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Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Timeless is probably underselling the legacy and importance of the classic Universal Monsters. Many of them with literary origins, but its their cinematic iterations that have and continue to live forever. Their original forms as played by Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Claude Raines and Lon Chaney, Jr. still shower the aisles of our favorite pop up Halloween store and special section of our department stores every fall. Whether you’re a senior or a curious child, these films has something for everyone. At one time the latest groundbreaking films at the cinema, they’ve since been analyzed and psycho-analyzed up and down and stand tall as the golden standard and cinematic works of art. True masterpieces not only making careers and setting standards, but bringing joy, tradition and inspiration to many generations and lifetimes of fans and creators. When it comes to home video, they are deserving of every high order of treatment. And now, with great excitement, every film in the 30-film run of the “canon” has now come to Blu-ray. From Tod Browning’s monumental Dracula, to the schlocky trilogy capper of The Creature Walks Among Us, its all accounted for. Order yourself a copy to have 1-film per day this October and join me as we run back through each monster’s legacy.

This is quite the load to unpack here in one review. I’m going to be going over it monster by monster and then lumping together a couple fads that they found themselves in in the final two eras of their impressive run. But first, lets take a look at what this all entails. This set is basically a collection of all of the Blu-ray Legacy sets. Its basically the Blu-ray upgrade for the 2014 DVD set that Universal put out to sort of test the waters for interest. Prior, the “essentials” had been released on Blu-ray already. Which, was all an upgrade of the 2004 DVD sets.

When you own all the sets, you are going to have a lot of crossover and duplicates of the films. Its just the nature of the beast and probably easier for authoring and replicating for Universal. House of Dracula sucks, but you’re gonna have yourself 3 copies of it.

PLEASE NOTE – Regarding REVENGE OF THE CREATURE, Universal has a disc replacement program due to an error found with the 3D presentation of the film.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) has identified a manufacturing issue which may affect the presentation of the 3D Blu-ray offering of the film Revenge of the Creature, released on August 28, 2018 as part of the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collectionand the Creature From the Black Lagoon Complete Legacy Collection.The issue is isolated to this particular film and does not affect any other discs in the collections. UPHE’s goal is to always deliver the best possible product to its consumers. To that end, a replacement program is being established to ensure that those who have purchased either collection have the opportunity to receive a corrected Blu-ray disc featuring the 3D version of Revenge of the Creature and 2D version of The Creature Walks Among Us, should they encounter the issue. To receive an updated disc, please email USHEConsumerRelations@visionmediamgmt.com

Here’s how the set breaks down

Dracula Legacy Collection (4-Discs) – Dracula, Spanish Dracula, Dracula’s Daughter, Son of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

Frankenstein Legacy Collection (5-Discs) – Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

The Mummy Legacy Collection (4-Discs) – The Mummy, The Mummy’s Hand, The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Ghost, The Mummy’s Curse, Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy

The Invisible Man (4-Discs) – The Invisible Man, The Invisible Man Returns, The Invisible Woman, Invisible Agent, The Invisible Man’s Revenge, Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man

The Wolf Man (4-Disc) – The Wolf Man, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, Werewolf of London, She-Wolf of London

Phantom of the Opera (1-Disc) – Phantom of the Opera

Creature From the Black Lagaoon (2-Disc) – Creature From the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us

Dracula

Tod Browning’s film began a phenomenon that has seen itself repeated in different ways through history. Its a stone-cold horror legend. Dracula was a landmark film that changed everything. Helping to take it above and beyond was its leading man, Bela Lugosi in the title role. His scenery chewing performance is iconic, to the point where kids who don’t even know this movie will probably do a Dracula impression cribbing his Hungarian accent. Not to be overlooked, but the Dwight Frye performance of Renfield is amazing descent into insanity. The film is a beauty to look at, a Gothic dreamlike atmosphere. Still spooky to this day. The introduction to the dungeon beneath his castle, with Dracula’s brides rising from their coffins and leering toward the camera is still creepy and to this day.

While Dracula was a massive success, it spawned Frankenstein and not a sequel. It wasn’t until Frankenstein saw success in a sequel that Dracula was given one in Dracula’s Daughter. The Prince of Darkness did not appear in the film that picked up from his staking in the previous story. Dracula’s Daughter is often a forgotten piece of the monster canon, but its quite unique and very good, often feeling more like something that would inspire Hammer Horror Gothic romance films more than just a monster fest. Its rich in character and ahead of its time, seeking to tackle more progressive content.

The final film in the solo Dracula efforts, Son of Dracula, had Lon Chaney, Jr. getting the Blood Stone on his quest to fulfill his monster Infinity Gauntlet. This is a neat tale of betrayal and fun that has a narrative all its own that also happens to throw a Dracula wrench into the mix. It also gives us the classic famous shocking reveal of “Alucard is Dracula spelled backwards!” This is just a solid monster movie that doesn’t bring much to to the table but is still quite an entertaining and good time.

Spanish Dracula

Not to be overlooked, is the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula. Attached as a bonus feature here, it is quite an amusing discovery and interesting piece of study. For those unfamiliar, at this time in filmmaking, instead of dubbing a foreign language track for films, studios would sometimes just hire in an entirely separate cast and crew to film on the same sets with the same script for a foreign territory. Here is an example of that. Right off the bat, this film’s only weakness is Dracula himself. Lugosi blows this guy out of the water. Outside of that, the technique, camera movement and deliveries are mostly improvements or interesting alternatives to the Tod Browning film. The Spanish production had the advantage of watching to English dailies and seeing what would and wouldn’t work or seeking a different angle or line delivery as opposed to what they did. There is a much more active camera here, utilizing dolly movements and more. This version also uses the whole script and runs itself much longer than the more known version. Everyone agrees Lugosi is the best Count Dracula of the two actors, but many believe the Spanish film to be the better crafted of the two.

Frankenstein

My personal favorite monster of this group, Frankenstein’s, was the film that took the good will and acclaim of Dracula and then exploded with popularity. Mary Shelley’s story didn’t follow the book to a T, but all elements would always be mined from in the films. The monster was given a brilliant performance from Boris Karloff (Billed only as “Karloff”), that only finds much meaning and appreciation over time. Its an incredibly spooky film and a thrilling study of power, obsession and madness while at the same time about struggling to understand one’s self and battling to fit in world that fears you. Frankenstein’s monster is a rageful being, and one that the other monsters like The Mummy and Gill-man would borrow from. If anything, this is a very primal beginning of what would become the 80s teen slasher villain monster. Today, James Whale’s film is just as haunting, scary and thoughtful (Maybe even moreso) as it was in 1931. A quick aside, I like to show my children classic horror films after Trick or Treating on Halloween. I attempted this one when he was 3 and we had to shut it off and switch to Dracula (Which he’d never seen) because the look of it frightened him. He fell in love with Dracula and then went back to investigate this one and has become obsessed with the monsters (Big Gill-man fan, he is).

Frankenstein was the film that really drove the Universal Monsters era and the well with which they would continue to pull from. They’d get Whale back to do a sequel and it became possibly the most acclaimed of all the films in The Bride of Frankenstein. Time has been very kind to it, as its a big departure and an odd duck, but a fantastic and holy unique film. And for a character that shows up in the final four minutes, they sure hit one clear out of the park with the Bride character. She’s one of the most memorable of all and doesn’t hang around long and never returns to any of the films.

Popularity waned on these monster films toward the late 30s. A double feature bill of Dracula and Frankenstein that traveled proved popularity, so it was decided to bring back a new monster film. Who did they turn to? Frankenstein’s monster of course. Son of Frankenstein didn’t bring Whale back, but Karloff returned for his swan song. Bela Lugosi was brought in to team up with this one and gives perhaps his best performance and character here as Ygor. Seriously, he is phenomenal. Its a longer film, but one I think holds up right to the first two. I’ll never understand the furry sweater the monster wears in it, but oh well. Of note, if this film feels familiar, its because it is the outline for Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. As my friend Jim Dietz says, its Young Frankenstein played straightfaced.

The Ghost of Frankenstein was a no-brainer following the success of Son. However, the money had washed up and the ideas were starting to run dry. This film was the one where Lon Chaney, Jr. gained his electrical stone on his monster Infinity Gauntlet, taking over from Lon Chaney, Jr. There are some solid ideas here, and the film is a solid watch, but its a notable step down from the excellence and prestige of the first three films. Chaney is also no Karloff, but he’s not terrible. The best part of this film is that Lugosi returns to play Ygor who serves another big part in the film.

We’ll return with more Frankenstein discussion later on.

The Mummy

We always, rightfully, match Boris Karloff up to Frankenstein’s monster. He’s also absolutely terrific in The Mummy. A film, which, retroactively, probably surprises many when they first see it. Its not like many’s preconceived notions about it. And no, I’m not talking because of the Brendan Fraser films that made a name for themselves as the century turned, but that the stereotypical thought when it comes to a mummy is this toilet paper-rolled goon slowly moving to attack innocent bystanders with his arms outstretched. Not the case here. This mummy has an agenda, speaks, and is incredibly eerie with his approach. As a matter of fact, his bandaged self is barely a thing in this film. His look and effectiveness is done with some outstanding Jack Pierce make-up with techniques that are still employed to this day even. The Mummy is a creepy thriller set within a museum featuring many mysteries regarding its antagonist.

The Mummy sequels, on the otherhand, are the ones that cemented a legacy for the character. When it comes to a sense of adventure and action that the Sommers films and CRUISEMUMMY are trying to get after, its the sequels they are cribbing from. Heck, Indiana Jones is somewhat inspired by these movies. They feature much more exploration and exotic territories than the original, which seriously is a creepy horror film. These play more for adventure with supernatural and horror elements. Yeah, I sound like one of those pricks trying to tell you how they aren’t horror movies, but fear not, they ARE horror movies. Like Karloff being iconic as The Mummy in addition to the monster, Lon Chaney Jr. could be as well, donning the TP 3 times for these sequels. A fun trivia bit; Robert Lowery, the second cinematic Batman, shows up in The Mummy’s Ghost.

The Invisible Man

James Whale not only gave us Frankenstein, but he’s the guy who launched The Invisible Man as well. This film still is impressive on a technical level and quite the marvel for its time.  It has probably our most unique protagonist(?) of all the monsters as he’s a bit of a tough pill to swallow. That’s just the character we have to be with, actor Claude Raines is brilliant in the role. There are things here with the film, maybe because its Whale at the helm, that start making the monster films feel a little redundant. Ideas, themes, scenes, characters and plot beats that all feel a little familiar and as if they’ve been done in the past. Considering we have a completely different situation, its odd, but its there. Regardless, this film still delivers, still is iconic and still wows with its special effects. This story would prove one of the most influential, as the film would be “remade” exactly per se, but a lot of films would grab inspiration from both its concepts and ideas.

Like The Mummy, The Invisible Man would go onto many sequels (And his own Abbott and Costello film), none really seeing the acclaim of the first.  Vincent Price even shows up for one of them (And subsequently would cameo in the Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein film). The series wouldn’t continue on with a character at all, just invisible people in invisible situations. They even have the dated concept (Which sadly still persists today) of trying to make a sale on this new one being a big deal because its… a different gender (Oh how far we’ve still yet to come). Overall, these are pretty fun films, even if the concept doesn’t stretch too far and the effects never reach the heights of the first film.

The Wolf Man

While not the first werewolf in the Universal run of monster movies, he’s the one that landed. There was a film in the early 1930s called Werewolf of London, terrific in its own way, that came and went. But in 1941, with the advent of dynamite make up from Jack Pierce, the werewolf really became legendary when Lon Chaney, Jr. breathed life into it. A truly tragic and heartbreaking performance, the film really showcases his turmoil and battle with the unfortunate circumstances that have become him. Seriously, everything sucks for Larry Talbot. Not that he was that great of a guy before he returned to his hometown, but he seemed to be wanting to make things better in his life. The film really makes the wolf a force to be reckoned with and a sheer vision of terror. Lugosi even pops up here as another memorable side character, though  more of a cameo in the film. There would only be one more solo Universal werewolf movie down the line that had really nothing to do with this, called She-Wolf of London.

When The Wolf Man returned, he wouldn’t be alone. Trying to find a way to reinvigorate interest in the monsters and restore them, the second Wolf Man movie also became the fifth Frankenstein movie. They decided to mash up some monsters and see how it would go. Continuing from Ghost, Lugosi would play the monster. The film primarily is Larry Talbot’s narrative and more Wolf Man 2 than Frankenstein 5. When their worlds collide its a whirlwind of fun and you almost want to jump out of your seat in excitement when the two spar off at the end. However, this movie was riddled with production problems and most of Lugosi’s stuff was cut. The monster actually had his own story and DIALOGUE in the original version. Test audiences back and studio execs weren’t in favor of Lugosi’s performance, so it was all cut. Now, in the finished film, we aren’t mad privy to the fact that the monster is blind in in the movie (Continuity porting over from the end of Ghost of Frankenstein). That’s why his arms are outstretched and he clunks around a hair clumsily. This would wind up being one of the most iconic aspects the monster EVER, too! Ask someone to do a “Frankenstein impression” and 99% of the time they will outstretch their arms and walk with heavy feat. It came from this, the fifth film featuring the monster, not the original or any of the 3 sequels that followed it.

Phantom of the Opera

And, 1943’s Phantom of the Opera rounds the total films in the set out to a nice 30, right? I’m just kidding, the film is fine. It holds no candle to the Lon Chaney one that’s not in this set, but it works as a curious remake and seeing things in color. Nothing it in it feels remotely iconic about it when watching, though its still a good telling of the story and competently made. Though, when many think of the Phantom of the Opera and the Universal Classic Monsters, they STILL have Chaney iteration in their head. It stands alone, too, there are no sequels or spin-off films to throw in with this one. You almost feel another Abbott and Costello Film (Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, Karloff) or maybe the Murders In The Black Cat starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

Monster Rally

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man became a success and extended the life of the monster films a little more. It kicked off the “Rally” films in the Universal canon. This is where they would offered multiple monsters for the price of one movie. It features the holy trinity of Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and The Wolf Man most importantly. However, they’d take on “Mad Scientist” and “Hunchback” to round out and make it five. Glenn Strange would be the monster in these films and carry over to Abbott and Costello as well. John Carradine would play Dracula for these two “House” films and later play him for different studios. Boris Karloff returned for the first, House of Frankenstein as a mad scientist with which the narrative follows. Its fitting that his send off would be in the arms of the monster for this. House of Dracula, basically kind of repeated it. House of Frankenstein follows its mad scientist and hunchback but mainly takes an anthology route with the big 3 monsters. We never see them all on screen together at all. They show up, have a story start and finish then move on to the next monster. While not as good a film (Mainly because the budget was super low), House of Dracula at least creates a narrative to involve all three of them, but none of them fight. The monster in both films is reduced to just showing up at the end, strapped to a table and then breaking out and destroying stuff. Of all the films in the canon, these two have probably aged the poorest and while fun, their shortcomings are most visible.

Abbott and Costello

One last breath of life for the monsters came when a comedic duo also needed a big comeback. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello struck gold when they decided to “Meet” the monsters. The first film, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein had them sharing space the trifecta of Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and The Wolf Man. Bela Lugosi returned to his star making role, Lon Chaney Jr continued and Glenn Strange carried on and actually was given stuff to do as the monster. This is seriously one of best horror comedies (Actually THE landmark horror comedy) one of the funniest films ever made. What’s great is they actually respect the monsters and take them seriously. The only zaniness in the film comes from Abbott and Costello. The monsters actually play straight and everyone is committed to being in a straight monster movie. There is actually some fantastic suspense that comes with the film as well. And that’s in part to the characters and comedy working so well. This would wind up a swan song for the big 3 monsters and the start of a resurgence for Abbott and Costello. They’d keep meeting different monsters like The Mummy and The Invisible Man until this fad began to wear. And if anything, Frankenstein is such an achievement, while the others don’t reach this kind of high, they are more than earned victory laps for this one film.

Creature From the Black Lagoon

And at last, but not even close to least, we reach the beautiful work of art that is Creature From the Black Lagoon. Gill-man came almost a decade after the final phase of the classic monsters had ended. He happened during more the atomic age of Universal horror. However, there is something more human and more classic to this one than there is with the giant spiders and other monsters of the time. Its a film like this that inspires Jaws and more obviously The Shape of Water. The film also lends itself to seemingly inspiring the likes of a Friday the 13th and all its fellow knockoffs (Possibly without even realizing it). There is just something beautiful about this film, and its certainly one of the best shot film in the entire run, with some breathtaking below sea level work. Personally, I hold this one in the highest regard, up there with the first 2 Frankenstein films and Dracula.

The sequels, however, are quite a bit of schlock and more akin to their era than the first. For me, they are fun, but at the time, they had to be a disappointment. Revenge of the Creature would go on to be a sequel template, though, which is pretty fun. Jaws 3-D and Jurassic World are easy ones to show example of the second Gill-man outings legacy. The whole, amusement park attraction breaks out and attacks the patrons began right here. The third film tries to both go back to the roots and also do something wild and completely new. Its a weird bit of fun. As I said, these are both totally schlocky, but also totally fun with the right person and maybe the right beverage or puff at your side.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG-4 MVC (Creature From the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature ONLY)

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio:

  • Dracula / Spanish Dracula / Frankenstein / The Mummy / The Invisible Man / The Bride of Frankenstein / Werewolf of London / Dracula’s Daughter / Son of Frankenstein / The Invisible Man Returns / The Mummy’s Hand / The Invisible Woman / The Wolf Man / The Ghost of Frankenstein / Invisible Agent / The Mummy’s Tomb / Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man / Phantom of the Opera / Son of Dracula / The Invisible Man’s Revenge / The Mummy’s Ghost / House of Frankenstein / The Mummy’s Curse / House of Dracula / She-Wolf of London / Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein / Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man – 1.33:1
  • Creature From the Black Lagoon / Revenge of the Creature / The Creature Walks Among US – 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: As they have been highly praised since they arrived on the Blu-ray scene back in 2012, the Universal Classic Monster films have received some top flight and mightily impressive restorations in their Blu-ray transfers. Countless hours of loving remastering and repair have been done to these films and it really shows. They even have let us in on some insight via a few bonus features. Its a terrific look not into just the monster films but the process in general. The original run of films have received the most intricate of the restoring and fixes. From then on, it depends on the popularity and stature of the film as to which will look the crispest, cleanest, most detailed with minimal print damage. Its also terrific to see Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us now restored to their original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 as well. That’s a new benefit of the set aside from it now also being available in 3D. The whole Frankenstein canon looks outstanding. The Mummy sequels are surprisingly pretty impressive up and down. Dracula’s Daughter and Son of Dracula looks pretty good. However, the Werewolf and She-Wolf of London films probably remain the least impressive in the set. They are possibly the least known or popular as well. That should give you a good idea what to expect before going into everything. Every one of the films is a leap above its DVD counterpart though, and a true loving and worthwhile upgrade for your expenditure.

Depth:  There is an impressive depth of field on the majority of these film. They’ve been wonderfully transferred, now featuring much more smooth and confident camera and character movements. Push back and the individuality of the person or object on the screen can sometimes bring a 3D-like nature to the look of some of these films from the 1930’s and 40’s. For Creature From the Black Lagoon and its sequel Revenge of the Creature, I cannot speak of in 3D as I don’t have 3D capabilities on my current setup.

Black Levels: The black levels are deep and of the utmost beauty on all of these film. They are very rich and well saturated, shadowed and overall detailed with the darks. These films have become even more wonderful works of art visually than they ever were before with the advent of Blu-ray. The moment you pop in Dracula, you’ll be whisked away into a classic, noir-fueled Gothic dream-like state. The work they’ve done on these is unbelievable and right here in the carefully restored and precise blacks are a big reason why. No crushing witnessed during any of these.

Color Reproduction: The only feature in color is Phantom of the Opera. It may be the weakest looking of the bunch because there is so much more at stake here. It was done using the old technicolor process which can sometimes be a challeng when transferring it to Blu-ray. Sometimes you get The Red Shoes, but that’s probably the tallest order. This falls short of that, but is better than most of the packs. Colors come on fine and crisp, good contrast, nothing really popping, but it holds together without bleeding and overall has some terrific saturation going on.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones all carry a very similar white/gray look to them with the black and white process. They have a nice, haunting, noir-ish quality to them. Facial details come on impressively strong in close ups and give you some solid textures in medium shots. Far away, coupled with the color of the skin makes details a little tougher to get through, no matter the quality. Phantom of the Opera’s skin tones are natural and reveal good make-up and facial details from most distances.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s):

  • Dracula / Frankenstein / The Mummy / The Invisible Man / The Bride of Frankenstein / The Wolf Man / Phantom of the Opera / Creature From the Black Lagoon – English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, French 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA
  • Spanish Dracula – Spanish 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA)
  • Werewolf of London / Dracula’s Daughter / Son of Frankenstein / The Mummy’s Hand / The Invisible Man Returns / The Invisible Woman / The Ghost of Frankenstein / The Mummy’s Tomb / Invisible Agent / Son Of Dracula / Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man / House of Frankenstein / The Mummy’s Ghost / The Mummy’s Curse / The Invisible Man’s Revenge / House of Dracula / She-Wolf of London / Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein / Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man / Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy / Revenge of the Creature / The Creature Walks Among Us – English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles:

  • Dracula / Frankenstein / The Mummy/ The Invisible Man / The Bride of Frankenstein / The Wolf Man / Phantom of the Opera / Creature From the Black Lagoon – English SDH, Spanish
  • Spanish Dracula – English SDH
  • Werewolf of London / Dracula’s Daughter / Son of Frankenstein / The Invisible Man Returns / The Invisible Woman / The Ghost of Frankenstein / Invisible Agent / The Mummy’s Tomb / Son of Dracula / Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man / House of Frankenstein / The Invisible Man’s Revenge / House of Dracula / She-Wolf of London / Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein / Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man / Revenge of the Creature / The Creature Walks Among Us – English SDH, Spanish, French
  • The Mummy’s Hand / The Mummy’s Tomb / The Mummy’s Ghost / The Mummy’s Curse / Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy – English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Dynamics: As is with the video, the audio for the monsters films sounds quite refreshed and stunningly very clean at times. When it comes to things sounding more analog, it particularly makes itself obvious when the score plays for the films. Aside from that, the mono track has a wonderful balance and really good, crisp, layered depth on the sound effects in each film. As is with the video, so popular or well regarded is the film/series, so goes the amount of work or quality on the audio of the film. However, with this being mono, pretty much all of them sound varying degrees of terrific, so there are no big drops like from Frankenstein to Werewolf of London like there is when it comes to the video quality.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp on many of these, but also take note that they do sound very much tied to their analog sourcing. There is a light his and some pops at times, but that’s a lot of the charm for someone like me. Of course, the cleaner vocals come in the more popular and more attention paid to restored films in the set.

Extras 

The Universal Classic Monsters: 30-Film Collection comes with a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs. The films are assorted by Legacy Collections in their amaray cases tucked away nicely in a hard shell. Its identical to the DVD collection, but now the size of one for Blu-ray. With the exception of being able to watch Revenge of the Creature in 3D, all bonus features have been previously released, no new content has been added.

I will list bonus features by disc/film.

Dracula

Audio Commentary

  • With Film Historian David J. Skal
  • With Steve Haberman, Screenwriter of Dracula: Dead and Loving It

Dracula (1931) Spanish Version

  • Includes the option to play with an introduction by Lupita Tovar Kohner

The Road to Dracula (SD, 35:04)

Lugosi: The Dark Prince (SD, 36:07) 

Dracula: The Restoration (HD, 8:46)

Monster Tracks

Dracula Archives (SD, 9:11)

Alternate Score by Philip Glass – Performed by the Kronos Quartet

Frankenstein

Audio Commentary

  • With Film Historian Rudy Behlmer
  • With Historian Sir Christopher Frayling

The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster (SD, 44:53)

Karloff: The Gentile Monster (SD, 37:58)

Monster Tracks

Universal Horror (SD, 1:35:26)

Frankenstein Archives (SD, 9:24)

Boo! A Short Film (SD, 9:30)

Trailer Gallery (SD, 8:23) – Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein

100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics (HD, 9:13)

The Mummy

Audio Commentary

  • With Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns and Brent Armstrong
  • With Film Historian Paul M. Jensen

Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed (SD, 30:11)

He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce (SD, 24:56)

Unraveling The Legacy of The Mummy (SD, 8:07)

The Mummy Archives (SD, 9:46)

Trailer Gallery (SD, 6:29) – The Mummy, The Mummy’s Hand, The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Ghost, The Mummy’s Curse

100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era (HD, 8:41)

The Invisible Man

Audio Commentary

  • With Film Historian Rudy Behlmer

Now You See Him: The Invisible Man Revealed (SD, 35:21) 

Production Photographs (SD, 4:30)

Trailer Gallery (SD, 3:47) – The Invisible Man Returns, Invisible Agent

100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters (HD, 8:18)

The Bride of Frankenstein

Audio Commentary

  • With Scott MacQueen

She’s Alive! Creating The Bride of Frankenstein (SD, 38:54)

The Bride of Frankenstein Archive (SD, 13:11)

Trailer Gallery (SD, 6:46) – Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein

100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics (HD, 9:13)

Werewolf of London

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:24)

Dracula’s Daughter

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:24)

Son of Frankenstein

No bonus features

The Mummy’s Hand

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:35)

The Invisible Man Returns

No bonus features

The Invisible Woman

No bonus features

The Wolf Man

Audio Commentary

  • With Film Historian Tom Weaver

Monster By Moonlight (SD, 32:37)

The Wolf Man: From Ancient Curse to Modern Myth (SD, 10:02)

Pure in Heart: The Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney, Jr. (SD, 36:53)

He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce (SD, 24:56)

The Wolf Man Archives (SD, 6:46)

Trailer Gallery (SD, 9:20) – Werewolf of London, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, She-Wolf of London

100 Years of Universal: The Lot (HD, 9:25)

The Ghost of Frankenstein

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:56)

The Mummy’s Tomb

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:06)

Invisible Agent

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:42)

Phantom of the Opera

Audio Commentary

  • With Film Historian Scott MacQueen

The Opera Ghost: A Phantom Unmasked (SD, 51:19)

Production Photographs (SD, 5:47)

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:12)

100 Years of Universal: The Lot (HD, 9:25)

Son of Dracula

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:37)

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:37)

House of Frankenstein 

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:41)

The Mummy’s Ghost

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:07)

The Mummy’s Curse

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:06)

The Invisible Man’s Revenge

No bonus features

House of Dracula

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:27)

She-Wolf of London

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:22)

Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein

Audio Commentary

  • With Film Historian Gregory W. Mank

Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters (SD, 33:18)

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:40)

100 Years of Universal: The Lot (HD, 9:25)

100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters (HD, 8:18)

Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:58)

Creature From the Black Lagoon

Audio Commentary

  • With Film Historian Tom Weaver

3D Version of the Film

Back to the Black Lagoon (SD, 39:40)

Production Photographs (SD, 11:29)

Trailer Gallery (SD, 7:25) – Creature From the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us

100 Years of Universal: The Lot (HD, 9:25)

Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:09)

Revenge of the Creature

Audio Commentary

  • With Actress Lori Nelson and Film Historians Tom Weaver and Bob Burns

3D Version of the film

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:29)

The Creature Walks Among Us

Audio Commentary

  • With Film Historians Tom Weaver and Bob Burns

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:01)

Summary 

Sure, for the most part this is an exact port from the DVD release of 2014 (And essentially the previous extras as had been before. But, its still an incredibly impressive set, no matter if you’ve owned the films before or have been waiting on something like this to come along. Some absolutely gorgeous restorations will have you finding new appreciation in thew outstanding films. While there may be no new bonus material, the films in the original sets for the Monsters have a deep wealth of interviews and such. I wish there were features for many of the sequels, but given the age of the films, that’s easier than said than done. This set here gets a very high recommendation from me, it still amazes me even though I knew everything on it from previous releases and sets. Grab yourself a copy of this beauty!

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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