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

Post Disclaimer

Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

Richard Kaufman

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
135
Location
Washington DC
Real Name
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.
 

aPhil

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
777
Location
North Carolina
Real Name
Phil Smoot
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.
 

TheSteig

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
1,673
Real Name
David
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 !! :)
 

warnerbro

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
808
Location
Burbank, California
Real Name
Darrell
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?
 

Craig999

Grip
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
17
Real Name
Craig
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.
 

warnerbro

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
808
Location
Burbank, California
Real Name
Darrell
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.
 

warnerbro

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
808
Location
Burbank, California
Real Name
Darrell
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.
 

mark-edk

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 28, 2002
Messages
377
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.
 

ColbyCo82

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
170
Real Name
Steven
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.
 

[email protected]

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
306
My vote for volume 3; Man Made Monster, Night Monster, Horror Island, & House of Horrors.
And my vote for volume 4 (or 3); Murders in the Rue Morgue, Secret of the Blue Room, Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Tower of London.
 
Last edited: