Monsters and Madmen (The Haunted Strangler / Corridors of Blood / The Atomic Submarine / First Man into Space) (The Criterion Collection)
Deal of the Day: Select DC titles on Blu-ray and DVD
Save on featured DC Comics titles including all season 1s of The Flash, Arrow, and Gotham. This offer ends at 11:59:59 PM (PT) on July 25, 2016. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Gaining momentum, the Gordons also produced First Man into Space and The Atomic Submarine (see previous DVD releases for detailed reviews), a pair of 1959 releases that took timely advantage of Cold War headlines, the space race, and advances in nuclear-sub exploration of the polar ice caps. The former involves a cocky test pilot's ill-fated exposure to a strange alien substance which turns him into a blood-sucking predator; the latter is a sci-fi adventure that culminates in an encounter with an ill-tempered alien beneath the ice of the Arctic Circle. All four films guarantee a welcome trip down memory lane for long-time genre buffs, and DVD collectors of all ages will enjoy the enthusiastic expertise of Tom Weaver, whose delightfully reverent commentaries with Richard and Alex Gordon--along with video interviews with primary cast and crew members from all four films--serve as detailed testament (owing to Richard Gordon's wonderfully vivid recollections) to the lasting appeal of these "B-movie" relics. Theatrical trailers, radio spots, and exploitative print advertising place the films in proper historical context, and accompanying booklets offer appreciative essays by producer John Croydon and critic/historians Maitland McDonagh, Bruce Eder, and Michael Lennick. Anyone with a passion for '50s sci-fi and horror will quickly accept Monsters and Madmen as a crucial addition to their DVD collections, well in keeping with the expansive Criterion legacy. --Jeff Shannon
- Commentaries by producers Alex and Richard Gordon and writer Tom Weaver
- New interviews with actors, directors, and screenwriters who worked on the films
- Original trailers, radio spots, stills galleries, and publicity and production photos
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Booklets featuring Fangoria's 1984 interview with producer John Croydon about Boris Karloff, and new essays by Bruce Eder, Michael Lennick, and Maitland McDonagh
Top Customer Reviews
ATOMIC SUBMARINE (1959) - Arthur Franz, Dick Foran, Tim Conway and Joi Lansing are a part of a crew of an atomic submarine that is tracking an underwater UFO, which is responsible for the sinking of several ships. They track the saucer to the North Pole, where it is using the magnetic field to replenish itself. They board the saucer and meet its occupant, a hairy octopus-like creature with one huge eye.
CORRIDORS OF BLOOD (1958) - Karloff is in fine form as Dr. Bolton, a physician experimenting with anesthesia in the 1840s. Basing his mixture on opium, he becomes addicted in the process, which leads to his dismissal from the hospital. Needing money to purchase the supplies necessary to continue his research, he falls in with two grave robbers (Francis DeWolfe and Christopher Lee), signing false death certificates in order to get the money.
FIRST MAN INTO SPACE (1959) - A space rocket recently launched into space crashes to earth, but there is no sign of its pilot. Strange things begin to happen: first cattle are killed for their blood, and later, humans. Investigators discover that the killer is none other than the astronaut himself, deformed by a coating of space dust, except for one eye. His brother, the project's commander (Marshall Thompson), realizes that he is heading back to the base and to the high-altitude chamber that he needs to breathe.Read more ›
But, the extras, including commentaries ON ALL FOUR FILMS is what makes this set. The commentaries are nformative, interesting, a great listen.
if you like classic horror/sci-fi and enjoy good commentary tracks, buy this set.
The criterion edition of fiend w/o a face is also highly reccomended.
And yet, it is my feeling that the company is largely unknown outside a relatively small but dedicated group of film enthusiasts, whose passion for the art of cinema equals that of Criterion. Well, that, plus the fact that the company has largely focused their attention on foreign films that the mainstream moviegoing public has never heard of. Sure, there have been exceptions, such as their first-class Hitchock releases (Notorious, Spellbound, Rebecca and a few others); bona-fide classics like Spartacus, the Stones' Gimme Shelter; and a few oddball modern choices: The Royal Tennenbaums, Armageddon (?), The Rock (??).
Which is why I was so happy to find a couple of cult sci-fi films in their catalog a few years back. Both the original version of The Blob (1958), and the sorely underrated Fiend Without a Face filled me with hope that maybe, just maybe, these folks were capable of something more. In fact, the trailers for all four of the films in this collection were included as bonus materials on Fiend.
Now, the films themselves: The Haunted Strangler and Corridors of Blood are were vehicles for Boris Karloff, who was in his sixties when they were made. As he had done many times before (and would continue to do), Karloff plays a mad doctor-type. Corridors is the better of the two, with a young Christopher Lee in a supporting role as a ruthless killer. Neither film could really be called "classic," but both are solid, low-budget chillers that fans of Karloff and/or Lee will enjoy.Read more ›
I loved them then and like them now. The Atomic Submarine has a good cast that is wasted on this awful movie with terrible special affects.
Talk about cheesy. This one is loaded with cheese and not funny either. But Corridors of Blood is decent story of, if true, doctor who discovered
ether. Karloff always gives a good performance.
All four features look & sound great. ATOMIC SUB and FIRST MAN both look far, far better than I've seen offered on DVD elsewhere. The two Karloff films were each a first-time view for me and I enjoyed them both tremendously but the 2 sci-fi adventures are what I pop in my player time & again. Yes they're silly, low budget and cliched to the Nth degree, but that's what makes them so much fun! Grab the kids (and/or friends who enjoy nostalgic sci-fi), pop some popcorn and plop down on the couch and let the films work their charms. Don't resist! Give in to the fun! As with most Criterion product, the only downside is the cost. Criterion is pricey, but remember: you get what you pay for! With that being said, if you like this kind of stuff it's worth saving up for. You're almost guaranteed to never see these movies looking & sounding better than they do here, unless someone remasters them using original film elements and transfers them onto hi-def Blu-ray. If that ever happens I'll be double-dipping for FIRST MAN INTO SPACE and THE ATOMIC SUBMARINE in a heartbeat. 4 STARS!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this set to get a good copy of "Atomic Submarine". I was not disappointed, picture and sound are very good.
"First Man into Space" is OK too. Read more
I can't believe I saw the 2 Sci-fi films as first runs, in movie theaters. One a local theater, and the other, a drive in. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Richard Ranta
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
ANYONE who goes to see "Werewolf in a Girls Dormitory" deserves exactly what he gets. Read more
I bought this trio for the Atomic Submarine and im very happy with it. this is another classic that ive not seen in years. im enjoying it very much.Published on February 3, 2014 by Culver
Excellent quality! Crisp and clear. Either you like them or hate them, but these are great childhood memories. Read morePublished on December 21, 2013 by Ray Mooney
Quality pictures.....DVD transfers excellent. Old B movies look like new out of this set. Each of the four movies had lots of surprise's for me.Published on November 14, 2013 by JR
Have been waiting for this flick for years.
Love those 50's Sci-Fi flicks!!
Sure do miss those Saturday matinees and Saturday morning "Theater X" on... Read more
I bought this four movie compilation in order to get "The First Man Into Space", a movie I saw when I was a kid, back in 1959. Read morePublished on November 24, 2012 by SlipMahoney
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
Look for Similar Items by Category
- Movies & TV > Boxed Sets > Classics
- Movies & TV > Boxed Sets > Drama
- Movies & TV > Boxed Sets > Horror
- Movies & TV > Boxed Sets > Sci-Fi & Fantasy
- Movies & TV > Criterion Collection > All
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Horror
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Mystery & Thrillers
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Science Fiction
- Movies & TV > Indie & Art House
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction