Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection Vol. 2

Like many fans of classic science fiction movies I’ve been anticipating the release yesterday of the second Universal Sci-Fi Collection of films. The first came out two years ago and presented five great and not so great movies from the 1950s. Even though there were no extras at all the price was right and it was a treat to be able to see things like TARANTULA looking razor sharp on video. But the choices of how to lay the movies out on disc seem to have been made completely at random. The most worthy and flat out brilliant of the set, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, was paired on a disc with another movie while easily the weakest, MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS was given pride of place on its own DVD. Setting aside the fact that SHRINKING MAN deserves some respectful extras- at the very least an interview with writer Richard Matheson- the fact that the worst movie was placed in the best digital position smacked of sloppiness.

But now that the second one is in my hands I can see that sloppiness was not the problem- because it has happened again! Of the five movies here the least interesting and fun is given its own single DVD while the superior remainder share disc space with each other. Not to come off like a pissy little fan boy but what the heck were the video folks at Universal thinking? Did someone really consider THE LEECH WOMAN to be the film to place on it’s own? DR. CYCLOPS, THE DEADLY MANTIS and even CULT OF THE COBRA are much better movies. I might have thought last time that they weren’t thinking at all but now I suspect differently. Twice is a pattern the wise man said. Universal is obviously choosing to give the weakest film the most beneficial disc location. Why? I can only guess. But this is the kind of thing that fans can point to as a demonstration of how little regard the genre is given.

Now I’m willing to go on record with a bet- When the Horror set pictured above is released in October I’m sure that the 1941 version of THE BLACK CAT will be on a single DVD. Anyone want to take me up on this one?