The Lon Chaney Jr. Collection: Manfish/The Golden Junkman/Lock-Up/The Indestructible Man
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One of the greatest horror icons of the 20th century, Lon Chaney, Jr. lit up the screen in a wide variety of performances in every type of role imaginable. Now, here is the ultimate collection of Chaney rarities, never before available on DVD!
Manfish: In this eerie tale inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," treasure seekers, native curses and the hideous haunting sound of a dead man's breathing conspire to drive a killer insane.
The Golden Junkman: One of Lon's rarest and best portrayals as an aging Greek immigrant who enrolls in college to earn the respect of his grown sons.
Lock-Up: An excellent crime-mystery starring Macdonald Carey, with Lon as a small town sheriff determined to capture the killer of a straying wife.
Special Bonus Feature: The Indestructible Man, for the first time from a 35mm source! This Lon Chaney horror staple can finally be seen in a crisp, clear edition unlike any previous release. Throw away those budget editions; this is the real deal!
- "Remembering Lon" featurette with Gary Graver
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Top customer reviews
The packaging is a bit misleading and isn't a "collection" of any true sorts showcasing Chaney Jr's work.
Even so, it's always great to see Lon Chaney.
MANFISH (1956), is an interesting adventure yarn set in the Caribbean with hints of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart". In THE GOLDEN JUNKMAN (1956), Chaney gives one of his best T.V. performances as a Greek immigrant who enrolls in college to gain his sons' respect. Another fine T.V. role in LOCK UP (1960), has Lon playing a small-town sheriff who's quick to accept circumstantial evidence when a cheating wife turns up murdered.
The real gem in this collection is the B-classic, INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN (1956). Chaney's terrific as a resurrected killer out to get the crooked attorney and two accomplices who double crossed him in a payroll heist. The film is greatly benefited by the location photography above and below the streets of L.A., and at an electrical power plant for the final sequence. Available for years in sub-quality prints, Retromedia's version was taken from 35mm, so this cult favorite finally looks like it should - clear and sharp.
Chaney was underrated as an actor, and this great sampling features good stories with strong supporting casts, and goes to prove how diverse Chaney could be when given the chance.
Chaney fairs somewhat beter in "Manfish," a low-budget but still fairly attractive production, with some great underwater photography. Again, he's a sympathetic character, as opposed to the hulking brutes he often played. And speaking of hulking brutes...
"The Indestructible Man"--curiously relegated to "bonus feature" status in this collection--is the real reason to get this disc. The story is familiar to fans of b-movies of the fifites: Chaney's a convict excuted for murder, but brought back to life to seek revenge against those who wronged him. It's one his signature roles, and Lon has a field day with the limited premise. And you can throw out all those bargain-bin copies of The Indestructible Man...this is as clear a version as we'll ever see.
If you're really a fan, you'll skip the "Remembering Lon Chaney" segment. Gary Graver, apparently a cinematographer on Al Adamson's "Dracula vs. Frankenstein," spends almost the entire time talking about his old boss (Adamson), and barely even mentions Chaney! No mention is made of any of the films contained in this DVD. The whole thing is complete waste of time, and an insult to Chaney and his fans.
Even if you have one of those cheap copies of Indestructible Man, you still need this disc. Beyond that, there's not much to recommend this release.
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