Terrific Value 5 Stars

A couple of years ago, I began referencing Universal’s classic home video releases as coming from the “new” Universal, as there was a different mindset in place.

Their latest forays into the genre that they essentially created, beginning in the 1920s, remain in top technical form.

The finest surviving elements have been located, scanned, restored, and preserved, and the resultant Blu-ray releases, along with DCPs, for those lucky enough to see these films theatrically, are now in place.

While there is, once again, a bit of duplication in titles from past Blu releases, the prices do not reflect it, especially with The Mummy Collection currently $25 on Amazon for six films and extras of high quality.

If ordering, be very aware that Amazon’s prices seem to reflect a certain schizophrenic nature at the moment, with multiple prices for the same product.

Great sets of films. Superb Quality. Terrific value, at around $4 per title.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

4k Up-rez – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

 
        

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Robert Harris

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BobO'Link

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Robert, those multiple prices for the same product are due to one including "Fandango Movie Cash" while the other does not, although the current listings don't make it clear which is which.
 

dpippel

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Robert, can you comment on how the previous Blu-rays released as part of the Universal Monsters - The Essential Collection set compare to these?
 

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Robert, can you comment on how the previous Blu-rays released as part of the Universal Monsters - The Essential Collection set compare to these?
I'm not RAH, but the titles that were previously issued are identical on these sets. The only exception is the House/House disc which leaves off Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.
 
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I watched The Mummy's Tomb this evening. It's a one-hour film, and the first 12 minutes recap all of the key events from The Mummy's Hand, so not a huge amount of content in this one. The murders are pretty ludicrous with people ALLOWING themselves to be strangled by simply being frozen in fear or not even trying to fight back, and I've never seen someone wrapped in bandages walking around through a fiery mansion and none of them ever alighting until the very end. That seemed preposterous. Much less enjoyable than the first two films. But the transfer is once again impeccable.
 

Dick

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I watched The Mummy's Tomb this evening. It's a one-hour film, and the first 12 minutes recap all of the key events from The Mummy's Hand, so not a huge amount of content in this one.
This is one (though not the only) instance when the 9-minute Super 8mm Castle Films edit was actually better than the full-length feature it came from.
 

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I watched The Mummy's Tomb this evening. It's a one-hour film, and the first 12 minutes recap all of the key events from The Mummy's Hand, so not a huge amount of content in this one. The murders are pretty ludicrous with people ALLOWING themselves to be strangled by simply being frozen in fear or not even trying to fight back, and I've never seen someone wrapped in bandages walking around through a fiery mansion and none of them ever alighting until the very end. That seemed preposterous. Much less enjoyable than the first two films. But the transfer is once again impeccable.
I think this is one reason those of us who came in later generations (which is probably all of us in this discussion) probably thought the Mummy was the lamest of the Universal monsters to filter down into pop culture. It was hard for us to imagine being so scared of a slow moving, bandaged creature, slowly reaching out. When I first saw the original with Boris Karloff, I was so pleasantly surprised with how much it holds its own in the Universal pantheon. Same goes for the first Hammer Mummy film.

The later Mummy films (including Abbott and Costello) did not serve the Mummy well.
 
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warnerbro

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These Universal monster releases have the most beautiful video presentations imaginable. Absolutely gorgeous. I wish they had just added a few supplements like lobby cards or posters like they used to do on those wonderful laserdisc editions. Now, can we please get THE OLD DARK HOUSE? Please, Universal, give us your fine-grain master for this!
 

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I will have to get these movies now, your quick round up talked me into it.
 

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There are many reasons why most of the later films are inferior, aside from the fact that most sequels are inferior to originals (although "Bride of Frankenstein" is arguably far superior to "Frankenstein"), but chief among them is that Universal went into receivership in the 1930's and Standard Capital took over the studio in 1936 and threw out the Laemmle's. Most of the monster films after that are very inferior.

While there were always a few exceptions, for the most part, U became a low-budget studio, releasing The Dead End Kids in the 30's and "Francis the Talking Mule" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" films in the 40's.
 

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There are many reasons why most of the later films are inferior, aside from the fact that most sequels are inferior to originals (although "Bride of Frankenstein" is arguably far superior to "Frankenstein")
I read this again and again. While Bride is a good sequel, I don't think it's superior to the original. One place where Bride really loses me is the revelation of the "little people." The movie descends into a farce during that scene, it always pulls me out of the movie.
 

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I watched The Mummy's Tomb this evening. It's a one-hour film, and the first 12 minutes recap all of the key events from The Mummy's Hand, so not a huge amount of content in this one. The murders are pretty ludicrous with people ALLOWING themselves to be strangled by simply being frozen in fear or not even trying to fight back, and I've never seen someone wrapped in bandages walking around through a fiery mansion and none of them ever alighting until the very end. That seemed preposterous. Much less enjoyable than the first two films. But the transfer is once again impeccable.
That sequence in THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1942) left me with the impression that Universal was trying to add some Frankenstein style excitement. For the 1940s, these Mummy sequels sure do get a bit dark at times.
I think this is one reason those of us who came in later generations (which is probably all of us in this discussion) probably thought the Mummy was the lamest of the Universal monsters to filter down into pop culture. It was hard for us to imagine being so scared of a slow moving, bandaged creature, slowly reaching out. When I first saw the original with Boris Karloff, I was so pleasantly surprised with how much it holds its own in the Universal pantheon. Same goes for the first Hammer Mummy film.

The later Mummy films (including Abbott and Costello) did not serve the Mummy well.
At least in the '40s sequels, the Mummy remained (Fairly) consistent, particularly in it's movements, although the mythology changed somewhat from film to film. Abbott and Costello's Mummy didn't even have a complete mask, and no left leg limp, two elements that did remain constant in the previous Mummy sequels. That said, Bud and Lou's Universal Swan Song wasn't without its bright spots, and of course, ALL of these films look great on Blu-ray, and I look forward to being able to revisit them whenever the mood strikes me!

Heck, I'll probably even be in for The Creature films, which I suspect may be out, along with The Invisible Man Legacy Blu-ray sets this fall - At least I hope so!

CHEERS! :)
 

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There are many reasons why most of the later films are inferior, aside from the fact that most sequels are inferior to originals (although "Bride of Frankenstein" is arguably far superior to "Frankenstein"), but chief among them is that Universal went into receivership in the 1930's and Standard Capital took over the studio in 1936 and threw out the Laemmle's. Most of the monster films after that are very inferior.

While there were always a few exceptions, for the most part, U became a low-budget studio, releasing The Dead End Kids in the 30's and "Francis the Talking Mule" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" films in the 40's.
Well I don't know about B-grade. Certainly, the studio became more streamlined and willing to invest in franchise film-making; safe bets in lieu of original content; but lest we forget Uni still had Abbott and Costello - those golden boys who almost single-handed pulled the studio back into the black; and Deanna Durbin musicals, and Blondie and Dagwood, and oh yes, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson - the best Holmes ever. Budgets were tight, but a lot of this franchise film-making has endured well beyond the era that produced it.

The monster movies suffered, but made a startling comeback with Creature from the Black Lagoon; the likes of its two sequels I surely wish Uni would get around to releasing as a box set like these. I'm not a fan of all the double dipping. The Frankenstein set also included a bunch of these deep catalog titles. I would have much preferred Uni simply give us a reissue of the monster box set containing everything without any of the 'copycatting' going on here. I have three separate discs of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Have to say, I'm over the moon Uni has given us A&C meet The Mummy. Now if we could just get them to do an A&C box set to include The Time of Their Lives, Who Done It?, One Night in the Tropics, and, Hold that Ghost (for starters), I'd really be getting ready to throw a ticker-tape parade.
 

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I watched the last of the Mummy sequels tonight, and like its siblings, it looked simply magnificent. Again, only an hour, and part of that was spent recapping the origin story with clips from the original and first sequel. Still, paced well and held my interest for the hour.

Tomorrow night (unless something untoward occurs on Friday), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy which I'm REALLY looking forward to.
 

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Well I don't know about B-grade. Certainly, the studio became more streamlined and willing to invest in franchise film-making; safe bets in lieu of original content; but lest we forget Uni still had Abbott and Costello - those golden boys who almost single-handed pulled the studio back into the black; and Deanna Durbin musicals, and Blondie and Dagwood, and oh yes, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson - the best Holmes ever. Budgets were tight, but a lot of this franchise film-making has endured well beyond the era that produced it.

The monster movies suffered, but made a startling comeback with Creature from the Black Lagoon; the likes of its two sequels I surely wish Uni would get around to releasing as a box set like these. I'm not a fan of all the double dipping. The Frankenstein set also included a bunch of these deep catalog titles. I would have much preferred Uni simply give us a reissue of the monster box set containing everything without any of the 'copycatting' going on here. I have three separate discs of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Have to say, I'm over the moon Uni has given us A&C meet The Mummy. Now if we could just get them to do an A&C box set to include The Time of Their Lives, Who Done It?, One Night in the Tropics, and, Hold that Ghost (for starters), I'd really be getting ready to throw a ticker-tape parade.
FYI Blondie was Columbia.
 

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Heck, I'll probably even be in for The Creature films, which I suspect may be out, along with The Invisible Man Legacy Blu-ray sets this fall - At least I hope so!

CHEERS! :)
I hope you're right, I'm ready for them.

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson - the best Holmes ever.
Uh, no, that would be Jeremy Brett. IMHO. Brett was fantastic in the role and also had the advantage of appearing in versions very faithful to the original stories. And his Watson wasn't turned into a bafoon.