Mediocre disc with one shining standout!
Steven W. Hill | Chicago, IL United States | 03/08/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This low-rent disc of public domain titles contains three movies. The Satanic Rites of Dracula is first, with Peter Cushing, Freddie Jones, Joanna Lumley and Christopher Lee as Dracula. Not a highly regarded Hammer Dracula film, and not a good presentation. Although it's widescreen (about 1.85:1), the colors bleed and strobe badly. If you want this one, seek out ASIN 6305183406. The Devil Bat, one of the most common public domain titles (I previously had two copies on DVD already), stars Bela Lugosi and... isn't awful, just fair. Presentation is what you'd expect from such an old film in the public domain. Better DVD editions exist. The third feature is the first film version of Richard Matheson's classic story "I Am Legend" - called The Last Man On Earth, starring Vincent Price (later made as Omega Man with Charlton Heston). This is an excellent movie with a wide cult following. It's been on DVD before (full-frame), paired with The House on Haunted Hill. But this all leads me to why this disc is a must-buy:THE LAST MAN ON EARTH is presented in WIDESCREEN at last!It might have been mastered from the rare widescreen laserdisc release (rare because it was released in the waning days of the format) and although the picture's a bit fuzzy, it's vastly satisfying to see the full frame at last (about 2.35:1). It's infinitely better than any previously existing VHS version, and the print is clean with decent contrast so it looks better than the other DVD release, too.Consider the price and buy it without a second thought!"
A great value for horror fans on a budget
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you aren't overly concerned with the quality of the presentation, this DVD affords you a great chance to see three pretty good horror movies for one low price. "Great Bloodsucking Vampire Movies" is a bit of a misnomer, though. There's really not very much bloodsucking to be found here, and one of the movies technically has nothing to do with vampires at all. The Satanic Rites of Dracula is a Hammer film from the early 1970s featuring Christopher Lee's final portrayal of Count Dracula and a movie-saving performance by Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing. Even though there doesn't seem to be quite enough of it, this is the only one of the movies featuring any real blood; you don't get to see any real bloodsucking, but it is strongly implied that blood was sucked at some point. I think The Devil Bat is one of Bela Lugosi's finer horror films. He plays a scientist whose buddies got rich off of his formula, making him want nothing more than to seek revenge on them. He does this by using some kind of electroshock treatment to greatly increase the size of a bat, then releasing the aptly named Devil Bat on his victims after getting them to try his new, strongly-hated-by-bats aftershave concoction. Thus, there are no vampires here, but Lugosi portrays the well-liked yet secretly twisted mad scientist role to perfection. The definite highlight of this DVD, though, is Vincent Price's sterling performance in The Last Man on Earth, a movie based on Richard Matheson's incredible novel I Am Legend. A plague of sorts has spread throughout the world, killing everyone except for the seemingly immune scientist Robert Morgan. The dead don't stay dead, though, because the virus is a vampiric one. These vampires are more like zombies, though; all they do is gang up around Morgan's house every night trying to get past his barricaded doors and windows. Price gives an amazing performance, and the film can be quite touching in the moments when Morgan thinks he has found another survivor and won't have to be so completely alone anymore. Presented in a widescreen format, this old black and white masterpiece looks and plays much more impressively than the other two movies. This DVD is more than worth the price for The Last Man on Earth all by itself, so consider the other two movies as very special bonuses."