Horror? Not really. Classics? Perhaps. Worth it? Probably.
Doghouse King | Omaha, NE United States | 08/14/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"SH & the SW- Rathbone and Bruce are THE Holmes/Watson pair, and this is among the top 5 Sherlockian outings, although it is a risible addition to a `horror classics' disc.
In this fast-paced, well-assembled programmer, now set in WWII England rather than in Victorian England, our heroes have to contend not only with Moriarty as portrayed by villainous Universal fave Lionel Atwill, and his minions, but also Nazi agents seeking an experimental bombsight which could turn the tide of the war.
The mystery involves a complex code, plenty of captures and escapes, disguises, deduction, and welcome humor without cheapening any of the characters.
Purists may rightly complain that the ending has more in common with serials than with the writings of Doyle, but, hey, it's fun.IM- This supremely inexpensive attempt to cross Dragnet with Lon Chaney's persona doesn't quite come off. It's more police procedural than horror; Chaney's back-from-the-dead Butcher character could just as easily have been written to be a normal vengeance-seeking ex-con. At any rate, the basic story idea has been around at least since Karloff's 1936 film, The Walking Dead.
IM is fairly routine and plodding (both as `noir' and as `horror'), although there is amusement to be had from the narration, from Chaney, who looks convincingly psychotic and was probably sauced to the gills, and from all the usual things that make these kind of B-movies fun.
Flip a coin as to whether you think the means of Lon's ultimate destruction is fitting or nonsensical.DMW- Another PRC snoozer, DMW begins with George Zucco having killed his twin brother because he was practicing the black arts. However, the brother returns as a vampire and sets about destroying all that his good twin holds dear. Of course good wins the day, but not without some tragedy. This film was not badly conceived, and Zucco is a likeable pro, but it was badly executed. While not as glacially-slow as some of its other fare, PRC's stubborn unwillingness to spend any cash, or to show the audience anything they hadn't seen a dozen times before, stakes this one right through its mediocre heart.
Pretty Rotten Crap, as the studio's output was known in Hollywood circles of the time, was hurt by always having monsters that just look like people, yet claiming that they were monsters: a slightly hairier Glenn Strange, a kind of pasty Charles Middleton, or in this case, George Zucco dressed in black. Whooo, spoooky! They couldn't even spring for a set of dime store fangs to make him look the part of a bloodsucker. He is one because the script says he is, and because he sometimes fades from view.
Plus, DMW wastes quite a bit of time assuming no one seeing the movie will have ever heard about vampires before, and picks and chooses which rules it will follow.All told, while I am not a zealous fan of any one of the movies on this disc, they are passable genre fare and the disc is of decent quality considering the low price. Fans of the casts and completists should have no qualms purchasing it."