiends with Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance, and featuring both the UK and US versions of the movie (see the entry on The Doctor and the Devils above); Graveyard of Horror and Raiders of the Living Dead. The Raiders disc DOES contain all three versions of the movie, as explicated in my Jabootu review.

The Beast Box features The Beach Girls and the Monster, Bride of the Gorilla and Bela Lugosi Meets a Boston Gorilla.

The Blood Thirsty Collection features Horror of the Blood Monsters, Doctor Dracula and Blood Drinkers.

The Box of Blood features Bloody Pit of Horror, Carnival of Blood, Curse of the Headless Horseman, Blood Suckers and Blood Thirst. Three discs, around $30.

The Freak Show Box features Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks, She Freak, Blood Freak and Basket Case. About $30.

The Herschell Gordon Lewis Collection collects The Gruesome Twosome, The Wizard of Gore, She-Devils on Whells, The Gore Gore Girls, A Taste of Blood
and Something Weird. About $30.


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