Monday, 20 May 2013

DVD Review - 4 Movie Collection: The Return of the Vampire/ The Revenge of Frankenstein/ Mr. Sardonicus/ The Brotherhood of Satan

4 Movie Collection: The Return of the Vampire/ The Revenge of Frankenstein/ Mr. Sardonicus/ The Brotherhood of Satan
Directors: Lew Landers, Terence Fisher, William Castle, Bernard McEveety
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Peter Cushing, Oscar Homolka, Strother Martin
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Retail: $9.98
Running Time: 5 hrs 41 mins
Rating: Not Rated


I've been a die hard horror fan since around eight or nine-years-old, which I don't recommend for anyone at the age, but I somehow connected with scary films, good or bad. I was more than excited when Mill Creek Entertainment recently released four classic Columbia Pictures horror movies onto a 2-disc set, which I received free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

The most famous Dracula movie was the 1931 version starring Bela Lugosi, which launched a franchise for Universal Studios; though Bela only appeared in one film (I'm not counting the Abbot and Costello movie). He returned as a Dracula-like vampire named Armand Tesla in the 1943 The Return of the Vampire. The movie was attended to be a direct-sequel to Dracula, but Columbia Pictures didn't own the franchise, therefore the character's name was changed. The plot focuses on two scientists driving a railroad stake through the vampire's heart. He is entombed for nearly two decades, along with his werewolf servant, A Nazi bomb frees him from the tomb and he takes revenge of the scientists' family. The movie is a pretty good vampire flick, much better than the campy Universal Studio's sequels.

Columbia Pictures released a Hammer Film's The Revenge of Frankenstein in 1958, which was a sequel to The Curse of Frankenstein. Baron Victor Frankenstein (played by Peter Cushing) barely escapes the guillotine. He moves to Caribruck, takes the name Dr. Stein, and begins a new profession as the local physician for the rich. Behind closed doors; the doctor is secretly transplanting Karl the hunchback's brain into a normal body. Of course things go terribly wrong. This is the best movie out of the Hammer Frankenstein films (there are seven total).

In 1961, the director William Castle brought the Mr. Sardonicus to the big screen based on the novella by screenwriter Ray Russell. The plot focuses on Marek Toleslawski as he digs up his father's corpse as it holds a winning lottery ticket, but a dreadful curse is put on him. He seeks help from his servant and a neurosurgeon, but nobody can help him as he is cursed for life. I thought I had seen most of Castle's movies, but I had never seen this one. It is a weird movie with several different plot twists.

I have never heard of the low-budget horror The Brotherhood of Satan, which finds Ben, his girlfriend and his young daughter coming across an automobile accident near a small town called Hillsboro. It seems there have been strange happenings all over town. There is a secret witch cult controlling the children, so the cult members can one day inhabit the children's bodies. This is a bizarre and confusing movie with a few creepy scenes.

The Return of the Vampire, The Revenge of Frankenstein, and Mr. Sardonicus are classic horror films that I enjoyed watching and I recommend to other horror fans. The Brotherhood of Satan has its moments, but is mostly weird.

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