28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: House On Haunted Hill: 50th Anniversary (DVD)
The actual movie is wonderful fun. A crazy, zany, hokey and totally entertaining movie with the ultimate horror host - Vincent Price - giving us one of his many, many great performances. I love this movie!
But this particular 50th Anniversay Special Edition is NOT special in the least. It is a rip-off. And your host for this DVD is Johnny Legend who is NO "legend" in my book, as far as his absurd participation in this release is concerned.
The extras are as flimsy as the plausability of the movie's plotline. But wherein the film's plot-holes are forgiveable fun, the Extras on this DVD are an embarassment. They sound like they'd be great - but they are not. "Return to the House" features a few silent contemporary shots of the Frank Loyld Wright house as it looks today and then Legend talking about the house in front of a chain-link fence. He could be in front of any chain-link fence...for we don't even see the famous house behind him! We never learn who owns the house now or what it is currently used for. We never get on the grounds with the camera and take a closer look at the house.
"Surprise William Castle TV Spot" shows the lead-in to a game show created by Castle - but just when I thought we'd get to see the whole show (which had a most interesting premise and panelists including Groucho Marx)...just when I think we'll see the mystery-themed game show, the featurette ends!
The "Carole Ohmart Profile" talks more about her role in "Spider Baby" then in "House" and ends without us ever finding out what happened to her ultimately. What could have been a bit more of her performance in "The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe" is, instead, just a two second clip of the older actress turning her head, not even speaking a line from that movie.
The Vincent Price extras are fun to see: but Mr. Price is always fun!
The DVD has NO chapter stops and the title credits are off with "Raunchy Tonk Production" on the screen and the credit title has "50th Anniversary Special Edition" stamped beneath the film title. I am a purist and despised these liberties.
There are no commentaries, no making of featurette, zilch. As for it being declared a "Brand New Widescreen Transfer" I doubt it. It looked no different from some other versions I have.
Save your money - and what a tawdry way to celebrate a 50th anniversary for a classic flick!
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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 28, 2010 11:47:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 28, 2010 11:50:23 AM PDT
! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b says:
Thanks for the tip off on this release. Could you tell me what DVD version of the film is the best as far of quality transfer and extras?
Any help would be appreciated! ;-)
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2010 12:31:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 30, 2010 12:34:12 AM PDT
Hello, Mr. Know It All - Thanks for writing. I think that the Warner Brothers transfer is probably the best - but no extras. A version with a great cover and the movie in both black and white and a colorized version (which isn't all that bad) is put out by Legend Films. This DVD has a great access menu. Mike Nelson (from "Mystery Science Theater 3000) offers a fairly funny audio commentary as an extra as well as showing the original theatrical trailer and press book. The transfers are very good. Hope this helps - Richard
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2011 3:06:20 PM PDT
Wild Bill Jones says:
Very helpful; you saved me some money. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2011 8:26:30 PM PDT
You are most welcome, Wild Bill! Always glad to know when a review of mine helps others make a decision. Best always - Richard
Posted on May 1, 2013 10:32:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2013 12:11:07 PM PDT
John A. Lind says:
Yes - some DVD transfers are much better than others. I agree the Warner Bro's is quite good - in detail level, gray scale and restoration/cleanup. Some slightly soft scenes and a few others with film grain - plus a rough section or two with some film damage - but I believe it is the print from which the transfer was made, not the transfer process, with seious doubt there are any pristine prints of this film to be found. The WB does not have any extras beyond a theater trailer. Has English and French subtitles. Hass a two-sided DVD, one side with a "standard" screen 1.33:1aspect ratio pan&scan, and the other with a 1.78:1 widescreen, making one of the only widescreen. The original film was supposedly 1.85:1 which would make the cropping of the sides very minimal - not worth grousing about except by purists.
Posted on Aug 22, 2013 3:20:54 AM PDT
Roger Green says:
Extremely helpful review, thank you so much. I will be saving my money!
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2013 10:33:13 AM PDT
Thanks so much, R. Green, for letting me know my review was of assistance.
Best always, Richard
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2013 7:44:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2013 7:45:14 PM PST
S. V. Anderson says:
Rich, THANKS for the honest review. You saved me some money. I live about fifty miles from the Ennis House and have been there many times and it is NEAT to stand on the site of the location of this movie's establishment shots. I was about to buy this DVD with the promise that the extras would be worth the price. Your review was VERY helpful.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2013 8:43:36 PM PST
Many thanks, S.V., for letting me know my review was helpful to you!
You have the lucky luxury to be able to visit the actual site! I was hoping to do so via the Extra on this disc which, as I say in the review, was so pathetic!
Anyway, Happiest of Holidays and Best of New Years to you and yours!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2014 5:06:42 PM PDT
Frederick Reed says:
Rich your not being honest with your comments and I find that your comments are offensive to people who would like to watch this movie. If you can't watch a movie and be happy then just don't watch them.