This Horror Classics: Volume One set of four Hammer Studios films is a solid selection of some decent flicks from the late 50s to early 70s that any classic horror hound will love. For me, I found these four fun enough especially for the cast including Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Horror Classics: Volume One
Warner Home Video | NR – 376 min. – $54.96 | October 6, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.25/5
The Mummy (1959) — 3.5/5
This Hammer Films monster flick is uneven but a lot of fun featuring great performances by the venerable Peter Cushing and Yvonne Furneaux serving as the classic damsel in distress while Christopher Lee dons the cloth of the Mummy. It’s a simple enough film and although the middle part meanders at times, though necessary in providing background for Kharis and Ananka, the opening and finale more than makes up for the film’s shortcomings.
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) — 2.75/5
A bit of a slow paced movie that takes its time with the set-up yet once we get Dracula into full gear, after a brief appearance early on, it picked up steam and it’s always good seeing Christopher Lee don the cloak and fangs again. Not my favorite of the bunch but still worth a watch.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) — 3.0/5
An interesting take on the classic story, this version finds Peter Cushing playing Dr. Frankenstein as he continues his efforts to transplant a brain from one body to another. Helping him, courtesy of blackmail, are young couple Karl (SIMON WARD) and his fiancée Anna (VERONICA CARLSON). It’s a decent enough movie with good pacing but in the end, I wasn’t quite as entertained though once again Cushing turns in a compelling performance.
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) — 3.25/5
This is the fourth film for Hammer Studios and it is a tad better than the previous Dracula film and once again excels due to the strong cast headed once again by Christopher Lee and impressive production design. I liked this incarnation fairly well and it’s a fine way to finish out this first volume.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5
The four discs are contained in a book-style case with an outer, hard-shelled, slip cover. Each film comes with a theatrical trailer.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
The Mummy (1959) stumbles out of the marsh presented in its original 1.66 widescreen aspect ratio and the 1080p high-definition transfer looks quite good with a clean looking picture while colors are rich without seeming overbearing. 4.0/5
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) sinks its teeth onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Again, this looks good with nice detail especially for close-ups though on the more distant shots the shots tend to get less defined. Colors appear consistent outside of a few transition shots and stock footage but for the most part it looks good. 3.75/5
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) comes out of the operation shown with a 1.78 widescreen transfer and not surprisingly this one shows off a strong 1080p high-definition transfer with good detail levels throughout and colors are also strong. 4.0/5
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) is presented with a 1.78 widescreen transfer and given the 1080p high-def treatment. The picture is clean with no discernible dust marks, scratches, aliasing or banding. There was also no apparent usage of edge enhancement. The detail is decent enough while colors are strong without appearing saturated. 4.0/5
AUDIO – 4.0/5
Each of these movies comes with a standard but strong DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track and outside of a couple minor instances, these are pretty darn good providing decent dialogue levels and while these are only singular tracks, the depth is admirable enough showcasing some ambient noises. All four movies are basically alike thus a 4.0 out of 5 rating.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, this Horror Classics: Volume One set of four Hammer Studios films is a solid selection of some decent flicks from the late 50s to early 70s that any classic horror hound will love. For me, I found these four fun enough especially for the cast including Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Where this 4-disc set lacks is in the features department which is a shame as some kind of comprehensive documentary on Hammer would’ve been welcomed.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.