Over the years Universal has released various iterations of their classic monster films but this is the first time the horror legends get the Blu-ray treatment. The question that fans who already might have the DVD complete set is whether it’s worth the price to upgrade to the DVD version. Universal has not added any new content to the set in terms of extra which while disappointing isn’t at all surprising.
The set features 30 of Universal’s classic monster films and includes: Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Werewolf of London (1935), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1942), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), Invisible Agent (1942), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, and includes a 3D version), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), Revenge of the Creature (1955 and includes a 3D version) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).
To be accurate, the set actually includes 31 films as it includes the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula which it counts as one of the extras. And the extras is the reason to get this set as much as the films itself. It is one of the greatest collections of extras ever included in a set.
Among the extras are 13 full-length audio commentaries on the films by renowned film experts. There is a wealth of amazing, informative and entertaining full-length documentaries including biographies of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., and make-up wizard Jack Pierce. Other documentaries cover the making and history of these films such as “Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters”; “She’s Alive The Bride of Frankenstein”; “Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed”; “The Road to Dracula”; “Back to the Black Lagoon”; and many more. The set also includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs.
Yes, if you are a true videophile, then having these films, some now approaching 90 years old, on high definition Blu-ray is indeed worth the price. The video and audio quality is just superb. I had to dig out some of my VHS versions and compare them (yes, I still have a VCR, don’t judge me!) to see just how great the difference is.
If you are a “monster kid” like me, watching these movies bring backs great memories of being a kid and watching these movies on TV, hosted by wacky horror hosts. They are still as fun to watch now as they were 40 years ago and, I suspect, 70 or 80 years ago to those fortunate enough to have seen them in the theater.