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The first 6 Monogram Chans reissued....minus one
on June 22, 2012
An outfit called TGG Direct has been licensing MGM/UA titles for reissue on DVD, and this is one of their first packages. The first 6 Monogram Chan films were originally released in a box set entitled Chanthology back in the mid-2000s, with each movie on a separate disc. This set presents only 5 of the films over 2 single sided discs. The discs are enclosed in two Amray cases inside an outer cardboard box. Both discs appear to be dual-layered, and the transfers are identical to those previously released. As these potboilers run barely an hour each, the programs are well contained on the dual layer discs with no compression problems. No extras are included, but none were seen on the original single-disc editions, either.
Disc 1 features IN THE SECRET SERVICE, THE CHINESE CAT, and THE JADE MASK. Disc 2 features THE SCARLET CLUE and THE SHANGHAI COBRA. Both discs feature a simple menu allowing you to select the movie to be played.
For those who missed out on the Chanthology set, this is a great value for a fraction of the cost. A big upside is that you can see these films with fewer disc changes, which for such short films is quite a bonus.
The downside is that they inexplicably did not include BLACK MAGIC (aka MEETING AT MIDNIGHT). It would have easily been accommodated on disc 2. It is the only title that is in the public domain, so perhaps that had something to do with its omission. Even so, MGM/UA's print is far superior than any public domain elements for that title that I've seen. Moves like this really baffle me and make one wonder if these companies even know what the Hell they're licensing. Collectors who buy these sets generally want ALL of the available titles. In this case, not 5 out of 6 films!
Anyway, I can highly recommend this set despite the omission of BLACK MAGIC