The Bottom Line
- Excellent selection of films
- Outstanding picture and sound clarity
- Tons of extras
- No films from the '20s
- A bit pricey
- Starring various
- Directed by various
- Rated NR
- Blu-ray Release Date: October 2, 2012
Guide Review - 'Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection' Blu-ray Review
I won't pretend that every horror fan loves watching the oldies, but the stunning picture (and sound) clarity that these digitally restored, high-definition versions provide makes it feel like you're discovering them for the first time and could provide the crispness and modern touch to draw in a younger crowd. (Or, frankly, it could provide more detail than you'd like to see.) Further, the myriad of special features (over 12 hours' worth), plus the 48-page booklet, provide in-depth background for these genre classics that could attract cinefiles with a sense of history. In particular, the inclusion of the entire Spanish-language version of Dracula (also restored) -- shot on the same sets as the Bela Lugosi version during the night after the American cast and crew had departed -- is wonderful as not only a slice of history, but also as a real work of art, as some critics cite it as actually a better film than the English-language version. Perhaps the coolest feature on the set, though, is the fact that The Creature from the Black Lagoon is presented in its original 3D format -- if you have a 3D-compatible TV -- allowing you to experience the way it was designed to be seen: in your face!
Special features include documentaries, commentaries, interviews, photos, archive materials and the Spanish version of Dracula.