A few words about…™ Universal Horror Collection Volume 1 — in Blu-ray

Film elements used as the basis, are a mixed bag, but tending toward higher quality. 4 Stars

Scream Factory, via their license with Universal, has released Universal Horror Collection Volume 1, and there will be additional offerings. And that would be a very good thing.

Little needs be said about these four films – The Black Cat (1934), The Raven (1935), The Invisible Ray (1936), and Black Friday (1940), except that they allow us to see an actor’s growth, or possibly not. Karloff vs. Lugosi.

The majority of these gentlemen’s A pictures have already been released in the various Universal Horror collections, but these (some of them, anyway) are little gems.

Film elements used as the basis, are a mixed bag, but tending toward higher quality. Ditto for audio. None are problematic.

Image – The Black Cat – 4.25
The Raven – 3.25
The Invisible Ray – 3.75
Black Friday – 3.75

Audio – The Black Cat – 4
The Raven – 3.25
The Invisible Ray – 4
Black Friday – 4

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Without a doubt

All are Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

15 Comments

  1. Volume 2 consists of four mostly mediocre films starring Lionel Atwill. I like "Pinky," but these are far from his best films. He's good, but the rest not so much. Even "Murders in the Zoo" is not as good as its reputation.

  2. Richard Kaufman

    Volume 2 consists of four mostly mediocre films starring Lionel Atwill. I like "Pinky," but these are far from his best films. He's good, but the rest not so much. Even "Murders in the Zoo" is not as good as its reputation.

    I'll disagree with you on "Murders in the Zoo." It is a fantastic film.

    I hope it is a significant upgrade on Blu-ray.

  3. Murders in the Zoo is the only reason Im getting Volume 2. When the TCM DVD set came out these 4 were also grouped together
    I really hope Volume 3 has Murders in the Room Morgue, Night Monster, and Mad Made Monster..and also The Monster and the Girl !! 🙂

  4. Murders In The Zoo is outstanding. It is pre-code and the things they did in this film wouldn’t have gotten past the censor until the 1960s. It’s amazing what they got away with in this film. Keep it up, Universal! Please try to give us what you can find of THE CAT CREEPS and where’s MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE?

  5. I received this set yesterday and I'm underwhelmed by the picture quality. Looks like no real restoration work was done, unlike the wonderful Universal "Complete Legacy Collection" blu-rays for The Mummy, Dracula, etc. After watching The Black Cat and The Raven, I put on my old Bela Lugosi Collection DVD flipper and it actually looked the same or even better (less noise). But I guess it's still nice to have these classics on their own separate blu-ray discs.

  6. These look probably as good as they can based on the film elements. THE BLACK CAT, however, looks very nice. And the extras are amazing! I was most blown away by the found footage from behind the scenes for THE BLACK CAT where Bela and Boris are standing outside on the back lot surrounded by the Universal Studios Dracula hills. They are smiling and patting little children on the head as the kids line up with their black cats to be judged in a contest! And there are some great photos and documentaries as well. The artwork is colorful and beautiful. They use many original one sheet posters and lobby cards. Hats off, SHOUT FACTORY! First rate in all departments! Now, can we have MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE without additional music added.

  7. warnerbro

    My vote for volume 3: MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, JUNGLE CAPTIVE, THE SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. I would also add THE CAT CREEPS but apparently it is a lost film.

    One set I would pay a premium price for would be the complete Blue Room collection: Secret Of…, The Missing Guest, and Murder in… The remakes can't match the original but each changed the story just enough to provide a unique plot twist or two. As a bonus maybe the first chapter or two of that serial (I think it was Adventures of Frank Merriwell) that also had a room (called the Blue Room) closed for years due to a mysterious death therein. As I recall the blue room was forgotten as the serial's man plot (whenever it was) kicked into high gear but maybe it came back into play later.

  8. Please let Greg Mank do every commentary. He is outstanding! He has a friendly, fun manner and packs in as much information as possible. He doesn't go to sleep and he sounds like he is having a great time and gives such interesting behind the scenes info!

  9. warnerbro

    My vote for volume 3: MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, JUNGLE CAPTIVE, THE SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. I would also add THE CAT CREEPS but apparently it is a lost film.

    The Cat Creeps is one of those films that I cant understand how it became "lost." It may have something to do with Paramount acquiring the rights to make the Bob Hope version in 1939. Though, Universal would have gotten the rights back when the purchased the pre-1948 Paramount sound library.

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