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  • Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection (Doctor X / The Return of Doctor X / Mad Love / The Devil Doll / Mark of the Vampire / The Mask of Fu Manchu)
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Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection (Doctor X / The Return of Doctor X / Mad Love / The Devil Doll / Mark of the Vampire / The Mask of Fu Manchu)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: Czech, English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: Oct. 10 2006
  • Run Time: 518 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GRUQJW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,007 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Hollywoods Legends of Horror Collection (DVD)

Amazon.ca

Universal ruled the monster movie in the 1930s, but this hugely enjoyable DVD set offers a counter-argument from MGM and Warners. Its half-dozen horror titles run the gamut from classic vampirism to baroque romanticism, and gather horror luminaries such as Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Peter Lorre.

The greatest film of the bunch is Mad Love (1935), a rich and oft-imitated bit of perversity with a deeply romantic streak. Concert pianist Colin Clive (from Frankenstein) has his hands wrecked, and his actress wife (Frances Drake) turns to the obsessive Dr. Gogol (Lorre), who has long worshipped her. But the doctor replaces the pianist's hands with those of a murderous circus knife-thrower! Superbly directed by Karl Freund (The Mummy), this eerie film is shaped by Lorre's subtle, uncannily sympathetic performance.

Karloff reigns in The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932), which offers more minute-for-minute lurid action than any other movie in this set. Connoisseurs of horror will be well pleased by the roster: a crocodile pit, deadly snakes and spiders, poisons, various forms of torture including a man strapped beneath a giant reverberating bell, and Fu Manchu's sexy daughter (Myrna Loy). MGM designer Cedric Gibbons runs wild with a wonderfully daffy Deco-meets-Orientalism scheme. There are some undeniably racist epithets thrown in the direction of the evil Dr. Fu Manchu, but he gives as good as he gets, and the character is ultimately as irresistible as any evil mastermind. Karloff gives one of his juiciest performances ever.

Doctor X (1932) is presented in a recently-restored 2-strip Technicolor process (a lot of throbbing greens and oranges), which gives the movie an antique appeal. Doctor Xavier (Lionel Atwill) brings his colleagues together to figure out which of them might be the Full Moon Killer; daughter Fay Wray and reporter Lee Tracy (a typical fast-talking role for this fun actor) tag along. Michael Curtiz directed; he also did the similar Mystery of the Wax Museum, again with Atwill (available on the House of Wax disc). The Return of Doctor X (1939) is more of a curio than a full-fledged horror movie, as it has Humphrey Bogart, resplendent in a Bride of Frankenstein hair streak, in a rare supernatural outing.

The other two films are directed by Tod Browning. Mark of the Vampire (1935) is a clear example of MGM trying to ride the Dracula gravy train, with plenty of smoky graveyards, scuttling possums, and Lugosi in a tuxedo striding through giant spider webs. Lugosi is peripheral here, as Lionel Barrymore hunts down the blood-suckers. It's slow going, but the touches are wonderful and there's a spooky vampiress. Browning makes The Devil-Doll (1936) a memorably oddball thriller, with Barrymore a wronged man seeking revenge--and exploiting a device that allows people to be miniaturized. All the films have lively commentary tracks, except Devil-Doll. Overall this is a very neat package; even the inclusion of Return of Doctor X makes sense as a pairing with its original. MGM and Warners seemed embarrassed by the horror genre in the thirties, but these examples prove they could rise to Universal's game. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Parsifal on March 20 2013
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These six movies on three disks from the 1930s feature the stars of the horror genre: Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi and one surprise (at least to me) - Humphrey Bogart. My favourite is The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)- deliciously lurid and outrageously racist. Much has been made of its allusions to The Yellow Peril, embodied by the Doctor himself, portrayed with fiendish relish by Karloff, but this movie was released only 9 years before Pearl Harbor. We have our own version today with our obsession with the Islamist threat to Western values and security. Myrna Loy is great as Fu Manchu's enthusiastically sadistic daughter and helpmate who furthers his agenda in their Art Deco lair. Other stellar performances among the movies include John Barrymore in little old lady drag as a banker turned toymaker seeking revenge in "The Devil Doll" and the aforementioned Bogart as the blood seeking mad doctor with pasty face, white blaze ,and pince-nez glasses in "The Return of Doctor X" (1939). Five of the six movies include scene by scene commentaries as a special feature which in most cases do enhance one's enjoyment. I found the Lugosi and Lorre vehicles disappointing, but they will appeal to anyone interested in those actors as screen personalities.
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By Keith Little TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 21 2014
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These 6 films come on 3 single sided discs and all the films are B&W except Doctor X.

Disc 1 - Mark Of The Vampire - 1935, 60 mins, full screen, English language only, subtitles: English, French & Spanish, extras: commentary track by Kim Newman & Steve Jones, theatrical trailer
The Mask Of Fu Manchu - 1932, 68 mins, full screen, English language only, subtitles: English, French & Spanish, extra: commentary track by Greg Mank

Disc 2 - Doctor X - 1932, 76 mins, full screen, English language only, subtitles: English, French & Spanish, extras: commentary track by Scott MacQueen, theatrical trailer
The Return Of Doctor X - 1939, 62 mins, full screen, English language only, subtitles: English, French & Spanish, extras: commentary track by Vincent Sherman & Steve Haberman

Disc 3 - Mad Love - 1935, 68 mins, full screen, English language only, subtitles: English, French & Spanish, extras: commentary track by Steve Haberman, theatrical trailer
The Devil Doll - 1936, 78 mins, full screen, English language only, subtitles: English, French & Spanish, extra: theatrical trailer
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maria on Feb. 9 2013
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My primary motive in buying this DVD was to complete my collection of Bogie films. I had already seen
the Return of Dr X and thought it weird and wonderful. The rest of the features are crazy and entertaining
and give perspective to the beginnings of the horror genre.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By lboy on Feb. 15 2012
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although my item arrived very fast there are scratches on one of the disc and the item wont play on my DVD player that is why i give a bad review
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 53 reviews
103 of 111 people found the following review helpful
The Forgotten 30's Horrors of MGM and Warners Aug. 10 2006
By Parker Benchley - Published on Amazon.com
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This is a wonderful collection of horror pictures made by MGM and Warner Brothers during the Thirties. Neither studio was noted for horror pictures, but the ones they did make are unforgettable to fans of the genre as well as late night movie addicts. Following is a synopsis of the films contained in the collection:

THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (MGM, 1932) - Boris Karloff is wonderfully creepy as Sax Rohmer's evil genius, Dr. Fu Manchu. It would not be the last time Karloff played a Chinese, as he later starred as Mr. Wong in Monogram's low budget detective series later in the decade. The plot concerns a race between good guy Lewis Stone and Fu Manchu to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. If Fu Manchu gets there first he will possess the magical relics placed there which, in turn, will allow him to enslave the world. Look for a young Myrna Loy in a delightful turn as Fu's diabolical, and scantily-clad, daughter.

DOCTOR X (WB, 1932) - A good early effort by Michael Curtiz concerning the "Moon Killer" murders in which the victims are strangled, cannibalized and surgically dissected under the light of the full moon. Wise-cracking reporter Lee Tracy traces the clues to a spooky seaside mansion, where Dr. Xavier (Lionel Atwill) and his colleagues are conducting strange experiments. Made in early two-strip Technicolor, the film is wonderfully atmospheric, and the sets themselves will linger in your mind. Aside from the irritating Lee Tracy as reporter Lee Taylor, the acting is crisp and to the point. Atwill in particular is eerie. Fay Wray is good as Xavier's daughter. I won't give any more of the plot away, but just remember the phrase "synthetic flash." Once heard, it will linger in the mind always.

MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (MGM, 1935) - Tod Browning's remake of his "London After Midnight" with Bela Lugosi as the vampire, Count Mora, and Lionel Atwill as Inspector Newman. In the original, both roles were played by Lon Chaney. The plot concerns the death of Sir Karell Borotyn, who appears to have been killed by vampire Count Mora. Fearing that the vampire's next victim will be Borotyn's daughter, Irena (Elizabeth Allan), vampire expert Professor Zelen (Lionel Barrymore) is called I to protect her and shed some light on the goings-on. Look for Carroll Borland as the Count's daughter (a role played by Edna Tichenor in the original).

MAD LOVE (MGM, 1935) - One of the great plots in horror film history, and one that has been repeated many times. Colin Clive plays the brilliant concert pianist Stephen Orlac, whose hands are crushed in a train accident. His wife, Yvonne, is a noted stage actress whose ardent admirer is Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre). Although she rejected Gogol previously, she is forced to seek his help in restoring her husband's hands. Gogol replaces Orlac's hands with those of executed knife thrower Rollo, and the fun begins. Clive is his usual tortured, neurotic self and Lorre is brilliant as the oily monomaniacal Gogol. Pauline Keal, in her book on Citizen Kane, stated that Welles copied Lorre's look for the older Kane.

THE DEVIL DOLL (MGM, 1936) - Tod Browning's last great film is about as respected Parisian banker (Lionel Barrymore), who is framed for robbery and murder and sent to Devil's Island. Years later he escapes in the company of a scientist who has discovered a way to shrink living things to one-sixth their original size. Barrymore finds a new use for the scientist's discovery as a means of revenge on those who had framed him.

THE RETURN OF DOCTOR X (WB, 1939) - The famous Humphrey Bogart punishment picture! After years of complaining about his one-dimensional gangster roles, it was said that Jack Warner decided to teach Bogie a lesson and put him in the role of a vampiric lab assistant who needs freshly drained blood in order to stay alive. Bogart is a hoot in pasty-faced white makeup and a grey streak through his hair. Wayne Morris play the wise-cracking reporter who exposes Bogie as the killer. (Tough job considering the makeup). Look for Olin Howard (Jensen the drunk in Them! and the Blob's first victim) as the undertaker. This film has never before been released on either VHS or DVD, so it is a welcome find for horror fans and Bogart fans as well
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS: LUGOSI! KARLOFF! LORRE! BARRYMORE! July 24 2006
By Forrest C. Hopson - Published on Amazon.com
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Classic horror fans should grab Warner Bros up-coming "Hollywood Legends of Horror" collection, featuring 6 classics "new to dvd," including my personal favorite, "Mark of the Vampire" coming October 10, 2006! Titles include:

"The Devil Doll" (1936): Paul Lavond (Lionel Barrymore) was a respected banker in Paris when he was framed for robbery and murder by crooked associates and sent to Devil's Island. Years later, he escapes with a friend, a scientist who was working on a method to reduce humans to a height of mere inches (all for the good of humanity, of course). Lavond however is consumed with hatred for the men who betrayed him, and takes the scientist's methods back to Paris to exact painful revenge.

"Dr. X" (1932): A monster lurks as New York newspaperman Lee Taylor (Lee Tracy) investigates one of the "Moon Killer" murders, in which the victims are strangled, cannibalized and surgically incised under the light of the full moon. The trail leads to the cliff side mansion of Dr. Xavier (Lionel Atwill), where the doctor and his colleagues conduct a strange experiment. Fay Wray of "King Kong" fame plays the good doctor's daughter, Joan Xavier.

"The Return of Dr. X" (1939): New York newspaper reporter Walter Barnett (Wayne Morris) finds himself out of a job after he claims to have found actress Angela Merrova (Lya Lys) dead in her apartment - only the next day she showed up alive and threatened to sue the paper. Determined to investigate he discovers her involvement with a strange doctor (Humphrey Bogart) who is an expert on human blood. Barnett then finds a connection to a series of gruesome murders where the victims were all found drained of blood.

"Mark of the Vampire" (1935): Sir Karell Borotyn (Holmes Herbert) appears to have been killed by Count Mora Bela Lugosi), a vampire believed to haunt the local village. Now his daughter Irena (Elizabeth Allan) is the Count's next target. Enter Professor Zelen (Lionel Barrymore), an expert on vampires who is sent to prevent her death. At the same time, secrets are revealed surrounding the circumstances of Sir Karell's death.

"Mad Love" (1935): In Paris, the great surgeon Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) falls madly in love with stage actress Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake), and his ardor disturbs her quite a bit when he discovers to his horror that she is married to concert pianist Stephen Orlac (Colin Clive). Shortly thereafter, Stephen's hands are badly crushed in a train accident- beyond the power of standard medicine. Knowing that his hands are his life, Yvonne overcomes her fear and goes to Dr. Gogol, to beg him to help. Gogol decides to surgically graft the hands of executed murderer Rollo onto Stephen Orlac, the surgery is successful but has terrible side-effects...

"The Mask of Fu Manchu" (1932): Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu (Boris Karloff) is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and his diabolical daughter, Fah Lo See (Myrna Loy)will enslave the world!

Also of interest is Universal Studios September 19, 2006 release of "The Boris Karloff Collection," featuring 5 Karloff classics, "Night Key," "The Black Castle" "The Climax," "The Strange Door," and "Tower of London." With Warner Bros and Universal Studios releasing these classic collections, the production values should be very high and the dvd transfers should be at their best! These films could never hold up against today's CGI and computer generated fair for "special effects." However, the acting talent and the incredible "atmosphere" of these films, as well as those released in the wonderful "Val Lewton Horror Collection," and the Universal Studios' "Legendary Monster" collections are far superior to today's artificial talents.

Many of these "boxed sets" contain films that have been long overdue for a dvd release. It's nice to see them finally making it to dvd! Now if only we could have the 1960 b&w jungle voodoo classic "The Leech Woman,"(1960) and a "Hammer Horror Collection Volume 2" featuring more great Hammer Studio classics, including the ultra-creepy "The Gorgon," my expectations in classic horror will be somewhat met.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Great set of 1930s Horror Classics Nov. 7 2006
By Barbara Underwood - Published on Amazon.com
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Being a fan of early cinema and unusual films with clever plots, I was particularly pleased with this set of 6 films; packed neatly in slim cases with nice artwork and bonus features such as expert commentary to 5 of the 6 films. Each film is different and has its own unique highlights; some of which are obvious due to the legendary stars in each one; others are brought out in the audio commentary track which also gives excellent background information on the film's cast and crew, as well as the film industry and newly-emerging Horror genre in general. Although the cover boasts "6 Masterworks of Terror", it's unlikely that any modern-day viewer would find them terrifying, but no doubt for audiences of the 1930s these films were quite a sensation, and due to their high quality of production, direction or acting, can rightly be viewed as classics or prime examples of 1930s horror/thriller/mystery movies.

Far more than merely intending to shock and frighten audiences, these films still have a busy plot and interesting story, albeit unrealistic and even a bit silly at times. My personal favourites are "Mad Love", based on an earlier silent film, "The Hands of Orlac" about transplanting the hands of an executed murderer onto a pianist whose hands were injured in an accident, (echoes of Frankenstein here) and although the story is interesting enough in itself, Peter Lorre is simply brilliant as the mad doctor. His uncanny bald-headed appearance is already unnerving, and he uses his foreign accent to its absolute creepiest effect. And in the same league, Boris Karloff as the evil Fu Manchu is the best I've seen him so far, making this exaggerated character almost believable, and certainly very entertaining. I found the commentary to "The Mask of Fu Manchu" particularly interesting for its detailed explanations of censorship and how many scenes had been removed at some time. Fortunately, this is the complete and restored version, and putting political correctness aside, simply great fun to watch.

Another personal favourite is "The Return of Doctor X" with Humphrey Bogart in an early role before he found fame when he usually played the role of a villain. In this film he is very convincing as the strange, pale-faced doctor's assistant, experimenting with the use of synthetic blood to restore and sustain life - some intriguing ideas taken from both scientific work and the vampire legends. I also enjoyed the commentary to this movie which features a lengthy interview with the film's director, Vincent Sherman, who at age 99 can still vividly recall and tell of his experiences in early Hollywood. Also very intriguing and worth mentioning is "Mark of the Vampire" which is a remake of a lost silent film "London After Midnight" starring the legendary Lon Chaney, but is not at all what one would expect of a Chaney film. In fact, "Mark of the Vampire" is meant to keep you wondering and guessing til the very end; much in the same vein as "Cat and the Canary" and other slightly comical mystery whodunits. Last but not least, Lionel Barrymore puts in a very entertaining performance in his old woman disguise as he plots revenge on former associates with the means of more freaky science in "The Devil Doll". Sound and picture quality on all 3 discs is very good, and I'm sure this set will satisfy most early cinema or 1930s film enthusiasts, not to mention horror-genre fans as well, of course.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great set of horror from Hollywood's golden age Nov. 28 2006
By tpm1800 - Published on Amazon.com
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The cover art to Warners' Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection features images of horror legends Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Humphrey Bogart. Humphrey Bogart ... what the heck? Yes, although Bogart was about as much a legend of horror as John Wayne was a musical comedy star, he did appear in one horror film ("The Return of Dr. X") included in this collection. Maybe it is a little erroneous and misleading to describe Bogie as a legend of horror but thankfully Warners' has included his one and only rarely shown thriller. The other films included in this collection feature Hollywood's true horror legends in an array of interesting roles.

"The Mask of Fu Manchu" (1932) may not be a real horror film but it does have the incomparable Boris Karloff in fine form as the demoniacal Fu Manchu. This engaging pre-code film features some delightfully racy scenes and insinuations. A young Myrna Loy as Fu Manchu's lascivious daughter is especially entertaining. Her very obvious goal of making the young male lead her own personal sex slave would surely have been censored from the script just a few years later.

MGM reunited Bela Lugosi and his "Dracula" director, Tod Browning, for 1935s "The Mark of the Vampire." This film was a remake of Browning's own silent classic "London after Midnight" which had starred Lon Chaney (and has been lost for 40 years). The image of the vampire had solidified in the public consciousness in the form of Lugosi's Dracula. MGM, obviously hoping to profit from the Dracula image, hired Lugosi to play the lead vampire character in a departure from the horrific and creepy, shark toothed vampire Chaney played in the original film. The final result is a well-mounted and moody horror offering with all the eerie trappings you'd expect from a 30s thriller including lots of fog, cobwebs, shadows and screams.

Maybe the best 30s horror flick included on this set is MGM's "Mad Love" from 1935. This film features a very young (and very creepy) Peter Lorre as a demented surgeon who torments a highly-strung concert pianist played by Colin Clive. Clive seems even more neurotic here than in his role as Henry Frankenstein in Universal's first two Frankenstein films. Lorre has been lusting after Colin's wife and uses a horrible accident as a means to destroy Clive's life and steal his bride. This is a first class horror film from MGM that rivals Universal's best horror classics.

The two Warner "Doctor X" films have no connection other than a similarity in title. The first film is a pretty slow-moving and dated 1932 thriller. "Doctor X" was filmed in an early two-strip Technicolor process, just like 1933's "The Mystery of the Wax Museum," and is presented here in a restored color version. Even if it is a bit creaky, "Doctor X" is an interesting Hollywood artifact and worth at least one viewing. 1939's "The Return of Doctor X" is the one with Bogie. It's more of a B-movie but very fun to watch with Bogart as the villain of the title.

Rounding out this collection is Tod Browning's 1936 "Devil Doll" from MGM. This one features Lionel Barrymore as a vengeful soul who miniaturizes humans to do his bidding. It's an interesting addition to the set but by no means the primary reason to purchase the collection.

As you would expect from Warners' all the films are high quality transfers from the best available material. There are some trailers and film commentaries (not for all films though) including one with the late film director Vincent Sherman. Overall this set is highly recommended to fans who wish to add to their film libraries of horror films from Hollywood's golden age.

Side note: Some other reviewers have commented on the absence of the Warners' Karloff film "The Walking Dead" (1936). I too was mystified until I realized that this may have been done deliberately. Perhaps Warners has the future intention of offering their own collection of Karloff films. Since both Universal and Columbia released Karloff sets this fall I would guess Warners would have held back. If they choose to release their own set they would only need to take "The Walking Dead" and add "West of Shanghai" (Warners 1937), "The Invisible Menace" (Warners 1938), "British Intelligence" (Warners 1940), "Devil's Island" (Warners 1940), and maybe even "You'll Find Out" (RKO 1940). Let's hope Warners does put out a nice salute to Boris.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Classic Hollywood Reflections On Perversity, Obsession, Mystery & Murder Oct. 24 2006
By The Wingchair Critic - Published on Amazon.com
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'The Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection' (2006) offers viewers six excellent little-seen thrillers from the classic Hollywood era; as a set, it in many ways surpasses 2005's 'The Val Lewton Horror Collection' in quality.

Though Jacque Tourneur and Val Lewton's 'Cat People' (1942) is generally credited with introducing monsters and horror to the modern urban landscape, Michael Curtiz's atmospheric 'Doctor X' (1932) proves this assertion to be untrue.

Produced in an era before the Hays Code was enforced, 'Doctor X' concerns a series of strangulation murders in New York City and Long Island in which the killer partially cannibalizes his victim's bodies. Known in the press as "the Moon Murderer" due to the period of the month during which he is active, the killer's eventual unmasking and subsequent transformation into the "Moon Monster" is still chilling today. Though the murderer's explanation for his actions seem both forced and unnecessary, the version offered here was printed in an early, eerie version of Technicolor, making a film already long on shadows also weirdly tinted in shades of green, red, and yellow.

Curtiz, of course, would go on to direct 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' (1938), 'Casablanca' (1942), 'Mildred Pierce' (1945) and 'White Christmas' (1954). A fairly young Lionel Atwill stars as the title doctor, and Fay Wray as his daughter.

Also produced by First National/Warner Brothers, 'The Return of Doctor X' (1939) is a sequel to 'Doctor X' in name only. Humphrey Bogart, who seems to be channeling Andy Warhol in several early scenes, stars as a murderer revived from the dead and now badly in need of continuous transfusions of a rare type of blood. Also starring Dennis Morgan before he rose to stardom as one of the most popular leading men of the 1940s, 'The Return of Doctor X' is a surprisingly well-made and effective thriller.

Interestingly, the original film trailer, which is present as an extra feature, shows numerous scenes not included in the final cut, suggesting that the producers originally had quite a different film in mind.

Also produced during the pre-Hays era, MGM's 'The Mask of Fu Manchu' (1932) stars the post-Frankenstein Boris Karloff as the would-be Asian world-conqueror and Myra Loy as his beautiful but perverse daughter, Fah Lo See. Beautifully produced but anti-climatic, the film is remarkable for its sexual undertones, including the homoerotic scene in which the athletically-built Charles Starrett, who portrays the young hero, writhes under torture while strapped to a table and wearing nothing but a scanty loincloth.

Tod Browning and MGM's quirky 'The Mark of the Vampire' (1935) is a fascinatingly disjointed and almost surreal remake of Browning's now-lost silent film, 'London After Midnight' (1927). Starring Lionel Barrymore, Lionel Atwill, and Bela Lugosi, who only has several actual lines of dialogue, the film is actually a murder mystery disguised as a horror movie, and one which continuously cheats at the misleading game it plays with its audience.

However, instead of detracting from the finished product, Browning's mischievous use of the editing process and evident joy in subverting viewer expectations make 'The Mark of the Vampire' a horror film classic. Visually stunning throughout, the father-and-daughter vampire team, as depicted by Lugosi and Carroll Borland, remain one of the archetypal representations of the vampire in cinema.

MGM's ghoulish 'Mad Love' (1935) stars Peter Lorre as love-obsessed surgeon Dr. Gogol and Colin Clive as Stephen Orlac, a world-renowned concert pianist who loses his hands in a train accident. When Lorre, who is in passionately in love with Orlac's beautiful wife, Yvonne, is called in to operate, he replaces the pianist's crushed hands with those of a recently-executed murderer whose specialty was knife-wielding. Before long, Orlac has the uncontrollable desire to kill, and Gogol, who keeps a life-size wax effigy of Yvonne in his home, hopes an imprisoned Orlac will finally make Yvonne available to become his bride.

The brief scene in which Orlac confronts what he believes is the reanimated figure of the decapitated and now-handless murderer is one of the great moments of 1930s horror. The film was a critical and popular failure upon release, though Lorre excels as the pathetic, love-sick Gogol, as does Clive as the potentially neurotic pianist, and lovely Frances Drake is extremely impressive as the devoted Yvonne.

The collection is rounded out by the wonderful special-effects extravaganza 'The Devil Doll' (1936), produced by MGM and again directed by Tod Browning. Equal parts fantasy, science fiction, and thriller, Lionel Barrymore stars as wrongfully-accused banker Paul Lavond, who escapes from Devil's Island and subsequently disguises himself as an elderly female Parisian doll maker.

Having discovered how to miniaturize and mentally control human beings from an eccentric husband and wife scientist team who hope to save the world by ending starvation, Lavond sends a pair of 8-inch apache dancers out on missions of revenge, robbery, and murder, before being exonerated and reunited with his daughter, Lorraine, portrayed by the lovely Maureen O'Sullivan.

'The Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection' is an extremely satisfying set of horror and 'fantastic' films. The screenwriting, acting, directing, photography, art direction, and set design for all six films are exquisite.

Hopefully, the success of this collection, as well as that of the earlier 'The Val Lewton Horror Collection,' will see further collections become available. Still awaiting collection are James Whale and Universal's 'The Old Dark House' (1932), 'White Zombie' starring Bela Lugosi (1932), and Michael Curtiz's 'The Mystery of the Wax Museum,' among many others of the classic era.


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