Tech Toys for AllSave on tech gifts for everyone on your list.Shop now ›

Bela Lugosi: Scared to Death Collection [DVD]

Price Match Guarantee

Best Buy is dedicated to always offering the best value to our customers. We will match the price, at the time of purchase, on a Price Match Guarantee product if you find the same item at a lower price at a Designated Major Online Retailer or at a local retail competitor's store.

Here's how:
  • If you find a qualifying lower price online, call 1-888-BEST BUY and direct a customer service agent to the web site with the lower price, or when visiting a Best Buy store, one of our employees will assist you.
  • On qualifying products, Best Buy will then verify the current price to complete the price match.

Exclusions apply including, but not limited to, Competitors' service prices, special daily or hourly sales, and items for sale Thanksgiving Day through the Monday after Thanksgiving. See the list of Designated Major Online Retailers and full details.

$24.99
Cardholder Offers

Overview

Synopsis

The Whispering Shadow
With customary lack of restraint, Bela Lugosi tore into his role of Professor Strang, a foreign agent masquerading as a wax museum proprietor, in this the first of Mascot Pictures' five serials of 1933. Bela is smuggling jewels into the country as security for a loan. The "jools," however, are stolen by an escaped convict and sought by the omnipresent Whispering Shadow, a mysterious megalomaniac out to gain control of the entire world. A science wizard, the Shadow uses radio waves to kill his enemies, but no one knows who he is. In typical Mascot fashion, suspicion falls at various times on most of the cast members -- Lugosi, needless to say, most of all. As it turns out, despite a plethora of menacing close-ups, Bela is indeed only a red herring, the real culprit, in typical Mascot style, revealed instead to be a heretofore minor comic relief. Considering the fate of the actor in question, we shall break with tradition and name him. A major comic star of the late '20s, Karl Dane could only watch as his career collapsed at the changeover to sound due to an impenetrable Danish accent. All but unemployable, Dane was given this last chance to shine by producer Nat Levine, but audiences felt cheated by the serial's somewhat unfair denouement and The Whispering Shadow proved less a comeback than a debacle. Reduced to selling hot dogs from a stand outside his former studio, MGM, Dane ended his own life on April 14, 1934, one of the best remembered victims of the sound revolution. The Whispering Shadow marked the directorial debut of Colbert Clark, formerly of the script department, who was helped along the way by the veteran Albert Herman. The serial was also released in a truncated feature version. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Corpse Vanishes
Despite the typical Monogram drawbacks -- murky photography, stolid staging, ramshackle sets -- The Corpse Vanishes remains one of the more deliciously outrageous horror exercises of the 1940s. Bela Lugosi, as hammy as ever, stars as Dr. Lorenz, a European horticulturist whose octogenarian wife (Elizabeth Russell) needs fluids from the glands of young virgins to remain forever young and beautiful. Jumping to conclusions, the insane medico's rationale seems to be that the best place to find a virgin is at the altar. Consequently, seven young women are in short order poisoned by a mysterious orchid just before their "I do's" and brought in a catatonic state to Dr. Lorenz' mansion in Brookdale. Cub reporter Pat Hunter (Luana Walters) is on to the scheme and visits the Lorenz estate under the pretense of researching an article on orchids. With a typical sound-stage storm brewing up, she agrees to spend the night, and what a night it proves to be. Not only is poor Pat awakened by a visit from Dr. Lorenz' slobbering, hunchbacked helper, Angel (Frank Moran, who stalks her while eating a drumstick), the reporter is also slapped in the face by the disagreeable countess, snubbed by a nasty dwarf (Angelo Rossitto), and nearly suffers the same fate as the poor brides when rescued in the nick of time by an enraged housekeeper (Minerva Urecal) and her boyfriend, Dr. Foster (Tristram Coffin). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Death Kiss
While Tonart Studios is filming a gangster movie, one of the actors is killed in a shooting accident. After several other incidents occur, police begin to think of sabotage. Their list of suspects includes the studio chief (Alexander Carr), his manager (Bela Lugosi), the director of the film (Edward Van Sloan) and an actress (Adrienne Ames). ~ John Bush, Rovi

Ghosts on the Loose
Ghosts on the Loose (which features no ghosts whatsoever) is perhaps the best-known of Monogram's "East Side Kids" series. This time, Muggs (Leo Gorcey), Glimpy (Huntz Hall), and the rest of the kids offer to decorate the honeymoon cottage of Glimpy's sister, Betty (Ava Gardner), and her new husband, Jack (Rick Vallin). Unfortunately, the boys end up at the wrong house, a sinister mansion that serves as the headquarters for a Nazi spy ring headed by Emil (Bela Lugosi). The rest of the film is an extended chase -- first the Nazis chasing the boys, then the boys chasing the Nazis. Incidentally, this is the film in which Bela Lugosi allegedly sneezes out an obscenity. Ghosts on the Loose has been reissued under several titles, notably The East Side Kids Meet Bela Lugosi. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla
Bela Lugosi plays a mad scientist in the jungle who stumbles across a couple of comedians (intended to resemble Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis) and proceeds to use them as lab mice in his experiments. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

Chandu on the Magic Island
In this campy fantasy, Chandu the Magician returns and goes to the lost island of Lemuri. There he uses his mystical powers to battle the dreaded Ubasti cult. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Spooks Run Wild
In their first of two Monogram spook comedies, the East Side Kids and Bela Lugosi square off in yet another haunted house. On their way to summer camp, the malapropism dependant East Siders are warned of a "monster killer" loose in the area, and, sure enough, almost immediately encounter Nardo (Lugosi) and his weird little helper Luigi (Angelo Rossitto). Nardo does very little to repudiate the Kids' impression of him as a vampire (the Kids say "vulture" lest Monogram should get in trouble with Universal, who held the rights to Dracula), but is he really the monster killer? Perhaps Doctor Von Grosch (Dennis Moore) knows, the famed mystery writer and "monster hunter" having arrived like clockwork at the creepy Billings mansion with camp nurse Linda Mason (Dorothy Short) in tow. Although Peewee (David Gorcey) is at one point feared to have become the victim of the "vulture," the smart aleck turns up safe and sound, and Muggs (Leo Gorcey) and the Kids decide to trap the killer. And so they do, ably assisted by young attorney Jeff Dixon (Dave O'Brien), who, for reasons not immediately clear, has a vested interest in the well being of the East Side Kids. O'Brien and leading lady Dorothy Short were married in real life. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Bowery at Midnight
Bowery at Midnight casts Bela Lugosi as Professor Brenner, a psychology instructor at New York University (which looks a lot like Berkeley in the exterior shots!). When not enlightening his students -- most of them buxom Monogram starlets -- Brenner is engaged in charitable work, running a mission in the Bowery. In truth, however, the kindly professor is a fiend in human form, who uses his mission as a front for a vast criminal empire. When Judy (Wanda McKay), one of Brenner's students, stumbles onto the truth, she's targeted for extermination by the Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde prof. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Shadow of Chinatown [Serial]
Notorious Hollywood tightwad Sam Katzman's first serial, Shadow of Chinatown stars Bela Lugosi as Victor Poten, a Eurasian with a destructive hatred of both whites and Asians hired by Sonya Rokoff (Luana Walters) to ruin the tourist trade in San Francisco's Chinatown. But, as Sonya discovers and Poten himself acknowledges, she has inadvertently created a seemingly unstoppable "Frankenstein's monster." The forces of good opposing Poten and Rokoff include Martin Andrews (Herman Brix, aka Bruce Bennett), a novelist specializing in all things Oriental, sob-sister-turned-crime-reporter Joan Whiting (Joan Barclay), and Chinese houseboy Willy Fu (Hawaiian crooner Maurice Liu). Sonya Rokoff, whose allegiance to the madman quickly comes under some strain, is destroyed by a falling chandelier in Chapter 14, but Victor survives to be carted off to jail in the 15th and final chapter, "The Avenging Powers." Shadow of Chinatown was filmed in two weeks in Culver City, CA, and on rental stages at Hollywood's Talisman Studios. A slightly altered feature version in which Lugosi's character is killed off in the final reel was released simultaneously. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Ape Man
The Devil Bat
This campy, entertaining cheapie from PRC Pictures features Bela Lugosi as a chemist who plots an elaborate revenge scheme on his business partners, whom he feels have cheated him out of his share. To this end he develops a mutant breed of vicious, oversized bats and trains several of this breed to home in on a special chemical which he then blends with shaving lotion. Presenting gifts of the lotion to his partners as a peace offering (and browbeating them into splashing it on themselves while in his presence), he subsequently unleashes his monstrous pets to tear them to pieces. Believe it or not, this was one of PRC's more successful horror programmers, spawning a the sequel Devil Bat's Daughter. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Murder by Television
One of Bela Lugosi's least remembered films, this ultra low-budget whodunit with science fiction overtones features the murder of a professor who had recently perfected the new invention of television. Suspects are plentiful and include Bela Lugosi's rivaling academician Dr. Perry. Alas, the good doctor proves yet another Red Herring and is soon enough found stabbed to death himself. Or is he? Perry suddenly appears to have risen from the grave and the real culprit quickly confesses. Produced by perhaps Hollywood's cheapest entrepreneur, William Pizor, Murder by Television was filmed at the low-rent Talisman Studios and came complete with a song, "I had the Right Idea", composed by future Academy Award winning songwriter Oliver Wallace and performed by June Collyer. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Black Dragons
After an opening scene at a Washington DC cocktail party where it is demonstrated that "loose lips sink ships", the plot proper gets under way, wherein a group of six men conspire to undermine America's war effort. What is the connection between these six men, all of them outwardly respectable members of Washingtonian society? Hero Don (Clayton Moore) and heroine Alice (Joan Barclay) suspect that the answer lies with the mysterious, wryly philosophical Dr. Melcher (Bela Lugosi), a world-famous plastic surgeon. It turns out that Melcher is part of an elaborate espionage scheme hatched by the dreaded Black Dragon Society of Japan. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Gorilla
When Fox bought the rights to Ralph Spence's warhorse stage mystery-comedy The Gorilla for the Ritz Brothers, they walked out en masse, refusing to work on the picture until their contracts were renegotiated and the script heavily rewritten. The finished product features an escaped circus gorilla apparently perpetrating a series of murders. Imperiled lawyer Walter Stevens (Lionel Atwill) may well be the next victim, so he summons detectives Garrity, Harrigan and Mullivan (Jimmy, Harry and Al Ritz) to provide protection. It turns out that (a) the murderer is human rather than simian, (b) Stevens is hardly a paragon of virtue, and (c) the person really in danger is young heiress Norma Denby (Anita Louise). Long unavailable for reappraisal, The Gorilla resurfaced on the public-domain market in 1976. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

White Zombie
In this haunting low-budgeter, Bela Lugosi stars as Murder Legendre, a shadowy character who exercises supernatural powers over the natives in his Haitian domain. Coveting Madge Bellamy as his bride, wealthy Robert Frazier enters into an unholy agreement with Lugosi, whereby Madge will die, then be resurrected as a zombie. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

The Phantom Creeps
The Invisible Ghost
Invisible Ghost is far from the best of Bela Lugosi's Monogram vehicles (if indeed there is such a thing), but with Joseph H. Lewis at the controls it is far and away the best directed. Lugosi is cast as Kessler, an otherwise normal gentleman who goes balmy whenever he thinks about his late wife (Betty Compson). It gets worse when Kessler is transformed via hypnosis into an unwitting murderer, apparently at the behest of his wife's ghost. An innocent man (John McGuire) is executed for Kessler's first murder, but the victim's twin brother (also John McGuire) teams with Kessler's daughter (Polly Ann Young) to determine the identity of the true killer. Though cheaply made, The Invisible Ghost maintains an appropriately spooky atmosphere throughout, with Lugosi delivering a full-blooded performance as a basically decent man controlled by homicidal impulses beyond his ken. Best of all is the non-stereotypical performance by african-american actor Clarence Muse as Lugosi's articulate, take-charge butler. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

One Body Too Many
Another of Jack Haley's comedy vehicles for Pine-Thomas productions, One Body Too Many casts Haley as timid insurance salesman Albert Tuttle. Much against his better judgment, Tuttle makes a business call at a sinister old mansion, intending to sell life insurance to the owner. He proves a bit late, inasmuch as the owner has just kicked the bucket. The mansion is full of avaricious relatives, who are obliged by the dictates of the decedent's will to remain in the house until the authorities claim the body. Realizing that dead man's niece Carol (Jean Parker) is a damsel in all kinds of distress, Albert decides to stick around to keep Carol from meeting her uncle's fate. Though there's a murder-mystery angle in One Body Too Many, the audience knows who didn't do it the moment Bela Lugosi shows up as a butler. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Mysterious Mr. Wong
To the world at large, Mr. Wong (Bela Lugosi) is a harmless shopkeeper in the Chinatown district (where no one seems unduly put off by his Hungarian accent) In truth, however, Wong is an eeeeevil Mandarin who'll stop at nothing to get his hands on the Twelve Coins of Confucious, which according to legend will allow him to rule over the Chinese province of Keelat. In his efforts to obtain these coins, Wong leaves a trail of corpses behind, eventually arousing the suspicions of wisecracking reporter Jason Barton (Wallace Ford). Narrowly escaping assassination in a Chinese restaurant, Barton and his sweetheart Peg (Arline Judge) take refuge in Wong's humble shop, where they stumble into a gathering of the villain's henchmen. Will our hero and heroine escape in time to thwart the sinister, seemingly all-powerful Mr. Wong? Boasting a full-blooded performance by Bela Lugosi and campy dialogue to spare (much of it astonishingly racist!), Mysterious Mr. Wong is a bad-movie buff's delight. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Scared to Death
Completed several years before its 1947 release, Scared to Death is historically important as Bela Lugosi's only color film (outside of his brief unbilled appearance in 1931's Fifty Million Frenchmen, which today exists only in black & white). Other than that, it's a dreary story of how a beautiful but treacherous young woman (Molly Lamont) literally dies of fright. Anticipating Sunset Boulevard by at least five years, the film is narrated by the deceased "heroine", meaning that suspense and surprise are hardly considerations here. It's a toss-up as to who's funnier: the film's official comedy relief, dumb detective Nat Pendleton and dumber blonde Joyce Compton, or the "odd couple" team of the caped-and-cloaked Bela Lugosi and his dress-alike dwarf companion Angelo Rossitto. For the record, Lugosi plays a sinister hypnotist named Leonide, yet another of his myriad of "red herring" roles in the 1940s. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.