Icons of Horror Collection - Sam Katzman
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Icons of Horror Collection - Sam Katzman

Director: Edward L. Cahn, Fred Sears

Cast: Edward L. Cahn, Fred Sears, Sam Katzman, Gregg Palmer

     
 
Columbia-TriStar, which had been known for maintaining ridiculously high prices on the DVDs of its vintage films, seems to have reversed course radically with this double-DVD set, containing four low-budget (but surprisingly rewarding) horror films produced by low-budget producer Sam Katzman. A B-movie specialist who sought quality but often couldn't afford it,

Overview

Columbia-TriStar, which had been known for maintaining ridiculously high prices on the DVDs of its vintage films, seems to have reversed course radically with this double-DVD set, containing four low-budget (but surprisingly rewarding) horror films produced by low-budget producer Sam Katzman. A B-movie specialist who sought quality but often couldn't afford it, Katzman's record was an uneven one except in one respect -- none of the pictures that he made ever lost money, and some of them, such as the four represented here, were, dollar-for-dollar, in terms of cost versus box office, among the most successful of his entire output. And one of them, The Werewolf, is among the best films ever made in its particular horror sub-genre. Creature With The Atom Brain, The Werewolf, Zombies of Mora Tau, and The Giant Claw have entertained horror audiences on television for decades, but none was ever regarded highly enough to make it to laserdisc. Now all four are together in Sam Katzman: Icons of Horror Collection, which is a nicely produced collection with some reasonably enjoyable supplementary features. Creature With The Atom Brain (1955) has been transferred full-screen (1.33-to-1), while the other three movies are presented in the non-anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85-to-1. Zombies of Mora Tau has been given a dozen chapters, while each of the others get 16 chapters The transfers on three of the titles are uniformly excellent -- Katzman may have been known for his low budgets, but these movies have been extremely well-preserved and, in at least three of these cases, transferred even better. The sound is consistent as well, for once, and fairly loud, too. The exception is Zombies Of Mora Tau, which has been transferred too dark -- it's possible to adjust for part of the problem, but even after raising the brightness on one's monitor, so that one can at least see something in the underwater and night sequences (which was never a problem in television showings of this title), the picture is still too dark for the movie to be appreciated properly. It's the one disappointment in this collection. Otherwise, each of the two DVDs comes with trailers from each movie plus a handful of other pictures in the same genre -- disc one also contains an episode of the Katzman-produced serial Mysterious Island, which seems to be here for its sheer silliness (but it is fun in its strange way); disc two is appended with a thematically relevant Mr. Magoo cartoon and Midnight Blunders, a terrible 1936 short featuring Tom Kennedy and Monte Collins -- produced by many of the same people who worked on the Three Stooges work, it makes the Stooges' work look witty and sophisticated, by comparison. These special features are all accessible through an easy-to-use menu on each disc.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/16/2007
UPC:
0043396220744
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:24:00
Sales rank:
32,539

Special Features

Sinister Savages: Chaoter 2 of Sam's 1951 serial version of Mysterious Island; Hilarious Mr. Magoo cartoon Terror Faces Magoo; Ultra-rare comedy short Midnight Blunders (never before on video or tv); Original trailers for all four features; Bonus trailers for other sci-fi classics

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gregg Palmer Jeff Clark
Jeff Morrow Mitch MacAfee
Richard Denning Dr. Chet Walker
Steven Ritch Duncan Marsh
Allison Hayes Mona Harrison
Angela Stevens Joyce Walker
Don Megowan Sheriff Jack Haines
Mara Corday Sally Caldwell
Autumn Russell Jan Peters
Harry Lauter Clovey
Morris Ankrum Lt. Gen. Edward Lewis,Jonathan Eggert
S. John Launer Capt. Dave Harris,Dr. Emery Forrest
Edgar Barrier Dr. Noyman
Joel Ashley George Harrison
Joyce Holden Amy Standish
Michael Granger Frank Buchanan
Eleanore Tanin Helen Marsh
Gregory Gaye Prof. Steigg
Robert Shayne Gen. Ben Penner
Ken Christy Dr. James Gilchrist
Kim Charney Chris Marsh

Technical Credits
Edward L. Cahn Director
Fred Sears Director
Sam Katzman Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Giant Claw/Creature With the Atom Brain
1. Opening Credits/Late-Night Larceny [7:11]
2. "The Strength of an Ape" [6:40]
3. "Deceased??" [4:42]
4. Radioactive Emanations [7:41]
5. Home for a Spell [5:20]
6. "Your Lives May Be in Danger" [5:34]
7. A Short Film [5:24]
8. Reign of Terror [4:42]
9. "Gosh, Your Hand Is Cold" [5:57]
10. "I Told You I'd See You Die!" [5:05]
11. Out the Window and on the Run [6:04]
12. Brawl of the Dead [4:40]
1. Opening Credits/Introduction [4:04]
2. "Something in the Sky" [4:54]
3. "A Flying Battleship That Wasn't There" [4:46]
4. Rescue and Explanations [3:00]
5. "I Saw La Cocoña!" [6:31]
6. Tracking the UFO [3:33]
7. Breakfast [1:48]
8. "A One-Man Birdwatcher Society" [5:56]
9. "Just Shoot It Down" [5:50]
10. Mind Over Anti-Matter [4:45]
11. Worldwide Panic [1:19]
12. "Why Did That Bird Come Here?" [6:32]
13. "A Million Times Worse" [4:29]
14. Hot Rod to Hell [2:11]
15. "We've Got Kitchen Sinks to Spare" [7:19]
16. "It's Headed for New York City!" [7:04]
Disc #2 -- Zombies of Mora Tau/The Werewolf
1. Opening Credits/So This Is Africa [5:49]
2. "You Didn't Learn Such Things at School" [10:07]
3. "The Only Way to Fight Them" [5:21]
4. Snatching the Blonde [9:09]
5. "Are They Supposed to Be Good Swimmers" [5:55]
6. Recuperating [4:16]
7. Rescuing Mona [3:32]
8. "Cold As Death" [5:16]
9. Fire Under Water [6:44]
10. "They're Coming Onboard!" [6:00]
11. "I Just Wrote a New Deal!" [4:47]
12. A Parting Gesture [1:59]
1. Opening Credits/"Just Passing Through" [6:43]
2. "Those Are Wolf Tracks" [3:50]
3. A Visit to the Doctor [4:44]
4. "I Know I Was Dreaming!" [5:31]
5. I Want to Know...What I Am!" [6:10]
6. Planning for the Apocalypse [6:34]
7. "You're Going to Shoot Me? Why?" [4:35]
8. Settings Traps [5:26]
9. Caught! [3:23]
10. Briefing Mrs. Marsh [4:24]
11. "I Don't Want His Wife to See This" [2:47]
12. Tearful Reunion [8:41]
13. "Somebody Did It to Him?" [3:38]
14. Witless Protection Program [3:06]
15. Jailbreak and Pursuit [4:05]
16. "Now He Can Go Home" [5:43]

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