Hilarious House Of Frightenstein: Grizelda's Eat Drink And Be Scary

In an effort to maintain the interest of its devout cult following while mining limited footage stores, Critical Mass has resorted to the release of character-specific DVDs regarding the memorable lunatics that haunt early '70s children's program The Hilarious House Of Frightenstein. So far, this has yielded hour-long collections featuring loveable green assistant Igor and ghastly cook Grizelda. Unfortunately, while Grizelda's Eat Drink And Be Scary sounds incredible, it is actually more of a double-edged sword. The good: it's wonderful to have a concise package of material focusing on Frightenstein's strongest personality. Not only are we saved the hassle of fast-forwarding through less-interesting characters such as Bwanna Clyde Batty but we are treated to an endless stream of Grizelda's putrid cooking advice, timely quips and unusual concoctions. Furthermore, Critical Mass has thought well enough to include a few of her advice shorts with Dead Letter Office clerk Harvey Wallbanger. Rounding out the experience, as with the show's initial layout, Vincent Price's short rhyming poems introduce each segment. That said, there's an obvious lack of sifting through the best/worst material taking place. The package is little more than a bunch of randomly selected clips stuffed together. Those privy to the three-disc Hilarious House Of Frightenstein set previously released will be chagrined to note that some of Grizelda's funniest episodes are omitted for rather uneventful bits. As the disc unfolds, one feels comfort in seeing the goofball cook but this disc is neither comprehensive nor a "best of." It's merely an unceremonious compilation and if it's representative of what is to follow from less-interesting characters, such compilations are going to be one tough sell. The half-heartedness of the output — there's not one extra — reeks of gold digging, not revelling in the richness of Frightenstein. (Anchor Bay)