Mill Creek Entertainment has two new Blu-ray sets coming in December: Sci-Fi From The Vault: 4 Classic Films and Thrillers From The Vault: 8 Classic Horror Films. Here’s a look at the Sci-Fi Vault.
Creature With The Atom Brain (1955)
Directed by Edward L. Cahn
Starring Richard Denning, Angela Stevens, S. John Launer, Michael Granger
A scientist has figured out how to reanimate dead people and make them obey his commands. A gangster finds out about the discovery and decides he’ll use the dead for his own purposes. Produced by Sam Katzman.
It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955)
Directed by Robert Gordon
Starring Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis
Kenneth Tobey commands a submarine that is attacked by a giant octopus, cooked up by Ray Harryheusen. Before long, Tobey and Faith Domergue are battling it along the Pacific Coast. Produced by Sam Katzman.
The Ymir and Ray Harryheusen. Ray’s the one on the right.
20 Million Miles To Earth (1957)
Directed by Nathan Juran
Starring William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Frank Puglia
When a spaceship crashes on its way back from Venus, some eggs brought back as a souvenir get lost. Soon a really cool, quickly-growing monster from Ray Harryheusen is running loose.
The 30 Foot Bride Of Candy Rock (1959)
Directed by Sidney Miller
Starring Lou Costello, Dorothy Provine, Gale Gordon
Lou Costello’s fiancé Dorothy Provine is exposed to radiation and grows really big. This was Costello’s only solo film after he and Bud Abbott parted ways. Lou died before it was released.
Columbia’s transfers are always top-notch, so expect these pictures to look fabulous.
Filed under 1955, 1957, 1959, Abbott & Costello, Angela Stevens, Columbia, Curt Siodmak, DVD/Blu-ray News, Edward L. Cahn, Faith Domergue, Kenneth Tobey, Mill Creek, Nathan Juran, Ray Harryhausen, Richard Denning, Sam Katzman
Here’s a cool comic-style ad for It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955). This one has it all: Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Ray Harryhausen and Sam Katzman. Click on the ad and you can see it much bigger.
Directed by Jim O’Connolly
Starring James Franciscus, Richard Carlson, Gila Golan
The incredible stop-motion creature effects of Ray Harryhausen seem made for high-definition. So it’s always good news when some of his work is announced for Blu-Ray. The latest is The Valley Of Gwangi (1969) from Warner Archive.
The cowboys vs. dinosaurs storyline, with a good bit of King Kong (1933) worked in, came from Ray Harryhausen’s mentor Willis O’Brien. It had been brought to the screen as The Beast Of Hollow Mountain (1956). The effects in Gwangi are incredible, some of the master’s finest. And while the movie wasn’t a hit back in ’69, Harryhausen’s legion of fans have always dug it. Warner Archive haven’t put a date on it yet, but it’s coming.
Directed by Don Chaffey
Starring Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert, Robert Brown, Martine Breswick
When your movie boasts Raquel Welch in a fur bikini and dinosaurs from the great Ray Harryhausen, you don’t really have to worry about things like dialogue. And they didn’t, letting the actors recite fake caveman lingo. “This is the way it was,” claimed posters in the U.S.
Filmed on the Canary Islands, One Million Years B.C. (1966) made Welch an international sex symbol and launched a series of dinosaur/cavemen pictures from Hammer Films.
Kino Lorber will bring it to Blu-ray in November. British prints were nine minutes longer than what we saw in the States — and they got real Technicolor instead of crappy-looking DeLuxe. Let’s hope KL gets hold of the UK version.
Mill Creek has come through with a good one: It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955) and 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957) as a Blu-ray double bill. These may be my two favorite Harryhausen films, and I’m glad they’ll be presented without the colorized versions. If nothing else, that omission makes this purchase worthwhile.
It Came From Beneath The Sea stars Kenneth Tobey, who I’d love to see on Blu-ray in Howard Hawks’ The Thing (1951).