Dracula and The Mummy Complete Legacy Collections on blu-ray 05/16/17

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by buck135, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    This is fantastic news! Hopefully the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Invisible Man sequels will be released by Halloween. Great job Universal!
     
  2. zbinks

    zbinks Beset by Creatures of the Deep

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  3. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Great news! I'm especially looking forward to The Mummy's Hand and Son of Dracula in hi-def.
     
  4. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck BOO!!! Gotcha!

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    Oh, shit. This is some seriously awesome news.
     
  5. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    I must admit that with the exception of the original The Mummy (1932), I have not seen any of the films that comprise this franchise.
    Are they worth buying?
     
  6. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    I certainly hope you're right about the 'Creature' set. The wait has been far too long.
     
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  7. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    They're well regarded in terms of the Universal B sequels. The Invisible Man sequels...not so much.
     
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  8. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Amazon has them each up for sale for $40.00 each. That's much more than the Frankenstein and Wolfman sets. I'm hoping the prices dip a bit.
     
  9. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck BOO!!! Gotcha!

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    I got those sets for $19.99 each eventually, so I can wait.
     
  10. buck135

    buck135 Kanamit

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    Yeah, Wolfman was $15 through Best Buy, Frankenstein was $20 through Amazon. My issue with $40 is with the Dracula set since only two films are new if you own the other sets. The Mummy set is all new except for the original film. Since all of these films just received brand new 4K scans, $40 is still a bargain.
     
  11. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Assuming you like Universal's other flicks from the 40s, I think you'd enjoy The Mummy sequels. Truthfully, I like all of them better than the original--which joins Dracula's Daughter on a very short list of classic Universal films that bore me to death. The Mummy's Hand is excellent and a really fun film. The others are lesser, formulaic efforts that have their moments--especially The Mummy's Ghost. All of them make great use of the awesome Salter/Skinner musical cues from Son of Frankenstein, and I think all of them are worth seeing.

    If you like Hammer's The Mummy, this set should please you. In terms of style, Hammer's film is much more like The Mummy's Hand than Freund's original.
     
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  12. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    That was exactly my issue, the original Universal's The Mummy bored me so much I never bothered with the sequels.
    Hammer's The Mummy was always and remains the ultimate Mummy film for me.
     
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  13. MisterTwister

    MisterTwister The Schlock King

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    Same here.
     
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  14. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck BOO!!! Gotcha!

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    Okay, I see your point, and that hadn't even occurred to me! That sucks.
     
  15. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    I'm the exact opposite. The Mummy is one of my favourite films of the classic Universal monster flicks and Dracula, to me, is the one that's like watching paint dry. So I'll gladly pick up the Mummy Legacy Collection on Blu.
     
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  16. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to give the Mummy Legacy Collection a chance as well. Interested to see these classic films.
     
  17. MisterTwister

    MisterTwister The Schlock King

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    Finally! I got so much shit for not liking the original Dracula on another board. I appreciate it for its place in horror history but it's so fucking boring.
     
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  18. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    I feel the same. Lugosi is great as the fanged count, but the film always seemed like a plodding stage adaptation committed to film for me. As far as the Classic Universal Monster films give me Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
    I do want to see these Mummy sequels now though.
     
  19. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    I think Dracula is great until the action shifts to London. At that point it definitely goes rapidly downhill. Dwight Frye and Bela occasionally liven things up, but everything is flatly staged--especially when you compare it to what Whale did with Frankenstein a few months later. If London After Midnight ever appears, I suspect it will confirm what we already know--aside from Freaks, Tod Browning was a master of draining the vitality out of potentially classic material.

    As many times as I've tried to enjoy The Mummy, all I remember about the vast majority of the run-time is endless dialogue scenes between extremely dull human characters. The sequels at least embrace the expectations of a "B" creature feature audience. I think you guys will dig them.
     
  20. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    I use to feel Dracula was a bit of a slog but I could still enjoy it around Halloween, but then one year I ended up seeing it like ten times or so. I edited Dracula together with the existing footage of Zacherley so I became very familiar with the movie watching it a few times to sync up the Zach breaks. And then I became inspired to tint it green like it was shown theatrically. So I watched that a couple more times to tweak it. At this same exact time someone else re-edited Dracula to follow the shooting script, so we ended up trading DVD-R's. But I felt like he used a little too much of the Spanish footage and so I watched it yet again along with the Spanish version a few times to aquatint myself with the differences; then tried to edit my own version (in the end I conceded the effort until HD came out). On top of that Svengoolie showed it too as usually, and I watched it for Halloween as I normally did. So I found myself more aware of the nuances and gained an appreciation for the black sense of humor it has.

    Between Van Sloan, Dwight Frye and Bela Lugosi I can always enjoy Dracula and don't find it the least bit boring. They're in the large bulk of the film all doing the best performances of their careers. However there are a couple of big problems with the film. For one there's barely any musical score. Also there was studio meddling with edits re-arranging most of the scenes. Finally Todd Browning's long time collaborator and original choice to play Dracula, Lon Chaney, died just over a month before shooting started. Browning was reportedly un-involved on the set; something uncharacteristic of a man who made such unique films with strong personal touches. He was probably shaken with grief. But it may be that the more restrained results actually helped in Dracula's success. If Browning had been more involved then his strong personal stamp was all over it then maybe it wouldn't have connected so well with audiences at the time. It may have ended up a bit goofy like Mark of the Vampire instead of a straight horror like the play. Sticking to the stage play is what may have redefined horror as we know it.

    Which always brings to my mind something of a fascinating "what-if." Had Chaney not died prematurely would Dracula have stared Lon Chaney instead? (He was contracted with MGM, so maybe not.) Where would Lugosi be if Chaney's screen performance had overshadowed Lugosi's stage performance? Would Karloff still have gotten Frankenstein? Universal originally wanted Lugosi, maybe they would have insisted more on Chaney. If Whale refused to do Frankenstein with Chaney then Whale may never have done Invisible Man or Bride of Frankenstein. And then Claude Rains may have never been famous (or done the color Phantom). Would Lon Chaney Jr. have done Wolf-Man or anything after? (Sr. forbade Jr. from working in Hollywood during his lifetime.) Then Karloff wouldn't have done The Mummy, and maybe neither would Karl Freund have directed it (as he wouldn't have done the heavy lifting on Dracula, earning Universal's trust). And Chaney Jr. may have never done the later Mummy sequels. And maybe Chaney Sr. doing his own makeup for this iconic roles would have left Jack Pierce an unknown powdering starlets' noses instead of the monster make-up master he's now known for.

    The entire face of today Universal's iconic Classic Horrors may have been completely different had Chaney lived long enough just to do Dracula. And I suspect for the worst. Universal may not have had the confidence in Horror without a big star (and a still living Chaney would have gone back to MGM or somewhere else eventually). We may have been left with more films like Werewolf of London than anything else. And Warner, Fox, and MGM were only ever half hearted in their Horror. May have even been less so if they wrote Universal's success off as Chaney's success instead.

    It's taken somewhat for granted, but Horror today would be vastly different if Dracula was not what it was.
     

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