A collection of Price's better horror films plus extra featu
calvinnme | 07/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set will contain seven of Vincent Price's better horror films of the 1960's and 1970's and even includes a bonus disc of extra features. MGM is no Warner Home Video when it comes to DVD boxed sets and extra features, but this one shows progress in that direction. The following are the details on the included films and extra features.
Abominable Dr. Phibes: Price gives a campy performance in one of the few horror films which successfully and intentionally joins comedy and horror. Joseph Cotten and Terry-Thomas are just two of the victims on whom Price seeks vengeance for his disfigurement and his wife's death. The Art Deco sets give the film a stylish look and the British deadpan delivery of many of the jokes helps immensely.
Dr. Phibes Rises Again: The disfigured madman (Price) is back as he and his deceased wife go boating down the Underground River of the Dead in this sequel to The Abominable Dr. Phibes. Once again, everybody is in it for the laughs including the set designer.
Tales of Terror - Three stories adapted very loosely from the work of Edgar Allen Poe - "Morella", "The Black Cat" and "The (Facts in the) Case of M. Valdemar", each roughly one half-hour in length.
Twice Told Tales - This is a compilation of three short films based on Nathaniel Hawthorne works - Heidegger's Experiment, Rappaccini's Daughter and The House of Seven Gables. In both this film and "Tales of Terror", the idea is not so much to be true to the original story, as it is to use the foundation of the story to the advantage of Cormen's ability to make scary movies and in Price's ability to star in them.
Theater of Blood: An entertaining horror film about a demented Shakespearean actor (Price) who takes a bloody revenge against the eight theatre critics who gave his performances bad reviews. To me this one of Price's often forgotten and most underrated films. He really hams it up and it works perfectly.
Madhouse: Price stars as an actor who returns to the screen to reprise his role as a killer a few years after his wife-to-be was decapitated by a killer nobody caught. Price is good as always, but it just seems a little tired and more like a tribute to his past and better films.
Witchfinder General (aka Conqueror Worm): In 17th-century England during the struggle between Cromwell and the Crown, Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price) and his associates seek out and persecute those thought to practice sorcery as well as anyone else who incurs their wrath. When Hopkins executes the priest of a small town for being a warlock, he and his partner find themselves the target of a young soldier who leaves his post in Cromwell's army to hunt down and kill the pair. The movie captures this period in English history very well for a low-budget production. Price is at his menacing, sadistic best without the intentional camp that he injects in so many of his other horror films.
An extras disc will contain a documentary ("Vincent Price: Renaissance Man") and two featurettes ("The Art of Fear" and "Working with Vincent Price"). The set will be available on September 11th."
Only one new transfer!!
NCMovie Fan | 09/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For those Price fans who already own his prior DVD film releases, note that only Witchfinder General is a new transfer to DVD. The other film transfers are from previously released editions. And as such, Twice Told Tales, Theater of Blood, and Madhouse are in letterbox format, not anamorphic. So if you already have these films, Dr. Phibes and Tales of Terror on DVD you only need to buy Witchfinder General separately, you'll get nothing else new here. Fox cleverly fails to disclose the format of its DVDs by calling everything "widescreen" whether or not the films were processed in letterbox or anamorphic formats. Its a huge difference for those of us with HDTVs. What an opportunity lost for remastering these horror classics."
4 1/2 stars for the dark humoured "Dr Phibes" movies
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 04/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You can never keep a good villan down much less kill him. Dr Phibes has started taking revenge against an odd assortment of people. He plays his organ and has his "mechanical men" play an assortment of oldies before retiring for the evening and then coming out again to kill. It seems that he holds these men responsible for the death ofhis wife and when he does payback its in the key of murder.
The first film was a witty horror surprise with sharp direction by Robert Fuest ("The Avengers")and sharp acting. Peter Cushing was originally set to play in the film but withdrew when his wife passed away. Price gives a great performance that's perfect for the film.
The second film on the flipside of this dual sided disc is the sequel "Dr Phibes Rises Again". Fuest had a hand in the screenplay and it's just as much fun as the first film. Robert Quarry (who Price would come to resent when he found out that American Internation Pictures was planning to replace him with Quarry for many future releases). Sadly, there weren't any more films in the series but then again they went out on a high note.
Picture quality is worth screaming about and the DVDs look very good. We only get the original theatrical trailers as extras which is too bad as director Fuest is still (at this moment) around and could given a couple of insightful commentary tracks. Because these were released by AIP people tend to look down on them but their stellar films made with wit, charm and intelligence. They're also ghoulish fun."
Double Your Pleasure With Dr. Phibes!
Daniel Kepley | Viola, DE USA | 03/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now, the fine folks at MGM have packaged the two greatest films to star the late, great Vincent Price together on a 2-sided disc: THE ABOMIMABLE DR. PHIBES and DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN! These two movies were the high point of Price's illustrious career in horror movies. As the scarred doctor out to exact revenge on the surgical team he believes is responsible for his wife's death (ABOMINABLE) and goes to Egypt to seek out the River of Life to resurrect his wife (RISES), Price revels in the pure evil and dementia of this character. And there's his lovely assistant Vulnavia, played by Virginia North (ABOMINABLE) and Valli Kemp (RISES), who provides music for each murder among other things. And you can't forget those bumbling Scotland Yard Inspectors Trout (not Pike) and Waverly bumbling and bantering their way through the mayhem. And the witty dialogue is also what makes the DR. PHIBES movies fun, black comedy done right.
There's much to love about each movie, as each one has its own virtues and memorable moments. My favorite part in ABOMINABLE was when the surgeon winds up impaled by a brass unicorn catapulted across the street and the inspectors (I kid you not) must unscrew him from the wall! And in RISES, the one where Biederbeck's friend winds up in a giant gin bottle! And another thing, both DR. PHIBES films have a gambit for each nemesis of Phibes: the head surgeon must surgically remove a key from his son's heart to unlock the chains six minutes before acid pours on his face from above, while Biederbeck (Count Yorga himself) must free his fiancee from chicken wire three minutes before a ceiling with snake daggers descends. I think the makers of SAW were huge fans of these movies, because I immediately thought of this movie while wathing these suspenseful moments.
I can't stress it enough, you need this DVD. It's affordable and will provide constant hours of fun and scares!"
Great Films by Horrors Greatest. Disc Breakdown Below.
Mike Liddell | Massachusetts | 07/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This box set is a great add to any film lover's collection. The set is also great for those who are interested in Price's work but have yet to see much of it. I suggest watching the films by date. The last two films in the set are the most autobiographical of Price particularly Madhouse which has flash backs within the movie of actual Vincent Price films some of which you will have seen if you go in order by date. Although I feel Witchfinder General stands as a unique Price film and could be watched last. Lastly finish with the Vincent Price Collection of horrors disc which should be more interesting after the movies. The disc of horrors/Witchfinder general disc is the only DVD case containing two discs, even though it says a side and B side on the back on the DVD. All other DVDs are two sided discs with one film on each side.
The three short films in each film disc: Tales of Terror/Twice Told Tales. Tales of Terror (1962) 5/5 The only film of in the box by director Roger Corman who Price has teamed up with on many occasions to produce some of their best work such as The Masque of the Red Death / The Premature Burial and The Fall of the House of Usher /The Pit and the Pendulum. Both have made great films separately but together they made a great team and Tales of Terror is yet another example. Terror is Based on Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Terror and the screenplay was written by Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man), Tales of Terror is a trilogy of macabre tales starring Price in all three. The strongest of the three is The Black Cat starring Peter Lorre opposite of price and he does a great job as a drunken husband who seeks revenge on his unfaithful wife. The first tale is the weakest but it does get stronger from there. Hopefully this film will lead you to other Corman/Price films and other films by the director such as X. THE DVD: On the back of the DVD Tales of Terror's running time is listed at120mins but actually is just shy of 90minutes. The DVD is presented in widescreen 2:35:1 with a mono audio track.
Twice Told Tales (1963) 5/5 More of the same of Tales of Terror but this time it is three shorts based on tales written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. These three shorts are equally great with no clear favorite as each film could appeal to a different viewer. THE DVD: Presented in widescreen 1.66.1 with a mono audio track
The disc with the features disc: Witchfinder General/Vincent Price Coll. Disc of Horrors
Witchfinder General (1968) 5/5 The most brutal of the films which could be the first exploitation/torture film, although it has an actual story to go along with it and an ending reminiscent of Hooper's 1974 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2-Disc Ultimate Edition). Price's character Matthew Hopkins goes from village to village as an official witchfinder. Town's leaders pay him to accuse and execute those thought to be witches but he runs into some opposition from a soldier whose lover he has violated. This is also based of an Edgar Allen Poe work and was directed by Michael Reeves. Reeves and Price butt heads on this one which is talked about on the disc of horrors disc. It would appear Reeves did beat some of the mannerisms out of Price as he gives a different feel to this role then any of the others in the set. THE DVD: The only DVD to have special features. Audio commentary with producer Philip Waddilove and actor Ian Ogilvy and a Witchfinder General: Michael Reeves' horror classic featurette. Presented in widescreen 1.85:1 and a mono audio track.
Vincent Price Collection Disc of Horrors (2007) Watch this last: 4/5 There are three features on the DVD. Vincent Price: Renaissance Man - Historians and critics talk about his plays, art collecting, films, his cooking, basically about his life. The Art of Fear and Working with Vincent Price are the other two features.
The Phibes Disc: The Abominable Dr. Phibes/ Dr Phibes Rises Again: The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) 5/5 The film tells the story of Dr. Phibes seeking revenge on a group of surgeons he holds responsible for his wife's death. As one critic points out in the disc of horrors we are all born with a bit of psychotic in us but we mature however Dr. Phibes has never matured he is still that psychotic child. The movie has that 70s real feel and bloody deaths although they are much more creative than most films of the time. This is the most unique and eccentric of the Price films. I call Dr. Phibes an influencer of horror films and one of the best in this set. It is also similar to Theater of Blood which is also included. There is a biblical theme and order to Phibes' murders much like David Fincher's Seven (New Line Platinum Series). There are creative kills that could have influenced the more recent horrors such as The Final Destination Thrill-Ogy (Final Destination/ Final Destination 2/ Final Destination 3), Hostel, and saw movies throughout. The killer in the saw movies almost seems modeled after Phibes. Elaborate and lavish sets with a feel of Kubrick and like Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange [Blu-ray] released the same year Over the Rainbow is used in the same out of place fashion as Singin in the Rain was. There are also some bumbling Scotland Yard detectives to provide a bit of humor much like Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy released the following year also a great film. THE DVD: Presented in widescreen 1.85:1 and yet another mono audio track.
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) 4/5 This sequel picks up literally where the last one left off and even gives a recap of the first film. This time Phibes main goal is heading to Egypt to bring his wife back to life as he dispatches those that get in his way. It's an entertaining horror adventure. THE DVD: Presented in widescreen 1.85:1 with a mono audio track.
The autobiographical films disc: Theater of Blood/Madhouse
Theater of Blood (1973) The only R rated film. 5/5 A small time Shakespearean play actor (Price) believed to be dead comes back to take vengeance on the critics who trashed his work, by following the death scenes of his plays in the order he played them. Again we have creative kills with that 70s exploitation look with gore and blood throughout. During one of the kills of The Merchant of Venice I thought Price's makeup looked like Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street (Infinifilm Edition), maybe it inspired Wes Craven. THE DVD: Presented in widescreen 1.66:1 with mono audio.
Madhouse (1974) 4/5 This is the most autobiographical film in the set. Price plays Paul Toombes a horror star whose fiancée is brutally murdered. The viewer nor Paul even knows if he did it and he loses his job and a bit of his mind only to return twelve years later to TV. This is a fun film for Price fans as it is a mixture of his films. The plot is somewhat reminiscent of House of Wax particularly the ending. Literally Paul Toombes films are played throughout during interviews and banquets and they are actual Vincent Price films such as The Pit and the Pendulum and Tales of Terror. Tales of Terror even seems to have the same effect on Toombes as it did Price's character in that film. THE DVD: Presented in widescreen 1.66:1 with a mono audio track. "