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The Vincent Price Collection III [Blu-ray]

 

Master of the World (1961)                                    Tower of London (1962)

Diary of a Madman (1963)                                        Cry of the Banshee (1970)

An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe (1970)

 

 

Shout! Factory produces another The Vincent Price Collection adding a third volume with the 1961 Jules Verne inspired story - adapted by Richard Matheson, Master of the World with Price as a Nemo-esque character with the capabilities to end all man-made war with his advanced air-machine. Tower of London is a 1962 remake of the 1939 feature, director Roger Corman, and Price as a, nasty, hunchbacked Richard III. Diary of a Madman, from 1963, has Vincent as a 19th Century Parisian gentleman possessed by a madman's ghost to commit brutal crimes. Cry of the Banshee has Price in Witchfinder General mode as a pious magistrate ready to inflict grievous bodily harm on any potential young women accused of witchery. The set is loaded with extras including commentaries, alternate versions and much more including the 1970 Evening of Edgar Allan Poe impressing with his acting chops reciting four Edgar Allen Poe stories: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Pit and the Pendulum.

 

 

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

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

Subtitles

English, None

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Edition Details:


DISC 1:
MASTER OF THE WORLD
• High Definition 1080p (1.85:1)/DTS Master Audio Stereo/1961/Color/Not Rated/102 minutes

• High Definition Master from the inter-positive
• Stereo Soundtrack created from the original 4-track mag
• Audio commentary with actor David Frankham
• “Richard Matheson: Storyteller:” Extended Cut (1:12:05)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:28)
• Posters, Lobby Cards and Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery (2:18)
• Photo Gallery of images from David Frankham’s personal collection (1:59)

DISC 2:
TOWER OF LONDON
High Definition 1080p (1.66:1)/DTS Master Audio Mono/1962/B&W/Not Rated/80 minutes

• High Definition Master from a fine grain film print
• Interview with director Roger Corman (7:11)
• “Producing Tower of London” – an interview with producer Gene Corman (14:04)
• Two episodes of Science Fiction Theatre: “One Thousand Eyes” (26:09) and “Operation Flypaper” (1956 - 26:05) both starring Vincent Price (in Standard Definition – 52 minutes)
• Posters, Lobby Cards and Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery

DISC 3:
DIARY OF A MADMAN
• High Definition 1080p (1.66:1)/DTS Master Audio Mono/1963/Color/Not Rated/96 minutes

AN EVENING OF EDGAR ALLAN POE
Standard Definition (1.33:1)/DTS Master Audio Mono/1970/Color/Not Rated/53 mins.

• High Definition Master from the inter-positive film element (“Diary of A Madman”)
• Master created from the original 2” tape masters (“An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe”)  (52:55)
• Audio Commentary with film historian and author Steve Haberman (on both features)
• Interview with writer/producer/director Kenneth Johnson (“An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe”) (21:26)
• Theatrical Trailer (“Diary of A Madman”) (3:16)
• Poster and Lobby Card Gallery (“Diary of A Madman”) (1:44)
• Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery (“An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe”)

DISC 4:
CRY OF THE BANSHEE
• High Definition 1080p (1.85:1)/DTS Master Audio Mono/1970/Color/Not Rated/91 minutes (Director’s Cut)/87 minutes (Theatrical Cut)

• High Definition Master of the director’s cut from the inter-positive
• High Definition Master of the American International Theatrical Cut from the only surviving element in MGM’s Vault, a Color Reversal Intermediate
• Audio Commentary by film historian Steve Haberman (Director’s Cut)
• “A Devilish Tale of Poe” – an interview with director Gordon Hessler (17:52)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:28)
• TV Spot (:58)
• Radio Spot (:31)
• Posters, Lobby Cards and Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery (4:09)

12-page liner notes leaflet

Blu-ray Release Date: February 16th, 2016

 

 

 

Comments:

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

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

Disc 1) Master of the World

Disc 2) Tower of London

Disc 3) Diary of a Madman and An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe

Disc 4) Cry of the Banshee (both Director's Cut and AIP 'theatrical cut' versions)

Video: All are dual-layered and different from the previous volumes less feature - sharing per Blu-ray. A few brief comments - the beginning of Master of the World (High Definition Master from the inter-positive) has many scratches (as did the DVD as I recall). But we've compared a few captures and there is a definite improvement in the color depth (blues and reds) and there is much more information in the frame. I haven't figured out why it is longer than the German Blu-ray - even taking into effect the PAL speedup of the SD.

I really liked the appearance of Tower of London ( via a High Definition Master from a fine grain film print.) Black levels are piercing and it may be very marginally waxy, but in-motion the visuals are impressive.

Diary of a Madman (High Definition Master from the inter-positive film element) also looks very strong with solid detail, plenty of depth and no bothersome flaws. The HD image quality is quite pleasing in-motion. It shares the disc with the 53-minute An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, in SD (and looks it!) It is prefaced with this text screen:

The youngest film - Cry of the Banshee looks the best with excellent contrast and detail. Skin tones are warm and colors authentic. It has plenty of depth and no speckles or damage. The, shorter, AIP 'theatrical version' is a notch less technically robust - and it shows if you peer too close. It is also from the only surviving element in MGM’s Vault; a color reversal intermediate. It's a difference (notably duller and with more speckles scratches etc.) and is prefaced with this text screen:

Audio is all DTS-HD Master for all films. Master of the World has a score by Les Baxter (X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, Panic in the Year Zero, US version of Baron Blood, The Beast Within) which I wasn't partial to but the sound is clean and supportive. Tower of London's unremarkable score is by Michael Andersen. More notable would be the score for Diary of a Madman by Richard LaSalle (The Night the Bridge Fell Down, Twice-Told Tales, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Wonder Woman) which, I felt, added some flavor to the narrative. Cry of the Banshee is another Les Baxter effort and I thought it helped me appreciate this wayward film a bit more adding atmosphere. There are optional English subtitles for all feature films (except the AIP Cry of the Banshee) and the Blu-ray discs are all region 'A'-locked.

Extras are extensive with commentaries for Master of the World (with actor David Frankham) and Diary of a Madman + An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe (with film historian and author Steve Haberman for both) and Haberman again on Cry of the Banshee (Director's Cut only). These are good with special Kudos to Haberman for Madman + Cry - I haven't finished the one for An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe. Commentaries are probably the best way to build appreciation for a film, IMO - recall in Volume 1 (now OOP) all six films have audio commentaries and 2 of them offered 2! The Master of the World disc also has the 1 1/4 hour extended cut of “Richard Matheson: Storyteller” which the iconic writer's frankness is also refreshing. There is a theatrical trailer and two nifty galleries. Disc 2 has a standard 7-minute interview with director Roger Corman and, double that time, with a much more thorough “Producing Tower of London” featuring an interview with producer Gene Corman, Roger's brother. I found it quite interesting. There are two, 26-minute, episodes of Science Fiction Theatre: “One Thousand Eyes” and “Operation Flypaper” from 1956 both starring Vincent Price and in Standard Definition. This disc also has a Posters, Lobby Cards and Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery. Disc 3 (Diary of a Madman) has the previously mentioned, hour-long An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe (Master created from the original 2” tape masters in SD.) Aside from Haberman's audio commentaries there is a 21-minute interview with writer / producer / director Kenneth Johnson regarding An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe, a theatrical Trailer and Poster and Lobby Card Gallery for Diary and a Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery for An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe. The 4th and final Blu-ray disc has the Haberman commentary (DC only) and a good interview with director Gordon Hessler entitled “A Devilish Tale of Poe”. It runs almost 18-minutes. There are the usual trailer, TV and Radio Spots and Posters, Lobby Cards and Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery. The package also contains a 12-page liner notes leaflet with many color photos and film credits.

Not the stellar films of the previous 2 volumes but still some desirable Vincent Price work... in 1080P! and the package offers immense value in terms of the extras. It's hard to resist and we do recommend!  

Gary W. Tooze

 


Sample Menus


Extras

 


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

 

 

Master of the World was adapted by Richard Matheson from two Jules Verne novels, Robur le Conquerant (1896) and its... sequel, Maitre du Monde (1904)--with more than a little of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea thrown in. Set in 1868, the story is galvanized by an ominous warning of impending doom, delivered in a disembodied but resonant voice from a huge mountain just outside Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Hoping to find the source of the warning, the members of the Weldon Balloon Society, headed by munitions manufacturer Prudence (Henry Hull), send a motorized balloon to investigate. Also aboard Prudence's balloon is his daughter Dorothy (Mary Webster), her fiance Philip (David Frankham), and taciturn pilot Strock (Charles Bronson). Before long, the little party is captured by the brilliant but unbalanced Robur (Vincent Price), captain of the gigantic, state-of-the-art airship "Albatross." Robur explains that he is a man of peace, and that he is using his huge airship to wipe out all warfare by obliterating every weapon of mass destruction on earth--and never mind that a few innocent bystanders may also be killed in the process. Admiring Robur's intentions if not his methods, Strock bypasses every opportunity to stop the madman in his tracks, and for this he is branded a coward by the hotheaded Philip, sparking a battle of words and fists that will persist throughout the film. Meanwhile, Robur attacks such strategic military locations as Paris, Madrid and North Africa (courtesy of stock footage from other films), and as the carnage continues, Prudence renounces his war-profiteering ways. As for Strock, his admiration for Robur does not prevent him from a desperate climactic effort to rescue Prudence, Dorothy and Philip by planting a time bomb in the "Albatross"--a bomb that very well may go off before the "good guys" get off.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

 

 

Bitrate:

  KSM (Germany) Shout! Factory
  KSM - Region 0 - PAL Shout! Factory - Region 'A'

Runtime:

1:34:30 (4% PAL Speed-up) 

1:42:24.763

Video:

1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.71 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

38,991,786,933 bytes

Feature Size:

Dual-layered

25,380,820,992 bytes

Video Bitrate:

Average Bitrate: 6.71 mb/s

25.99 Mbps

Chapters:

12

12

Audio:

English (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1700 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1700 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1592 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1592 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio Undetermined 1582 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1582 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

 

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

 

1) KSM - Region 0 - PAL (reviewed HERE) TOP

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

 

1) KSM - Region 0 - PAL (reviewed HERE) TOP

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

 

1) KSM - Region 0 - PAL (reviewed HERE) TOP

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

 

1) KSM - Region 0 - PAL (reviewed HERE) TOP

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

 

1) KSM - Region 0 - PAL (reviewed HERE) TOP

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

 


 

 

A remake of the 1939 feature of the same name, Tower of London (1962) was an attempt by director Roger Corman to do a more horrific portrayal of Richard III, the infamous Duke of Gloucester, who was nicknamed "Crookback" due to his misshapen anatomy. A potential heir to the throne of England, Richard (Vincent Price) proceeds to remove any obstacle in his path to the monarchy through murderous acts; one victim is locked into an iron mask with a live rat, another is drowned in a vat of wine. Madness eventually clouds the duke's judgment and brings about his demise.

[...]

Though Tower of London is no masterpiece, it's still an enjoyable Grand Guignol, thanks to Vincent Price's flamboyantly villainous performance and the atmospheric cinematography which favors dank corridors and secret passageways lined with cobwebs. Most interesting is the fact that Price also appeared in the 1939 version of Tower of London but as a victim - the ill-fated Duke of Clarence. Another fun trivia tidbit: Price had originally committed to starring in an adaptation of Poe's The Gold Bug but began work instead on Tower of London when the former project died in "development hell." It was also directly after starring in Tower of London that Price began his long and successful partnership with the Sears Roebuck and Company chain, buying inexpensive European art for their American stores.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:19:41.818

Disc Size:

30,702,442,049 bytes

Feature Size:

17,430,927,360 bytes

Video Bitrate:

25.99 Mbps

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1605 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1605 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Based on the story "The Horla" by Guy de Maupassant, this grim low-budget potboiler stars Vincent Price as Simon Cordier, a ruthless magistrate in 19th-century Paris who becomes possessed by the malevolent spirit (or "horla") of a condemned murderer whom Cordier was forced to kill in self-defense. Driven by the madman's ghost to continue his pattern of brutal crimes, Cordier comes to the realization that the only way he can purge the violent demon from his soul is to immolate himself in a blazing pyre. Though the riveting Price (whose very presence can enliven even the most dismal of horror duds) does an admirable job as the tormented Cordier, he is unable to bear the ponderous weight of this tedious production. Although a parallel between the callousness of Cordier's office and the insensate evil of his crimes would have provided an interesting subtext, the script forfeits this potential, relying instead on a pat, self-righteous finale with religious overtones.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Bitrate:

  Shout! Factory

Runtime:

1:36:36.791

Disc Size:

34,090,118,089 bytes in 1.66:1

Feature Size:

24,089,198,592 bytes

Video Bitrate:

28.00 Mbps

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1573 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1573 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1692 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1692 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

The film is set in Elizabethan England and revolves around a wicked magistrate who tries to kill all the members of a coven of witches. It opens, like many Vincent Price movies, with a quote from Edgar Allan Poe--in this case, The Bells.

Lord Edward Whitman (Vincent Price), as magistrate presides over the trial of a young woman. Ruling that she is a witch, he has her branded, whipped through the streets, then placed in the village stocks.

That night, Lord Edward hosts a feast as his henchmen search the countryside for the killers of a sheep. Two poor and ragged-looking teenagers are pulled into the hall. A burst of wolf-like howling from outside the walls warns that they may be "devil-marked." The lord decides to kill them in spite of the risk. As his shifty eldest son Sean (Stephan Chase) sleeps with his father's pretty young wife Lady Patricia (Essy Persson), Lord Whitman begins mumbling that he wants to "clean up" the witches in the area.

Assisted by his two older sons, Whitman goes hunting in the hills for witches. His armed posse breaks up what is apparently meant to be a witches' Black Sabbath. He kills several of them, and tells the rest to scatter to the hills and never return. This makes the leader of the coven, Oona (Elizabeth Bergner), extremely angry. To get revenge on the Whitman clan Oona calls up a magical servant, a "sidhe", to destroy the lord's family. Unfortunately, the demonic beast takes possession of the friendly, decent young servant, Roderick (Patrick Mower), that free-spirited Maureen Whitman (Hilary Dwyer) has been in love with for years. The servant turned demon begins to systematically kill off members of the Whitman family..

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Director's

Cut

Bitrate:

AIP

Version

  Director's Cut Theatrical (AIP version)

Runtime:

1:30:49.986  

1:26:37.859

Disc Size:

40,597,873,456 bytes

Feature Size:

21,236,822,016 bytes

14,860,136,448 bytes

Video Bitrate:

24.00 Mbps

19.99 Mbps

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1678 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1678 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1624 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1624 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1580 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1580 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

 

1) Director's Cut - Blu-ray TOP

2) AIP 'theatrical' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 
 
 
 
 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

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

 

 


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