A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Vincent Price Collection -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Having grown up on the Roger Corman / AIP horror classics of the '60s, I'm thrilled to finally have six starring Mr. Price -- four of which come from the early '60s.

    These were never meant to be horror per se. They always had a humorous tongue-in-cheek sensibility out them, and that aspect has survived the decades.

    Some of these productions were cheaply printed by B labs, while others were printed in dye transfer. The difference - huge.

    While we're still missing some stellar films in the series, such as The Raven, Premature Burial and Tales of Terror.

    But these six productions, spanning just over a decade, from 1960 to 1971 are a nice beginning. Hopefully Scream Factory will do well enough on this set to give us a second.

    The films all look quite nice on Blu-ray. Elements, transfer budget, wear age all come into play. Here's how they line up.

    While I'm not certain, from a cursory viewing, all appear to be derived from IPs. Color, densities, black levels are grain are all very comfortable for the era.

    The Fall of the House of Usher (1960)

    Image - 3.75

    Audio - 4

    The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

    Image - 3.75

    Audio - 4

    The Haunted Palace (1963)

    Image - 4

    Audio - 4.5

    The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

    Image - 4

    Audio - 5

    Witchfinder General aka The Conqueror Worm (1968)

    Image - 4

    Audio - 5

    The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

    Image - 4

    Audio - 5

    One thing to note about these films. Those with just a bit higher budgets, show every penny of those dollars on screen. The gothic settings, castles, stone stairways, and candlelit rooms exude a very special aura.

    At a current street price of $67 for six films, the set is a great buy, and a superb offering from Scream Factory. All six films have extras, so the value is in the set.

    Before it's brought up, I'm aware of the UK, region B release of Fall of the House of Usher from Arrow. It appears to come from the same IP as the the Scream collection. It has a newer transfer, based upon the quality of the element, is a bit better, and has been digitally cleaned. It's a quality release.

    Priced at a few dollars more than the US release, and with a very nice selection of extras, it would make a nice addition for true fans of the series.

    Both the Scream Factory collection and the Arrow release of Usher are Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I was one of the lucky people who scored this set for $39.99 from Groupon. But even at twice that price I would have been VERY happy with the quality and value of the set. As it is, I'm thrilled and hoping for a volume 2 (which would include Theatre of Blood if I had my way.)
     
  3. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    For those considering the aforementioned Arrow release, you may be interested to know they are also planning releases of The Pit and the Pendulum, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Dr. Phibes Rises Again and Theatre of Blood.

    Witchfinder General is already available in Region B land from Odeon.
     
  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    A beautiful few words about a beautiful few films that forever captured the imagination and passion of this youngster. I remember my parents' exasperation at being dragged to the first few repeatedly during my pre-driving years. In the end, they were always entertained, but the youngster was the one smitten.

    Watching the first three (as listed above) has been rewarding beyond words, and the others are soon to follow (I've never gotten to know Phibes even though I've had the Midnite Movies DVDs here forever). I, too, hope for the chance to give more of my money to Scream Factory for all of the others in the 1960s AIP/Corman/Poe/Price/Milland/etc. canon.
     
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  5. Richard Gallagher

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    Watching the films in this set has motivated me to re-read the Poe stories which inspired three of them. It's probably an unconventional way to read myself to sleep, though.
     
  6. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    A couple of years ago I browsed a few chapters from the paperback novelizations (Lancer Books!) of these, and was surprised at how decently a couple of them were written.
     
  7. Gregory Pauswinski

    Gregory Pauswinski Supporting Actor

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    I'm very happy with this set. The Iowa PBS Introductions/Finales by Vincent Price are wonderful.
     
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  8. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Yes, they are surprisingly good, and very entertaining. A very nice extra to have.
     
  9. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    Eddie, for me the two Phibes films swings it the way of the UK.

    If I wanted them both (and I do, I do) I'd have to shell out for this set (which includes some films not high on my list) and risk the sequel not coming out, or coming only in a box of stuff I largely/entirely didn't want.

    Even if I end up with the lot, I suspect it'll be far more comfortable for me to pick them up one or two at a time.

    I'm just a sucker for the late '60s/early '70s British horror films - Hammer, Amicus, Phibes, Witchfinder General, Wicker Man, Blood on Satan's Claw (would have been even more intersting had it been Blood on Santa's Claw...).

    The Phibes films are not technically British, but they exude a similar feel to those others, I think.

    Can you tell that I grew up on ITV's Appontment with Fear ?

    Steve W
     
  10. Will*B

    Will*B Supporting Actor

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    I absolutely love this set. I've always been a huge horror fan, and the Price films were my first taste of the genre (they were the first horror films my parents would let me watch as a kid).

    Personally, I really hope Scream & Scream Again and Madhouse get the HD treatment at some point. Despite their flaws, they're my absolute favourites.
     
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  11. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    While featuring a truely gorgeous transfer, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH on this Blu-ray is from an element missing footage that was on the Laserdisc. The DVD was trimmed in exactly the same way. The US Blu-ray has the same edit as the German Blu-ray release referenced in the following.

     
  12. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Are you saying that Price introduces and closes the actual movies, or are they only in the extras section?

    Price did a marvelous job introducing Mystery on PBS years ago. Really liked it when he did Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes and always wished Vincent could be included on the DVD release.
     
  13. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    You choose whether to watch the movie with or without them.
     
  14. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    And they're worth watching, too. Plus, the location for the taping, Salisbury House, was absolutely perfect! If I ever get to Des Moines, I am definitely touring that house.
     
  15. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    And to answer the question more completely (sorry, wasn't reading comprehensively last night), the intros and outros and indeed specific to each film.
     
  16. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I like that.
     
  17. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    'are' indeed, not 'and' indeed

    I apparently can't type this morning, either.
     
  18. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I know, you just washed your hands and couldn't do a thing with them. :)
     
  19. Jacksmyname

    Jacksmyname Second Unit

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    This set is currently at $39 from Amazon..
    Temporarily out of stock but worth waiting for.
     
  20. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Thanks. That was my price range.
     

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