Oct 23, 2018 03:32 PM EST

Prepare For This Year's Halloween With The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection

Prepare For This Year's Halloween With The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection
Back in the late 70's, we lived in Brooklyn, New York, and my parents owned a summer-home, Upstate, in Blooming Grove, NY. My Mom would spend the days with her kids - my sister, brother and I, would tear around the yard, and make a nuisance out of ourselves - until she would either take us to the local pool, or have my grandma drive us to the store to buy us toys (keep us amused).

No doubt, it was a great time to be a kid. 

But on some of those days when I was lucky, I would drive with my Dad to work. 

He was a commercial artist and owned his own studio.  And on those 70+ minute rides from Orange County, to his office in New York City, my Father would regale me with tales of horror and the macabre, and while my favorite monsters were ‘Blacula', ‘Jaws', ‘The Gargoyles' and the demon's from ‘Don't Be Afraid of the Dark', my Father came from an earlier generation of Monsters. He would start with the Greatest Trio, and his favorites, Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man! The Terror -Trifecta were born in my horror-hungry brain!  Of course, I already knew about these icons but as he explained each movie to me, I began to realize Universal Pictures released the greatest Monster Movies of all-time. Suddenly, my need to know more about these films grew. 

Unfortunately, it was a different time back then. There were no video rentals, and the Internet was just a genre kid's fever-dream. The only way to see these films were to get lucky that Channel 9 or 11 would play them, late one night (past Midnight). Or you had a kick-ass Dad, like mine, that would recite every single Universal Monster movie to you, from memory.  His love for these old films was infectious.  For him, they were the first and the greatest monsters.

 And you know something, he was right. 

Now, 40 years after those fateful car-rides, Universal Pictures releases more than just a Trifecta of Terror, they have released all of their classic monster movies in one of the most amazingly comprehensive box sets I've ever seen. You may have some of these films, but I guarantee you don't have all of them, like this!

"From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection showcases all of the original films featuring 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 some of the most legendary actors including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these films set the standard for a new horror genre with revolutionary makeup, mood-altering cinematography, and groundbreaking special effects. Featuring hours of revealing bonus features, these landmark movies defined the horror genre and are still regarded as some of the most unforgettable characters ever to be filmed."

All of the Universal Classic Monsters from 1931-1956, are collected here and included with this massive, 24 disc set is a 48-page book with tons of bios and pictures. they have also added a timeline of release dates at the back, which was a nice touch.

I have seen almost all of these films, at one time or another, and while it is going to take some time for me to go through all of these in this collection, I can say that the few I have watched look incredible.  With an MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG-4 MVC, and 1080p resolution, these are clear and clean with little to no artifacts present. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio Mono and flawless, as well. Any fan willing to lay down their hard-earned money for this collection should do so knowing they are getting the best possible transfers and audio available.  While Blu-ray/Home Theater will never replace film and the movie-going experience, this is, absolutely, the next best thing to seeing it on the big screen.

Included with these carefully restored classics are hours of Bonus features, including Behind the Scenes Documentaries, The 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula (I'll finally get a good copy of this), 13 Expert Commentaries, as well as additional footage and so much more.

For fans of these early monster movies, there is an urge for the nostalgia of them. But these films are not things of the past, they are present, and pulsing with life! 

The Icons of Terror - Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride, The Wolf Man, The Creature - they continue to drive our imaginations as well as attract lines at the box office.  When I showed this boxed-set to my Dad, you wouldn't believe the smile and the glint in his eyes. 

Once a Horror Fan, always a Horror Fan.

Universal has done an excellent job reminding us all what makes these movies so much frighteningly good fun. 

They reminded us that it's STILL a great time to be a kid!

Grade: A+

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other online and local retailers.

Special Features:

  • Behind-the-scenes documentaries;
  • 3D versions of Creature From the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature;
  • The 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula;
  • featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce;
  • 13 expert feature commentaries;
  • Archival footage;
  • Production photographs;
  • Theatrical trailers.

Films:

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) Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) Revenge of the Creature (1955) The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

About Leonard Buccellato

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