Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Psychobabble's Five Horror Blu-ray Box Sets That Must Be

Like everyone on Earth, I spend October shunning my responsibilities, family, and personal hygiene to watch horror movie after horror movie. And since getting bitten by the radioactive blu-ray bug, that hi-definition format has become my a.v. poison of choice. 

Of course, there are still a lot of films that have yet to be upgraded to blu-ray in the U.S. Some of them may never receive that treatment. Therefore I propose that an enterprising film studio rescue the following victims and monsterize them for a new generation of fans too spoiled to deal with unstable frames, sub-par resolution, lossy audio, or any of the other things that do a disservice to some great horror movies. 

The neatest way to accomplish this is some handy-dandy box sets, since certain titles may not sell as well on their own. So, dear enterprising film studios, feel free to steal any of the following ideas. Having some good quality new monster movie box sets to enjoy next Halloween season is thanks enough. 

Oh, and maybe a free copy of each one. That would actually be thanks enough.

1. Universal Monsters: The Not-Quite-As-Essential Collection

We begin with the most important studio to produce and pioneer horror movies. Two years ago, Universal collected its most significant monster movies--Dracula (English and Spanish language versions), Frankenstein, The Mummy, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon (as well as its remake of Phantom of the Opera, which isn't very essential at all)--in a terrific blu-ray box. I recently inquired about whether or not we can expect a sequel featuring some great films not included in the first box, and a Universal rep basically said "no". Well, "never say never" says I. I would love to see a sequel box containing:

The Old Dark House (1932)
The Black Cat (1934)
The Raven (1935)
Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Son of Frankenstein (1939)
The Mummy's Hand (1940)
Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)
House of Frankenstein (1944)
Revenge of the Creature (1955)

2. The Hammer Horror Masterpiece Collection

When Universal-style gothic horror fell out of favor in the fifties, Britain's Hammer studio saved the day with blood, sex, and style. The absence of any of the studio's most important films on blu-ray in America is currently the biggest hole in hi-def horror. While some of the lesser titles have sneaked out through studios such as Millenium, Shout! Factory, and Synapse Films, we are still sorely in need of a sweeping box set to sweep up:

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Dracula (1958)
The Mummy (1959)
The Brides of Dracula (1960)
The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
The Phantom of the Opera (1962)
The Gorgon (1964)
The Plague of the Zombies (1966)
The Devil Rides Out (1968)

3.  The Public Domain Collection

Because they're so readily and cheaply available, public domain movies often aren't treated the way they should be. Night of the Living Dead is not a lesser film just because George Romero didn't file the proper paperwork. There actually have been blu-ray sets including some essential pd titles, but they've been taken from the usual horrid unrestored prints. A collection of fully restored public domain horror classics is certainly in order. I propose:

Faust (1926)
Svengali (1931)
The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
City of the Dead (1960)
Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)
The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)
Dementia 13 (1963)
Spider Baby (1964)
Nightmare Castle (1965) 
Night of the Living Dead (1968)

4. The Val Lewton Horror Collection

 This one requires no creative thought from me at all, since it already exists in DVD form. All it needs is the blu-ray treatment. For the record, the included films are:

Cat People (1942)
Curse of the Cat People (1944)
I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
The Body Snatcher (1945)
Isle of the Dead (1945)
Bedlam (1946)
The Leopard Man (1943)
The Ghost Ship (1943)
The Seventh Victim (1943)

5. The Incredibly Strange Horror Movies That Stopped Following Themes and Became a Mixed-Up Box Set

Finally, we're stuck with a bunch of great horror that need to be upgraded but don't neatly fit under a single umbrella aside from the horror one. Oh, and maybe a "great movie" one.

The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Freaks (1932)
Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)
Mad Love (1935)
Mark of the Vampire (1935)
Dead of Night (1945)
Night of the Demon (1957)
Night of the Eagle (1962)
Witchcraft (1964)
Viy (1967)

What horror blu-ray box sets would you like to see in time for Halloween 2015?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
All written content of is the property of Mike Segretto and may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.