Tod Slaughter Vintage Terror Collection [6 Discs] [DVD]
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Overview

Synopsis

Crimes at the Dark House
So since when have crimes been committed in a house with all the lights on? This chop-licking British melodrama stars the gloriously uninhibited Tod Slaughter, playing the unspeakable Sir Henry Glyde. Disposing of his wealthy wife, Glyde replaces her with a look-alike, a recent "graduate" from the local insane asylum. This may sound vaguely familiar to you if you've seen the 1948 Warner Bros. Gothic drama The Woman in White. Indeed, both the Warner film and Crimes in the Dark House were based on the same 1860 novel by Wilkie Collins -- and both are good gory fun in their own separate ways. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Face Au Destin
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
A bone-chiller that still manages to inject humor, this movie was based on an actual event and even spawned Stephen Sondheim's hit play "Sweeney Todd" in 1978. Slaughter portrays a mad barber who has a deal with a baker to provide fillings for his meat pies. Unfortunately for the barber's customers, their visit to his basement makes them an integral part of that deal. ~ Tana Hobart, Rovi

The Greed of William Hart
This early film treatment of the tale of Burke and Hare stars the notoriously flamboyant Tod Slaughter as the title grave-robber who, with accomplice Mr. Moore (Henry Oscar), purloins corpses from the mortuaries and graveyards of Edinburgh (and other questionable locations) for sale to the medical academy. When demand begins to exceed supply, Hart and Moore turn to the living, murdering drunks, transients and prostitutes to obtain fresh cadavers. Their plan is ultimately undone when their next victim, whom they mistake for a feeble-minded drunkard, turns out to be a well-known member of the community. Although originally filmed as a fairly loyal account of Burke and Hare's legendary exploits (titled The Crimes of Burke and Hare), the film's release was blocked by British censors, who insisted the producers remove all references to the actual grave-robbing duo. The film underwent a title change and all dialogue was re-looped to feature the alternate character names of Hart and Moore. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Murder in the Red Barn
The film opens on a theatrical stage where the principal players are introduced in a manner that suggests the audience already knows the story about to be played out. It begins inside the Red Barn in Polstead, Suffolk, where local girl Maria Marten (Sophie Stewart) dances with local, middle-aged squire and magistrate William Corder (Tod Slaughter) during a merry barn dance. Stealing a moment from the festivities, Carlos, a gypsy (Eric Portman) declares his love for Maria, but she rebuffs him and does not disclaim her interest in Corder. Corder is angered when a gypsy palm reader gives him a bad fortune and all of the gypsies are ejected from the party. Maria catches up with Corder later and shares a drink with him at his home; meanwhile, her father (D.J. Williams) notes Maria's absence and suspects her out with the gypsy. Corder, in the meantime, has become intimate with Maria and sends her home, promising marriage. A chance encounter with Carlos is interrupted by Maria's father, who pleads with Corder to have the gypsy barred from the locality. Corder then travels to London and loses big with a disastrous tumble of the dice; Corder schemes to recoup his losses through wooing a local widow of means, plans that do not include Maria. Over time, Maria's delicate condition becomes apparent and her father casts her out of the family home. Maria approaches Corder for help, but becoming aware of her dire situation threatens to tell her father the truth. Corder renews his pledge to marry Maria and tells her to meet him at the Red Barn in couple of hours. Once there, Corder shoots Maria with a pistol and buries her body under the floor, but misplaces a damning piece of evidence at the scene. Disarmed by the pleas of Maria's grieving mother (Clare Greet, a favorite actress of Alfred Hitchcock's), Maria's father resumes the search for her. Carlos appears at Corder's and begins to pressure him about Maria's whereabouts; they are interrupted and Corder sets a trap for the gypsy which he barely escapes. Carlos, Corder, Mr. Marten and a number of police constables all end up at the Red Barn; at first it looks bad for Carlos, but when Corder's own dog begins sniffing around in the barn, Corder finds himself facing a spell of misfortune that will make his poor luck at the dice table seem insignificant by comparison. ~ David Lewis, Rovi

Never Too Late to Mend
In this melodrama, an old fashioned bad guy is determined to have an innocent young maiden for himself. To do so, he frames her beloved fiance and gets him sent to jail. His wicked plot is foiled when the man is freed and the lovers get back together. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

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