The Bride of Frankenstein

Universal Classic Monsters

It takes some bravado to call something “The Essential Collection,” but Universal, over the course of its 100-year history, has basically written the rule book on monster movies, so a bringing together of their classic monsters under one Blu-ray box should be given a bit of slack. Not that it needs the slack, as the set is filled to the brim with good stuff for horror fans. Between the years of 1931 and 1954, Universal Studios produced some of the most iconic and influential horror films in the history of cinema, based on some of the most influential spooky stories in history. It began with Carl Laemmle Jr., the son of Universal founder Carl Laemmle, whose passion for literature and enthusiasm for seeing these great stories brought to life yielded two box office hits in 1931 with Dracula and Frankenstein. Even years after Laemmle had lost control of the studio, the legacy he forged lived on. These films would go on to inspire generations of film lovers and film makers, many of whom are still scaring us today. To celebrate in 2012, the year of the 100th birthday of Universal, we fans have been given this Universal Classic Monsters Blu-ray release, a celebration of the original eight, the most popular and iconic of the bunch. Many have been retold, rebooted and remade, but the originals still stand the test of time, from Bela Lugosi’s glowing eyes to Millicent Patrick’s iconic design for the Creature from the Black Lagoon, they are the forefathers of […]

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Universal Monsters Blu-ray

Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera, The Mummy and The Creature From The Black Lagoon are finally all together on Blu-ray. Universal will be releasing a massively awesome set called “Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection” on October 5th, and there are a ridiculous amount of extra features in addition to the horror flicks. Production photos, behind-the-scenes stuff, trailers, tributes to Jack Pierce and Lon Chaney, Jr. That’s the tip of the horror iceberg (which is also the name of the script I just finished. Call me, Asylum). The movies have been together on DVD before with a decent collection of features, but this Blu-ray collection seems absolutely stunning. A big upgrade for true classics. Plus, there are books involved! Everyone loves reading. The big question is…at a pre-sale price of $112, is this a necessary upgrade or a dreamy luxury?  

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Science fiction has long been considered by some experts to be a lesser genre than traditional dramas and character studies. Because it lends itself so easily to exploitation, science fiction isn’t always given the respect it deserves. Sure, it tends to be a box office winner, as evidenced by the fact that more than half of the all-time domestic grossing films fit easily in that genre (with at least two more – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Shrek 2 – marginally related as genre films). Still, some still consider science fiction something not to be taken seriously. It is for this reason that “legitimate” film directors might shy away from science fiction in lieu of more important or significant projects. However, many directors got their start or their earliest fame from working in science fiction and other allegedly exploitative and pulp genres. This week’s release of Prometheus reminds us that even though Ridley Scott has directed historical epics (Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven), military action films (Black Hawk Down), crime thrillers (American Gangster) and straight dramas (Thelma & Louise), he got his start in science fiction with Alien and Blade Runner. Scott isn’t the only director to begin a successful career in science fiction. Here are seven other directors who started out or received some of their earliest success in this genre.

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From 12 noon on Saturday, October 15 through 12 noon on Sunday, October 16, horror fans will descend on the Grandview Theater in Grandview, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The line-up includes 35 mm prints of rare, historic, and foreign films along with trailers, cartoons, and various short subjects. Other activities during the movie marathon will include the annual costume contest and scream contest. Just this weekend, marathon organizers announced the final line-up of films, which includes a rare 35 mm screening of the controversial A Serbian Film, presented unrated and uncut. This will likely be one of the few times horror fans in Ohio will be able to see Srdan Spasojevic‘s international shocker on the big screen. The other anchor film will be the Midwest premiere of Midnight Son. Although Shock Around the Clock is only the third annual horror marathon at the Grandview Theater, these events go back to 1988 with the Night of the Living Drexel 24-hour horror movie marathons. All-night horror marathons struggled to find a home in Columbus during the 90s after the historic Drexel North theater was turned into a drug store and later a health club. Various incarnations of the event took place at different theaters in the central Ohio area, sometimes only in the form of 14-hour marathons from 10 pm until 12 noon the next day. With the opening of the Grandview Theater in 2009, the 24-hour line-up returned.

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