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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on July 13, 2004
Finally, DRACULA is put into a serious collection! Here we have not only the original classic DRACULA (w/ the incomparable Bela Lugosi), but four more toothy vampire thrillers! DRACULA concerns the Transylvanian Count and his trip to his new digs, where he quickly takes a big bite out of his neighbors. Can Von Helsing stop this evil undead plague, or will Dracula win the night? DRACULA- THE SPANISH VERSION was filmed simultaniously with Bela's feature. It is quite good on it's own merit, with actors that took pride in their work. Some things are different in nuance as well as some actual (subtle) changes to the props, dialogue, action, etc. It's fun to watch! DRACULA'S DAUGHTER is about a woman who seeks the aid of a psychiatrist in dealing with her vampirism. Can a supernatural curse be broken by scientific / psychological means? Hmmm. SON OF DRACULA has Lon Chaney jr. as the returning nosferatu. Posing as Count Alucard, he terrorizes the countryside! HOUSE OF DRACULA has Lon jr. back as the wolfman, looking for a cure for his canine affliction. John Carradine is along for the ride as Count Dracula (w/ a snappy moustache). Frankenstein's monster doesn't get much screen time, just sort of lumbering around aimlessly. Not a bad monster bash though! This collection is superb and should be bought before Universal re-seals their rusty old vaults once more...
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on June 1, 2004
What can I say about this one that I did not already say in my review of the Frankenstein collection. Long OVERDUE UNIVERSAL! God bless the Laemmle's! They must be looking down with sheer joy to see their productions in all of this digital glory! The Count(and Countess Zaleska) does his thing to ladies of the evening until he meets his match in good ol' Edward Van"WE MUST DESTROY IT!!" Sloan. They might as well have included the 1932 Karl Fruend Mummy on here because it is essentially the same story as the very stagy 1931 Dracula with 2 of the actors reprising characters under different names(Manners and Sloan as the romantic and scientist respectively), but I feel that the Mummy collection is coming so lets move on.
Superior(maybe technically) Spanish version is on here and so is English version with the Kronos score. I, personally, can do without the Kronos score but there are those who were enchanted by this addition. Son of Dracula was a cut above the other WW2 era Universal monster vehicles as was Frank Meets Wolf!
Dracula's daughter could have been a Whale. One does wonder what James Whale would have done to this one. Actually, I feel that Dracula's Daughter(1936), which by the way was the last of its type from Universal before the slick assembly line productions came into being(starting with Son of Frank), is superior to the original. The score is superb, the acting far above the 1931 film, and well, lets face it how do you top Vampire lesbianism in the 1930's post flapper era??
House of Dracula and House of Frankenstein almost seem to resemble what would become the staple of the blood-curdling technicolor productions from Hammer, and that was the BRAIN TRANSPLANTS. A deady body here and there, a brain pickled in a jar , a transplant to this one and this one, a suspicous burgomaster, a little decay and blood, you know the deal!
By the way, do you know how to tell when the first era of Universal horror ended?
ANSWER:Dracula's Daughter was the last Universal horror flick to utilize the pre-titles Earth-Globe with the old bi-plane circling. The slicker assembly line Universal horror began with the orbiting black and transluscent Earth-Globe to the 'Buy Bonds-support the troops' music in the background.
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It is unfortunate that this collection of Universal Dracula films were only released in this mega-DVD collection as a means of promoting the film Van Helsing, but the important thing is that they were released - including the inimitably weird House of Dracula on DVD for the first time. This collection inspired its own kind of bloodlust in my Dracula-loving heart, and I imagine all fans of Dracula and Universal's classic monsters movies of the 30s and 40s have either already purchased this set or are saving up the money to do so. Just look at the bounty of riches included here: the original 1931 classic Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, which you can view with both its original score as well as the modern score composed by Philip Glass and performed by the Kronos Quartet; the incredible and technically superior Spanish language version of Dracula; Dracula's Daughter (1936); Son of Dracula (1943) starring Lon Chaney, Jr.; House of Dracula (1945); an original documentary, The Road to Dracula, discussing the making of the English and Spanish versions of the original film; a commentary by film historian David J. Skal on the original film; theatrical trailers for the films; and, last and certainly least, a look at how the original Dracula franchise influenced director Stephen Sommers in the making of his new film Van Helsing.
I waited a long time to watch the Spanish version of the Dracula, and it lived up to its reputation. A much more complete and compelling version of the film, aided by an additional half hour running time, this movie equals or excels the English language version of the film in all ways - except, of course, for the performance of Bela Lugosi, who simply is Count Dracula. As for the Lugosi version, I'm torn between the two scores. As a traditionalist, I tend to favor the original score, but certain scenes, particularly those involving Dracula's predatory approach to his victims are made much more powerful with the addition of the Glass score. Either way, though, Bela Lugosi is the main attraction, and his iconic performance defines Count Dracula to this very day.
The three Dracula sequels vary in quality, none of them living up to the reputation of the original. Dracula's Daughter takes the story in an interesting direction, giving us a vampire who seeks help in freeing herself of the Dracula curse, and Gloria Holden gives a formidable and nuanced performance as the daughter of the Count. Son of Dracula, on the other hand, pretty much lays an egg in my opinion. The only interesting thing about this movie is the debate over the true identity of the Count - is he Dracula? the son of Dracula? a relative of Dracula? In the end, it really doesn't matter, but it seems obvious that the blood of Bela Lugosi's Count Dracula certainly doesn't run in the veins of "Count Alucard" because this new bloodsucker on the block isn't the smartest vampire in the castle. Many Dracula fans will of course be aware of the fact that Lon Chaney, Sr., was the original choice to play Dracula in the 1931 film; his death opened the way for the relatively unknown Bela Lugosi to take on the role he had already played hundreds of time on stage. In Son of Dracula, Lon Chaney, Jr., gets the chance to don the cape; Chaney earned his spot of fame in the Universal monster pantheon, but he didn't earn it as the Count - his performance is nothing short of boring, aided not one iota by a surprisingly weak script from the hand of Curt Siodmak.
The addition of House of Dracula to The Dracula Legacy Collection is a very big deal, for this is the first time this film has found its way to DVD. House of Dracula is a really weird film, as this sequel of sorts to House of Frankenstein features not only Count Dracula, but Frankenstein's monster and the Wolf Man as well. John Carradine plays a quite pedestrian Count Dracula, while Lon Chaney, Jr., plays the Wolf Man; Frankenstein's monster is played by Glenn Strange, but the monster plays only the most minor of roles in the story. The action takes place in Vasaria (wherever that is), where Dr. Franz Edelman (Onslow Stevens) is pursuing his own rather wacky scientific experiments, placing great hope on some new kind of spore he is growing in his private little hothouse. Both Count Dracula and Larry Talbot (the Wolf Man) come seeking his help; Talbot's wish to banish the Wolf Man manifestation from his life is understandable, but Dracula's reasons for seeking help are never made clear. In the course of trying to help these two special patients, Edelman runs into the body of Frankenstein's monster in a cave underneath his sanitarium (in a rather ho-hum fashion, no less). As you might expect, this association with three monsters turns out to be a bad thing, leaving Edelman in a pretty bad fix himself. It's somewhat difficult to take this movie seriously, but it does provide some wacky good fun in a campy sort of way.
There is a slight risk involved with purchasing The Dracula Legacy Collection, but the rewards are worth the risk. Just be careful opening the case - even if both of the DVDs (one of which is double-sided) remain in position, you are likely to find a little knob underneath each one just dying for the chance to scratch a disc.
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on May 15, 2004
THE DRACULA LEGACY collection is a nice package including the original DRACULA starring Bela Lugosi in an iconic movie that endures on. Also included are the Spainish version of DRACULA (shot on the same sets at night as Bela's version!), the sequels -- DRACULA'S DAUGHTER, SON OF DRACULA, and HOUSE OF DRACULA (all three monsters show up for the finale). You get five movies, and some great extras. Like many reviewers I found one disc rolling around the inside of the package. Fortunately it was not scratched! That's the only downside to these collections I have found.
You get the 1931 original appearance of a cinematic DRACULA! With two soundtrack options - listen to it in its original almost silent version, or chose the revamped Phillip Glass soundtrack version. Todd Browning who directed this classic was foremost a silent film maker, and DRACULA was designed to be shown in theatres with and without sound. So its almost creepier and more effective to see it with its long spooky silences intact. But Glass is a great musician, and I appreciate his soundtrack as well. It really depends on mood. And for fun check out the SPAINISH version which used the same sets. Beautifully shot, and considered by some technically superior to Browning's film! It uses more camera moves and visual effects.
The other films are a string of B sequels that are still a lot of fun. Gloria Holden as DRACULA'S DAUGHTER is surprisingly creepy and troublingly lesbian in tone. She only attacks women! SON OF DRACULA is campy fun with Lon Chaney Jr. sailing through smokey swamps. HOUSE OF DRACULA is the ultimate monster mash with Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and Dracula making appearances in this last sequel to the Universal monster franchise before they all appeared in an Abbot and Costello movie that killed them for a while.
But they live on! My only beef with the extras is one where Stephen Sommers talks about how DRACULA influenced VAN HELSING. I don't want to tie my 1931 version of a classic to this year's Summer Hit. But in a way it proves ...
legends never die.
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on May 3, 2004
Finally, all classic 5 Dracula films finally come to DVD in this amazing collection. These films inspired dozens of directors and producers to bring you a new taste in horror. Bela Lugosi was truly the best Dracula ever. He has been scaring people for more than 70 years! If you are a true horror film classic kind of person, you definitely need to buy this mega collection. This collection includes Dracula (bela lugosi film) the Spanish version of the film (some people say it is better than the Bela Lugosi version) Dracula's daughter (made in 1936) son of Dracula (made in 1943) and house of Dracula (made in 1945). This is a must get collection for a spooky night.
I have looked through the features and this is what I thought. Well, there is a behind the scenes look at the production of the film hosted by the director of "Van Helsing" Stephen Sommers. This behind the scenes look shows behind the scenes of Van helsing of how this film helps the production. Interviews by classic film historians, and big fans of the film.
Note: This isn't a behind the scenes look at Dracula, it is a behind the scenes look at Van Helsing, and it shows how this film influenced the Van Helsing in production. There's about 6 minutes and 30 seconds of this.
Then there's a road to Dracula. A 30 minute behind the scenes look of the production of Dracula. This includes interviews by film historians, fans of the films, and of course Bela Lugosi's son. This is an interesting documentary on this film, this gave information I never new! I also discovered the trailer for all 5 films. I can't believe they still have them. You'd figure they would have thrown them out already.
Overall this is a must get collection for true horror fans. If you love horror movies, go back to the origin of the new age horror films. A must buy!
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on April 27, 2004
These wonderful old movies, except House of Dracula, have all been on good Universal DVDs before in single or two-movie editions, along with the Frankenstein, Wolf Man, and Mummy collections. So, these sets constitute rereleases and that's just fine. Glad to keep them in the catalog. BUT, what's missing here is 1) a similar box for all the Mummy movies and 2) the set that Universal continues to give the short hand to: The Creature from the Black Lagoon. The original Creature movie is on a fine Universal DVD, but the sequels - Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us - have never had DVD releases though they are available on Universal VHS tapes. So, come on, Universal. Glad as we are for these new boxes, let's get the whole family out there. Give us our three Creature movies and all the Mummy movies in matching sets. Please.
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on August 6, 2010
Good item,Bon item.Very well packed,Tres bien emballé.Sended fast,Livré vitement
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on September 21, 2014
classic movie to have in collection
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