Hollywood Legends Of Horror Collection

Recognising the vehement adoration for their beloved genre, horrorphiles are a sweet plum to pick on. Ravenously sucking up every expanded or repackaged film edition, these completists are suckers. Stroll through any bargain bin to see half-assed rip-offs of anything emblazoned with the names of Vincent Price or Christopher Lee because they happened to breathe on an original print. Factor in that films past the 50-year copyright control are open to public domain and we see how their legacies are raped. Every jerk releases a collection of sub-par B-flicks to achieve great gain from little effort. That said, there are the truly dedicated who attend to the genus with adoration and care, hence Warner’s bold treatment of the Hollywood Legends Of Horror Collection. Seminal but oft-overlooked classics Mark Of The Vampire, The Mask Of Fu Manchu, Doctor X, The Return Of Doctor X, Mad Love and The Devil-Doll star the likes of Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Fay Wray and more, revolving around everything from a pianist given the hands of a murderer to humans turned into living toys, vampirism — duh — and mad scientists. Pretty much the stuff this genre was founded on. All are packaged in a full-colour slipcover and divided into pairs amongst three DVDs. Featuring original artwork on the slim-lined cases, these DVDs are crisp, clear and replete with chapter selections and amusing expert commentaries, fine extras given that little else could be offered on films this old. Furthermore, the fact that these titles are actually recognisable yet not readily available, as opposed to most compilations that pilfer from the same old, same old (House On Haunted Hill, anyone?), is admirable and proof-positive that this is a labour of love, not greed. (Warner)