Top positive review
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Good quality, amazing price
on September 4, 2013
As a longtime fan and collector of sci-fi films, I was very surprised to see a major studio offering this collection at a dirt-cheap price. One might expect to pay the current price ($5.00) for ONE barely-known film from public-domain outfits like Alpha Video. But FOUR fairly well-known b-movies, from MGM, for less than the price of one? I took a chance and pre-ordered my collection, and I'm glad I did.
"Movies 4 U: Sci-Fi Classics" represents the major-studio DVD debut of both Beyond the Time Barrier and The Time Travelers. Most of us collectors would gladly have paid more just to finally get good copies of these films. The other two (Man from Planet X and Angry Red Planet) were previously released as part of MGM'S Midnite Movies series. All four films look great. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison of the latter two films with my Midnite Movies copies, but they seem to look just as good as the previous releases (why would the studio not use the same prints if they already owned them, right?). This was my first time viewing The Time Travelers, and although I'd have to say it's the least of bunch (in terms of the film itself, I mean), it is the only one offered in the widescreen format. The print used for Beyond the Time Barrier is a huge improvement over the Sinister Cinema release that's been floating around for years.
I'm also a collector of sci-fi film trailers, and I have to say I was a little disappointed that these were not included, especially since trailers were included on the MM releases, and trailers for the other 2 films are easy to find on the internet.
As for the films themselves, Angry Red Planet is certainly the best, with its far-out visuals and memorable creatures. The Man From Planet X, although it's rarely mentioned in discussions of serious sci-fi films of its era, is also very well-made and suspenseful. It's interesting to see veteran actor William Schallert in a rare villain role. Beyond the Time Barrier is strictly Saturday-matinee stuff, but has plenty of action and is generally well-acted. The Time Travelers, as stated above, is my least favorite of the four. But it's still a fun (and very 60's) trip, and should not be overlooked.
All in all, this is a great little package for budget-minded collectors who refuse to settle for murky public-domain prints of these almost-forgotten little gems.