Reasonably Good Prints and a Few Interesting Titles Make Set
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 07/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Inexpensive multi-DVD sets of older films are likely to be dire in terms of quality, with bad picture and worse sound--but this set of three DVDs and eleven films is something of a surprise. No, the picture and sound are not perfect, but they fall in the range of "as good as it gets short of a full digital restoration and clean up." In that sense, CLASSIC MONSTER FLICKS is a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, the films may not be.
This collection of ten films on three DVDs includes two films from the 1930s, both released in 1932: WHITE ZOMBIE and THE MONSTER WALKS. Starring Bela Lugosi, WHITE ZOMBIE is a truly memorable film, largely due to the strange poetry of its cinematography and art design; while the print here is not the best I've seen, it is nonetheless watchable. THE MONSTER WALKS is a minor movie in the "old dark house" style that, while not actually bad, is probably best thought of as a point of comparison for the superiority of such Universal horrors as DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN, which were released at about the same time.
The remaining films were released between 1959 and 1973. Although it is very much a "B" movie, WASP WOMAN is mildly entertaining and WEREWOLF IN A GIRL'S DORMITORY (in spite of its silly name) is much better than one might expect. Unfortunately, the remaining films slide downhill from there.
The 1966 MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE is often cited as the worst "B" horror film ever made, but there are several in this collection that give it a run for that title, most particularly CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE and the "sexplotational" INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS; THE KILLER SHREWS and CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA are not far behind, and LADY FRANKENSTEIN and NIGHTMARE CASTLE are interesting only for the fact that the feature Joseph Cotton and Barbara Steele respectively.
Quite a few people enjoy "B" horror films of the 1950s and 1960s, myself among them, but the vast majority of these films aren't really "B." Nor are they "C," "D," "E"... well, you get the idea. Even so, the better films make this collection worth the inexpensive price.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer"