Category Archives: Eureka Entertainment

Blu-Ray News #329: Creeping Horror Collection (1933-1946).

Our friends at Eureka in the UK are serving up some more 1930s and ’40s hi-def horror from Universal. There will be commentaries and other extras. Reaching for the pre-order button yet?

Murders In The Zoo (1933)
Directed by A. Edward Sutherland
Starring Charlie Ruggles, Lionel Atwill, Gail Patrick, Randolph Scott

This Pre-Code gem is considered pretty ghastly, a reputation it gleefully deserves. Lionel Atwill is insanely jealous, and if you mess with his wife, there’s a good chance you’ll be eaten by tigers, bitten by a deadly snack or God knows what else. Bonus: Randolph Scott is in it!

Horror Island (1941)
Directed by George Waggner
Starring Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Leo Carrillo, Eddie Parker, Dale Van Sickle, John Eldredge, Fuzzy Knight

Dick Foran owns a tiny island off the Florida coast, complete with a castle and the legend of buried treasure. He sets up a fake tourist-y treasure-hunt cruise to his island, but when strange things happen and people end up dead…

This was originally paired with Man Made Monster (1941), for a perfect night at the movies.

Night Monster (1942)
Directed by Ford Beebe
Starring Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Ralph Morgan, Irene Hervey, Don Porter, Leif Erikson

Though they’re given top billing, Bela Lugosi and Lionel Atwill really have featured roles in this more-or-less remake of Doctor X (1932). Shot by the underrated Charles Van Enger.

House Of Horrors (1946)
Directed by Jean Yarbrough
Starring Rondo Hatton, Martin Kosleck, Robert Lowery, Virginia Grey

After playing “The Creeper” in the Sherlock Holmes picture The Pearl Of Death (1944), Universal decided to make the disfigured (due to acromegaly) Rondo Hatton their next horror star. He made two movies in 1945, House Of Horrors and The Brute Man. They would be released after his death in 1946. If you can get past how exploitive the whole thing is, the movies are as ghoulish and entertaining as other Universal horror pictures of the 40s.

Universal has always kept these films in tip-top condition, making Blu-Rays of these things a must. Each is a creepy delight — responsible for the rotted brains of lots and lots of monster kids (myself included). Highly, highly recommended.

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Filed under 30s Horror, Bela Lugosi, DVD/Blu-ray News, Eureka Entertainment, George Waggner, Lionel Atwill, Pre-Code, Randolph Scott, Rondo Hatton, Universal (-International), Virginia Grey

Blu-Ray News #327: Karloff At Columbia (1935-42).

The six pictures Boris Karloff made for Columbia between 1935 and 1942, which include the films now called “The Mad Doctor Cycle,” are a hoot. Eureka has announced a two-disc Blu-Ray set of these movies films for April.

The Black Room (1935)
Directed by Roy William Neill
Starring Boris Karloff, Marion Marsh
Karloff plays twin brothers in 19th century Europe. One twin inherits the family castle and all hell breaks loose.

The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)
Directed by Nick Grinde
Starring Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray
In the first entry in what became “The Mad Doctor Cycle,” Karloff has discovered a way to bring the dead back to life. His assistant volunteers to have it tested on him, and once he’s dead, his girlfriend gums up the works and prevents the volunteer from being revived.

The Man With Nine Lives (1940)
Directed by Nick Grinde
Starring Boris Karloff, Roger Pryor, Jo Ann Sayers
Karloff developed “frozen therapy” and used it on himself. Ten years later, he’s awake and wants to whip a new batch of his formula.

Before I Hang (1940)
Directed by Nick Grinde
Starring Boris Karloff, Evelyn Keyes, Bruce Bennett
This time, Karloff has developed an anti-aging serum. Today, he’d have an infomercial, but it 1940 he’s to be hung instead.

The Devil Commands (1941)
Directed by Edward Dmytryk
Starring Boris Karloff, Richard Fiske, Amanda Duff
Karloff is a doctor who shifts his research on brain waves into an effort to reach his dead wife.

The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)
Directed by Lew Landers
Starring Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Max Rosenbloom
Spoofing the rest of these films, this one has Karloff as a professor trying to create a race of supermen, to help the war effort, in the basement of an old tavern.

These films are a load of fun, and it’ll be great to see them in high-definition. 

It’s also been announced that Warner Archive will be bringing Isle Of The Dead (1945) to Blu-Ray — from a 4K scan of the original nitrate negative.

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Filed under Boris Karloff, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, Eureka Entertainment, Lew Landers, Peter Lorre, Val Lewton, Warner Archive

Blu-Ray News #315: Hell And High Water (1954).

Directed by Samuel Fuller
Starring Richard Widmark, Bella Darvi, Victor Francen, Richard Loo, Cameron Mitchell, Gene Evans, David Wayne

This terrific Sam Fuller Cold War paranoia picture was released on Blu-Ray a few years ago by Twilight Time. Now it’s on the way from Eureka, giving those of us who missed it last time a chance to pick it up.

High And High Water (1954) has so many things going for it. First, it’s a Sam Fuller picture, which is recommendation enough. It’s got a incredible performance from Richard Widmark, who could do just-short-of-unhinged better than about anybody. It’s an early CinemaScope movie, which comes with a particular stack of visual pros and cons — and encouraged longer takes that let the actors really do their thing. And, best of all, it’s a whacked-out anti-commie movie, the kind that could only come from the 50s.

The old Fox DVD left a lot to be desired, with the Twilight Time Blu-Ray treating Joseph MacDonald’s camerawork with respect. We can count on the same thing from Eureka, I’m sure. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1954, DVD/Blu-ray News, Eureka Entertainment, Richard Widmark, Sam Fuller

Blu-Ray News #287: The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse (1960).

Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Peter van Eyck, Dawn Addams, Gert Fröbe, Werner Peters, Wolfgang Preiss, Andrea Checchi, Howard Vernon

The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse (1960) was the great Fritz Lang’s last film, made after his return to Germany. The picture revives/revisits the sinister villain of his earlier Dr. Mabuse The Gambler (1922) and The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse (1933). It’s so cool that Lang was able to circle back to Mabuse, since the themes in these things were obviously close to him. (His 1952 Western Rancho Notorious features a variation on the network of criminals idea found in the Mabuse pictures.)

Thousand Eyes would spawn a series of Mabuse films from the same producer, Artur Brauner. Some of those sequels are pretty good — especially the one Hugo Fregonese did (1964’s The Secret Of Dr. Mabuse), but Mr. Lang is sorely missed.

Eureka Entertainment, the folks who gave us those beautiful Blu-Rays of Lang’s two-part “Indian Epic” a while back, has announced an extras-laden Blu-Ray of The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse for May. Along with commentaries and interviews, it will feature the original German track and the Lang-approved English dub — and an alternate ending.

As a huge Fritz Lang fan, I can’t wait to get my eyes (all four of ’em) on Eureka’s The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1960, DVD/Blu-ray News, Eureka Entertainment, Fritz Lang