The Frankenstein Legacy Collection (1931 – 1944)
Directed by: James Whale, Rowland V. Lee, and Erle C. Kenton
What Works: The Frankenstein films are the best of the classic Universal Monsters. Among them, the original and Bride stand out as extremely well made pictures. As a whole the films are consistently paced and feature unique characters that are simultaneously charged with perverse and sympathetic qualities.
What Doesn’t: Some of the later sequels lack in originality and the monster begins to become a clown, although the character does not disintegrate as far or as fast as the aquatic monster in The Creature from the Black Lagoon or Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. This set is conspicuously missing Frankenstein Meet the Wolfman, although it is available in The Wolfman Legacy Collection.
DVD extras: Commentary tracks on the original and Bride, featurettes, trailers, and Boo!, a short film. Some of the special features are tied into the release of Stephen Sommers’ disappointing film Van Helsing and it is somewhat annoying to have the extras cluttered by this intrusion.
Bottom Line: The Frankenstein Legacy Collection is a very impressive DVD and a model for releasing classic horror films. The commentaries and special features do the films justice and it is nice to see them together in such a well produced package.
Episode: #71 (October 9, 2005)