The Abbott & Costello movies offer up some of the great joys to be had in this world. Their “Who’s On First?” routine (found in The Naughty Nineties) is timeless — and runs constantly in the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Me, I simply cannot be down if Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) is on.
Shout Factory has announced The Complete Universal Pictures Collection, that puts their 28 Universal pictures (they say they saved the studio from bankruptcy) on 15 Blu-ray Discs, packed with hours of extras and a collectible book. It’s coming in November. What a great big box of Wonderful this will be!
Filed under Abbott & Costello, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Douglass Dumbrille, DVD/Blu-ray News, Frank Ferguson, Glenn Strange, Hillary Brooke, Jack Pierce, Lon Chaney Jr., Mari Blanchard, Marie Windsor, Shemp Howard, Shout/Scream Factory, Universal (-International), Vincent Price
In the fall of 1973, there was evidently a wave of UFO sightings all across the US. There were a couple in the Reno, Nevada, area. The Granada Theatre acted quickly, booking a couple of sci-fi pictures for a midnight show — The Day Mars Invaded The Earth (1962) and The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951).
Fun local bookings are something I really miss, whether they’re Halloween marathons at the drive-in or something more topical like this one. Going to the movies used to be so much fun.
Three lurid Mamie Van Doren pictures (did she make any other kind?) in one high-definition package. How cool is that?
The Girl In Black Stockings (1957)
Directed by Howard W. Koch
Starring Lex Barker, Anne Bancroft, Mamie Van Doren, John Dehner, Marie Windsor, Stuart Whitman, Dan Blocker
A girl is brutally murdered at a Utah hotel and everybody seems to have some sort of motive. Look at that cast!
Guns, Girls And Gangsters (1959)
Directed by Edward L. Cahn
Starring Mamie Van Doren, Gerald Mohr, Lee Van Cleef, Paul Fix
Edward L. Cahn directs an armored car robbery picture that has both Mamie Van Doren and Lee Van Cleef in it. How could it miss? It doesn’t.
Vice Raid (1960)
Directed by Edward L. Cahn
Starring Mame Van Doren, Richard Coogan, Brad Dexter, Carol Nugent
Mamie’s a call girl sent to New York to get an un-corruptible cop in hot water. But when her sister is raped, Mamie has to turn to the framed cop for help.
Due in November, the longest of these movies is 75 minutes. Perfect.
If in its glory days, Universal made a movie about Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man or The Creature From The Black Lagoon, it’s in this box — in high definition. What more do I have to tell you?
Here’s what you get: Dracula / Drácula (Spanish version) / Frankenstein / The Mummy / The Invisible Man / Werewolf Of London / Bride Of Frankenstein / Dracula’s Daughter / Son Of Frankenstein / The Invisible Man Returns / The Mummy’s Hand / The Invisible Woman / The Wolf Man / The Mummy’s Tomb / Ghost Of Frankenstein / Invisible Agent / Son Of Dracula / Phantom Of The Opera / Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man / The Mummy’s Ghost / House Of Frankenstein / The Mummy’s Curse / The Invisible Man’s Revenge / House Of Dracula / She-Wolf Of London / Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein / Abbott & Costello Meet The Invisible Man / Creature From The Black Lagoon / Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy / Revenge Of The Creature / The Creature Walks Among Us
Thirty movies in all, and only one in color (Phantom Of The Opera). The Creature movies and Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy are 1.85.
Just wondering: where’s Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1953)? Guess Jekyll/Hyde’s outside their normal monster cycle.
This is a great thing, and it’s coming next week.
Filed under 3-D, 30s Horror, Abbott & Costello, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Curt Siodmak, DVD/Blu-ray News, Jack Arnold, Jack Pierce, James Whale, John Carradine, Julie Adams, Lon Chaney Jr., Marie Windsor, Nestor Paiva, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Tod Browning, Universal (-International), Vincent Price, Whit Bissell
Directed by Charles Lamont
Starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marie Windsor, Michael Ansara
Another day, another Abbott & Costello movie on Blu-Ray. This time, it’s Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy (1955), their last picture for Universal (and their last monster meeting). It’s already available in hi-def as part of Universal’s The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection.
Meet The Mummy features Marie Windsor, my all-time favorite actress. Eddie Parker, Lon Chaney’s double on the three previous Mummy movies, plays Klaris throughout this one. The scene where Costello eats a hamburger with an ancient medallion hidden in it had me in hysterics as a kid.
The 1.85 transfer, which I’m sure will be the same one in the Legacy set, splendidly shows off the picture’s backlot and soundstage version of Egypt. Nowhere near the team’s best, but highly recommended anyway.
Universal’s next Complete Legacy Collection — each Blu-Ray set covers everything featuring a particular Universal monster — concerns The Mummy. Providing Universal can come up with the proper number of tana leaves, this edition will be available in May. It spreads six movies over four discs.
The Mummy (1932) is one of the most visually-splendid movies I can think of. Karl Freund packs one incredible shot after another in this thing — and Karloff is at his brilliant best.
The first sequel (or maybe it’s more of a remake), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), has Tom Tyler doing a great job filling in for Boris Karloff — and Wallace Ford is a welcome addition to anything.
Jack Pierce turns Lon Chaney Jr. into Kharis.
The next three Mummy movies — The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), and The Mummy’s Curse (1944) — with Lon Chaney, Jr. as a rather portly mummy making his way through Massachusetts and Louisiana, are a real hoot in that 1940s Universal Monsters kinda way. I love these things.
Then there’s Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy (1955), which throws in Marie Windsor, my all-time favorite actress, for good measure. It was A&C’s last picture for Universal, a studio they pretty much saved in the 40s. Eddie Parker, Chaney’s double on the three previous Mummy movies, plays Klaris throughout this one.
All six Mummy movies are black and white, with Meet The Mummy in 1.85 widescreen — and they’re all sure to look marvelous on Blu-Ray.
Produced and directed by Maury Dexter
Starring Kent Taylor, Marie Windsor, William Mims, Lowell Brown
In the late 50s, Lippert Pictures made a slew of low-budget, black-and-white, widescreen films for 20th Century-Fox — released under the name Regal Films, with CinemaScope renamed Regalscope. The arrangement continued into the 60s under the name Associated Producers, Inc.
The Day Mars Invaded The Earth (1962) is one of the better ones, I think. Made on a shoestring, Maury Dexter makes sure we see more on the Scope screen than the budget would have you expect, thanks largely to the use of Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. It’s an odd take on the whole alien invasion thing, with some creepy moments that continue to haunt those of us who saw it as a kid.
Maury Dexter (in Tim Weaver’s I Talked With A Zombie): “…On this one I was keenly aware of wanting to try to get… a weird feel, if that’s the right word. Something a little different, a little eerie.”
Dexter got what he was aiming for. It’s a creepy little movie. And we can get it April 7 from Fox’s Cinema Archives collection. Released the same day is API’s Hand Of Death (1962) starring John Agar.
I recommend another one of Dexter’s API films, House Of The Damned (1963), which also makes good use of Greystone Mansion.