Blu-ray News #31: Horror Classics, Volume 1.

Mummy 59 TC

The recent passing of the great Christopher Lee makes this upcoming (October) Blu-ray set a bigger deal than it already was. Horror Classics, Vol. 1 from Warner Bros. brings four key Hammer horror films to Blu-ray, three of them starring Lee. Each title will be also be available on its own.

The Mummy (1959)
Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux

For Hammer Films’ entry into the mummy movie business, writer Jimmy Sangster borrowed from Universal’s The Mummy Hand (1940), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942) and The Mummy’s Ghost (1944). Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee had already starred in Hammer’s Curse Of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958). The Mummy‘s gorgeous Technicolor really sets it apart.

D Risen LC

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968)
Directed by Freddie Francis
Starring Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, Barbara Ewing

As Hammer’s third Christopher Lee Dracula picture went into production, director Terence Fisher was ill — and replaced by Freddie Francis. Francis adds some stylistic touches that help out a lot, but the fact that it was shot at Pinewood rather than the typical Bray Studios hurts it a bit.

F Destroyed LC

Frankestein Must Be Destroyed! (1969)
Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones, Simon Ward, Thorley Walters, Maxine Audley

Hammer’s Frankenstein films focus on the doctor and his experiments, not the typical monster. In this one, Frankenstein (Cushing) plays around with brain transplants — with the usual unpleasant results.

Taste Blood D LC

Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1970)
Directed by Peter Sasdy
Starring Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Gwen Watford, Lynda Hayden, Ralph Bates, Roy Kinnear, Michael Ripper

This sequel to Dracula Has Risen From The Grave is quite good. Since Dracula’s killed off in each picture — maybe because Lee always wanted to quit doing them — it’s fun to see what ingenious way they find to bring him back.

I’m really looking forward to this set — it’s sorta like Warner Bros. took a chunk of my childhood and mashed it onto onto some little silver circles.


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Filed under 1959, 1968, 1969, 1970, Christopher Lee, DVD/Blu-ray News, Freddie Francis, Hammer Films, Peter Cushing, Terence Fisher

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