Universal Horror Collection: Vol 5 (Blu-ray Review)

Universal Horror Collection: Vol 5 (Blu-ray Review)

Universal Horror Collection: Vol 5 (Blu-ray Review)

0 comments 📅06 June 2020, 03:10

Universal Horror Collection: Vol 5 (Blu-ray Review)
Rated: UR/Region A/1:37/1080p/Number of Discs 4
Available from Scream Factory

The Monster and the Girl (1941)
Directed By: Stuart Heisler
Starring: Ellen Drew, Robert Paige, Paul Lukas

Scot Webster tries to save his sister Susan from the clutches of gangster W.S. Bruhl. When Scot comes to Bruhl’s rented room, one of the gangster’s henchmen collapses into his hands, killed by a gunman. The murderer tosses his gun to Scot and disappears. Since all the evidence points at him, Scot is arrested, tried and sentenced to death. A mad scientist uses his brain to transplant it into a gorilla. After the operation Scot wakes up in the body of a gorilla, eager to get his revenge…

Sort of the odd movie out in this set (more on that in a bit), The Monster and the Girl tells a story about an ape that is turned into something else and that is the one tie-in it has with the other movies in this release. The story here shows us a couple that gets things torn apart when the guy’s brain ends up inside the head of an ape. Now fully aware of the fact the ape-man is out for revenge and is killing the thugs that are to blame for it. While it is a product of its time, I think this one was pretty solid and the backtracking style of storytelling is pretty neat and the fact of how interesting that is isn’t a lost fact for me. If you dig movies from the 40s’ this one is a more interesting attempt at being different and isn’t a bad one to watch if you just want to see something you probably haven’t seen before

Extras

  • NEW 2K Scan Of A Fine Grain Film Element
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historians Tom Weaver And Steve Kronenberg

Quality of Transfer: 95%

Captive Wild Woman (1943)
Directed By: Edward Dmytryk
Starring: John Carradine, Evelyn Ankers, Milburn Stone

Dr. Sigmund Walters, an expert in glandular research, becomes convinced that his experiments involving lower animal species cannot succeed, so he arranges to have a very intelligent female gorilla kidnapped from the circus and brought to his lab. Using the glands of a patient and the brain of his faithful nurse, he performs transplant surgery on the intelligent simian. When the ape morphs into exotic and sexy Paula Dupree, the experiment seems to be s success. She even finds a place for herself at her old circus assisting lion tamer Fred Mason. Unfortunately when aroused by desire and jealousy over the affections of Mason, her delicate metabolism breaks down, and she regresses to her ape form.

Okay, so now we’re hitting a very interesting series of movies here with the final three on this set. Why is it interesting? Because all of this make-up a trilogy of sorts, as they are all sequels even if a bit loosely connected. Herewith the first one, Captive Wild Woman, we are with animal trainer Fred Mason and he’s back from the jungle after about two years. He brings with him a very smart ape that gains the attention of a doctor who has not only been talking to his lady while he was gone but now he wants to take the ape. Things happen, some sci-fi stuff goes down and we end up with a woman who can turn into an ape-woman. Sorta like a werewolf but not as cool. The movie has some interesting moments, like the stuff with real-life tiger and lions. It isn’t going to be a five-star classic by any means, but it is interesting and it tells a good enough story for you to follow.

Extras

  • NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian/Author Tom Weaver
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Quality of Transfer: 97%

Jungle Woman (1944)
Directed By: Reginald Le Borg
Starring: Evelyn Ankers, J. Carrol Naish, Samuel S. Hinds

Paula the ape woman (Acquanetta) is alive and well, and running around a creepy old sanitarium run by the kindly Dr. Fletcher (J. Carrol Naish), also reverting to her true gorilla form every once in a while to kill somebody.

The next part in this trilogy revisits the events of the last film a time or two and ultimately is telling a new story revolving around a new doctor. Our Ape-Woman has returned and is once again causing some trouble, but I’m not sure this one ever truly clicks as well as the last one did. It almost feels like the story holds a whole lot of filler, which is shown by the way we go back to old footage from the last movie. While easily the weaker of the three, it at least has the same actress as the lady ape monster in question, as this would end up being the very last time we’d see Acquanetta in the role. It is cool seeing some characters from the first movie, but this one eventually tries to go in a less spectacular route and I wasn’t as content with it as I was the first film.

Extras

  • NEW 2K Scan Of A Fine Grain Film Element
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian Gregory William Mank
  • Still Gallery

Quality of Transfer: 97%

Jungle Captive (1945)
Directed By: Harold Young
Starring: Otto Kruger, Vicky Lane, Amelita Ward

Once again, Paula Dupree, the Ape Woman, is brought back to life, this time by a mad scientist and his disfigured assistant, who also kidnaps his female lab assistant in order to have a female blood donor. By this time, Paula has brain damage from her experiences in the last film, so there’s not much for her to do except wander around.

With Acquanetta gone and a new woman taking over the role of the Ape-Woman, this movie tosses a few new characters, one played by Rondo Hatton in order to try to keep up happy. Our crazy scientist in this one is using his lovely assistant’s blood to bring back to the Ape-woman and his evil heavy played by Hatton eventually starts to get sweet on her and that kicks off the trouble for the bad doctor who probably would have not had any trouble with his evil deeds if that weren’t the case. I would have liked to have had Acquanetta hang around for all three movies but outside of that it’s way better than the second movie and might actually give the original a run for its money. This one feels very late night midnight movie-ish and I can get behind that. That makes this one pretty darn fun.

Extras

  • NEW 2K Scan Of A Fine Grain Film Element
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Film Historian Scott Gallinghouse
  • Theatrical Trailer

Quality of Transfer: 98%

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