Botched presentation makes this one a must to avoid
Rob Brown | Starkville, MS USA | 10/23/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Boy, was I excited when I heard about American Movie Classics getting into the DVD business, and I was even more exited when I heard that the cable channel's first releases would be horror films! Since AMC generally shows pretty good-looking prints of films, I expected the DVDs to follow suit and look pretty good -- finally, budget releases of public-domain movies that don't look like they were found in the lint filter of the dryer! Surely AMC wouldn't want to subject itself to scorn by releasing substandard DVDs, would it? Apparently, it would.Drawn to buy this by the combination of multiple movies, low price, and brand recognition, I paid my dollars and I took my chances. And I came out on the losing end. Four movies on two DVDs = two double-sided DVDs, right? Wrong. It equals two single-sided DVDs. Surely the DVDs are dual-layered then, right? Wrong again--AMC and Genius Entertainment (now THERE'S a misnomer for you!) have squeezed two movies onto one single-layered side. Gosh, Mr. Wizard, how'd they do that? Well, Bobby, it's simple really--they just lowered the bit-rate WAY, WAY down. But gee, Mr. Wizard, doesn't that affect the picture quality in a negative manner? Why, yes it does, Bobby! Smart boy!Let's look at each film in this set individually, shall we?THE APE--While not Karloff's finest hour, it's a reasonably entertaining 62 minutes from Poverty Row. But wait! THIS version only runs 58 minutes! Why is that? Because the print was apparently THROWN INTO A MULCHER AND GLUED BACK TOGETHER!! Really, I couldn't find an intact line of dialogue in the first five minutes of the film. THE GHOUL--This film was presumed to be essentially lost to the ages until last year, when a good-looking print surfaced in Britain. MGM released this film on DVD in August, and now a really good transfer crops up again in this set. Hmmmmm...wonder where AMC/Genius got THEIR copy of the film? Dubious origins aside, this movie DOES look good, even though the bit-rate is rather low.THE TERROR--This is really bottom-of-the-barrel, as far as DVD transfers go. A really soft image coupled with the worst artifacting I've EVER seen made me turn this film off after about three minutes. DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME--After trying to wade through the muck that passed for THE TERROR's transfer, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality on this title. Solid grey tones, few blemishes...a nice-looking title. So, in the end, our tally is two good transfers, two rotten transfers. So, we've gotta go to a tiebreaker. In this set's case, we'll use the ONLY special feature mentioned, the "Fun Facts" presented on the menu of each film. These "Fun Facts" present facts that aren't really fun, but worse than that, these "Fun Facts" are riddled with typographical, punctuation, and capitalization errors. Strike three.One would think that AMC wouldn't lend its name to a DVD set so lacking in quality control, but somehow it did. I had hoped that only the Boris Karloff Classics set would have such variable quality, but I also sampled both of the Cult Classics sets and found them to be cut from the same cloth. So, unless your guilty pleasures run towards the REALLY masochistic, avoid this and all other AMC Monsterfest DVD sets, and buy THE GHOUL from MGM."
Yet again a.m.c. gives us substandard transfers
John D. Page | usa | 04/26/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"a.m.c. must be going after the title of "worst transfers of movies in the world because once again they have boutched a collection of movies. they all look and sound like someone microwaved the film before the transfers. you can find these movies on other collictions and they look much better. stay away"