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Karloff At Columbia [2 Blu-rays]
 

The Black Room (1935)     The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)     The Man With Nine Lives (1940)

 

Before I Hang (1940)     The Devil Commands (1941)     The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)

 

 

One of the most recognizable faces in horror, Boris Karloff (or simply KARLOFF, as he was often billed) has been described as to the horror movie what Fred Astaire was to the musical. Presented here are the six films he made for Columbia Pictures, a collaboration which produced some of Karloff's finest acting roles.

In The Black Room, Karloff takes on a dual role as twin brothers in 19th century Europe. One of the twins inherits the family castle and suddenly the local women start disappearing

The Man They Could Not Hang, The Man With Nine Lives, Before I Hang, and The Devil Commands form the Mad Doctor cycle, a thematically linked series of films where Karloff always plays a doctor whose obsessions inevitably lead them to murder!

And finally, The Boogie Man Will Get You is a delightful parody of the Mad Doctor films, starring both Karloff and Peter Lorre.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 15th, 1935 - October 22nd, 1942

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime

The Black Room (1935): 1:08:11.921

The Man They Could Not Hang (1939): 1:04:05.842

The Man With Nine Lives (1940): 1:14:08.569

Before I Hang (1940): 1:02:08.766

The Devil Commands (1941): 1:04:25.278

The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942): 1:06:39.245

Video

The Black Room (1935)

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,299,220,903 bytes

Feature: 14,269,104,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,299,220,903 bytes

Feature: 13,455,169,920 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.56 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

The Man With Nine Lives (1940)

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,299,220,903 bytes

Feature: 15,503,936,064 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.47 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Before I Hang (1940)

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,024,576,450 bytes

Feature: 14,011,125,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.57 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

The Devil Commands (1941)

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,024,576,450 bytes

Feature: 15,087,116,160 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.09 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,024,576,450 bytes

Feature: 15,036,186,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.56 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate The Black Room (1935) Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Man They Could Not Hang (1939) Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Man With Nine Lives (1940) Blu-ray:

Bitrate Before I Hang (1940) Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Devil Commands (1941) Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942) Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

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

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka

 

Edition Details:

The Black Room (1:08:12)
• Commentary by Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
• Stills Gallery - Production Stills
• Stills Gallery - Artwork and Ephemera
The Man They Could Not Hang (1:04:05)
• Commentary by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
• Stills Gallery - Production Stills
• Stills Gallery - Artwork and Ephemera
The Man With Nine Lives (1:14:08)
• Commentary by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
• Stills Gallery - Production Stills
• Stills Gallery - Artwork and Ephemera
Karloff on the Road
• The Corridor of Doom (29:15)
• The Wailing Wall (29:18)
 

Disc 2
Before I Hang
(1:02:08)
• Commentary by Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
• Stills Gallery - Production Stills
• Stills Gallery - Artwork and Ephemera
The Devil Commands (1:04:25)
• Commentary by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
• Stills Gallery - Production Stills
• Stills Gallery - Artwork and Ephemera
The Boogie Man Will Get You (1:06:39)
• Commentary by Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
• Stills Gallery - Production Stills
• Stills Gallery - Artwork and Ephemera
Karloff on the Radio
• Birdsong for a Murderer (21:41)
• Death For Sale (24:51)

 

Collector's booklet featuring writing on all six films by Karloff expert Stephen Jacobs (author of Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster); film critic and author Jon Towlson; and film scholar Craig Ian Mann


Blu-ray Release Date:
May 3rd, 2021
Custom Blu-ray Case in side O-Card Slipcase

Chapters 7 / 7 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 6

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Eureka Blu-ray (April 2021): Eureka have transferred six Boris Karloff films from the mid 30's to the early 40's to two dual-layered Blu-rays in a package entitled Karloff at Columbia. The films are The Black Room (1935), The Man They Could Not Hang (1939), The Man With Nine Lives (1940), Before I Hang (1940), The Devil Commands (1941) and The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942.) Three per Blu-ray. They have supportive bitrates and show fine grain textures. We've compared some captures from past DVDs: Sony's Icons of Horror from 2006 reviewed by DVDBeaver HERE, and a 2005 Columbia DVD of The Man With Nine Lives, reviewed HERE. The 1080P transfers are a huge step forward - grain and contrast being the biggest beneficiaries, but detail also advances and some SD frame or compression anomalies have been eradicated. As with the DVD, the final 10-minutes of The Man With Nine Lives are compromised (see below) looking inordinately softer and muddy compared to the rest of the presentation - we presume this is on the best source available. Also The Devil Commands has some vertical scratches through a scene or two (also see below.) But the overall image quality is very appreciated - looking more film-like than ever before on digital. Very enjoyable on my system.   

NOTE: We have added 78 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Eureka use linear PCM dual-mono tracks (24-bit) in the original English language for all six films. There are effects of the production era - a lot of cathode-ray mad-scientist stuff and more. Most of the films have no music score credit but there are pieces utilized from the compositions of R.H. Bassett (Chandu the Magician, The Prisoner of Shark Island) and Milan Roder (The Sign of the Cross, The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, The Song of Songs, Supernatural, Murnau's Tabu.) Before I Hang has Frιdιric Chopin's Ιtude No 12 in C minor, Op 10 'Revolutionary' - audio is reasonably clean and the sound quality is another step up from the DVDs with the uncompressed transfers elevating the viewing experience. Eureka offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-rays.

The Eureka Blu-rays offers a new commentaries for all six films. On The Black Room, Before I Hang, and The Boogie Man Will Get You with Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby (author English Gothic: A Century Of Horror Cinema). On The Man They Could Not Hang, The Man With Nine Lives, and The Devil Commands we get commentaries from Stephen Jones (author of The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History) and author / critic Kim Newman (many of his reviews compiled in text in Video Dungeon.) The pairing works for both as they share knowledge, discuss intimate production details and spot various performers citing previous and future films they were involved with. They are fun and educational - lots on Boris - well worth the indulgence for anyone keen. Also included are some radio programs; with Boris Karloff on the Road on the first Blu-ray we get The Corridor of Doom and The Wailing Wall - both running shy of 1/2 hour each and on the second Blu-ray under the title "Karloff on the Radio" we get Birdsong for a Murderer and Death For Sale. The package includes a limited edition O-ring slipcase and a collector's booklet featuring writing on all six films by Karloff expert Stephen Jacobs (author of Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster); film critic and author Jon Towlson; and film scholar Craig Ian Mann.  

Eureka's Karloff at Columbia Blu-ray package is a joy for fans of these slap-dash vintage horror cinema crackers with our protagonist usually playing an errant Doctor utilizing unaccepted methods to help humanity. With their short running times, generally just over an hour each, but packed with gripping storylines they reminded me of The Inner Sanctum Mysteries. Like that package, the vastly improved a/v and addition of new commentaries by mssrs. Lyons, Rigby, Jones and Newman, plus the radio programs and booklet give this immense value. I love the fashion and decor of this time period and could watch this all over again... after having just seen them! I really enjoyed my viewings, even the outlier comedy effort with Peter Lorre and Boris; The Boogie Man Will Get You. Eureka knows how to do it right - very strongly recommended.   

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Blu-ray 2


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

 

1) Sony (2-disc) Icons of Horror - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony (2-disc) Icons of Horror - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony (2-disc) Icons of Horror - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Sony (2-disc) Icons of Horror - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Sony (2-disc) Icons of Horror - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Sony (2-disc) Icons of Horror - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Sony (2-disc) Icons of Horror - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Sony (2-disc) Icons of Horror - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


As on the DVD, the quality lessens for the final 10-minutes of The Man With Nine Lives

 

1) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Scratches on The Devil Commands

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 


More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE
 
The Black Room (1935)
 

The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)

The Man With Nine Lives (1940)

Before I Hang (1940)

The Devil Commands (1941)

The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)

  

 

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


 

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Gary Tooze

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