Universal Horror: Classic Movie Archive [2 Discs] [$5 Halloween Candy Cash Offer] [DVD]
  • SKU: 8447371
  • Release Date: 09/13/2009
  • Rating: NR
  • 5.0 (1)
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
5.0
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

Synopsis

Captive Wild Woman
A mad scientist turns a gorilla into a beautiful young woman in this well-made Universal potboiler, the first of three films featuring Paula Dupree, the Ape Woman. John Carradine stars as Dr. Sigmund Walters, whose Crestview Sanitarium witnesses strange and unsettling experiments. The doctor's newest scheme concerns Cheena (Ray "Crash" Corrigan), a female gorilla that he has stolen from the Whipple Circus. Injecting the ape with sex hormones obtained from Dorothy Colman (Martha Vickers), the evil medico attempts to turn the animal into a semi-human creature. When Dr. Walter's longtime nurse, Miss Strand (Fay Helm), objects to this blasphemy, she is summarily murdered and her brain transplanted into the ape woman's skull. The result is named Paula Dupree (Acquanetta), a beautiful but mute creature. At the circus, Paula rescues lion tamer Fred Mason (Milburn Stone) from an attacking animal and a grateful Fred makes her his assistant. The team is highly successful but a lovesick Paula becomes jealous of Fred's girlfriend, Beth Colman (Evelyn Ankers), a condition that turns her into a half-ape, half-woman. Failing to kill Beth, Paula returns to the sanitarium, where Dorothy is being prepared for more experiments. The girl is rescued in the nick of time and an enraged Paula, now completely returned to simian form, kills Walters. Escaping, the ape once again saves Fred's life before being put down by an arriving police officer. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Horror Island
It has been alleged that Horror Island was the least expensive of Universal's 1940s horror films. While it certainly looks that way, it remains an enjoyable outing from fade-in to fade-out. In the tradition of "Ten Little Indians", a group of disparate types are lured to a supposedly haunted mansion on a remote island. Their "host" is peg-legged privateer Tobias (Leo Carrillo), who possesses half of a valuable treasure map. One by one, the treasure-hunters are killed off by a mysterious assailant, with Tobias the first victim. The identity of the "mystery" killer is fairly obvious from the outset, though the screenplay cheats a bit by rendering the villain helpless during one of the murders. Of the stellar all-character-actor cast, Iris Adrian shines as a leather-lunged blonde, alternating between wisecracks and shivers throughout the film's brisk 61 minutes. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Night Monster
Reclusive Kurt Ingston (Ralph Morgan) finds himself playing host to an extraordinary array of guests at his decaying old mansion. Among the medical guests are psychiatrist Lynn Harper (Irene Hervey), who is there to evaluate Ingston's daughter Margaret (Fay Helm), whose sanity has been called into doubt over her claim that she has seen some sort of inhuman fiend stalking the grounds after dark; and then there are doctors Timmons (Frank Reicher), Phipps (Francis Pierlot), and King (Lionel Atwill), all well known to Ingston -- for the botched operation that left him crippled for life; and then there's the mysterious Agor Singh (Nils Asther), a mystic with a strange hold on Ingston. When these people start dying grisly deaths, hero Dick Baldwin (Don Porter) must figure out how these seemingly impossible killings are being carried out, and by whom, despite clues that appear to lead nowhere. Hovering over the proceedings, in one of his least rewarding roles at Universal, is Bela Lugosi playing Rolf the butler. Needless to say, Rolf -- because he is played by Bela Lugosi -- seems to be hiding some mysterious connection to the strange goings on. And the presence of Lionel Atwill is a similar "clue" put before audiences by the movie's makers, which helps to make Night Monster lots of fun, if not always logical. Additionally, future star Leif Erickson cuts a memorable figure as a menacing chauffeur; and Fay Helm, perhaps best remembered today as the disturbed mystery woman in Robert Siodmak's Phantom Lady (1944), dominates the serious acting with her portrayal of the seemingly insane sister. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

The Black Cat
1941's The Black Cat is neither a remake of the 1934 Karloff-Lugosi film of the same name, nor does it bear the slightest relation to the same-named Edgar Allan Poe story (as if the 1934 picture did!) The fact that the heroes are played by Hugh Herbert and Broderick Crawford is indication enough that the 1941 film wasn't meant to be taken entirely seriously. It all begins when elderly cat fancier Henrietta Winslow (played by legendary vaudeville impressionist Cecilia Loftus) is murdered by a scheming relative. At the reading of the will, Henrietta's heirs discover that the old dear has left her entire fortune to her pet felines. No one will get a penny until all the cats join their ancestors in Tabby Heaven. Several more murders occur, as suspicion is cast on such shady types as Mr. Hartley (Basil Rathbone), Abigail Doone (Gale Sondergaard) and family butler Eduardo (Bela Lugosi in yet another red-herring role). By the time that bumbling Mr. Penny (Herbert) and Hubert Smith (Crawford) figure out who the real killer is, heroine Elaine Winslow (Anne Gwynne) is on the verge of meeting her doom as well. Billed last, Alan Ladd has practically nothing to do as one of the heirs. Hardly one of the classic Universal horror efforts, The Black Cat at least has the advantage of some spook camerawork, courtesy of Stanley Cortez (Magnificent Ambersons). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Man Made Monster
Originally slated as a Boris Karloff-Bela Lugosi vehicle, Man Made Monster emerged on screen as a tour de force for Lon Chaney Jr. (in his first horror-film starring role) and Lionel Atwill. Chaney plays Dynamo Dan the Electric Man, a sideshow performer whose talent for absorbing mass quantities of electricity enables him to emerge virtually unscathed when a bus crashes into a pylon. Dan recuperates in the home of Dr. Rigas (Lionel Atwill), a demented scientist ("Mad? Of course I'm mad!") who hopes to create a race of electric-powered supermen. Using Dan as his unwitting guinea pig, Rigas zaps the poor man's energy even as he injects more and more electricity into his system. Suspecting something is amiss when rabbits and goldfish die suddenly at his touch, Dan nonetheless continues to submit to Rigas' treatment. When the doctor's colleague Lawrence (Samuel S. Hinds) figures out what's going on, he confronts Rigas with a "You're mad! I'm going to notify the police!"-whereupon Rigas picks up his cue by ordering the now-zombiefied Dan to kill Lawrence and confess to the murder. The unfortunate fellow is convicted and sentenced to the electric chair, much to the delight of Rigas, who can now put his theories to the ultimate test. Surviving the death-house jolt, Dan absorbs the entire electrical current and becomes a walking, glowing human power plant, killing the warden and the guards and escaping into the countryside. Slowly dying, Dan finally regains a shred of his humanity by rescuing heroine June Lawrence (Anne Nagel) from the clutches of Regas, then puts a permanent end to the mad doctor's evil designs before spectacularly expiring himself. A prime example of Universal's B-picture unit at its peak, Man Made Monster is among the finest of the studio's second-echelon horror product. The film was re-released in the late 1940s under the timely cognomen The Atomic Monster. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Evelyn Ankers
    Evelyn Ankers - Beth Colman
  • Acquanetta
    Acquanetta - Paula Dupree
  • John Carradine
    John Carradine - Dr. Sigmund Walters
  • Milburn Stone
    Milburn Stone - Fred Mason
  • Lloyd Corrigan
    Lloyd Corrigan - John Whippie

Overall Customer Rating

(1 Review)
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