To have every one of these films in one pack is pretty huge. I myself have had to collect these classics almost all individually, with only some coming in twin movie packs. For fans of these original classics this set will be a blessing as a lot of titles have been very hard to get. It’s only recently that Universal has made them more accessible.
The box set also includes heaps of extras which are enormously special on their own!
Here are all the titles featured in the set:
Dracula, Dracula’s Daughter, Son of Dracula, House of Dracula.
Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
The Mummy, The Mummy’s Hand, The Mummy’s Ghost, The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Curse, Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy.
The Invisible Man, The Invisible Man Returns, The Invisible Woman, The Invisible Agent, The Invisible Man’s Revenge, Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man.
Werewolf of London, The Wolf Man , She Wolf of London.
Phantom of the Opera.
Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, The Creature Walks Among Us.
And here are all the extra’s:
The 1931 Spanish version of Dracula which was made at the same time, within the same studio and using the same props as the American film.
Features on stars, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and makeup artist Jack Pierce.
13 expert feature commentaries providing more insightful info.
Archival Footage, Production Photographs, Trailers, plus a 48 page collectible booklet.
In 2002, each original feature received a quality restoration in order to clean up dust/static issues, contrast and general deterioration problems with the original prints. This was done for the release of a “Legacy Collection” which was highly prized at the time. The films within this newest box set are from the same restored quality prints. While not being Blu-Ray disks, they are immaculately improved. Many have stated that a Blu-ray edition is not necessary as this collection has been upgraded to a near perfect standard.
Gone is the visual static already mentioned and the popping and crackling of old film audio.
The most important improvement on the “Legacy” set is the notorious issue with playback. It was common for disks from the Legacy series to skip, freeze or refuse to work all together. This was due to the use of duel-sided disks. This has been addressed with only one side of each disk used in this new 30-film pack.
The packaging for this collection is first class! This is not your average flimsy, thin cardboard case. What we get is a very sturdy, hard box package which features embossed writing and is aesthetically very pleasing. Each of the 7 original Universal Monsters then has it’s own individual DVD case.
Here’s what the whole package looks like:
In Summery: This really is an amazing collection and yes, I would definitely recommend it. All of these Universal classics here together and in such pristine appearance with pristine sound and so many extras…How could I not?
However, this set does have it’s gripes.
For one, the edition of Phantom of the Opera here is not the famous silent classic featuring Lon Chaney but the 1943 version starring Nelson Eddy and Claude Raines. While this is quite a good color remake of the classic tale, it’s kind of slow and uninspired in a lot of scenes and does not measure up to the spectacular 1925 film which brilliantly showcased the genius of Lon Chaney and inspired the birth of Universal Horror in the first place. That this version was not included here is really disappointing.
One other issue I have with the set is the fact that a few films are featured twice. Films like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is found in both the Frankenstein pack and the Wolf Man pack. Not a big issue but maybe other features could have been offered instead. Overall though, this huge collection is a very worthy prize! Definitely a must for classic horror fans, collectors and even for those curious about the historic origins of these universally famous and recognized classic monsters.
Universal Monsters Complete 30-Film Pack
My Rating: 9/10
While Universal’s 30-film Pack is a fantastic package, showcasing all of their monsters in one place with beautiful restorations and loads of extras, there are other similar sets which may be of interest to those who may want to grab only specific titles.
Similar options would be: the Universal Monsters Essential Collection Blu-Ray pack featuring 8 of the original monster films on Blu-Ray. This superb pack has the 8 originals of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera (1943) and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. This excellent set also includes loads of outstanding extras. Each classic film has it’s own impressive amount of them!
The major difference between this and the 30-film pack is of coarse the number of titles. The Essential Collection does not feature any of the sequels of the other set. This would be suitable for many who just want the original masterpieces on their own, albeit on Blu-Ray and including a wealth of extras. For the die hard fan though, the curious viewer or ‘completest’, the 30-film pack with all the classic monster titles and extras would be the go-to set. Also, from personal experience these classic films have a way of captivating the viewer and leaving them wanting to check out more titles in the Universal Monster universe.
For those prone to collecting, I would suggest considering the 30-film pack over the Essential Collection.
For those who are looking to buy these films individually, you can, of coarse buy each one by itself either on Blu-Ray or DVD. A great choice would be those releases which have had film and audio restorations as there are many releases available which have not been “cleaned up” and as with any older film, suffer from signs of age/deterioration.
Another superb option would be the Complete Legacy Collection series released by Universal in 2014. These packs contain the original monster film (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy etc.) then the original titles’ sequel and ensemble films. Then there’s heaps of extras such as Documentaries, featurettes, commentaries, trailers, archives photo’s etc. The only issue these excellent sets have are reports of disks skipping/freezing. As stated above, this was due to features being pressed onto both sides of the disk and causing problems.