Returning from prior DVDs: The Frankenstein Files, an in-depth history of both literary and cinematic incarnations of Mary Shelley's monster; a feature commentary with Rudy Behlmer; various archival items; and Boo!, a comedy short with horror clips and spoofy narration. Added for this anniversary edition is a new commentary with Sir Christopher Frayling, who brings a spirited and learned attack to talking about the film. Also new is Universal Horror, a 95-minute documentary by Kevin Brownlow. As good as Brownlow's work generally is, this 1998 doc, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, is choppy, and ranges far afield from Universal's great run of horror movies. It's worth seeing for clips from very rare films and for interviews with the likes of Fay Wray, Gloria Stuart, Ray Bradbury, and Curt Siodmak. (It's also included in the Dracula anniversary set.) And there's "monster Tracks," a pop-up feature that gives onscreen info-bites about the film while you're watching it.
The best of the new features is Karloff: The Gentle Monster, a 38-minute documentary on the subject of the film's iconic star, whose career was made by the success of Frankenstein. It pays fond tribute to Karloff's beloved status as a horror giant, and makes the case that his career had real variety. Frayling and director Joe Dante are among the talking heads paying homage. --Robert Horton