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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Murders in the Zoo (1933)                                       The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942)


The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942)                                   The Mad Ghoul (1943)

 

Undertake four tales of terror from the archives of Universal Pictures, the home of classic horror! This collection includes such horror stars as Lionel Atwill, George Zucco, David Bruce and Evelyn Ankers. A maniacal hunter and collector of wild animals uses them to dispose of rivals and enemies in Murders in the Zoo. An unhinged scientist flees the San Francisco police and continues his bizarre experiments on a remote tropical island in The Mad Doctor of Market Street. A mysterious avenger is murdering acquitted criminals while dabbling in brain transplants in The Strange Case of Doctor Rx. And a doctor's experiments with nerve gas turn his assistant into a grave-robbing freak in The Mad Ghoul.

 

 

Murders in the Zoo
Millionaire Eric Gorman is a zoologist/hunter who has created his own private menagerie of wild beasts from his safaris. He is also insanely jealous and uses his dangerous pets to dispose of any potential romantic rival for his wife or anyone that displeases him. Made before the Production Code was enforced, Murders in the Zoo (1933) is a grisly and perverse Pre-Code horror thriller that was quite shocking for its time. The movie is dominated by Lionel Atwill's superb performance as the sadistic zoo owner and features stunning cinematography by seven-time Oscar(r) nominee Ernest Haller. The supporting cast includes Charlie Ruggles (Bringing Up Baby, 1938), Kathleen Burke (Island of Lost Souls, 1932), a young Randolph Scott and the future Governor of Connecticut, John Lodge.

The Mad Doctor of Market Street
When Dr. Benson's experiments in suspended animation result in a man's death, he is forced to flee San Francisco with the police in hot pursuit. He boards a luxury liner to Australia but a shipwreck lands him and a handful of survivors on a remote tropical island. The island natives are NOT very welcoming until Dr. Benson demonstrates his godlike powers by reviving the comatose wife of the island chief. Now worshipped as a deity, the doctor's ego rages out of control as he begins to focus on his master plan: "Just as the natives worship me, so will the whole world." An ideal showcase for horror star Lionel Atwill, The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942) is also notable as an early effort by cult director Joseph H. Lewis (The Big Combo, 1955).

The Strange Case of Doctor Rx
A mysterious vigilante known as "Dr. Rx" strikes again, leaving his calling card behind as evidence. All of his victims have been crooks who have escaped prosecution through legal loopholes and his hit list keeps growing. Assigned to the case is private detective Jerry Church (Patric Knowles) but the crimes are baffling and involve death by strangulation and a possible attempt to implant a gorilla's brain into a human body. The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942) is an offbeat horror-comedy film starring Lionel Atwill, veteran of such macabre classics as Doctor X (1932) and Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), and featuring Shemp Howard (of The Three Stooges) as a bumbling police sergeant.

The Mad Ghoul
When Dr. Morris experiments with a poisonous gas first used by the ancient Mayans in their sacrificial rites, he discovers that it produces a "death in life" state in the subject. It also has severe, irreversible side effects of advanced decomposition that can only be temporarily halted by a potent mixture of herbs and fresh human hearts. Guess who can't wait to test it on his unsuspecting lab assistant Ted? Grave-robbing, corpse desecration, murder and total madness follow. Despite the grisly title, The Mad Ghoul (1943) is a visually stylish thriller with a quintessential mad doctor performance by George Zucco and memorable roles for David Bruce as the title character and forties "Scream Queen" Evelyn Ankers.

Excerpt from The Universal Cult Horror Collection located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1933 - 1946

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Shout! Factory (4-disc) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

    

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:02:08 + 1:00:00 + 1:05:38 + 1:05:08 1:02:16.190 + 1:00:05.018 + 1:05:43.940  + 1:05:13.534
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 1080P 4 X Single-layered Blu-rays

Feature sizes

Murder in the Zoo: 18,594,920,448 bytes

The Mad Doctor of Market Street: 18,393,419,215 bytes

The Strange Case of Doctor X:  19,515,045,888 bytes

The Mad Ghoul: 19,606,370,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Murders at the Zoo Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Mad Dr. of Market Square Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Strange Case of Dr. Rx Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Mad Ghoul Blu-ray:

Audio

English (2.0 stereo)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1570 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1570 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33

Edition Details:

"Behind the Scenes Photos"
"Publicity Stills"
"Movie Posters"
"Lobby cards"
TCM text screen article and some trivia (also text screen)


DVD Release Date: December 14th, 2016
5 housed in one standard keep case
Chapters: various House of Horrors (1946)
Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

1.37:1 1080P 4X Single-layered Blu-rays

Feature sizes

Murder in the Zoo: 18,594,920,448 bytes

The Mad Doctor of Market Street: 18,393,419,215 bytes

The Strange Case of Doctor X:  19,515,045,888 bytes

The Mad Ghoul: 19,606,370,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Murder at the Zoo
Commentary by Greg Mank
Image Gallery

The Mad Doctor o Market Street
Trailer (1:41)
Image Gallery (5:55)

The Strange Case of Doctor Rx
Gloriously Wicked: The Life and Legacy of Lionel Atwill (19:02)
Image Gallery (5:16)

The Mad Ghoul
Commentary by film historian Thomas Reeder
Image Gallery (5:51)


Blu-ray
Release Date: July 22nd, 2019
Standard thick
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12 X 4

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Shout! Factory Blu-ray (July 2019): This follows Volume 1 of Shout! Factory's Universal Horror Volume 1 on 4- Blu-ray disc set reviewed HERE.

Shout! Factory have brought four more early Universal Horrors onto their own Blu-ray package in a volume 2 package entitled the 'Universal Horror Collection: Vol. 2'. These were part of the TCM Universal Cult Horror Collection DVD of Murders in the Zoo (1933), The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942), The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942) and The Mad Ghoul (1943) (reviewed HERE) which also includes House of Horrors (1946), not present in this volume 2 Blu-ray collection. The earliest film, by almost 9-years, the Pre-code Murders in the Zoo (1933) is the grainiest and softest but all appear to be from the same masters as the 2016 DVDs and look impressive in 1080P with excellent contrast - showcasing the consistent density of the source. There are some light surface scratches but no impinging damage.

NOTE: We have added 29 more large resolution Shout! Factory
Blu-ray captures for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE.

On their
Blu-ray, Shout! Factory use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono tracks (24-bit) in the original English language. The Murder at the Zoo is at the mercy of the original production technology and there can be imperfections and slight hiss. The scores are dramatic and wonderful by John Leipold (The Devil is a Woman, The Flying Deuces, Duck Soup) and Rudolph G. Kopp (The Woman Accused, 1934's Cleopatra, 1934's The Sign of the Cross, 1950's Noir Mystery Street) on Murder in the Zoo.  Hans J. Salter (The Killer that Stalked New York, The Strange Door, Cover Up, Man Without a Star, Scarlet Street, The Land Unknown, The War Lord, The Mole People) and Frank Skinner (The Appaloosa, Madame X, Magnificent Obsession, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, All That Heaven Allows, and The Naked City) in The Strange Case of Doctor Rx with some Beethoven and Tchaikovsky in The Mad Ghoul. There is minor depth but the scores augment the overall atmosphere. Shout! Factory offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray (despite being from Universal -which are always Region FREE.)

Extras include a commentary by Greg Mank
(author of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration, with a Complete Filmography of Their Films Together) on Murder in the Zoo where he identifies some of the production code concerns. He is full of relevant production details. There is also an image gallery (as found on the 2016 DVD set). The Mad Doctor of Market Street has only a trailer and image gallery. The Strange Case of Doctor Rx has the 20-minute Gloriously Wicked: The Life and Legacy of Lionel Atwill with Mank giving a concise overview of the actor's interesting career and life. He starred in three of the films in the set; Murders in the Zoo (1933), The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942) and The Strange Case of Doctor Rx (1942.) There is also an image gallery as an additional supplement. Lastly, The Mad Ghoul has a fun commentary by film historian Thomas Reeder - who may be a bit dry but has some information to impart. This 4th Blu-ray disc also has an image gallery.

I've always been a fan of these short and sweet horror efforts, even marginal ones, from the vintage years. One observation I will share is the, arguably, best film; Murders in the Zoo is pre-code and there was obviously no 'animal rights' for films back then - it can get surprisingly graphic. I liked all four to varying degrees and the 1080P resolution was very pleasing - an obvious advancement over SD that helped with the overall feel. These are an atmospheric way to start a double feature night usually running just over an hour... so for fans of this genre/era - it is recommended despite
Universal Horror Volume 1 being the superior offering for both the four films and the extras (with 6 commentaries.).

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC

 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Subtitle Sample - Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Subtitle Sample - Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Subtitle Sample - Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 
Box Cover

    

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal Cult Horror Collection - (5-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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