Sunday, October 14, 2007


I'm happy to report that it turns out that I was wrong about how Universal was going to lay out the five films in their new Classic Movie Archive currently available only through Best Buy. The movies are laid out on two DVDs with THE BLACK CAT (1941 version), MAN MADE MONSTER and HORROR ISLAND on the first. NIGHT MONSTER and CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN share disc space on the second. Considering the short length of these films this is a good choice making it easy to go on a binge of 1940s horror without leaving your chair!

I'm also happy that now I've been able to finally see NIGHT MONSTER (1942). It's one of the very few movies staring Bela Lugosi that I've never caught up with (and I'll get to MURDER BY TELEVISION one day). It turns out Bela is a minor part of the story but the movie is pretty darned good any way. As a matter of fact, I'd say its the second best of the five. Of course, the real gem of the set is the great little Lon Chaney, Jr. film MAN MADE MONSTER. I think Chaney gives one of his best and least hammy performances here. I actually prefer his work as an actor in this one to his turn in THE WOLF MAN.

I love this poster art from the 1953 re-release. Somehow the title change just doesn't thrill me, although I'm sure it fooled plenty of folks looking for the latest atomic mutant film.

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