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Universal Monsters; 75th Anniversary releases, Karloff and Chaney Collections?

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#1 of 132 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted May 05 2006 - 09:45 PM

Culled from the 'Scarlet Street' forums, below is a press release for a new book, plus a snippet near the end that will be of interest to fans of Universal's horror films:

A Celebration of the Classics from Universal Studios Foreword by Forrest J. Ackerman

A full-color officially authorized retrospective book celebrating the classic monster films that have haunted audiences for decades!

Universal Studios ushered in the golden age of movies by introducing audiences to monsters on the silver screen. Now, from the studios themselves, comes a lavishly illustrated book that provides the crucial images and words behind these legendary films-plus heartfelt tributes from some of Hollywood's most famous fans including John Landis, Stephen Sommers, Rick Baker, and many more.

With beautiful on-screen and behind the scenes photos from the studio's vaults, this offcially authorized book will include these infamous Creature Features which continue to influence filmmakers to this day:
Dracula. Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein. The Mummy. The Wolf Man. The Invisible, Man. Creature from the Black Lagoon. Phantom of the Opera

A must-have book for both film and horror fans alike!

For more than 90 years, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS has been bringing unique entertain'ment experiences to millions of people around the world. Through their motion pictures, home videos, theme parks, television networks, and programming, they are in the business of thrills and chills as well as tears and laughter. And with their extensive library of legendary films they have set the standard for inspiring wonder and ultimately transforming moments into lasting memories.

FORREST J. ACKERMAN is a legend in the horror community, having edited 200 issues of the world's first film monster magazine, Famous Monsters or-Filmland. He's also famously known for creating the term "Sci-Fi:' He has personally known genre icons Boris Karloff, 'Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, Elsa Lanchester, and Ray Harryhausen. Forry now lives in his Acker-mini-mansion in Hollywood where he still entertains fans weekly with his amazing collection of memorabilia and priceless stories of the origins of Horror art, filmmaking, literature, and all things fantastical.

. National feature coverage
. Radio interviews
. Convention advertising: World Horror Convention (5/06), Monster Bash (6/06), Horrorfind Weekend (8/06), Screamfest LA (10106)
. Print advertising: Scary Monster Magazine, Cemetery Dance magazine
. Online advertising: fi.lm web sites
. Cross-promotion with Universal Studios
. Feature on Movie, Horror, and book web site
OF NOTE Full-color throughout, including photos from the studio's vaults, as well as movie posters

A Del Rey Hardcover Category: Film 8'12" x 10'/8" 144 pages $29.95/$39.95C 0-345-48685-4 EAN:9780345486851 ON SALE SEPTEMBER 26

In September 2006, Universal Home Video will release a 75th anniversary DVD collection of the original Dracula and Frankenstein movies. In addition, they will release classic DVD collections of the Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney movie libraries.

The Universal Studios Monsters are trademarks and copyrights of Uniyersal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP.All rights reserved.

There's a 'groan' factor involved in re-releases of the Dracula and Frankenstein movies, though it is a little churlish to complain - it is the 75th anniversary after all - but Karloff and Chaney collections? Surely we are talking new, rather than recycled material here?
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#2 of 132 OFFLINE   JohnPM


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Posted May 05 2006 - 11:45 PM

I hope they'll include "Night World" with the Karloffs. I assume the Chaney set will be "Man-Made Monster" and the Inner-Sanctoms.


#3 of 132 OFFLINE   Bob Graham

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Posted May 06 2006 - 12:14 AM

I agree with the groan on the FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA re-releases, but that book by Forry is a must buy!

#4 of 132 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted May 06 2006 - 03:08 AM

It would be nice if Uni released these in Hi Def, too.

#5 of 132 OFFLINE   Jeffrey Nelson

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Posted May 06 2006 - 04:04 AM

Actually, perhaps they can finally get the soundtrack for DRACULA correct this time. The first DVD has restored sound effects during Dracula's demise (groans, stake poundings, etc.), but is missing the orchestral music at the show after Drac says "There are far worse things...awaiting man...than death." The second DVD restores the orchestral music, but is missing those aforementioned sound effects at the end. Doh! AND, as an extra juicy extra, put whatever is left of the long-missing final curtain speech, transferred straight from the remaining elements, instead of the severely compromised glimpse we get during the featurette. If these things were done, I'd definitely double-dip on DRACULA. Also, perhaps they can finally get the framing for BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN correct. The second DVD is better than the first, but it still seems to be missing a bit too much at the top, which is obvious during the famous "cross fadeout" scene. The top of the cross is still cut off. I wish they'd pull back just a little bit.

#6 of 132 OFFLINE   ScottR



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Posted May 06 2006 - 06:37 AM

Plus, they could get rid of some nasty scratches during the opening graveyard scene of Frankenstein.

#7 of 132 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted May 06 2006 - 07:04 AM

Just a guess but I could see the 75th anniversary discs being the same as before but just in new packaging.

It does sound like a great book too. Posted Image

#8 of 132 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted May 06 2006 - 07:05 AM

Maybe we can get a decent Dracula transfer. It's interlaced and murky on both previous DVD's.

#9 of 132 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti



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Posted May 06 2006 - 09:19 AM

New DVDs so soon?? Im wary now to purchase any of the other Monster Legacy sets I'd hadn't gotten around to yet...

#10 of 132 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted May 06 2006 - 10:31 AM

I doubt HOUSE OF DRACULA will be getting re-released. The big guys like DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE will always be re-released because fans will always rebuy them. I'm happy with my Legacy sets unless some unknown, deleted scenes have been located or they've dug Lugosi and Karloff up to do a commentary. I'm much more excited about the Karloff and Chaney sets, which have been rumored for a couple years now.

#11 of 132 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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Posted May 07 2006 - 03:30 AM

Groan is right. Yet another DVD release of Dracula and Frankenstein? I'll pass. I guess it'll give Uni another chance to screw the pooch just like the Dracula Legacy set.

Here's an idea Universal, how about putting out a great classic horror film on DVD this Fall that hasn't been released twice already say um Island of Lost Souls for instance.

Not much of a Chaney Jr fan but the Karloff set piqued my curiosity until I started thinking of what unreleased films Universal controlled that would interest me. Tower of London would be one I suppose. The Black Room crossed my mind until I remembered it's controlled by Columbia, which means it'll never get a release. Old Dark House would be another but I'm perfectly happy with my Kino disc especially since I don't see Universal improving on it.

Though it wouldn't surprise me if Uni just simply repackaged last years Lugosi discs and retitled it the Karloff set. Posted Image
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#12 of 132 OFFLINE   Jack Theakston

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Posted May 07 2006 - 04:43 AM

If Universal decides to throw a new transfer of THE CLIMAX onto the Karloff set, count me in! Speaking of which: how about the Montez/Hall pictures? Come on... pleaaase?
-J. Theakston

#13 of 132 OFFLINE   Corey



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Posted May 07 2006 - 06:29 AM

This sounds great cause I don't have any of these movies. WB should be saying what horror and sci-fi movies they're releasing soon. I've just heard about the Mark of the Vampire and The Mask of Fu Manchu. I wonder if the 2nd Lon Chaney collection will be coming out as well.
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#14 of 132 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted May 07 2006 - 09:28 AM

Since the Universal Horrors are my all-time favorites, that's a case where I am prepared to triple/quadruple dip on them... as long as they're improving. As mentioned earlier, if DRACULA is of better visual quality and if the "groans" and "music cue" are restored properly, then it will be worth another buy to me. Same thing with any other future re-release of a Universal Classic. If they're just the same thing in a new package, forget it.

#15 of 132 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted May 08 2006 - 12:28 AM

I assume the Chaney set is actually Chaney Jr.? I'd prefer a Chaney Sr. set. Does Universal own any of his films?

#16 of 132 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted May 08 2006 - 12:52 AM

There are are so many great scifi films that need releasing, Tarantula, The Deadly Mantis, The Monolith Monsters, THe Mole People, and UNi keeps releasing the same films over and over agian. When they gonna get on the stick and dip a bit deeper into their catalog?
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#17 of 132 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted May 08 2006 - 03:52 AM

I'm curious to see what movies are on the Karloff/Chany sets, but that book is a must buy. I would also like to see that Documentary on the Universal Monsters from either TCM or AMC from a few years ago. It aired twice in Canada, and I managed to miss it both times Posted Image

#18 of 132 OFFLINE   Jeff_CusBlues


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Posted May 08 2006 - 04:11 AM

And what is really funny is that on the second DVD, the groans are restored on the commentary track. Double Doh!!!

#19 of 132 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted May 08 2006 - 06:26 AM

All are either lost (like most of Chaney's films made for Universal) or they didn't bother to renew the copyright. However, there's the excellent 2-disc Milestone release of The Phantom of the Opera, as well an upcoming remaster of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (new HD transfer).

#20 of 132 OFFLINE   Jack Theakston

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Posted May 08 2006 - 06:34 AM

Chaney left Universal as a contract player in around 1919, although he did freelance many films there in-between then and 1925, when he signed up at MGM. All of the Chaney Universals are now public domain. Ditto on the Universal sci-fi flicks. And PLEASE do new widescreen transfers, not the full-frame transfers that everyone has been watching on TV for years.
-J. Theakston

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