Eureka seem to me, to have been the boss of the labels in terms of variety in their releases over the last year. That is great for the film fan and even more so for the film reviewer. From Hong Kong kung fu movies, Silent cinema classics and well known and loved great studio films. Their latest release is THREE MONSTER TALES OF SCI FI TERROR and it is another variety of the interesting kind. A trio of sci-fi tales from the deep and rich vaults of Universal Pictures, that star legends including Lionel Atwill (Son of Frankenstein), Lon Chaney, Jr. (The Wolf Man), Grant Williams (The Incredible Shrinking Man).

The three stories are Man-Made Monster (dir. George Waggner, 1941) starring Lon Chaney, Jr. Who is turned, thanks to a mad scientist,  into a murderous monster that wants flesh. Then The Monolith Monsters (dir. John Sherwood, 1957),which sees a giant meteor crash in to the Earth and the fragments become menacing, turning everyone it comes into contact to stone. The third films, Monster on the Campus (dir. Jack Arnold, 1958) where a creature stalks the seemingly tranquil halls of Dunsfield University. The reason is that a palaeontology professor has become infected with irradiated blood and begins to devolve into a primitive beast.

I have to admit that I hadn’t seen any of these films prior to watching this set. All three are 1080p presentations, or to the uneducated, standard restorations. They look average, which is thanks to the studio treatment of the print, not any investment in the films. This also means that The Monolith Monsters holds up best and Man-Made Monster the worst.

The Extras consist of two things. The commentary’s are mixed. Stephen Jones and Kim Newman cover the life and times of Lon Chaney, Jr and little else in there very good commentary. Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby make The Monolith Monsters more interesting than it actually is, mostly by getting it in to the room of the moment it arrived on screens. Stephen Jones and Kim Newman Monster on the Campus commentary is the best of the set, because it simply informs and entertains us with references notes. The booklet is not really as grand or informed as it thinks it is…

Limited Edition O-Card slipcase [2000 copies]
1080p presentations on Blu-ray
Disc One – Man-Made Monster and The Monolith Monsters
Disc Two – Monster on the Campus (available in both 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 aspect ratios)
Man-Made Monster – Brand new audio commentary with author Stephen Jones and author / critic Kim Newman
The Monolith Monsters – Brand new audio commentary with Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
Monster on the Campus – Brand new audio commentary with author Stephen Jones and author / critic Kim Newman
A Limited Edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films included in this set by film scholar Craig Ian Mann [2000 copies]

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