Hollywood's Legends of Horror Collection
Mark of the Vampire (1935) The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
Mad Love (1935) The Devil Doll (1936)
Doctor X (1932) The Return of Doctor X (1939)
Mark of the Vampire
Stars Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Jean Hersholt
Director: Tod Browning
Theatrical Release Date: April 26, 1935
Synopsis Sir Karell Borotyn appears to have been killed by Count Mora, a vampire believed to haunt the local village. Now his daughter Irena is the count's next target. Enter Professor Zelen, an expert on vampires who's sent in to prevent her death. At the same time, secrets are revealed surrounding the circumstances of Sir Karell's death.
The Mask of Fu Manchu
Stars Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, Karen Morley, Charles Starrett, Myrna Loy
Director: Charles Brabin
Theatrical Release Date: November 5, 1932
Synopsis Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and his diabolical daughter will enslave the world!
Stars Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive, Ted Healy, Sara Haden
Director: Karl Freund
Theatrical Release Date: July 12, 1935
Synopsis In Paris, the great surgeon Dr. Gogol falls madly in love with stage actress Yvonne Orlac, and his ardor disturbs her quite a bit when he discovers to his horror that she is married to concert pianist Stephen Orlac. 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...
Stars Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frank Lawton, Rafaela Ottiano, Robert Greig
Director: Tod Browning
Theatrical Release Date: July 10, 1936
Synopsis Paul Lavond 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.
Stars Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy, Preston Foster, John Wray
Director: Michael Curtiz
Theatrical Release Date: August 27, 1932
Synopsis A monster lurks as New York newspaperman Lee Taylor 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 cliffside mansion of Dr. Xavier, where the doctor and his colleagues conduct a strange experiment.
The Return of Doctor X
Stars Wayne Morris, Rosemary Lane, Humphrey Bogart, Dennis Morgan, John Litel
Director: Vincent Sherman
Theatrical Release Date: December 2, 1939
Synopsis New York newspaper reporter Walter Barnett finds himself out of a job after he claims to have found actress Angela Merrova 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 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.
Theatrical Releases: 1932 - 1939
DVD Review: Warner (3-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC (except Disc 1 which is only Region 1)|
|Runtime||1:08:02 + 1:00:24 + 1:18:09 + 1:07:32 + 1:15:54 + 1:02:26|
Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.6 + 6.24 + 6.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
Mark of the Vampire / The Mask of Fu Manchu
Mad Love / The devil Doll
Dr. X / The Return of Dr. X
|Subtitles||English (Hoh), French, Spanish, None|
Mark of the Vampire (1935) / The Mask of Fu
The 6 films are spread over 3 dual-layered - single-sided DVDs - each in their own slim transparent keep case with beautiful art reminding me very much of the covers used in the Val Lewton set. They are encoded in the NTSC standard in regions 1,2,3 + 4 except Disc 1 (Mark of the Vampire / The Mask of Fu Manchu) which is only region 1. All are progressively transferred. All have trailers and each have a commentary except The Devil Doll. Each have original audio and optional English, French and Spanish subtitles.
These films are all very old and quality varies quite a little bit - Dr. X (in awkward looking 2-strip Technicolor) looks the worst with many scratches and damage marks visible. Looking better but still a shade worn is Mark of the Vampire which show a lot of digital noise and dirt. The remaining four look acceptable with The Return of Dr. X appearing as good as any recent Warner transfers of older films - strong detail and good contrast. Audio was at Warner's usual high standards and I noticed no dropouts and only minor background hiss in segregated moments of the oldest films. Subtitles seemed flawlessly done.
The commentaries are all very professional - Warner found some very knowledgeable sources. I think I enjoyed The Return of Dr. X commentary the most with Steve Haberman and a crackling voiced Vincent Sherman who passed away earlier this year at 100 years of age. His memory of events and the crew was extremely sharp. He detailed quite a bit about Bogart and his slow rise to become a leading man. Greg Mank's commentary (The Mask of Fu Manchu) was also very thorough and Steve Jones and Kim Newman (Mark of the Vampire) were very entertaining to listen to.
I was in absolute nirvana watching these films and then listening to the commentaries. Although I enjoyed The Boris Karloff Collection and the Inner Sanctum Mysteries I think this package is far superior. With talent like Lionel Barrymore, Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Boris Karloff, Myrna Loy, Peter Lorre, Maureen O'Sullivan, Fay Wray, Michael Curtiz, Vincent Sherman and Humphrey Bogart - you know you are in for a big treat viewing these (I watched all in one day!) Great stuff that we strongly recommend! out of