Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection

Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection

Director: Charles J. Brabin, Karl W. Freund, Tod Browning Cast: Michael Curtiz
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DVD (Color / Black & White)

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Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The films in this set vary wildly in content, style, and quality, but all are worthy of a viewing, and some are out-right classics. The weakest titles in this set are the two from Tod Browning, Mark of the Vampire and Devil Doll, and the Bogart oddity, Return of Dr. X. Mark of the Vampire looks like a museum piece, with its static camera and cop-out non-supernatural ending. Devil Doll is better, if only for the outrageous plot and the spectacle of Lionel Barrymore in drag. Alone in this box, Return of Dr. X is a post-Preduction Code title, and it shows. Everything about it feels toothless and safe, with none of the flair or passion that even the cheapest and most incompetant hack-work had in the Pre-Code era. The other films in the set are a different story, though. Mask of Fu Manchu is pulpy fun, with Karloff as the "Yellow Peril incarnate" and the very sexy Myrna Loy as his sadistic daughter. The last two films in this set are truly out-standing. Mad Love features great performances from Peter Lorre, Colin Clive, and Frances Drake, has a marvelously demented plot, and is shot with exquisite style by Karl Freund. A film that easily justifies its classic reputation. Doctor X was the surprise in the set for me. Directed by Michael Curtiz in two-strip technicolor, the film feels like an odd mish-mash of a Fleisher Superman cartoon and a David Lynch film. The beautiful, but patently unrealistic color gives everything a dream-like feeling, and during a climatic scene, that dream turns nightmarish. The reveal of the identity of the film's "Moon Killer" is a two minute tour-de-force, a sequence of great power and genuine horror. Doctor X and Mad Love alone make this set worthwhile, but all of the titles are interesting if only for their value as curios.