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Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection

post #1 of 111
Thread Starter 
Wow ........

From Blu-ray.com
http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=9036

In the fall, Universal Studios Home Entertainment will bring Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection to Blu-ray. This eight-disc, limited-edition box set compiles nine films (listed in Universal's press release as only eight) from the studio's venerated horror movie catalog, all of which make their respective U.S. Blu-ray debuts through this package.

The films include:

Dracula (1931)
Drácula [Spanish-language version] (1931)
Frankenstein (1931)
The Mummy (1932)
The Invisible Man (1933)
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Wolf Man (1941)
Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (3-D, 1954)


While the exact technical specifications are still unknown for the individual discs, Universal's press release notes that the nine pictures have been "digitally restored from high resolution film elements." The set also includes over twelve hours of bonus supplements, such as:

Both versions of Dracula (on a single BD-50) -

Introduction to the Spanish language version by Lupita Tovar Kohner
Audio commentaries:
Film historian David J. Skal
Dracula: Dead and Loving It screenwriter Steve Haberman
Alternate Philip Glass score performed by the Kronos Quartet
Monster Tracks interactive pop-up feature about the making of Dracula
Behind-the-scenes featurettes:
The Road to Dracula
Lugosi: The Dark Prince
Dracula: The Restoration featurette
The Dracula Archives feature
Trailer gallery

Frankenstein -

Audio commentaries:
Film historian Rudy Behlmer
Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
Monster Tracks interactive pop-up feature about the making of Frankenstein
Behind-the-scenes featurettes:
The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster
Karloff: The Gentle Monster
Universal Horror featurette
The Frankenstein Archives feature
Boo!: A Short Film
100 Years Of Universal featurette: Restoring the Classics
Trailer gallery

The Mummy -

Audio commentaries:
Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns, and Brent Armstrong
Film historian Paul M. Jensen
Behind-the-scenes featurettes:
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
100 Years Of Universal featurette: The Carl Laemmle Era
Trailer gallery

The Invisible Man -

Audio commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer
Now You See Him: The Invisible Man Revealed behind-the-scenes featurette
100 Years Of Universal featurette: Unforgettable Characters
Production photographs

Bride of Frankenstein -

Audio commentary with Scott MacQueen
She's Alive! Creating The Bride Of Frankenstein behind-the-scenes featurette
The Bride of Frankenstein Archives feature
100 Years Of Universal featurette: Restoring the Classics
Trailer gallery

The Wolf Man -

Audio commentary with film historian Tom Weaver
Behind-the-scenes featurettes:
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
100 Years Of Universal featurette: The Lot
Trailer gallery

Phantom of the Opera -

Audio commentary with Scott MacQueen
The Opera Ghost: A Phantom Unmasked behind-the-scenes featurette
100 Years Of Universal featurette: The Lot
Theatrical trailer
Production photographs

Creature from the Black Lagoon -

3D version of the film
Audio commentary with Tom Weaver
Back to The Black Lagoon behind-the-scenes featurette
100 Years Of Universal featurette: The Lot
Trailer gallery
Production photographs

In addition, the collection comes with a forty-eight-page book featuring behind-the-scenes photographs, original posters, and rare correspondences.

Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection streets on October 2nd.
post #2 of 111
This will probably be really expensive... When Uni released the DVDs, they were priced rather high... I think $30 on the street for each movie... I bought the DVDs for cheap when Borders folded...
post #3 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

This will probably be really expensive... When Uni released the DVDs, they were priced rather high... I think $30 on the street for each movie... I bought the DVDs for cheap when Borders folded...

$159.99 suggested retail

http://www.classicflix.com/universal-classic-monsters-essential-collection-october-a-1259.html

Figure it'll be around 125-130 on Amazon.

Nice that Creature includes the 3-D and 2-D version - I sure hope they have it widescreen as well.
post #4 of 111
Only the best announcement in the history of Blu-ray.

As a fan of catalogue in general and the classic monsters in particular, this is the announcement I've been waiting for. It's likely the announcement that will push me to adopt 3D.

Break out the 3D glasses. Here's the old Aurora plastic kit of the Creature...I built it and photographed it in anaglyph 3D.

creechbw.jpg
post #5 of 111
The transfers will be screwed up somehow. Come on, this is Universal we're talking about. You know it will happen.

And will the Creature 3D version be a true MVC encoded 3D Blu-ray of the original B&W L/R camera negatives or red/green anaglyph?
post #6 of 111
I'll wait for the "Complete Collection".

Come on, where are the sequels? mad.gif
post #7 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDad View Post

Dracula (1931)
Drácula [Spanish-language version] (1931)
Frankenstein (1931)
The Mummy (1932)

The Invisible Man (1933)
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Wolf Man (1941)

Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (3-D, 1954)

Must-haves!

(Maybe also The Invisible Man)

(And... since Phantom is in Technicolor, that might make up for it being a poor interpretation of Leroux's novel.)
post #8 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

The transfers will be screwed up somehow.

Yep. Unfortunately, that is the first thing that pops into my mind every time I see a Universal Studios catalog announcement. mad.gif
post #9 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex Robinson View Post

Only the best announcement in the history of Blu-ray.
As a fan of catalogue in general and the classic monsters in particular, this is the announcement I've been waiting for. It's likely the announcement that will push me to adopt 3D.
Break out the 3D glasses. Here's the old Aurora plastic kit of the Creature...I built it and photographed it in anaglyph 3D.
creechbw.jpg

That picture takes me back. Two friends and I were really involved in those model kits for a couple of years. At the time (early 1970s), they were hard to find, but I stumbled upon them in a store somewhere. Anyway, we loved painting them. Remember the glow-in-the-dark versions?

Doug
post #10 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougotte View Post

That picture takes me back. Two friends and I were really involved in those model kits for a couple of years. At the time (early 1970s), they were hard to find, but I stumbled upon them in a store somewhere. Anyway, we loved painting them. Remember the glow-in-the-dark versions?
Doug

Sure I remember the glow versions smile.gif.

Guys about my age (having just turned 54 on Monday...and getting letter saying I failed my PSA and need a prostate biopsy next week) are part of the "monsterkid" generation. When these Universal classics went into wide syndication circa 1960, they spawned a generation of kids who really got into the monsters. Aurora came out with the first of the monster kits: Frankenstein. They eventually did pretty much all of the classic monsters. And I remember monster trading cards.

It's one of the ironies that the BIGGEST fans of the monsters...just as with Abbott & Costello...aren't the original movie fans (who would be in their 80's and 90's now) but those of us who grew up with them on TV.
post #11 of 111
To all the people who said the titles and the whole leaked Universal list were fake I present you this thread...
post #12 of 111
No non-stereovision version of Creature from the Black Lagoon? Ugh.

I am not that keen on 'Collection' sets, they tend to be rush jobs and Universal is no exception...
post #13 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post

No non-stereovision version of Creature from the Black Lagoon? Ugh.

Both the original 3D version and the alternate 2D version are included. As long as they are both also widescreen, we're good to go with Creature.
post #14 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJPete View Post

Both the original 3D version and the alternate 2D version are included. As long as they are both also widescreen, we're good to go with Creature.

So the stereovision was listed as a bonus supplement? That's not confusing...
post #15 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

The transfers will be screwed up somehow. Come on, this is Universal we're talking about. You know it will happen.
And will the Creature 3D version be a true MVC encoded 3D Blu-ray of the original B&W L/R camera negatives or red/green anaglyph?
As pleasED as I am too hear this, I concur!
I'm thinking... old transfers*.

Butt hay, it's new old Blu's... tongue.gif

* however the 3D would B a new transfer.
post #16 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJPete View Post

Both the original 3D version and the alternate 2D version are included. As long as they are both also widescreen, we're good to go with Creature.
My fave aspect ratio no less! cool.gif
post #17 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post

So the stereovision was listed as a bonus supplement? That's not confusing...

I don't take it that way. CFBL has been available on home video for decades. Outside of the MCA subpar anaglyphic VHS and betamax versions in the early 80s which were quickly recalled, this will be the first time CFBL will be available to the public in its original 3-D form, delivered via the superior 3-D BluRay format. I would call that a very nice bonus. Or as the bean counters call it: "value added content". It is a bonus supplement one can use or discard (watch it standard 2D), should the viewer not have the proper 3-D Bluray gear and 3DTV.

If only the recent BluRay of HONDO would have included the original 3-D. Now THAT would have been a great bonus.
post #18 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex Robinson View Post

Sure I remember the glow versions smile.gif.
Guys about my age (having just turned 54 on Monday...and getting letter saying I failed my PSA and need a prostate biopsy next week) are part of the "monsterkid" generation. When these Universal classics went into wide syndication circa 1960, they spawned a generation of kids who really got into the monsters. Aurora came out with the first of the monster kits: Frankenstein. They eventually did pretty much all of the classic monsters. And I remember monster trading cards.
It's one of the ironies that the BIGGEST fans of the monsters...just as with Abbott & Costello...aren't the original movie fans (who would be in their 80's and 90's now) but those of us who grew up with them on TV.

I'm just 2 months younger than you, and I agree about our generation being the biggest fans of the Universal films. I remember reading about them in Famous Monsters and becoming so excited about these iconic movies. Then, when the local late horror show would show them, it was a big deal to stay up to 11:30pm on a Friday night to watch them.

Good luck w/ your biopsy.

Doug
post #19 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex Robinson View Post

Sure I remember the glow versions smile.gif.
Guys about my age (having just turned 54 on Monday...and getting letter saying I failed my PSA and need a prostate biopsy next week) are part of the "monsterkid" generation. When these Universal classics went into wide syndication circa 1960, they spawned a generation of kids who really got into the monsters. Aurora came out with the first of the monster kits: Frankenstein. They eventually did pretty much all of the classic monsters. And I remember monster trading cards.
It's one of the ironies that the BIGGEST fans of the monsters...just as with Abbott & Costello...aren't the original movie fans (who would be in their 80's and 90's now) but those of us who grew up with them on TV.

I got a set of unopened Monster Trading Cards from eBay a few years ago. They still have that slab of bubble gum inside. I keep them on display with my Universal Monster figures. I'll be 60 in August. I sure had a imaginative childhood thanks in part to Universal Monsters. The release of these on BD and the inclusion of Creature in 3D are indeed the best movie release news of the year for me also.
post #20 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex Robinson View Post

Sure I remember the glow versions smile.gif.
Guys about my age (having just turned 54 on Monday...and getting letter saying I failed my PSA and need a prostate biopsy next week) are part of the "monsterkid" generation. When these Universal classics went into wide syndication circa 1960, they spawned a generation of kids who really got into the monsters. Aurora came out with the first of the monster kits: Frankenstein. They eventually did pretty much all of the classic monsters. And I remember monster trading cards.
It's one of the ironies that the BIGGEST fans of the monsters...just as with Abbott & Costello...aren't the original movie fans (who would be in their 80's and 90's now) but those of us who grew up with them on TV.

Wanted you to know that I have prayed and will pray for your upcoming prostate biopsy. God Bless.
post #21 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

The transfers will be screwed up somehow. Come on, this is Universal we're talking about. You know it will happen.

It's so damned unfortunate these movies are owned by Universal. I agree; I would be shocked if these are not smoothed over with DNR for the newer generation as the studio would probably say.
post #22 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post

It's so damned unfortunate these movies are owned by Universal. I agree; I would be shocked if these are not smoothed over with DNR for the newer generation as the studio would probably say.

Or put fake grain afterward, which I slightly suspect is the case with the Private Buck BD. Could be wrong though.
post #23 of 111
The HDTV version of dracula has "grain" or at least is halfway natural, way more than the normal Universal crap
post #24 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdmike007 View Post

The HDTV version of dracula has "grain" or at least is halfway natural, way more than the normal Universal crap

Even if that same master were used for BD, it unfortunately seems as if Universal's home video chain would introduce DNR somewhere down the line. As has happened with many of their BD catalog re-releases of mostly fine HD-DVDs.
post #25 of 111
Not to mention some of Universal's broadcasts have more grain than their Blu-ray version (such as Back to the Future).
post #26 of 111
I've reviewed some of these titles recently and have thumbnails from the DVDs:

I saw The Wolf Man (1941) and its first sequel but didn't review them because they seemed weak compared to the others. I haven't seen The Invisible Man (1933) for decades and have no memories of Phantom of the Opera (1943) at all.

-Bill
Edited by wmcclain - 6/30/12 at 5:35am
post #27 of 111
Unless it's Region B locked, if you're willing to give up the Spanish Dracula you can save a lot of $$ getting the UK edition:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/
post #28 of 111
For what arbitrary reason would they drop the Spanish version?

Don't Universal use the same discs around the world? The sure do have a craptonne of language options.
post #29 of 111
A guy at Amazon commented in reply to my comment that Universal confirmed that the UK version will have both Draculas. So the question is (which I asked him in response): Is the ~$58 (+ shipping) US dollars UK version Region B locked, or not?
Edited by eweiss - 7/6/12 at 11:17am
post #30 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex Robinson View Post

Sure I remember the glow versions smile.gif.
Guys about my age (having just turned 54 on Monday...and getting letter saying I failed my PSA and need a prostate biopsy next week) are part of the "monsterkid" generation. When these Universal classics went into wide syndication circa 1960, they spawned a generation of kids who really got into the monsters. Aurora came out with the first of the monster kits: Frankenstein. They eventually did pretty much all of the classic monsters. And I remember monster trading cards.
It's one of the ironies that the BIGGEST fans of the monsters...just as with Abbott & Costello...aren't the original movie fans (who would be in their 80's and 90's now) but those of us who grew up with them on TV.

Great post, Dex. I'm a year older than you (passed my PSA but found out I'm pre-diabetic last week), and I remember all that monster stuff, too. In fact, I wonder if I really like the Universal monster movies as much as I think I do; or if I just like the fact that they take me back to my youth when they were the coolest thing around. I used to love Famous Monsters magazine and I think I had all of the Aurora monster kits (except The Witch). Some of the kits were re-released, and I still have the Frankenstein monster from that series that I need to finish building one of these days. You are right that Famous Monsters, Aurora and the TV showings seem to be when those movies really became considered as enduring classics.

I ordered the UK Monster set from Amazon.UK.
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