Special Features This trio of classic 1930s horror filmsMurders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and The Ravenis also distinguished by a trio of factors regarding their production. Most notably, each film is based on a work by master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe. Part of the legendary wave of horror films made by Universal Pictures in the 30s, all three feature dynamic performances from Dracula's Bela Lugosi, with two of them also enlivened by the appearance of Frankenstein's Boris Karloff. And finally, all three benefit from being rare examples of Pre-Code studio horror, their sometimes startling depictions of sadism and shock a result of being crafted during that brief period in Hollywood before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code's rigid guidelines for moral content. Director Robert Florey, who gave the Marx Brothers their cinema start with The Cocoanuts in 1929, worked with Metropolis cinematographer Karl Freund to give a German Expressionism look to Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), with Lugosi as a mad scientist running a twisted carnival sideshow in 19th-century Paris, and murdering women to find a mate for his talking ape main attraction. Lugosi and Karloff teamed forces for the first time in The Black Cat, a nightmarish psychodrama that became Universal's biggest hit of 1934, with Detour director Edgar G. Ulmer bringing a feverish flair to the tale of a satanic, necrophiliac architect (Karloff) locked in battle with an old friend (Lugosi) in search of his family. Prolific B-movie director Lew Landers made 1935's The Raven so grotesque that all American horror films were banned in the U.K. for two years in its wake. Specifically referencing Poe within its story, Lugosi is a plastic surgeon obsessed with the writer, who tortures fleeing murderer Karloff through monstrous medical means. Significant and still unsettling early works of American studio horror filmmaking, these three Pre-Code chillers demonstrate the enduring power of Poe's work, and the equally continuous appeal of classic Universal horror's two most iconic stars.
Zavvi - The Home of Pop Culture One of the most recognisable faces in horror, Boris Karloff (or simply KARLOFF', as he was often billed) has been described as to the horror movie what Fred Astaire was to the musical. Presented here are the six films he made for Columbia Pictures, a collaboration which produced some of Karloff's finest acting roles. In The Black Room, Karloff takes on a dual role as twin brothers in 19th century Europe. One of the twins inherits the family castle and suddenly the local women start disappearing The Man They Could Not Hang, The Man With Nine Lives, Before I Hang, and The Devil Commands form the Mad Doctor cycle, a thematically linked series of films where Karloff always plays a doctor whose obsessions inevitably lead them to murder! And finally, The Boogie Man Will Get You is a delightful parody of the Mad Doctor films, starring both Karloff and Peter Lorre. Eureka Classics is proud to present all six films in their worldwide debut on Blu-ray, this release is also the first time they have been available on home video in the UK Special Features O-Card Slipcase All six films presented in 1080p across two Blu-ray discs Optional English SDH subtitles Brand new audio commentaries on The Black Room, Before I Hang, and The Boogie Man Will Get You with Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby Brand new audio commentaries on The Man They Could Not Hang, The Man With Nine Lives, and The Devil Commands with author Stephen Jones and author / critic Kim Newman Collector's booklet featuring writing on all six films by Karloff expert Stephen Jacobs (author of Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster); film critic and author Jon Towlson; and film scholar Craig Ian Mann
For the first time ever, eight of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces of the horror genre are available together on Blu-ray as Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection. Digitally restored in perfect high-definition picture and perfect high-definition sound. This essential set includes a never-before-seen featurette about the restoration of Dracula and the first ever offering of Creature from the Black Lagoon in its restored Blu-ray 3D version. Includes: 44 Page Booklet 8 Exclusive Art Cards with Original Theatrical Posters DraculaThe original 1931 movie version of Bram Stoker's classic tale has for generations defined the iconic look and terrifying persona of the famed vampire. Dracula owes its continued appeal in large part due to Bela Lugosi's indelible portrayal of the immortal Count Dracula and the flawless direction of horror auteur Tod Browning. Bonus Features: Dracula: The Restoration - New featurette available for the first time! Monster Tracks: Interactive Pop-Up Facts About the Making of Dracula Dracula Archives Score by Philip Glass Performed by the Kronos Quartet Feature Commentary by Film Historian David J. Skal Feature Commentary by Steve Haberman Screenwriter of Dracula: Dead and Loving It Trailer Gallery FrankensteinBoris Karloff stars as the screen's most tragic and iconic monster in what many consider to be the greatest horror film ever made. Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) dares to tamper with the essential nature of life and death by creating a monster (Karloff) out of lifeless human body parts. Director James Whale's adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel and Karloff's compassionate portrayal of a creature groping for identity make Frankenstein a timeless masterpiece. Bonus Features: The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster Karloff: The Gentle Monster Monster Tracks: Interactive Pop-Up Facts About the Making of Frankenstein Universal Horror Frankenstein Archives Boo!: A Short Film Feature Commentary with Film Historian Rudy Behlmer Feature Commentary with Historian Sir Christopher Frayling 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics Trailer Gallery The MummyHorror icon Boris Karloff stars in the original 1932 version of The Mummy in which a team of British archaeologists accidentally revives a mummified high priest after 3,700 years. Alive again, he sets out on an obsessive - and deadly - quest to find his lost love. Over 50 years after its first release, this brooding dream-like horror classic remains a cinematic masterpiece. Bonus Features: Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy The Mummy Archives Feature Commentary by Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns and Brent Armstrong Feature Commentary by Film Historian Paul M. Jensen 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era The Invisible ManClaude Rains delivers an unforgettable performance in his screen debut as a mysterious doctor who discovers a serum that makes him invisible. Covered by bandages and dark glasses, Rains arrives in a small English village and attempts to hide his amazing discovery, but the drug's side effects slowly drive him to commit acts of unspeakable terror. Bonus Features: Now You See Him: The Invisible Man Revealed Production Photographs Feature Commentary with Film Historian Rudy Behlmer 100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters The Bride of FrankensteinThe acclaimed sequel to the original Frankenstein has become one of the most popular horror classics in film history. The legendary Boris Karloff reprises his role as the screen's most misunderstood monster, now longing for a mate of his own. Colin Clive is back as the proud and overly ambitious Dr. Frankenstein, who creates the ill-fated bride (Elsa Lanchester). The last horror film directed by James Whale features a haunting musical score that helps make The Bride of Frankenstein one of the finest and most touching thrillers of its era. Bonus Features: She's Alive! Creating The Bride of Frankenstein The Bride of Frankenstein Archive Feature Commentary with Scott MacQueen The Wolf ManOriginally released in 1941, The Wolf Man introduced the world to a new Universal movie monster and redefined the mythology of the werewolf forever. Featuring a heartbreaking performance by Lon Chaney Jr. and groundbreaking make-up by Jack Pierce, The Wolf Man is the saga of Larry Talbot, a cursed man who transforms into a deadly werewolf when the moon is full. The dreamlike atmospheres, elaborate settings and chilling musical score combine to make The Wolf Man a masterpiece of the genre. Bonus Features: Monster by Moonlight The Wolf Man: From Ancient Curse to Modern Myth Pure in Heart: The Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney Jr. He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce The Wolf Man Archives Feature Commentary with Film Historian Tom Weaver The Phantom of the OperaThis lavish retelling of Gaston Leroux's immortal horror tale stars Claude Rains as the masked phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House. A crazed composer who schemes to make beautiful young soprano Christine DuBois (Susanna Foster) the star of the opera company, the Phantom also wreaks revenge on those he believes stole his music. Nelson Eddy, as the heroic baritone, tries to win the affections of Christine as he tracks down the murderous, horribly disfigured Phantom. Bonus Features: The Opera Ghost: A Phantom Unmasked Production Photographs Feature Commentary with Film Historian Scott MacQueen 100 Years of Universal: The Lot Theatrical Trailer Creature from the Black LagoonCaptured and imprisoned for scientific study, a living amphibious missing link becomes enamored with the head researcher's female assistant (Julie Adams). When the hideous creature escapes and kidnaps the object of his affection, a crusade is launched to rescue the helpless woman and cast the terrifying creature back to the depths from which he came. Featuring legendary makeup artist Bud Westmore's brilliantly designed monster, Creature from the Black Lagoon is an enduring tribute to the imaginative genius of its Hollywood creators. Bonus Features: Creature from the Black Lagoon in Blu-Ray 3D Back to the Black Lagoon Production Photographs Feature Commentary with Film Historian Tom Weaver 100 Years of Universal: The Lot Trailer Gallery
Howard Hawks (Twentieth Century) made his first film for Columbia Pictures with this pre-Code prison movie. The great Walter Huston (Dragonwyck) stars as a district attorney-turned-prison warden who gets to witness first-hand the effects of his convictions, especially Phillip Holmes (An American Tragedy), imprisoned after killing a man in a drunken brawl. Co-starring Boris Karloff (Frankenstein), The Criminal Code is tough, no-nonsense, quintessential Hawks. Extras High definition remaster Original mono soundtrack Audio commentary with film historian Nora Fiore (2021) The Howard Hawks Masterclass with John Carpenter (1997): archival audio recording of an event from the British Film Institute's 1997 Howard Hawks retrospective at the National Film Theatre, London Kim Newman on Boris Karloff (2021): the author and critic discusses the non-horror roles of the iconic actor Codes and Convictions (2021): video essay comparing The Criminal Code with its 1950 film noir remake, Convicted Lux Radio Theatre: The Criminal Code' (1937): radio adaptation starring Edward G Robinson Image gallery: publicity and promotional material New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Philip Kemp, extracts from interviews with Howard Hawks, Henri Langlois on the early sound films of Howard Hawks, overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits World premiere on Blu-ray Limited edition of 3,000 copies All extras subject to change
In the first pairing on horror greats Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi star in this shocking horror classic of Satanism and murder. A young couple Peter (David Manners) and Joan Allison (Julie Bishop) are honeymooning in Hungary. Traveling by train they share a compartment with Dr Werdegast (Lugosi) a freed POW who seeks news of his wife and daughter and vengeance on Hjalmar Poelzig (Karloff) the man whose betrayal lead to his imprisonment. When their hotel bound bus crashes on a lonely road the honeymooners find no alternative but to spend the night at the house of Herr Poelzig. Poelzig's attention to Joan and her uncharacteristic behaviour compels the couple to pack their bags until they learn they are being held captive. Trapped in the mausoleum-like house the Allisons discover that Poelzig functions as a high priest at Black Mass and he has chosen Joan to be the Devil's bride. With Werdegast swearing revenge and out for retribution the honeymooners soon find themselves trapped in the two men's horrifying battle of wits.
From the Merchant of Menace, Vincent Price, and the King of the Bs, Roger Corman, come Six Gothic tales inspired by the pen of Edgar Allan Poe. In The Fall of the House of Usher, a young man learns of a family curse that threatens his happiness with his bride-to-be. In The Pit and the Pendulum, a brother investigates the untimely death of sister, played by Barbara Steele. Tales of Terror adapts three Poe classics, Morella, The Black Cat and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, each starring a horror icon. The Raven is a comic take on the famous poem concerning three rival magicians. In The Haunted Palace, a newcomer in a New England town is suspected of being a warlock. And in The Tomb of Ligeia, filmed in Norfolk and at Stonehenge, a widower's upcoming marriage plans are thwarted by his dead first wife. The six films boast a remarkable cast list: not just Price and Steele, but also Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr, Basil and a very young Jack Nicholson. Adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson and Robert Towne, these Six Gothic Tales now rank as classic examples of sixties horror cinema. SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS: High Definition Blu-ray presentation of all six features Original uncompressed mono PCM Audio for all films Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for all films Trailers for each film Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork for all films THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER Audio commentary with director and producer Roger Corman An interview with director Joe Dante Interview with author Jonathan Rigby Video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns examining Corman s film in relation to Poe's story Archival interview with Vincent Price THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM Audio commentary with director and producer Roger Corman Audio commentary by critic Tim Lucas A new making of documentary featuring Roger Corman, star Barbara Steele, Victoria Price and more! Shot in 1968 to pad out the film for the longer TV time slot, this scene features star Luana Anders Price reads a selection of Poe's classic stories before a live audience TALES OF TERROR An hour-long documentary on Roger Corman featuring contributions from James Cameron, Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard Critic and novelist Anne Billson discusses the contributions of our feline friends to genre cinema The Black Cat, a 1993 short film adaptation of Poe's classic tale directed by Rob Green (The Bunker) THE RAVEN Peter Lorre: The Double Face, Harun Farocki s 1984 documentary, subtitled in English for the first time An interview with the legendary novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson An interview with Roger Corman about making The Raven The Trick, a short film about rival magicians by Rob Green (The Bunker) Promotional Record Stills and Poster Gallery THE HAUNTED PALACE Audio commentary by Vincent Price s biographer David Del Valle and Ron Chaney, grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr Kim Newman on H.P. Lovecraft An interview with Roger Corman Stills and Poster Gallery THE TOMB OF LIGEIA Audio commentary by director and producer Roger Corman Audio commentary by star Elizabeth Shepherd All-new interviews with cast and crew
Byron Orlok (Boris Karloff) is a retiring horrorstar bidding farewell to the limelight. Bobby Thompson (Tim O'Kelly) is an unassuming but disturbed Vietnam veteran who suddenly embarks on a murderous shooting rampage. As Byron makes one final public appearance, the two's worlds collide as Bobby brings carnage to a suburban Los Angeles drivein cinema. Both a comment on the terrors of contemporary America and homage to the horror films of Roger Corman, this thrilling crime drama launched the career of its director Peter Bogdanovich. Hailed as one of the most powerful films of the late 1960s, Targets is presented here as a brandnew High Definition remaster and on Bluray for the very first time.
From Jacques Tourneur director of numerous horror classics including Cat People I Walked with a Zombie and Night of the Demon comes The Comedy of Terrors – a gleefully macabre tale which brings together genre greats Vincent Price Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. Price plays Waldo Trumbull a perpetually inebriated down-on-his-luck undertaker who has struck on an interesting way to boost business – by hastening the deaths of those whom he buries. When landlord Mr. Black (Basil Rathbone) threatens to put him out on the street for falling behind with the rent Trumbull together with his reluctant and bumbling assistant Felix Gillie (Lorre) hatches an ill-advised plan to “kill two birds with one stone” so to speak… The penultimate directorial effort from Tourneur The Comedy of Terrors bears many of the hallmarks of the master filmmaker’s earlier works whilst adding a healthy dash of humour to the proceedings. Careful – you might just die laughing!
The Sorcerers, the second film directed by the lost "wunderkind" of British cinema Michael Reeves, may not have the scope and visceral impact of his masterpiece, Witchfinder General (1968), but there's enough fierce originality here to show what a tragic loss it was when he died from a drugs overdose aged only 24. The film also shows the effective use he made of minimal resources, working here on a derisory budget of less than £50,000--of which £11,000 went to the film's sole "named" star, Boris Karloff. Karloff plays an elderly scientist living with his devoted wife in shabby poverty in London, dreaming of the brilliant breakthrough in hypnotic technique that will restore him to fame and fortune. Seeking a guinea-pig, he hits on Mike, a disaffected young man-about-town (Ian Ogilvy, who starred in all three of Reeves' films). But the technique has an unlooked-for side effect--not only can he and his wife make Mike do their bidding, they can vicariously experience everything that he feels. At which point, it turns out that the wife has urges and desires that her husband never suspected. Karloff, then almost at the end of his long career, brings a melancholy dignity to his role; but the revelation is the veteran actress Catherine Lacey as the seemingly sweet old lady, turning terrifyingly avid and venomous as she realises her power. The portrayal of Swinging London, with its mini-skirted dollybirds thronging nightclubs where the strongest stimulant seems to be Coke rather than coke, has an almost touching innocence, but Reeves invests it with a dream-like quality, extending it into scenes of violent death in labyrinthine dark alleys. By this stage, some ten years after it started, the British horror cycle was winding down in lazy self-parody. Reeves had the exceptional talent and vision to revive it, had he only lived. On the DVD: The Sorcerers DVD has original trailers for both this film and Witchfinder General (both woefully clumsy); filmographies for Reeves, Karloff and Ogilvy; an "image gallery" (a grab-bag of posters, stills and lobby cards); detailed written production notes by horror-movie expert Kim Newman; and an excellent 25-minute documentary on Reeves, "Blood Beast", dating from 1999. The transfer is letterboxed full-width, with acceptable sound. --Philip Kemp
Deranged scientist Gustav Niemann (Boris Karloff) escapes from prison and overtakes the director of a traveling chamber of horrors. Pulling the stake of a skeleton he revives the infamous Count Dracula (John Carradine) and commands him to kill the man responsible for his imprisonment. He then finds the frozen Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange) and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.) buried under the ruins of the infamous Frankenstein laboratory. When he brings them back to life the Monster is uncontrollable and drags him to a watery grave.
The first British film ever to be labelled "horrific" (as well as being the first British horror with sound) The Ghoul is presented here for the first time in High Definition in a restoration from original film elements in its original aspect ratio. Starring Boris Karloff Cedric Hardwicke and Ralph Richardson this landmark film is a key title in any horror film collection. An eminent dying Egyptologist has purchased a precious stone stolen from an Egyptian tomb which he believes will appease the ancient gods after his death if they are buried together. When the stone is stolen from his tomb he returns as a ghoul – furious at the theft and hell-bent on wreaking revenge upon those responsible! Bonus Features: Feature commentary by horror experts Kim Newman and Stephen Jones Extensive image galleries Commemorative booklet by Stephen Jones
Boris Karloff stars as the screen's most memorable monster in what many consider to be the greatest horror film ever made. Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) dares to tamper with life and death by creating a human monster (Karloff) out of lifeless body parts. Its' director James Whale's adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel blended with Karloff's compassionate portrayal of a creature groping for identity that makes Frankenstein a masterpiece not only of the genre but for all time.
Son Of Frankenstein (1939)
Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi star in this macabre horror classic inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Dr. Richard Vollin (Lugosi) is a brilliant but unstable surgeon with a morbid obsession for instruments of torture. He saves the life of Jean Thatcher (Irene Ware) a beautiful young socialite injured in an automobile accident and becomes increasingly attracted to her. But the girl is frightened by his advances and complains to her father Judge Thatcher (Samuel S. Hinds) who tells Vollin to leave the girl alone. When escaped killer Edmund Bateman (Karloff) approaches the surgeon for a new face Vollin agrees only after convincing Bateman to assist him in his sinister plan of revenge. The doctor ultimately becomes the victim of his own wicked schemes when Bateman realizes Vollin has no intention of remaking his disfigured countenance in this elaborately produced shocker.
It appeared, at the end of the epochal 1931 horror movie Frankenstein, that the monster had perished in a burning windmill. But that was before the runaway success of the movie dictated a sequel. In Bride of Frankenstein, we see that the monster (once again played by Boris Karloff) survived the conflagration, as did his half-mad creator (Colin Clive). This remarkable sequel, universally considered superior to the original, reunites other key players from the first film: director James Whale (whose life would later be chronicled in Gods and Monsters) and, of course, the inimitable Dwight Frye, as Frankenstein's bent-over assistant. Whale brought campy humour to the project, yet Bride is also somehow haunting, due in part to Karloff's nuanced performance. The monster, on the loose in the European countryside, learns to talk and his encounter with a blind hermit is both comic and touching. (The episode was later spoofed in Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein.) A prologue depicts the author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, being urged to produce a sequel by her husband Percy and Lord Byron. She's played by Elsa Lanchester, who reappears in the climactic scene as the man-made bride of the monster. Her lightning-bolt hair and reptilian movements put her into the horror-movie pantheon, despite being onscreen for only a few moments. But in many ways the film is stolen by Ernest Thesiger, as the fey Dr. Pretorious, who toasts the darker possibilities of science: "To a new world of gods and monsters!" --Robert Horton
Generally regarded to be the best - and most brutal - of the classic gangster films Scarface tells the story of orginised crime's pinch on the city of Chicago during prohibition. Paul Muni plays Tony Carmonte an ambitious hood with a Napoleonic urge to fight his way to number one gang boss. When the last of the old-style crime bosses is brutally slain down the finger is pointed at Tony and Johnny Loro a rival gangster. However Tony's desire to move up the ladder i
When his brother disappears Robert Manning (Mark Eden) pays a visit to the remote country house he was last heard from. Althought his host Squire Morley (Christopher Lee) is outwardly welcoming and his housekeeper’s beautiful niece Eve (Virginia Wetherell) is willing to fulfil his needs. Manning detects a feeling of menace in the air with the legend of Lavinia (Barbara Steele) the Black Witch of Greymarsh hanging over everything. Will the village’s renowned expert on witchcraft Professor John Marshe (Boris Karloff) be able to shed light on the wicked going-ons at Craxted Lodge?
A group of weary travelers, a spooky mansion, and a madman on the loose upstairs! Director James Whale's (Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man) The Old Dark House is one of the best and most entertaining horror films of the 1930's. Dripping with atmosphere and packed to the brim with thrills, chills and gallows humor, it was considered lost for many years but is now being presented with a stunning new 4K restoration. Caught in a storm whilst journeying through a remote region of Wales, a group of travelers takes refuge in a sinister mansion inhabited by the bizarre Femm family and their mute butler, Morgan (played by the iconic Boris Karloff, Frankenstein, The Mummy). Trying to make the best of a bad situation, the group settles in for the night, but the Femm family have a few skeletons in their closet, and one of them is on the loose With an incredible cast, including Melvyn Douglas (Hud, Twilight's Last Gleaming), Gloria Stuart (Titanic) and Charles Laughton (Witness for the Prosecution, Ruggles of Red Gap), The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present The Old Dark House in a special Dual Format edition, the first time the film has been available on Blu-ray in the UK. Features: Limited Edition O-Card (first pressing only) featuring artwork by Graham Humphreys created especially for the 2018 UK theatrical release Gorgeous 1080p presentation from the Cohen Media Group 4K restoration (with a progressive encoding on the DVD) Uncompressed LPCM audio (On the Blu-ray) Optional English subtitles An exclusive video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns Feature length audio commentary by critic & author Kim Newman and Stephen Jones Feature-length audio commentary by Gloria Stuart Feature length audio commentary by James Whale biographer James Curtis Daughter of Frankenstein: A Conversation with Sara Karloff Curtis Harrington Saves The Old Dark House - an archival interview with director Curtis Harrington about his efforts to save The Old Dark House at a time when it was considered a lost film Eureka! trailer for the 2018 theatrical release of The Old Dark House A collector's booklet featuring the new essay by critic Philip Kemp, as well as an abundant selection of archival imagery and ephemera.
This trio of classic 1930s horror filmsMurders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and The Ravenis also distinguished by a trio of factors regarding their production. Most notably, each film is based on a work by master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe. Part of the legendary wave of horror films made by Universal Pictures in the 30s, all three feature dynamic performances from Dracula's Bela Lugosi, with two of them also enlivened by the appearance of Frankenstein's Boris Karloff. And finally, all three benefit from being rare examples of Pre-Code studio horror, their sometimes startling depictions of sadism and shock a result of being crafted during that brief period in Hollywood before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code's rigid guidelines for moral content. Director Robert Florey, who gave the Marx Brothers their cinema start with The Cocoanuts in 1929, worked with Metropolis cinematographer Karl Freund to give a German Expressionism look to Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), with Lugosi as a mad scientist running a twisted carnival sideshow in 19th-century Paris, and murdering women to find a mate for his talking ape main attraction. Lugosi and Karloff teamed forces for the first time in The Black Cat, a nightmarish psychodrama that became Universal's biggest hit of 1934, with Detour director Edgar G. Ulmer bringing a feverish flair to the tale of a satanic, necrophiliac architect (Karloff) locked in battle with an old friend (Lugosi) in search of his family. Prolific B-movie director Lew Landers made 1935's The Raven so grotesque that all American horror films were banned in the U.K. for two years in its wake. Specifically referencing Poe within its story, Lugosi is a plastic surgeon obsessed with the writer, who tortures fleeing murderer Karloff through monstrous medical means. Significant and still unsettling early works of American studio horror filmmaking, these three Pre-Code chillers demonstrate the enduring power of Poe's work, and the equally continuous appeal of classic Universal horror's two most iconic stars. Special Features: High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations for all three films, with The Raven presented from a 2K scan of the original film elements Uncompressed LPCM monaural audio tracks Optional English SDH subtitles Murders in the Rue Morgue Audio commentary by Gregory William Mank The Black Cat Audio commentary by Gregory William Mank The Black Cat Audio commentary by Amy Simmons The Raven Audio commentary by Gary D. Rhodes The Raven Audio commentary by Samm Deighan Cats In Horror a video essay by writer and film historian Lee Gambin American Gothic a video essay by critic Kat Ellinger The Black Cat episode of radio series Mystery In The Air, starring Peter Lorre The Tell-Tale Heart episode of radio series Inner Sanctum Mysteries, starring Boris Karloff Bela Lugosi reads The Tell-Tale Heart Vintage footage New Interview With Critic And Author Kim Newman PLUS: A 48-PAGE collector's booklet featuring new writing by film critic and writer Jon Towlson; a new essay by film critic and writer Alexandra Heller-Nicholas; and rare archival imagery and ephemera
Once Upon a Midnight Dreary... Although The Raven is one of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poems the lack of a narrative hook initially stumped screenwriting legend Richard Matheson (I Am Legend The Incredible Shrinking Man Duel) until he realised that the idea of adapting the poem was so ridiculous that he might as well make it a comedy. And what a comedy! Vincent Price Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff play rival magicians whose paths cross when Dr Craven (Price) hears Dr Bedlo tap-tap-tapping on his windowpane. For Bedlo has been turned into a raven by Dr Scarabus (Karloff) and when transformed back into his old self he naturally vows revenge. But the scripted rivalry is as nothing compared to three great horror masters relentlessly upstaging each other - even a young Jack Nicholson as Bedlo's son barely gets a look-in. If there's not much authentic Poe in these sorcery shenanigans the sets and cinematography more than compensate: director Roger Corman was by then a master of conjuring Gothic atmosphere on a very modest budget. Special Features: High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the feature transferred from original film elements by MGM Original uncompressed Mono PCM Audio Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing Peter Lorre: The Double Face Harun Farocki's 1984 documentary subtitled in English for the first time Richard Matheson: Storyteller an interview with the legendary novelist and screenwriter Corman's Comedy of Poe an interview with Roger Corman about making The Raven The Trick a short film about rival magicians by Rob Green (The Bunker) Promotional Record Stills and Poster Gallery Original Theatrical Trailer Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vladimir Zimakov Collector's booklet featuring new writing by Vic Pratt and Rob Green illustrated with original stills and artwork
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