Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection
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Universal has put considerable effort into restoring and revitalizing each film, and while there's room to nitpick, it's hard to focus on little flaws when the whole of the package is so good. If you have any love for Golden Age horror classics, add this one to your cart or wish list post haste.
Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection (1931-1954)
The 8-disc Universal Classic Monsters: Essential Collection box set features all eight films; nine when you include Drácula, a Spanish-language version of Dracula that was shot simultaneously to the Lugosi picture, albeit with an entirely different cast.
The Collection comes packaged in an understated but handsome box set with a sturdy outer sleeve that houses a tome-like DigiPak (with one page devoted to each film) and a copy of 'The Original House of Horror, a 48-page booklet. The discs themselves slide inside of each DigiPak page - something that will be a sticking point for some since you have to grasp the edge of a disc to remove it from its snug hideaway.
From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection showcases 8 of the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature From the Black Lagoon. Starring Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these original films set the standard for a new horror genre with revolutionary makeup, mood-altering cinematography and groundbreaking special effects. Featuring over 12 hours of revealing bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate classic monster experience.
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Also included in the box set is a nice collectible booklet and eight poster cards (measuring just under 6" x 5").
This product is a UK Import, but the discs are region-free and will function perfectly in US Blu-Ray players.
I have seen some negative reviews from those who own the standard DVDs and complaints that some of the extras and films from the earlier editions are not on this collection. I cannot compare this product to earlier editions because I have not seen the earlier editions. But for someone who owns more than 300 Blu-Ray titles, I can probably safely say that the Blu-ray transfers are worth the purchase. Blu-ray video quality is quite remarkable. I base my opinion on similar materials from the same era. I love the Creature from Black Lagoon on 3D! That was a great surprise.
Most young reviewers may not enjoy these as much as the older generation due to the fact that visual effects and filming techniques have drastically changed and these movies show their age (by that, I mean their being black and white, no CGI effects, not much blood, or action scenes the today's audience is fond of). However, I'd recommend these films to anybody who is interested in cinema as medium of artistic vision. The stories, the characters perfectly present the human condition and the duality of human psyche where the real monsters lurk.
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