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Horror Classics, Vol. 5 [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Chapter selections
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride
The final installment in Hammer Studios' Dracula series is also the least interesting of the lot. A fairly direct follow-up to Dracula A.D. 1972, this sequel finds the Count (Christopher Lee) developing a potent strain of bubonic plague which he and his devil-worshipping disciples plan to release from 1970's London to wipe out nearly all life on earth. His efforts are challenged once again by the dedicated Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing), leading to a rather uninvolving climax. Despite the always-welcome presence of Lee and Cushing, this installment plays too flagrantly with the time-honored Hammer Gothic formula, giving Dracula actual dialogue and surrounding the leads with a dull, amateurish supporting cast -- with the possible exception of Joanna Lumley (later of BBC-TV's Absolutely Fabulous). This also marked Lee's final performance as the Count and signaled the beginning of the end for Hammer's horror heyday. Also known as Satanic Rites of Dracula and Dracula is Dead and Well and Living in London. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

The Terror
In this horror chiller, an intriguing, beautiful woman (Sandra Knight) keeps re-appearing to early 19th-century Lt. Duvalier (Jack Nicholson), and he is led to a castle where he finds an imposter of Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff). He becomes trapped in the ancient castle and tries to make sense of the eerie situation. Director Roger Corman (with the help of a few other directors, including Francis Ford Coppola) shot most of this within a few days after finishing The Raven--utilizing the same set. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

Lady Frankenstein
This lurid but entertaining Italian/Spanish twist on the Frankenstein legend begins with Baron Frankenstein (Joseph Cotten) being assisted in his research by his sultry daughter Tania (Sara Bay). The doctor's first attempt at a stitched-together creation results in a lumpy, pop-eyed monstrosity with little of the expected respect for its creator. In fact, the monster begins its rampage by murdering the Baron and escaping into the surrounding village. The younger Frankenstein returns from medical school with newly-acquired surgical expertise and a desire to follow in her late father's footsteps. She soon begins work on a creation of her own by transplanting the brain of her brilliant but deformed assistant Charles (Paul Müller) into the body of a brawny handyman. The result is a handsome and powerful male creature not only capable of destroying the original monster, but virile enough to satisfy his creator's overwhelming sexual appetites. Tania is apparently quite eager to test the latter, and she does quite frequently, as indicated in the film's numerous softcore sex scenes. This lengthy romantic interlude is cut short when the first monster returns to finish what he started. Directed by Mel Welles (who B-movie fans will remember as Gravis Mushnik from Roger Corman's cult classic Little Shop of Horrors), this film plays like a sexually-obsessed version of an early Hammer production. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Sisters of Death
When five sorority sisters gather together for a reunion, they discover that the deadly secret they share has come back to haunt them. ~ Erin Demers, Rovi

King of the Zombies
Set in the Caribbean shortly before the U.S. was drawn into WWII, this zombie chiller tells the tale of an American special agent who, along with his butler and a pilot, is sent out to find a missing American Admiral, whose plane crashed on one of the islands. Unfortunately, the hero's plane also crashes. Fortunately, a suave but sinister German doctor with a very strange wife is there to help them. The doctor explains that his spouse is in a strange trance and he is trying to find a cure. The butler soon discovers that she is not the only one; the island is teeming with zombies. When the butler tries to tell his employer, the employer refuses to believe in "voodoo hocus pocus." The butler and the pilot find themselves entranced. Fortunately, the agent is still around to solve the mystery of the zombies and to confront the culprit, an enemy spy. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

The Monster Maker
The disfiguring disease of acromegaly-which grotesquely extends the bones and distorts one's facial features-was the "gimmick" in the PRC horror opus The Monster Maker. J. Carroll Naish stars as Markoff, a mad doctor who has no qualms about experimenting on human beings. Markoff's unwitting victim is famed concert pianist Lawrence (Ralph Morgan), who is injected with the doctor's acromegaly-inducing serum. It is Markoff's intention to extort a great deal of money from Lawrence before providing an antidote-and also to win the hand of Lawrence's pretty daughter Patricia (Wanda McKay). Though the film is as lumpy and unconvincing as Lawrence's rubbery facial makeup, the flawless performances of those old barnstormers J. Carroll Naish and Ralph Morgan carry the day. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Mutant
A muscular pair of Yankee brothers visit a backwater Georgia town and end up involved with rednecked mutant zombies. The campy horror begins when brother Mike suddenly disappears. Puzzled brother Josh, with the help of Sheriff Will Stewart and schoolmarm Holly begin a desperate search. Unfortunately more trouble ensues when they find that toxic waste has transformed their normally peaceable neighbors into scary monsters. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Dead Men Walk
This painfully cheap but wildly entertaining PRC production stars a hammy George Zucco in a dual role as the Clayton Twins -- both doctors, one good, one evil. Elwyn Clayton, a practitioner of the black arts, is murdered by his brother Lloyd and returns from the dead as a vampire to seek revenge with the aid of his leering, hunchbacked assistant (Dwight Frye -- who else?). He exacts his vengeance by brutally murdering Elwyn's associates, with all evidence pointing to the only living twin. Jungle Siren director Sam Newfield makes the most of the paltry budget, helped greatly by Zucco's typically flamboyant performance -- which threatens to out-camp even that of legendary eye-roller Frye (who would die of a heart attack some months after this film's completion). ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

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