INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES BLU RAY REVIEW

The Inner Sanctum. The inner parts others do not see. The place where our thoughts, secrets, lies are housed. Stories and dreams. The mens rea of a monster could be hidden there. First made into a book series, then a very successful radio series. Before making its way to the big time, becoming a Lon Chaney, Jr. starrer.  All six of which are here for you and me thanks to Eureka. I have taken upon myself to rate each one individually.

Calling Dr. Death (Reginald Le Borg, 1943) opens the set. A doctor with a case of amnesia, is not sure if he murdered his wife or just is repressing anger. His nurse and lover, will try to find the truth by hypnotising him. Its a slow burn and the voice over is jarring but is rewarded by its ending and a very good transfer. C. Courtney Joyner and Regina Le Borg commentary also makes for fantastic assessment of the film. Weird Woman (Reginald Le Borg, 1944) A professor falls in love with an exotic native woman. Turns out to be something supernatural. A film, some would say, is ethnographic fetish. Its a better film than this, playing on the tropes of the wicked woman and the virtue.  Justin Humphreys gets this and is the better of the two in the discourse on the film. Dead Man’s Eyes ( Reginald Le Borg, 1944). When an artist is blinded, an operation to restore his sight depends on another person willing to donate their eyes. Best film in the set by a country mile. Clever, dark, psychologically engrossing. Start here!

The Frozen Ghost (Harold Young, 1945) A stage mentalist and his plastic surgeon are involved in mysterious goings-on in an eerie wax museum. A more classic horror adventure that many of those in the thrall of the genre will like. I enjoyed the to and fro and the change of director benefited the direction of the piece. However it is not as well put together and runs out of steam. It however looks amazing. Strange Confession (John Hoffman, 1945) – Flashbacks reveal the events leading up to a man’s revenge on the racketeer who took advantage of his wife. Is a tasty revenge nightmare that almost ended up on top but is hampered by limited direction. Craig Ian Mann explores this in his essay on the series. Pillow of Death (dir. Reginald Le Borg, 1945) – A lawyer in love with his secretary is suspected of suffocating his wife, among others. Le Borg gives it his all and so does Chaney but this feels like a shallow rehash. Lacking the richness in storytelling. All in all the series is stellar. Looks good and has some pointedly excellent extras.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • O-Card Slipcase
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all six films
  • Uncompressed LPCM monaural audio tracks
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Calling Dr. Death – Audio commentary from screenwriter/film historian C. Courtney Joyner and Regina Le Borg (daughter of director Reginald Le Borg)
  • Weird Woman – Audio commentary from author Justin Humphreys (The Dr. Phibes Companion) and Del Howison (Dark Delicacies: Original Tales of Terror and the Macabre)
  • Strange Confession – Audio commentary from screenwriter Peter Atkins (Hellraiser II, III, & IV) and screenwriter/film historian C. Courtney Joyner
  • Kim Newman on The Inner Sanctum Mysteries – New interview with journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman
  • This is the Inner Sanctum: Making a Universal Mystery Series [55 mins]
  • The Creaking Door: Entering The Inner Sanctum [15 mins] – History of the Radio Series with author/radio historian Martin Grams Jr.
  • Mind Over Matter [20 mins] – Archival interview with actor Martin Kosleck (The Frozen Ghost)
  • Inner Sanctum Mysteries: Radio Episodes – A selection of episodes from the original radio series
  • A collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the series by Craig Ian Mann

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.