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DVD Reviews

View Full Version : Universal Cult Horror Collection/TCM Exclusive


rw2516
10-28-09, 05:22 PM
Available now exclusive to TCM website:

UNIVERSAL CULT HORROR COLLECTION:

THE MAD GHOUL
MURDERS IN THE ZOO
HOUSE OF HORRORS
MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET
STRANGE CASE OF DR. RX

Set is $50, or $20 each seperately.

NoirFan
10-28-09, 05:49 PM
I'm in if these aren't merely DVD-Rs.

mdnitoil
10-28-09, 07:26 PM
I was about to say that he forgot to mention that this is the new MOD program from Universal/TCM. That's DVD-R for those not in the know.

gryffinmaster
10-28-09, 07:39 PM
I'm in if these aren't merely DVD-Rs.

http://turnerclassic.moviesunlimited.com/boxcovers/250_Wide/D05043.jpg

http://turnerclassic.moviesunlimited.com/vault/detail.asp?shopref=Main+Teaser%3AUniversal+Cult+Horror+Collection+%28DVD%29+-+AVAILABLE+NOW!&sku=D05043

Well, at least they look decent, if they are. Better than some Universal discs. :lol:

John Hodson
10-28-09, 07:54 PM
They are DVDRs; TCM are punting out this email:

Turner Classic Movies & Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Team Up to Offer Made-to-Order DVDs of Rare Films

Digitally Remastered Titles Never Available Before on DVD to Include Extensive Features from TCM Archives

New Titles Available Each Quarter, Including Five Memorable Horror Titles,
Three Early Cary Grant Vehicles and a Timeless Holiday Classic

TCM to Present Special Telecasts of the Films

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) have entered into an extensive new partnership to offer classic movie fans rare vintage films, all digitally remastered, on DVD on a made-to-order basis. The TCM Vault Collection Presented by Universal marks USHE’s first foray into the manufactured-on-demand (MOD) arena. TCM began offering MOD featuring lost titles from the RKO library.

TCM and USHE are working to remaster a number of great titles never before available on DVD, with several never available on home video at all. The first titles made available include five chilling horror films, three early Cary Grant pictures and the unsung 1940 holiday classic Rememberthe Night, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray and scripted by the great Preston Sturges. The films will be made available by request on DVD via TCM.com for the first time during the fourth quarter of 2009. TCM host Robert Osborne will provide introductions for selected titles, which will also include supplemental materials compiled by TCM and extensive material from the TCM archives. In addition, TCM will present exclusive premieres of the movies over the next six months.

“Many terrific films have been unavailable on home video for far too long, especially the holiday classic Remember the Night,” Osborne said. “It’s wonderful that today’s movie fans will be able to enjoy these rare movies. TCM and Universal have worked hard to restore them digitally and provide historical context, bonus content and behind-the-scenes information, something DVD collectors are sure to appreicate. I’m proud to be part of this great project with TCM and Universal.”

For Universal, the agreement is a great way to reach avid film fans. “Universal is very proud of its prestigious collection of Hollywood screen gems,” said Craig Kornblau, president, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “Like us, TCM is deeply dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s golden age. This collaboration presents the perfect opportunity to share Universal’s rich cinematic legacy and celebrate vintage works with classic film fans.”

The launch of TCM/Universal DVDs will be divided into three initial releases:
Universal Cult Horror Collection (films also available as singles )
DVD Availability: Oct. 31
TCM Premiere of Murders in the Zoo: Oct. 31
Suggested Retail Price: Collection - $49.99; Individual Titles - $19.99
This collection will include five rarely seen horror gems from the Universal vault, most appearing on home video for the first time. Special features include over a hundred photos, posters and lobby cards, trivia, articles and more.

Murders in the Zoo (1933) – Censors had a heyday with this horror film about a zoologist and sportsman who uses his zoo animals to kill his wife’s lovers. Lionel Atwill plays the villain, with Kathleen Burke as his wife, a young Randolph Scott as the hero and the ever lovable Charles Ruggles providing comic relief as the zoo’s press agent. Among the men playing Burke’s doomed lovers is John Lodge, who later left acting to enter politics, becoming governor of Vermont.

Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942) – Lionel Atwill plays a mad scientist who places people into suspended animation and then revives them. When he is accused of murder following the death of one of his subjects, he flees on a ship, becomes stranded on a tropical island and soon becomes revered as a god by the natives. Una Merkel, Nat Pendleton and Claire Dodd co-star.

The Strange Case of Dr. RX (1942) – A mysterious killer bumps off acquitted murderers who have all been represented by the same laywer, played by Samuel S. Hinds. Lionel Atwill, Patric Knowles and Anne Gwynne co-star, with Shemp Howard (on hiatus from his work with The Three Stooges) providing comic relief.

The Mad Ghoul (1943) – This creepy tale follows a mad professor, played by George Zucco, who has discovered an ancient Egyptian gas that turns anyone who sniffs it into a heart-eating zombie. David Bruce plays the doctor’s assistant who gets dosed with the gas and goes on a murderous rampage. Evelyn Ankers and Robert Armstrong co-star.

House of Horrors (1946) – The legendary Rondo Hatton, whose acromegaly deformed his face and made him a frequent Hollywood villain, marked one of his last roles with this offbeat film. Martin Kosleck plays a mad artist who, after saving Hatton and making a bust of his face, uses the disfigured hulk to murder art critics. Hatton died of a heart attack the year this film was released.

Remember the Night (1940)
DVD Availability: Nov. 22
TCM Telecasts: Dec. 6 and Dec. 24
Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
This heart-warming holiday romance – penned by Preston Sturges – marked the first of four on-screen pairings of Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck and came four years before their iconic work in Double Indemnity. MacMurray plays a prosecutor who finds himself falling in love with a shoplifter (Stanwyck) during a court recess at Christmas time. The atmospheric film co-stars Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson and Sterling Holloway and was directed by Mitchell Leisen.

Remember the Night is rarely seen and received a brief home-video release on VHS. It is being now remastered and brought back to life so it can take its rightful place as a signature holiday classic. Special features on the DVD will include an introduction by Robert Osborne; still galleries, including behind-the-scenes photos; never-before-seen interview segments on the work of director Mitchell Leisen from the TCM Archives; and the original movie trailer, trivia, biographies and more.

Cary Grant Collection (films also available as singles)
DVD Availability: January 2010
Three early Cary Grant films will populate this boxed set:

The Eagle and the Hawk (1933) – This vivid World War I drama stars Frederic March as a disillusioned but fearless squadron leader and Cary Grant as his bullied gunner-observer. The gripping interpersonal drama, anti-war sentiments and outstanding aerial dogfights give this film an impact that remains vital today. Carole Lombard and Jack Oakie round out a top-notch cast. The great directorMitchell Leisen, who is billed as associate director, is believed to have directed most of this film.

The Devil and the Deep (1932) – This melodrama is headlined by Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant and Charles Laughton. The setting is the northern coast of Africa, where submarine commander Laughton is stationed and where his wife, Bankhead, is splitting her time between suitors Cooper and Grant. This marked Laughton’s first American film and one of his most underappreciated performances.

The Last Outpost (1935) – Cary Grant plays a British officer saved from a Kurdish tribe by fellow officer Claude Rains. But when Grant unknowingly falls in love with Rains’ wife, tragedy looms. Gertrude Michael and Kathleen Burke co-star under the dual direction of Charles Barton and Louis Gasnier.

Future Universal collections and titles for rollout on DVD and TCM include vintage films from Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, Deanna Durbin, director Douglas Sirk and many more.

Carcosa
10-28-09, 08:07 PM
Looks like a deal to me. MOD has been pretty heavily criticized by some but look at the pretty niche stuff the WB has put out stuff that would never see the light of day....and now these obscure but desirable relics from Universal's Golden Age of Horror. I'm in for sure.

John Hodson
10-28-09, 08:22 PM
The key phrases here - and a couple of vital differences between this and the Warner Archive - are 'all digitally remastered' and 'will also include supplemental materials'. Still not sold, but I'm prepared to see how this pans out.

mdnitoil
10-28-09, 09:30 PM
The key phrases here - and a couple of vital differences between this and the Warner Archive - are 'all digitally remastered' and 'will also include supplemental materials'. Still not sold, but I'm prepared to see how this pans out.

Another key here is 5 movies for 50 bucks, instead of the old Archive chestnut of 20 bucks per...suckers. Still more than I like to pay for a temporary disc, but the content, quality and price beat the ever-living crap out of the Archives.

Cool Ghoul
10-28-09, 10:48 PM
I was really into this set until I heard it was on DVD-R's. Man, I was all ready to buy this sucker too.

Pizza
10-29-09, 12:51 AM
Is the market really that small for these titles that DVD-Rs are the economical way to produce them? How sad and disappointing to see it come down to this. I'm happy for those who are fine with DVD-Rs as you'll be seeing some fine films, but I just can't support it.

TheDuke
10-29-09, 06:26 AM
Why does it matter if they are DVD-Rs? It isn't like you are getting a bootleg. I just don't understand the mentality some people have here that nothing is better than something.

mdnitoil
10-29-09, 08:25 AM
Why does it matter if they are DVD-Rs? It isn't like you are getting a bootleg. I just don't understand the mentality some people have here that nothing is better than something.

I guess some folks aren't into high priced, low quality product. Personally, I have no problem with cheap product, just charge a cheap price. Other folks obviously really don't care how much it costs as long as they get the movie. Everybody is different.

TheDuke
10-29-09, 08:43 AM
Yeah but DVD-Rs aren't low quality, are they?

rw2516
10-29-09, 10:16 AM
Another key here is 5 movies for 50 bucks, instead of the old Archive chestnut of 20 bucks per...suckers. Still more than I like to pay for a temporary disc, but the content, quality and price beat the ever-living crap out of the Archives.

Nothing temporary about recordable dvd media.

rw2516
10-29-09, 10:22 AM
Yeah but DVD-Rs aren't low quality, are they?

Picture and audio identical to pressed dvd. Only debate is over longevity vs pressed dvd. Nobody knows. I remember 25 years ago people were debating whether pressed cds would last very long. Burned dvds are more fragile though. A scratch or scuff that doesn't effect play of a pressed dvd could render a dvd-r unplayable.

mdnitoil
10-29-09, 01:01 PM
Nothing temporary about recordable dvd media.

Tell that to my dead burnt discs. It sure felt temporary when I later went to retrieve the data and found out I was SOL.

mdnitoil
10-29-09, 01:03 PM
Picture and audio identical to pressed dvd. Only debate is over longevity vs pressed dvd. Nobody knows. I remember 25 years ago people were debating whether pressed cds would last very long. Burned dvds are more fragile though. A scratch or scuff that doesn't effect play of a pressed dvd could render a dvd-r unplayable.

Also, UV rays from the sun affects the chemical layer in dvd-r's. Presumably folks aren't leaving them out in the sunlight, but still.

Trevor
10-29-09, 01:32 PM
Tell that to my dead burnt discs. It sure felt temporary when I later went to retrieve the data and found out I was SOL.

I have hundreds and hundreds of DVD-Rs of data and movies, mainly movies burned off of cable. I have always realized that they may not be permanent, and feel bad that I store them all in binders that may scratch.

My plan is to someday buy a couple of huge portable hard drives and back everything up to it. Should only take me a year.....

Steve
10-29-09, 02:19 PM
I guess some folks aren't into high priced, low quality product. Personally, I have no problem with cheap product, just charge a cheap price. Other folks obviously really don't care how much it costs as long as they get the movie. Everybody is different.

My thoughts exactly. If these were as cheap as $20 for 5 movies (which isn't all the strange for some box sets)-- or even $25. But $50?

Just seems to be counter-intuitive to me. lower quality disc = lower price.

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
10-29-09, 02:28 PM
My plan is to someday buy a couple of huge portable hard drives and back everything up to it. Should only take me a year.....

That's what I do now with my kids stuff. I have a couple 1TB drives and a 750GB drive and they can just stream all the stuff through the PS3 or Tivo or Xbox 360 or Wii or computers or Xbox.

With Windows 7, I can also easily stream stuff to my laptop through WMP if we go on vacation and the kids need something to do if we're not out.

Trevor
10-29-09, 02:37 PM
My thoughts exactly. If these were as cheap as $20 for 5 movies (which isn't all the strange for some box sets)-- or even $25. But $50?

Just seems to be counter-intuitive to me. lower quality disc = lower price.
It's a cost ratio thing. A set that will sell enough copies to be mass marketed can have a lower pricepoint. A set with limited appeal will cost a lot more.

man*machine
10-29-09, 02:48 PM
It's a cost ratio thing. A set that will sell enough copies to be mass marketed can have a lower pricepoint. A set with limited appeal will cost a lot more.

That's true, but these are MOD so there's really no costs or risk of overmanufacturing or marketing or anything. Therefore, they could be lower priced or at least the same price as a mass-market edition with more "appeal".

And as with the Warner Archives, they all end up in the mass market (Amazon, etc.) eventually anyway. So really what's the difference except that they make more money on a lesser product and keep practically 100% of the profit.

mike7162
10-29-09, 04:28 PM
That's true, but these are MOD so there's really no costs or risk of overmanufacturing or marketing or anything. Therefore, they could be lower priced or at least the same price as a mass-market edition with more "appeal".

And as with the Warner Archives, they all end up in the mass market (Amazon, etc.) eventually anyway. So really what's the difference except that they make more money on a lesser product and keep practically 100% of the profit.


You nailed it, man* - this is nothing more than an opportunity to squeeze maximum dollars out of a customer base that is small, but a lock to buy this product. Universal knows that someone like me would have paid $50 (or more) for this set anyway, and if they can produce it on the cheap, it's a win-win. I'm happy, nay, ecstatic to be able to buy this, but not for something slightly better than what I could record off cable.

Adboy151
11-10-09, 12:44 PM
Received this today.

Weirdest packaging I've seen for sometime. It's a gatefold digipack with no outer slipcover, but the six discs are on three hubs that swing over by two tabs marked pull like a page in the book.

The discs themselves are pressed (silver backed), not DVD-Rs (blue backed) like the Warner Archive discs I've received so far (Benchley set, The Heavenly Body and Urgh! A Music War). The set also arrived shrink wrapped.

I haven't had time to give any of the films themselves anything but a quick look, but a quick scan of Murders in Zoo, I thought it looked good and on par with other Universal titles of the same era.

All titles are Dolby Digital Mono and contain some combination of stills, posters and trivia/biography information. Menus are anamorphic. They do not appear to have any subtitles or closed captioning.

Sorry for the quick pics:
http://img5.imageshack.us/i/img0519cu.jpg/
http://img20.imageshack.us/i/img0518sq.jpg/

Cool Ghoul
11-11-09, 03:31 PM
I have heard that these are real dvds and I have heard that they look like pressed dvds but are really dvd-rs. Does anyone know 100% one way or the other? Is there any way to know for sure? I would pick this up if it was on real pressed dvds.

Drop
11-11-09, 05:03 PM
You nailed it, man* - this is nothing more than an opportunity to squeeze maximum dollars out of a customer base that is small, but a lock to buy this product. Universal knows that someone like me would have paid $50 (or more) for this set anyway, and if they can produce it on the cheap, it's a win-win. I'm happy, nay, ecstatic to be able to buy this, but not for something slightly better than what I could record off cable.

But what is wrong with this? Pretty much everything ever produced could be sold for a cheaper price. The people over at TCM crunched the numbers and decided it was in their best interest to charge the price they've chosen. As a consumer you have every right not to purchase it, but I don't see what's wrong about maximizing your profit.

mike7162
11-11-09, 05:44 PM
But what is wrong with this? Pretty much everything ever produced could be sold for a cheaper price. The people over at TCM crunched the numbers and decided it was in their best interest to charge the price they've chosen. As a consumer you have every right not to purchase it, but I don't see what's wrong about maximizing your profit.

Absolutely nothing wrong with it; from their perspective it's good business. But what's wrong with taking into consideration the fan base that faithfully buys this stuff - they risk turning off loyal customers that desire a quality product.

rw2516
11-29-09, 09:09 AM
I have heard that these are real dvds and I have heard that they look like pressed dvds but are really dvd-rs. Does anyone know 100% one way or the other? Is there any way to know for sure? I would pick this up if it was on real pressed dvds.

Barrie Maxwell's review at digital bits states these are pressed. He says TCM's site states most of the releases in this Universal/TCM deal will be MOD DVD-Rs, but these are pressed.

Sex Fiend
11-30-09, 04:46 PM
Barrie Maxwell's review at digital bits states these are pressed. He says TCM's site states most of the releases in this Universal/TCM deal will be MOD DVD-Rs, but these are pressed.

Well, that's great news, and thanks for passing it on. Universal just picked up another customer for this release, and I suspect many more people will be on board once that fact is widely known. I only wish Warner Archives were pressing their releases. I expect there would be a lot less hesitancy about spending $20 a pop for the WA if they were real DVD's.

cracksky
12-04-09, 03:22 AM
Barrie Maxwell's review at digital bits states these are pressed. He says TCM's site states most of the releases in this Universal/TCM deal will be MOD DVD-Rs, but these are pressed.

From the TCM site:
The transfers in the TCM Vault Collection's Universal Cult Horror Collection are uniformly excellent, even the older Paramount Picture. The crystal clear audio highlights music cues frequently recycled from other Universal films. An extras menu for each title lists galleries of stills, ad artwork and lobby cards, along with production notes and trivia. Although marketed as "made on demand" releases, the discs appear indistinguishable from normal DVDs. The overall quality, extras and packaging better the standards set by most studio library titles these days. Also available as separate purchases, these Cult Horrors are exactly as advertised, unusual rarities from the Universal vault.

That sound like they are in between DVD-R and DVD to me.

mdnitoil
12-04-09, 08:39 AM
That sound like they are in between DVD-R and DVD to me.

Yeah, a lot of folks have been saying that, primarily because they like to give themselves wiggle room. The bottom line here is that there hasn't been some new-fangled disc technology invented recently and secretly used by Universal. There is no such thing as "between DVD-R and DVD." They are regular old pressed DVDs. Any disc utility that you can run will identify them as such. Of course, doubters are more than welcome to wait until Universal releases something that actually has been burnt so they'll be able to tell the difference.

cracksky
12-04-09, 03:18 PM
Yeah, a lot of folks have been saying that, primarily because they like to give themselves wiggle room. The bottom line here is that there hasn't been some new-fangled disc technology invented recently and secretly used by Universal. There is no such thing as "between DVD-R and DVD." They are regular old pressed DVDs. Any disc utility that you can run will identify them as such. Of course, doubters are more than welcome to wait until Universal releases something that actually has been burnt so they'll be able to tell the difference.

I don't know why they would set themselves up like that for scrutiny when there's no need. I just received the Preston Sturges-penned Remember The Night from them and it's also a pressed disc. Checked it in DVD Decrypter and it says DVD-Rom for Book Type even though it happens to be 4.35 GB. It's only 94 min. This has been their top pre-order for a while now. I'm curious what the actual sales numbers are.

mdnitoil
12-04-09, 04:34 PM
I don't know why they would set themselves up like that for scrutiny when there's no need. I just received the Preston Sturges-penned Remember The Night from them and it's also a pressed disc. Checked it in DVD Decrypter and it says DVD-Rom for Book Type even though it happens to be 4.35 GB. It's only 94 min. This has been their top pre-order for a while now. I'm curious what the actual sales numbers are.

Great to know. I've been waiting to hear word on whether this one was pressed or not before I ordered. Looks like it's safe to go ahead.