The Return of the Vampire (1943) [Blu-Ray]

Although Universal eventually did follow up Tod Browning’s “Dracula” from 1931 with their own “Dracula’s Daughter” and “Son of Dracula,” the unofficial sequel has always been 1943’s “The Return of the Vampire.” When Columbia Pictures sough to revive Dracula for the big screener, Universal halted their efforts, prompting Columbia to basically deliver the follow up to Dracula but under a variety of different names and different circumstances. With “The Return of the Vampire” we have a great spiritual sequel that stars Lugosi returning as Dracula, but–not Dracula.

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The Trail of Dracula (2016) (DVD)

trail_drac_dvdIt’s funny how I know so much about Dracula and still can’t get enough of the character or the concept no matter where I turn. Intervision’s “The Trail of Dracula” is an hour long look in to the history of Dracula through the ages. There are tons of interviews and accounts from the creation of Bram Stoker’s novel, and the unauthorized adaptation called “Nosferatu,” right down to his pop culture influence in the modern age like “Vampire Hunter D” and “Castlevania.” While I would have loved a more thorough examination of the vampire legend and its various incarnations of cultures all around the world, “The Trail of Dracula” explores how Dracula eventually was crafted.

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Glen or the Bride of the Night of the Plan 9 from Outer Space (2015)

belalThe winner of the Best Picture Award at this year’s New England Underground Film Festival, this amusing 25-minute from filmmaker Jesse Berger slices and dices scenes and dialogue from four anti-classics from the notorious Edward D. Wood Jr. – “Glen or Glenda?”, “Bride of the Monster,” “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “Night of the Ghouls” – into a wonderfully warped blend of lunacy that perfectly captures the inane spirit of Wood’s work in a fraction of their running time.

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Scared Silly: 13 Classic Horror Comedies (DVD)

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For the Mill Creek compilation “Scared Silly,” the company brings together the roots of horror comedy with a thirteen movie set that’s well worth the cash. Some of it is the same old material you’ll find in other collections, but considering the sub-genre, that’s nothing to sneeze at. On Disc One there’s 1961’s Creature from the Haunted Sea starring the googly eyed sea weed monster, as directed by Roger Corman. It’s a classic you can’t help but giggle through.

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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

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Director Ron William Neill’s “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman” is a sequel to “The Wolfman” and a prequel to “Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” One of the many future crossovers for monsters, Neill’s movie is often incoherent, but at least delivers on the promise of the wolf man meeting Frankenstein. They only do battle for about four minutes in the finale, but technically they cross paths, so your expectations should be low for this sequel. The reasoning for bringing the characters together stretches all ideas of logic and suspension of disbelief. So “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” is really a process of asking the audience to willingly ignore its inconsistencies and wait for the monsters to meet up and fight.

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Bride of the Monster (1955)

bride-monsterThis is the story of a man, his giant, and an Octopus. And the man’s experiments involving kidnapping people and turning them in to—something. I think giants. Let’s go with giants. Said doctor also has a fondness for his giant octopus which, whenever he decides to leave his lab, comes across the octopus that seems to gleam at him from behind his glass. The doctor often smiles and waxes poetic about his friend that he hopes will never murder him in a shallow pool of cold swamp water. The thing I like about Ed Wood’s movies is that his villains just aren’t very smart.

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The Gorilla (1939)

thegorilla1939I admit I’ve never been familiar with the comedy of the Ritz Brothers before. I just happened upon “The Gorilla” one night and couldn’t stop laughing while watching the comedy team happen upon Bela Lugosi. I’ve read from some that this isn’t their best comic output. If this is them at their weakest, I’m excited to see what their best is. “The Gorilla” is a public domain horror comedy that can literally be seen anywhere, from DVD, VHS, or Youtube, and I was able to watch one of the five copies available on the site for this review. Suffice it to say, I still find the 1939 horror comedy quite hilarious.

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The Best of the Worst – 12 Horror Movie Collection (DVD)

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From Mill Creek comes a dozen horror and fantasy films so bad you’ll want to eventually claw your eyes out. You could call this a compilation of films from the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” gallery. Except without the hilarious commentary to ease the pain. If you’re interested in owning these films sans the commentaries, it’s here for the taking!

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