Halloween Home Entertainment Preview: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection

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 This week, we have a complete lineup of the “must-have” home entertainment releases of the season.

The News:

Every so often Universal re-releases the classic Monster movies on home video.  A decade ago, they released an “essential collection” on DVD.  Half a decade ago, they re-released the titles and added additional ones in the Legacy Series.  Now, for the first time, the studio is releasing the classic Universal Studios Monsters on Blu-Ray Disc.  The collection features 9 films and eight classic monsters.  The movies featured in this collection are Dracula (1931), Dracula – The Spanish Version (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man (1941), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Phantom of the Opera (1943) and Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Bonus features are included. The eight disc set comes along with a 48 page book featuring behind-the-scenes photographs, and will be released on October 2.  This collection is unique because it features Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D, a first for the Monsters on disc.  It should be interesting to see how that particular feature works when this set is released.  It can be pre-ordered here.

The Views:

So just how good are these movies anyway?

This collection contains nearly all of the greatest monster movies ever made.  From Bride of Frankenstein to Creature from the Black Lagoon, they are almost all here.  The only major ones missing are Phantom of the Opera (1925),  Son of Frankenstein (1939) and Meet Frankenstein (1948).   Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein Monster and Lon Chaney’s Wolf Man are all present; and whether this is your first time seeing them or your ninety-first time, we’re sure you will find yourself chilled to the bone .  We’re a little biased here, but we’re giving most of the films in this collection 5 Electrodes out of 5 Electrodes.  The major exception would be the version of The Phantom of the Opera included in this collection.  It is not the Lon Chaney original.  Rather, it is the remake starring Claude Rains.  And while Rains is fantastic, the rest of the movie is very humdrum — a little too much opera, not enough Phantom.  But the rest of the films are truly essential to the collection of any genre fan.

*The pictures on this page are of the 12″ Figures produced by Sideshow Collectibles and are not from any film.   They were taken by THE BIG SCARE.
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Universal Monsters Week | New Classic Monsters Action Figures

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

This week on The Big Scare, we will be highlighting where you can track down some cool Halloween merchandise featuring our favorite fiends of Filmland.

There are plenty of Universal Monsters toys on the market this year.  At Toys ‘R Us, you will be able to track down the newest selections from Diamond Select: 8″ figures of the Phantom of the Opera, the Invisible Man, and Metaluna Mutant.  Plus, last year’s lineup will soon be available in glorious Black and White. In addition, some collectible retailers are carrying a stylized version of the Frankenstein Monster produced by Mezco.  And, coming in October, you will be able to find the latest Retro figures (Creature from the Black Lagoon and Bride of Frankenstein) from EMCE.

Universal Monsters Week | Walmart T-Shirts

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

This week on The Big Scare, we will be highlighting where you can track down some cool Halloween merchandise featuring our favorite fiends of Filmland.

This year, you may be able to spot the Universal Studios Monsters in Walmart stores across the nation.  Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Invisible Man adorn three different T-Shirts available in the clothing section of the superstore.  The Frankenstein shirt, pictured at the right, sports the saying, “Just Call Me Frank.”  While the Creature from the Black Lagoon shirt asks, “Your Lagoon or Mine?”  The Invisible Man shirt reads, “Think of the Options.”

They retail around $5.50.  Not bad, even with the rather silly captions.  Besides, when was the last time the classic monsters were in Walmart?  20 years ago?