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The Vincent Price Collection [Blu-ray]

 

The Fall of House of Usher a.k.a House of Usher (1960)         The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)


The Haunted Palace (1963)          The Masque of the Red Death (1964)


Witchfinder General (1968)            The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

 

 

Fall of the House of Usher (1960): A brooding nobleman is haunted by the dry rot of madness in his family tree. The Haunted Palace (1963): A man arrives at a small village to visit the house he inherited from his ancestor who died there 100 years ago. The Masque of the Red Death (1964): A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land. The Pit and the Pendulum (1961): A 16th century Spanish nobleman who thinks that his wife has been buried alive begins to go insane and commits murder. Witchfinder General (1968): A 17th-century British witch hunter terrorizes people and bends them to his will. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971): A doctor/ scientist/organist/biblical scholar seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

 

Box Cover

   

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Distribution

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

Subtitles

English, None

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Edition Details:


FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
• Vincent Price Introduction (4:10) and final words (2:47) on The Fall of the House of Usher
• Audio commentary by producer/director Roger Corman
• Vincent price retrospective commentary with Lucy Chase Williams
• Audio interview with Vincent Price (41:05)
• Theatrical Trailer
(3:32)
• Photo Gallery


THE HAUNTED PALACE
• Vintage and rare Introduction and final words from Vincent Price (3:47)
• Audio Commentary by author Lucy Chase Williams (The Complete Films of Vincent Price) and Richard Heft
• Audio Commentary by author Tom Weaver
• A Change of Poe- an interview with director Roger Corman (11:15)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:13)
• Still Gallery


THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
• Vintage and rare Introduction and final words from Vincent Price (3:59)
• Audio Commentary by author Steve Haberman (Silent Screams: The History of the Silent Horror Film)
• Interview with Roger Corman (18:52)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:12)
• Still Gallery


THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM
• Vintage and rare Introduction and final words from Vincent Price (5:06)
• Audio Commentary with Roger Corman
• Theatrical Trailer (2:28)
• Still Gallery


WITCHFINDER GENERAL
• Audio Commentary by Philip Waddilove and Ian Ogilvy
• Play Movie with Introduction (2:56) / Outroduction (2:03) by Vincent Price
• Witchfinder General: Horror Classic (25:02)
• Interview with Vincent Price (1:02:11)
• Interview with Victoria Price (47:17)
• Alternate Opening and Closing for US cut "The Conqueror Worm" (5:52)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:06)
• Additional Vincent Price Trailers
• Stills Gallery


THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES
• Audio Commentary with director Robert Fuest
• Audio Commentary with author Justin Humphreys (Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget)
• Introductory Price: Undertaking “The Vincent Price Gothic Horrors” (13:17)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:34)
• Still Gallery

24-page liner notes booklet with color photos and an essay 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 22nd, 2013

 

Blu-ray Package (comes inside a cardboard box - not shown)

 

 

Comments:

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

Firstly, the 6 films are divided on the 4 Blu-ray discs as follows:

Disc 1) The Pit and the Pendulum and The Masque of the Red Death

Disc 2) The Haunted Palace and The Fall of the House of Usher

Disc 3) The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Disc 4) Witchfinder General

I will make a few comments and hopefully the more complete screen capture comparisons of both The Fall of the House of Usher and Witchfinder General will augment what is said here.

Video: I'm less-enthused to see the doubled-up titles (2 titles sharing one Blu-ray) which seem to all have a 24.00 Mbps video bitrate. Disc1 has The Pit and the Pendulum and The Masque of the Red Death, while disc 2 has The Haunted Palace and The Fall of the House of Usher. However, overall these don't seem to suffer adversely because of the, essential, single-layering.

Going chronologically Usher is not up to the robust Arrow transfer of earlier this year. It is darker, skin -tones a shade warmer and there is a touch of noise. Blacks are richer but hint at moiring. Overall though it is quite watchable. NOTE: The Shout! Factory release is three minutes+ longer as it has the Overture starting the presentation.

 The Pit and the Pendulum looks quite strong with solid detail and no bothersome flaws. There isn't a lot of depth but the HD image quality seems a notch above acceptable - probably advancing handily over the SD versions.

We have compared some captures of with The Haunted Palace Koch German Blu-ray. The Shout! Factory fares a bit better both technically and visually although you can see it has the exact same marks and scratches. The US transfer is marginally more robust but only purchasers who project (and are very picky) would notice. It is probably the weakest of the six in terms of video appearance but, without a restoration, I doubt dual-layering would advance the image quality to a significantly higher level. It is darker than the Koch and exhibits excellent contrast.

The Masque of the Red Death is also on a shared disc but the 1080P is reasonably impressive with detail, depth and authentic-looking colors (cool skin-tones). The 2.35:1 scope is pleasing and adds to the film-like appearance. We don't own the German Blu-ray of Masque but suspect this US transfer is equivalent or superior.

Witchfinder General has a better technical transfer than the UK Odeon Entertainment but I doubt many could find a dramatic differences. This US edition might be marginally brighter - you can see more comparative Blu-ray captures HERE.

The 'youngest' film, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, looks the best although skin tones ('cept for Phibes himself) look a shade warm but detail is very strong and there is plenty of depth. Detail almost makes some of the make-up effects transparent but the film's atmosphere retains its integrity.

Audio: All offer DTS-HD Master 2.0 channels (ditto for the commentaries) and sound solid with only Pit and Haunted showing some scattered weakness. Not a game-ender but notable none-the-less. All Shout! Factory titles of the set offer optional English subtitles and all are region 'A'-locked Blu-rays.

All six films have audio commentaries and 2 of them offer 2! These are, for the most part, older ones but some fans may have missed them over the years and they have value to fans. There are also introductions for all 6 films - 5 'vintage' from Vincent Price and one new one from Justin Humphreys (author of Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget) on Dr. Phibes. There are also interviews with Price and Corman, trailers and galleries. Quite a good lot of supplements that Vincent Price and genre aficionados will enjoy wading through.

Pretty sweet to have all 6, in 1080P, of these films in one collection. Usher, Phibes, Pendulum, Masque are all strong horrors - worthy of any collection. These are the titles that established Vincent Price's reputation and this set offers plenty of value with the mass of supplements, including commentaries. We strongly recommend!  

 

Gary W. Tooze

 


Sample Menus


 


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

 

 

The first of Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe films, Fall of the House of Usher was originally released as simply House of Usher. Vincent Price stars as the foredoomed Roderick Usher. Living in his decaying family mansion with his young sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey), Roderick does his best to shoo away Madeline's fiancÚ Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon). He tells the young swain that Madeline suffers from the family curse of encroaching madness, and thus cannot be permitted to bear children. After a series of suspicious, near-fatal accidents, Phillip insists that Madeline be allowed to leave with him at once. But Roderick sadly announces that this is impossible: Madeline has died, and is slated to be entombed. Informed by the family butler that Madeline has previously been prone to near-catatonic spells, Phillip angrily insists that the girl may very well have been buried alive. The climactic conflagration would be recycled as stock footage in future Corman/Poe efforts, as would the set representing the Usher home.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Also available in a limited edition steelbook:

Bitrate:

  Arrow Video Shout! Factory

Runtime:

1:19:08.744

1:22:23.980 (includes 3-minute Overture!)

Disc Size:

48,697,205,908 bytes

46,989,531,688 bytes

Feature Size:

23,974,969,344 bytes

19,524,784,128 bytes

Video Bitrate:

34.99 Mbps

24.00 Mbps

Chapters:

12

12

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1958 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1958 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1561 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1561 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1963 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1963 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

1) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 


 

 

American-International's standing "haunted castle" set is exhibited to peak advantage in Roger Corman's Pit and the Pendulum. Save for the climax, Richard Matheson's script bears but little resemblance to the Edgar Allen Poe original, though there are pronounced echoes throughout of Poe's The Premature Burial. Vincent Price stars as Nicholas Medina, the son of a notorious Spanish Inquisition torturer. Nicholas' wife Elizabeth (Barbara Steele) has died under mysterious circumstances, prompting Elizabeth's brother Francis (John Kerr) to arrive at the Medina castle to investigate. The tormented Medina believes that Elizabeth was buried alive, and is convinced that he can hear his wife's voice calling out to him. In truth, Elizabeth has faked her death, part of a plan concocted with her lover Dr. Leon (Anthony Carbone) to drive Medina mad. She succeeds in this goal (albeit to her own grief, as the film's very last shot reveals), pushing Medina over the brink. Convinced that he's his own father, Medina dons Inquisition robes, straps Francis to a table, and arranges for a huge steel-bladed pendulum to slowly, slooooowwly descend on his helpless victim. You'd never know that Pit and The Pendulum was shot on the budget and schedule of a B western; the film is consistently good to look at, with eerily evocative color camerawork (Floyd Crosby) and sumptuous art direction. Stock footage of the climactic torture sequence would later find its way into the 1966 spy spoof Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, which also starred Vincent Price.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:20:33.995

Disc Size:

45,371,255,959 bytes

Feature Size:

18,189,023,232 bytes

Video Bitrate:

24.00 Mbps

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2060 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2060 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2140 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2140 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

The Haunted Palace is a witches' brew of stories written by Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft--with the fine hand of sinister scenarist Charles Beaumont stirring the pot. Vincent Price plays two roles this time: A New England doctor burned as a sorcerer in 1745, and the dead man's great-grandson of 1855. Arriving in the village where his grandfather was killed, Price and his bride Debra Paget are shunned by the community. They are told that the mutant progeny of the "sorcerer"'s evil experiments are still roaming the countryside--with hulking manservant Lon Chaney Jr. a good example of these monstrosities. The longer he stays in the family mansion, the more Price is taken over by the spirit of his ancestor. The result: The possessed Price, together with Chaney and a warlock assistant, set about to create a mutant race to overtake the world. Concluding with the near-sacrifice of bride Debra Paget and the torching of the mansion, The Haunted Palace is a marvelous--and economically produced--exercise in Grand Guignol.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Bitrate:

  Koch Media (Germany) Shout! Factory

Runtime:

1:27:06.304

1:27:09.265

Disc Size:

15,427,391,428 bytes

46,989,531,688 bytes

Feature Size:

15,152,910,336 bytes

21,035,747,328 bytes

Video Bitrate:

19.99 Mbps

24.00 Mbps

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1002 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1002 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 906 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 906 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2041 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2041 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2034 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2034 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2031 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2031 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

1) Koch (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Koch (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Koch (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Koch (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Koch (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 


 

 

Though based on two Edgar Allen Poe stories, Masque of the Red Death relies more upon its mood and atmosphere than its story values for its success. During a devastating 12th-century plague called "The Red Death," the decadent, devil-worshipping Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) holds court over a bizarre masked ball. Already established as a sadistic torturer, Prospero insists that his "guests" indulge in numerous depraved games, most of them ending with someone's death. Only two innocents are permitted to escape intact, but they go through the torments of the Damned to do so. Hazel Court is on hand as a Satanist who brands her breast for Price's bored amusement, while Patrick Magee is horribly burned to death by "Hop Frog" (Skip Martin), Price's demonic flunkey. The literally diabolical performance of Vincent Price is superbly complemented throughout by the crimson-dominated cinematography of Nicholas Roeg. Unlike many of Roger Corman's economical Price/Poe projects, The Masque of the Red Death boasts a generous budget, which the canny filmmaker exploits to the utmost.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:28:47.322

Disc Size:

45,371,255,959 bytes

Feature Size:

19,785,105,408 bytes

Video Bitrate:

24.00 Mbps

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1951 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1951 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1942 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1942 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

Not as well-known as Robin Hardy's more eccentric and complex The Wicker Man (which was also packaged and sold by its distributors as a common exploitation flick), this third film by then-24-year-old Michael Reeves (his last film before an untimely death) is nevertheless one of the best examples of the witchcraft subgenre of horror film. Starring Vincent Price as real-life witchhunter Matthew Hopkins (ca. 1619 - 1647), Witchfinder General is an intense and brutally violent film not merely for its time (which resulted in multiple cuts made at the behest of the British Board of Film Censors) but even now, retaining its power to shock much more so than gore films of the same period, as the emotional stakes here are established with beautiful economy. It is possible that Price never gave a better performance than this one, as he completely eschews camp theatrics in favor of a subduedly sinister and menacing depiction of sadistic evil masked behind a cloak of piety. Price plays Hopkins as an unmerciful reptile with a genteel manner and an appetite for torture, creating in Witchfinder General one of cinema's most frightening villains.

Paul Haynes

Box Cover

Bitrate:

  Arrow Video Shout! Factory

Runtime:

1:26:42.488

1:26:50.038

Disc Size:

26,226,356,307 bytes

45,922,433,195 bytes

Feature Size:

20,136,585,216 bytes

23,215,577,088 bytes

Video Bitrate:

25.98 Mbps

30.00 Mbps

Chapters:

24

12

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1568 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1568 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1568 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1568 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2035 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2035 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1562 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1562 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
 

 

1) Odeon Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Odeon Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Odeon Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 


 

 

 

Long thought dead, the victim of a horrible accident, Dr. Anton Phibes (Vincent Price) still lives, surrounded by art-deco bric-a-brac and attended by mute beauty Vulnavia (Virginia North). Outwardly normal in appearance, Phibes actually wears a rubber mask, covering his hideously deformed countenance; giving away the artifice is the fact that, when he dines, he takes his food through his neck rather than his mouth. Able to speak only when plugging a wire into his damaged vocal chords, Phibes elucidates his plan to murder the medical team whom he holds responsible for the death of his wife. Each of the killings is patterned after the ten deadly plagues. Phibes saves his worst for last: trapping chief surgeon Dr. Vesalius in his lair, Phibes forces the hapless medico into a race against time to save the life of his own son.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:34:40.675

Disc Size:

32,538,525,148 bytes

Feature Size:

27,173,959,680 bytes

Video Bitrate:

30.00 Mbps

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2061 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2061 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1689 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1689 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2086 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2086 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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



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