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Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr.
Writing Credits:

A collection of all 30 Universal Classic Monster films from 1931 – 1956.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: Various

See individual reviews for specs on the collection.

Price: $149.98
Release Date: 8/28/2018


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Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection [Blu-Ray] (1931-1956)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 10, 2019)


DRACULA: “Despite its status as a classic, I have to admit that I'm not wild about the Tod Browning Dracula. However, I did really enjoy the Spanish version of the film made simultaneously; it offers a very creepy and exciting rendition of the story.”

FRANKENSTEIN: “It's been more than 85 years since Frankenstein hit movie screens. While it may not shock and terrify audiences like they did back then, it remains a very entertaining and compelling film.”

THE MUMMY: “The Mummy became the third of the classic ‘Universal Monsters’ films. It’s not as strong as its predecessors, but I think it has interesting moments.”

THE INVISIBLE MAN: “Although The Invisible Man isn't a great horror film, it's a fun and clever one that works well more than eight decades after its original release.”

THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN: “A rare sequel that arguably tops its predecessor, The Bride of Frankenstein delivers an entertaining mix of horror and comedy.”

WEREWOLF OF LONDON: “Not remembered as a “major” horror film, 1935’s Werewolf of London nonetheless holds up well. It presents a suitably creepy tale that acts as one of the genre’s better efforts.”

DRACULA’S DAUGHTER: The second sequel in the “Universal Classic Monsters” series, Dracula’s Daughter comes nowhere close to the greatness displayed by Bride of Frankenstein. Still, it offers moderate entertainment, even with some choppy pacing.”

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN: “Son of Frankenstein provides a genuinely terrific experience that compares favorably with the more famous classics of the genre. Heck, I think it fares much better than more famous flicks like 1931’s Dracula or 1932’s The Mummy.”

THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS: “As horror sequels go, The Invisible Man Returns could be better and it could be worse. It’s erratic but it includes enough positive moments to make it watchable.”

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN: “An odd form of sequel that bears no connection to its predecessors, The Invisible Woman goes nowhere. More a romantic comedy than a horror tale, the movie lacks compelling characters and fizzles. “

THE MUMMY’S HAND: “Though no one will confuse The Mummy’s Hand for a classic Universal monster movie, it works pretty well in its own right. The film brings us an insubstantial but generally entertaining piece.”

THE WOLF MAN: “Despite its status as a classic, 1941’s The Wolf Man seems erratic to me. While it comes with some good action, a lackluster lead performance mars it.”

THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN: “After the excellent Son of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein offers a disappointment. While not a bad film in its own right, it seems relentlessly average.”

THE MUMMY’S TOMB: “Though its immediate predecessor offered some fun, The Mummy’s Tomb lacks much excitement or drama. Short and perfunctory, it feels like a cash grab.”

INVISIBLE AGENT: “At its core, Invisible Agent presents a clever and intriguing premise. Unfortunately, it squanders its inherent potential with a silly slapstick adventure that goes nowhere.”

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: “The 1943 edition of Phantom of the Opera provides an intermittently-interesting but generally dull and bloodless retelling of the classic tale. Even the presence of the great Claude Rains can't spice up the proceedings.”

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN: “As a horror tale, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man enjoys some strengths. However, it can be gimmicky and it fails to become better than average on a consistent basic.”

SON OF DRACULA: “Like Dracula’s Daughter, Son of Dracula provides a mix of strengths and weaknesses. While it offers a good story with some intriguing twists, weak acting - especially from the lead - harms it.”

THE MUMMY’S GHOST: “Dull and lifeless, The Mummy’s Ghost feels like little more than rehashed horror. The movie lacks creativity and comes across like a cheap attempt to recapture prior glories.”

THE MUMMY’S CURSE: “The final film in a run of four sequels, The Mummy’s Curse ends things on a limp note. Redundant and shoddy, the movie offers a forgettable adventure.”

HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN: “With House of Frankenstein, the Universal Classic Monsters series became gimmicky. Despite the silliness inherent in these crossover flicks, this one remains acceptably entertaining.”

INVISIBLE MAN’S REVENGE: “The final entry in the series, The Invisible Man’s Revenge feels less original than its predecessors. However, it executes its dark tale well and becomes an engaging thriller.”

HOUSE OF DRACULA: “Even with a surprisingly ambitious narrative, House of Dracula doesn’t go much of anywhere. It lacks the depth it needs and fails to produce much entertainment value.”

SHE-WOLF OF LONDON: “Not much about She-Wolf of London excels, but the movie offers a fairly entertaining fable. I like its female-centered take on the genre and it creates a good effort.”

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN: “To my surprise, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein becomes an entertaining little film. Frankly, I expected it to stink but instead I found a consistently funny and delightful piece.”

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN: “While not the duo’s best film, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man offers a fairly entertaining horror-comedy. It uses its leads to satisfying effect and turns into a likable effort.”

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON: “With Creature from the Black Lagoon, we get the final classic Universal monster. The movie differs from the more psychological chills of the earlier stories, but it nonetheless offers a fun tale that's effectively rendered.”

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY: “After a few pleasant experiences with the classic comedy team, I finally found a piece that fell completely flat. Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy brings a tedious and aggressively unfunny film never finds a rhythm or produces anything creative or entertaining.”

REVENGE OF THE CREATURE: “As a horror sequel, Revenge of the Creature seems serviceable. While it shows some creativity, it lacks much real tension or drama.”

THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US: “As the third – and final – film in its series, I expected little from The Creature Walks Among Us. However, the movie manages some interesting choices and it becomes a moderately enjoyable – albeit flawed – experience.”

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture NA/ Audio NA/ Bonus NA

The Package:

Of course, 1931’s Dracula wasn’t the first horror movie, or even the first “monster” film from Universal Studios. However, it did become the unofficial first flick in what would become regarded as their “classic” run, a stretch that lasted 25 years.

With 2018’s Universal Classic Monsters Complete 30-Film Collection, we find all those adventures in one massive package. As stated, it offers 30 movies that cover tales with Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man and the Phantom of the Opera.

All those links above go to the individual reviews, and outside of a booklet, the 30-Film Collection provides no exclusive content. It does come with an MSRP of $150, a neat $5 per movie.

And Universal tended to treat the films well. With 30 movies under discussion, I left off the usual summarized picture/audio/bonus grades for the package, though one shouldn’t expect supplements for most of the movies. 17 of the 30 include only a trailer or less.

The other 13 come with some good materials, though, and the vast majority boast strong picture and audio. A couple seem mediocre in terms of presentation but they’re outliers, as almost all give us very nice reproductions of the movies.

As for the films themselves, they vary in quality from excellent to awful. Most remain entertaining, though, and it’s fun to see the characters and themes evolve.

As a compilation, the Universal Classic Monsters Complete 30-Film Collection brings a lot to the table. With a slew of fun movies, it offers many hours of entertainment. Picture and sound are usually positive, and some of the flicks come with useful supplements. At $5 per flick – or less if discounted – this becomes a great deal.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main