Horror Classics, Vol. 5 [DVD]
- SKU: 5862471
- Release Date: 07/23/2003
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- Digitally mastered
- Interative menus
- Scene index
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
Just Before Dawn
Director Jeff Lieberman followed his horror-science fiction film Blue Sunshine with this effort, which rehashes many of the themes explored in Wes Craven's seminal horror work The Hills Have Eyes. The plot concerns a teenage land owner who heads for the mountains of Oregon with a deed to his new property and an RV full of young friends only to discover (to their extreme peril) that words on paper mean less than nothing up there... or, in the words of horticulture-loving park ranger George Kennedy, "Those mountains can't read, son." By nightfall, the youths learn the gravity of this warning, as they are set upon by a hulking Mongoloid in a knit cap and pilot's glasses who seems capable of being in two places at once. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
Silent Night, Bloody Night
The secrets of a small New England town are violently exposed on Christmas Eve in this proto-slasher shocker. The owner of the long-abandoned Butler estate is desperate to sell, and dispatches his lawyer from New York to negotiate its purchase by the town council. Meanwhile, an inmate from a nearby insane asylum breaks loose and makes his way to the old mansion to take bloody revenge for a crime kept hidden for 35 years. The maniac makes mysterious phone calls to various prominent citizens, telling them that "Marianne" has returned, and lures each to the Butler house to meet their doom. The mayor's daughter, Diane, receives a visit from a man who claims to be Jeremy Butler, the mansion's owner, in town to investigate his lawyer's disappearance. Together they attempt to unravel the sinister mystery of the Butler house, which turns out to be a harrowing tale of incest, insanity and mass murder. Cult favorites Mary Woronov and John Carradine are featured in the cast of this eerie thriller, which also includes cameos from Warhol Factory legends Candy Darling and Ondine. ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi
Good Against Evil
The made-for-TV Good Against Evil might not have existed had not The Exorcist shown the way three years earlier. Dack Rambo and Elyssa Davalos star as sweethearts Andy Stuart and Jessica Gordon. The course of true love is messed up when Satan claims Jessica as his own personal property. Desperately, Andy turns to a pair of priests, Fathers Kemschler (Dan O'Herlihy) and Wheatley (John Harkins), for spiritual guidance, not to mention a bit of brute force in purging poor Jessica of her demons. Jimmy Sangster's screenplay doesn't miss a trick, nor does the spooky direction by Paul Wendkos. When first telecast on May 22, 1977, Good Against Evil ran 72 minutes; syndicated prints have been expanded to 97 minutes. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Bela Lugosi - Leonide
- Douglas Fowley - Terry Lee
- Joyce Compton - Jane Cornell
- George Zucco - Dr. Joseph Van Ee
- Nat Pendleton - Bill "Bull" Raymond