Horror Classics, Vol. 7 [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

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

Synopsis

Condemned to Live
In Condemned to Live, Ralph Morgan stars as Professor Paul Kriston, the kindly and generous doctor of a tiny European village. So well-liked is Kriston that the beautiful Marguerite Mane (Maxine Doyle) is willing to marry him, even though she loves another man, young David (Russell Gleason). Things take a sinister turn when a series of murders occur in the village, apparently committed by a vampiric beast. David makes himself quite unpopular when he suggests that the killer may be a human being. Meanwhile, Professor Kriston turns to an old family friend, Dr. Anders Bizet (Pedro de Cordoba), for a possible solution to the murder spree, but Bizet is strangely secretive. Condemned to Live was filmed on standing sets at Universal City and on location at Bronson Canyon. ~ Hal Erickson, 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

Giant from the Unknown
In Richard Cunha's Giant from the Unknown, scientists come upon a petrified lizard in the California Mountains. The lizard revives, proving the theory of suspended animation. Excitedly, scientist Wayne Brooks (Ed Kemmer) begins searching for a legendary Spanish giant called Vargas, who disappeared in the region 500 years earlier and who also may be in a suspended-animation state. Brooks discovers all too soon that his instincts a correct: a bolt of lightning releases Vargas (Buddy Baer) from his centuries-long slumber, whereupon the big brute goes on a homicidal rampage. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Beast of Yucca Flats
This groaner from profoundly untalented "auteur" Coleman Francis involves the scenario (one couldn't exactly call it a 'story') of a tubby Soviet scientist (Tor Johnson -- who else?) who is pursued by nefarious agents into a nuclear testing area, whereupon an A-bomb blast infuses him with enough radiation to power a small Midwestern town. Supposedly transformed into a rampaging monster, Tor looks exactly the same, albeit with tattered clothing and a constipated expression. In the fine tradition of The Creeping Terror and Coleman Francis's own Red Zone Cuba (starring the director himself, who resembles Tor's scrappy older brother), this is shot with virtually no dialogue and overlaid with hilariously pretentious and obtuse narration... the phrase "a flag on the moon" pops up so often it could be used in a drinking game. The most enjoyable aspect of this movie is its remarkably short running time. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

The Monster from the Ocean Floor
Julie Blair (Anne Kimball), a tourist visiting Mexico's Yucatan region, encounters deep-sea researcher Steve Dunning (Stuart Wade). They hear stories about people and animals that have disappeared from the area around the beach where they meet, but she doesn't believe the legend of a monster until she sees it herself. Then she must do her best to convince Steve and the authorities of what she saw. The creature turns out to be a mutation, probably spawned by recent atomic testing, and Steve must rescue her when she is caught by the monster as she searches for it. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Beast From Haunted Cave
Director Monte Hellman (who would later direct a young Jack Nicholson on two low-budget westerns) earned his low-budget wings on Filmgroup's bizarre fusion of hostage/crime thriller and big-rubber-monster flick -- a quirky juxtaposition employed to similar effect 35 years later in From Dusk Till Dawn. The story begins with a team of gold thieves hiding out in a ski resort cabin after a heist, taking two people hostage as they prepare to smuggle their loot across the Canadian border -- unaware of the giant, icky-looking spider-monster lurking in a nearby cave, which preys on anyone unlucky enough to stumble near its lair. The film's woodland exteriors add a richness lacking in the typical dusty desert settings of this film's genre contemporaries. The cobwebby monster is played by Chris Robinson, later the star of General Hospital. ~ Cavett Binion, 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

Creature from the Haunted Sea
This early bit of "B"-movie fluff from Roger Corman and company is a hastily slapped-together melange of crime thriller and monster flick, laced with enough ham-fisted satire to make the entire mess enjoyable. The plot centers on a two-bit crook (Antony Carbone) who offers to transport a band of exiles from a war-torn Caribbean country -- along with a coffer of cash, which he intends to keep for himself. After killing his charges and dumping their bodies in the ocean, he blames their deaths on a sea monster told of in local legends -- a beast which eventually shows up for real. The lush tropical settings of this weekend wonder are the same lush tropical settings seen in Corman's Last Woman on Earth, which employed most of the same players as well. Corman protégé Monte Hellman served here as second unit director before embarking on his own low-budget film career. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

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