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The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Agar, Grant Williams, Arthur Franz, Mara Corday, Lola Albright
  • Directors: Jack Arnold, Virgil Vogel, John Sherwood
  • Producers: William Alland, Albert Zugsmith, Howard Christie, Joseph Gershenson
  • Format: NTSC, Black & White, Subtitled, Box set
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Universal
  • ASIN: B000IV9CDM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #130,751 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 71 reviews
59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
All in one set; Unbelievable... Oct. 7 2006
By R. Gawlitta - Published on
I've been searching for each of these films individually for years, and to have them all at once is quite overwhelming. They are schlocky and tacky with bad acting...everything I expect from the genre, and I love it all. Love 'em or hate 'em, the video transfer of each film is crystal clear, and every aficianado of the 50's horror genre must have this in the collection. If you like this stuff, rejoice. If you don't, stay away, and don't criticize me because I do!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5 stars for "Shrinking Man" various stars for the other films Jan. 14 2007
By Wayne Klein - Published on
This marvelous set of cheesy and classic sci-fi/horror films is a great one stop shop for fans of 50's monster movies. The best film here is "The Incredible Shrinking Man" based on Richard Matheson's novel. With a screenplay by Matheson (that was revised with a rewritten script by Richard Alan Simmons a writer for "Columbo" that changed the ending and that until recently Matheson hated). Is this set worth getting just for that film? Heck yeah. The transfer looks extremely good, with a crisp, sharp picture. We get the original theatrical trailer as well (which was narrated by Orson Welles). "TISM" is in its original widescreen format.

The other films vary from good to cheesy fun. "Tarantula" is one of the better giant insects on the loose movies (it followed in the wake of the classic "Them!"). "The Monolith Monsters" is also quite good and was based on a story that Jack Arnold ("The Incredible Shrinking Man") came up with. He didn't direct it as he had already left the studio but it's got solid performances all around and some imaginative touches. It's probably the third best sci-fi film (outside of "Shrinking Man" and "It Came From Outer Space" which has been released to DVD but not in its original 3-D incarnation)to come from Universal during the 50's.

"Monster on the Campus" and "The Mole People" are two entertaining bits of schlock. The former featuring John Agar (also in "Tarantula)and the latter featuring Arthur Franz (best known for "The Atomic Submarine" and "Invaders from Mars" as well as his numerous TV appearences). Both look quite good and are presented in their full screen presentation which, if I'm not mistaken, is the way they originally were released. We get theatrical trailers for the films as well.

The only thing that's missing is a critical appreciation for "Shrinking Man". It would have been nice to have a commentary track from Richard Matheson or a film historian. The same could be said for the better flicks here but for the price it's hard to argue.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great collection Nov. 1 2006
By James Quirk - Published on
For whatever reason, the only place to purchase this is at Best Buy, which must have made a deal with Universal to be the exclusive seller. Private Amazon sellers are apparently trying to cash in on this fact by buying these collections from Best Buy and then selling them for ten bucks or more than the sale price on Amazon.

With that said, five of Universal's science fiction classics are finally available on DVD. The transfers to DVD are outstanding. These films never looked better. All of the films are full screen with the exception of "The Incredible Shrinking Man," which is in anamorphic widescreen 16x9 format. It looks great when played in a progressive scan DVD player on a HD television. The other films look great, too, only they're in full screen format. It's hard to say which of these films I like better. For anyone who grew up in the 1970s, these films will bring back a lot of memories.

The reason for not giving the collection five stars is because Universal didn't go through the trouble of adding chapter selections. One could skip through scenes on each film, but there's no actual chapter selection section. The only extras are trailers for each film.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Samuel B. King - Published on
I was flabbergasted to see that this set included one of the greatest Scifi films of all time: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN!! All these films are entertaining, including the MOLE PEOPLE (which starred the actor who played Beaver Cleaver's father) and the others. However, the clincher is THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, one of the most profound and powerful scifi films ever made (it does NOT have a happy ending, however profound it may be in the "cosmic sense"). Just go out and buy this one. Its worth every penny!!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The BEST sci-fi collection I've bought in a loooong time March 22 2007
By Robby Krell - Published on
This set is fantastic. Some others are carping about the "treatment" of these movies, but I think the treatment is just fine.

I've now watched all five movies. The print quality is unbelievably good for such old (50+ years) B-grade, SF films that were considered quite disposable at the time. Sound quality is also excellent. Only Shrinking Man is widescreen; the others are fullscreen. Sure it would've been better to have them all widescreen. It would've been great if they were free too, or all came with a Rolls Royce.

My ratings for the movies:

INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN: 5 STARS. Other reviewers have written extensively about this masterpiece. This is not just a great 1950s movie, or a great SF movie; it's a great movie, period. There isn't a shot out of place or a poorly-written scene. Tons of perfect details go into it. (Check out the shrinking man's clothes as he is reduced to child-size; he starts wearing kid's clothes, including sneakers.) The scene with the spider is of course nerve-wracking, but the scene I'd forgotten about was the one with the mouse trap (man trap?). Nail biting...and ultimately, heartbreaking. If you've never seen it, get this collection for this movie alone.

MONOLITH MONSTERS: 4 STARS. A little slow, but the unique nature of the menace gets big points from me. A meteor lands in the desert, and starts growing upon contact with water. Human beings who touch it are turned into stone. Very creepy scenes involving a little girl, and surprisingly good effects. How scary can big crystals be, you ask? Well, pretty creepy actually. This one really benefits from a clear soundtrack as the overgrown rocks tumble and shatter only to regrow. A pleasant surprise.

THE MOLE PEOPLE: 4 STARS. Another pleasant surprise. John Agar, who I adore, goes underground with another heroic American (yay!) and craven Frenchman (boo!) and discovers an underground civilization. Or two. At times it feels a lot like a lost episode of Star Trek, but some money and thought went into the sets and costunes, and Agar plays the silliness with gusto, as he always did. I'd never seen this before and found it better than I had expected.

TARANTULA: 4 STARS. I must admit, this was SLIGHTLY disappointing for me. I remember this from 1970s Saturday afternoon TV, and it wasn't as good as I remembered. Still very fun, with John Agar again and a lab fill with overgrown creepies, one of which is the big spider who goes galloping off thruogh the desert. But as far as actual mayhem goes, there's relatively little. It DOES have that scene where the guys are trying to get the car started, as the tarantula comes closer...and closer...and closer...

MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS: 3 AND A HALF STARS. The weakest of the bunch, admittedly, but this is still a fun ride. Anything with a giant dragonfly and monster-inducing coelocanth is okay by me. Basically a retelling of the Jeckyll and Hyde story with a "modern" scientific veneer, it's unintentially funny in spots and in others, surprisingly, still pretty effective. (An early death is quite chilling.) There are also cringe-inducing exchanges of dialogue: DONALD: "Do you know anything about paleontology?" MOLLY: "I know very attractive men study it." Uggghhh!

So all in all, a fantastic collection, great quality, and a terrific price. You can watch a different movie every night for 5 nights. What's not to love? 5+ stars for the overall quality of the set brings up an overall 5-star rating.

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