Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Abominable Snowman/Shatter|
Actors: Forrest Tucker, Peter Cushing, Maureen Connell, Richard Wattis, Robert Brown
Directors: Michael Carreras, Monte Hellman, Val Guest
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Two movies: One superb, one awful. Split the difference
Tryavna | North Carolina | 06/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This two-disc re-release has been out for nearly a year, but hasn't received a proper review yet. So here goes:
Both of the films on offer were released separately by Anchor Bay several years ago. Both went out of print as individual releases, but Anchor Bay put them back into print by repackaging them together -- presumably to move stock, but also to do latecomers to the world of DVD a favor. Anchor Bay has done the same for most of their transfers of British films made by the famed Hammer Studios. (If you're familiar with MGM's similar line of Midnite Movies, you'll have a sense of what I'm describing.) Each of the titles in these two-disc sets are exactly the same as the original single-disc releases; only the packaging has changed.
The overall quality of Anchor Bay's work is fine. They almost always provide excellent progressive transfers of well-preserved film elements -- usually offering nice extras and enhanced anamorphic transfers. Both of the films here have filmmaker commentaries, theatrical trailers, and half-hour episodes from a "World of Hammer" series narrated by Oliver Reed. (The commentaries are entertaining and worth a listen, but the "World of Hammer" episodes are a waste of time, being little more than film clip compilations.)
The films themselves are not very closely related -- except insofar as both were made by Hammer Studios and both feature Hammer regular Peter Cushing.
"The Abominable Snowman" is a superb fantasy-thriller about an expedition searching for the Yeti in the Himalayas. It features excellent performances and atmosphere, and a highly intelligent script by Nigel ("Quatermass") Kneale. It's similar in style and tone to the atmospheric horror films that Val Lewton made at RKO in the mid-1940s. I highly recommend "The Abominable Snowman," as it is directed by the vastly underappreciated British B-movie master Val Guest. This film is worth the price of the set alone (and it's considerably cheaper than tracking down the out-of-print single disc).
"Shatter," on the other hand, is a lackluster attempt to cash in on the kung-fu craze. The idea is actually pretty good: A hit man is double-crossed after carrying out a job and seeks revenge in Hong Kong. But despite being shot on location, the production values are just too cheap, and the music, direction, acting, and especially the editing are simply sub-par. (It's worth watching just to come back for the commentary, which is pretty honest, but don't expect too much.)
You can find fuller reviews for each film under Amazon's listings for the out-of-print releases. I just wanted to confirm that this set does indeed carry everything the old releases did, and it offers a good deal on "The Abominable Snowman," a film I keep recommending to fans of British cinema or intelligent sci-fi/horror."
This is Really Ticking Me Off
Tryavna | 02/08/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"these double feature sets are going oop too "beepin" fast i mean look at the "Dracula Prince of Darkness/The Satanic Rites of Dracula,Quatermass and the pit/Quatermass 2" DVD Sets They went oop tooo fast i had to get the Dracula Double feature for 39.99 and the Quatermass DVD set is over 78 Dollers FORGET THAT but this too and to think i just saw this in print just a month ago