We've been lucky to host some pretty amazing giveaways over the years, but this Halloween, Universal has helped us to provide an amazing prize for one lucky reader. Back in August they released a massive 21-disc, 30-film complete set of the Universal Monster series from 1931 through the '50s, and we are giving away one of these sets to you! Find the details of the giveaway at the bottom of this post.
For those of you who are avid collectors, much of this set will be familiar. Essentially what they've done is to package the individual Monster sets from the last couple of years which compiled the series of Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man, and Mummy films and added recent additions to the collection including The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, and Phantom of the Opera films, along with a wonderfully illustrated booklet that is effectively the only item exclusive to this complete package.
All of the films have been lovingly restored and look as though they could've been shot yesterday. I've seen a number of the big titles - Dracula, Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, in these same restorations on the big screen over the last several years and they look and sound just as good here. What you get in addition to those main titles, which were previously available in another solid box set from a few years back, is all of the follow up titles, which are of various quality, but include a number of both legitimate gems and campy oddities waiting for rediscovery.
I definitely have my favorites from among the non-headline features. Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us are a pair of late cycle Universal horrors that entertain me endlessly. Because of the way the package is put together - with all of the previous sets being re-packaged - you get three copies of fan favorite Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. There is also the legendarily good Spanish version of Dracula shot on the same sets after the English version closed up shop each day.
The set also includes a wealth of bonus materials, many of which are duplicated from older releases, but having them all present in the same place is certainly convenient. The same issue of repeating materials across different sets includes the supplemental materials where, for example, restoration docs repeat, as well as obviously the bonus materials for the Abbott and Costello film as the exact same disc appears in several cases. However, it is a small price to pay for the wealth of materials presented here.
There is one significant issue with the set as it was released, and it has to do with the 3D presentation of Revenge of the Creature and the bonkers Gill-Man-in-a-Fedora classic The Creature Walks Among Us. The 3D film is presented in is a side-by-side image resulting from a manufacturing snafu that has been since been corrected with replacement discs being made available for buyers. Unfortunately Walks is also on that disc, meaning that both films were compromised, and the latter suffers from a 720p presentation for no apparent reason. I hear conflicting reports about how that has been handled, but we hope a solution can be found.
While the set obviously should've been QC'd properly before making its way to stores, overall this set is still a must own for monster kids or anyone interested in classic Hollywood cinema. The restorations are impeccable, the features plentiful, and the presentation of the set and care given to providing fans with a comprehensive experience is very solid.
Find the details of the set below and at the very bottom, the giveaway details.
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A LANDMARK COLLECTION SHOWCASING THE LEGENDARY MONSTERS IN MOTION PICTURE HISTORY
UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: COMPLETE 30-FILM COLLECTION
AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY™ ON AUGUST 28, 2018
FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Universal City, California, August 22, 2018 – Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection on August 28, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes all Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the horror genre with imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror in unforgettable films from the 1930s to late-1950s.
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 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 and showcase why these landmark movies that defined the horror genre are regarded as some of the most unforgettable ever to be filmed.
Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs and is accompanied by an array of bonus features including behind-the-scenes documentaries, 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 and more. The perfect gift for any scary movie fan, the collection offers an opportunity to experience some of the most memorable horror films of our time.
The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection 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).
· Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
· 3D Versions of Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature
· 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
Now! Let's get to the good stuff! Since this is a pretty big prize, I'm gonna expect a little bit of effort. One of the great things about the heyday of the Universal Monster films is the lengths to which the makers meant to keep the films fresh and exciting. What I want is your suggestion of a golden age Monster sequel that you would've liked to have seen. Give me your best title and one sentence logline for your dream sequel.