COLD WAR CREATURES ARROW BLU RAY BOX SET

The Cold War began an age of paranoia and fear that enveloped every conceivable avenue of thought. From the creative worlds, cultural worlds to sport and finance. This series from Arrow, reveals in the output of a select number of B movie releases from the early period of the cold war. All courtesy of the schlock B movie hero Sam Katzman. Yes the man that brought the masterpiece of cult, IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA and EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS. Starting with the CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN, a science paranoia that sees a mob boss hiring an ex-Nazi scientist to reanimate the dead to do his bidding. Then we get the science scarcer of THE WEREWOLF, which sees a car accident survivor become an experimental subject for the creation of a vaccine with monstrous effects. Greed and conformity underpin ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU, as treasure hunters search for a cargo of ship wrecked diamonds, but are stopped by the reanimated corpses of the sunken ship crew. The final film is all alien paranoia in THE GIANT CLAW. It sees an enormous bird from outer-space descends to chow down on the people of planet Earth.

Now the films are a mixed bag. I will start with the third disc on the set. It is by far and away the worst. Simply deliriously stupid, ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU, which is saved by the discs extras. The best one being a very solid audio commentary by critic Kat Ellinger. Detailing the more underexposed sensuality of the piece and how it links in nativist horror with a whole heap of ethno identity and folk horror (read Voodoo) and witchcraft attributes (read old cranky lady). The second dodo on the set is THE GIANT CLAW, which is a laugh riot and about as schlock heaven as a dried up, old cineaste could adore. The average transfer aside, again the disc is saved by a riotusly clever commentary by critics Emma Westwood and Cerise Howard. They again deal with the film in an engaged way but layer this with an honest series of points about the rather dreadful production values and of course, the lack of a solidly intelligible script.

The best films on the set are THE WEREWOLF, a simple man hunt monster feature, which looks good and also sounds great but lacks a wider berth of extras (audio commentary by critic Lee Gambin feels a little rushed but is as usual solid and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas video essay, which is the best essay on the whole set). It needed more love. More hugs. More everything. Then we have the best film and disc on the set. The first film, CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN. Its a clever, well written and directed piece. It looks great (for the B movie fair) and it has no direct sound issues. Russell Dyball commentary is rampant. It never faults. Informed and time stamped to explore the issues of then and of the films imaginings.

 

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all 4 films
– Original uncompressed mono audio for all films
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Fully illustrated 60-page collector’s book featuring extensive new writing by Laura Drazin Boyes, Neil Mitchell, Barry Forshaw, Jon Towlson and Jackson Cooper
– 80-page collector’s art book featuring reproduction stills and artwork from each film and new writing by historian and critic Stephen R. Bissette
– 2 double-sided posters featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
– Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork for each film by Matt Griffin

DISC 1 – CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN

– Brand-new introduction by historian and critic Kim Newman
– Brand-new audio commentary by critic Russell Dyball
– Sam Katzman: Before and Beyond the Cold War Creatures, a brand-new feature-length illustrated presentation on the life, career and films of Sam Katzman by historian and critic Stephen R. Bissette
– Condensed Super 8mm version of Creature with the Atom Brain, produced for home cinema viewing
– Theatrical Trailer
– Image Gallery

DISC 2 – THE WEREWOLF

– Brand-new introduction by critic Kim Newman
– Brand-new audio commentary by critic Lee Gambin
– Beyond Window Dressing, a brand-new visual essay exploring the oft-overlooked role of women in the films of Sam Katzman by historian and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
– Condensed Super 8mm version of The Werewolf, produced for home cinema viewing
– Theatrical Trailer
– Image Gallery

DISC 3 – THE ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU

– Brand-new introduction by critic Kim Newman
– Brand-new audio commentary by critic Kat Ellinger
– Atomic Terror: Genre in Transformation, a brand-new visual essay exploring the intersection of mythical horror creatures and the rational world of science in the films of Sam Katzman by critic Josh Hurtado.
– Theatrical Trailer
– Image Gallery

DISC 4 – THE GIANT CLAW

– Brand-new introduction by critic Kim Newman
– Brand-new audio commentary by critics Emma Westwood and Cerise Howard
– Family Endangered!, a brand-new visual essay examining the theme of Cold War paranoia in Sam Katzman monster movies, by critic Mike White
– Condensed Super 8mm version of The Giant Claw, produced for home cinema viewing.
– Theatrical Trailer
– Image Gallery

 

https://arrowfilms.com/product-detail/cold-war-creatures-four-films-from-sam-katzman-limited-edition-blu-ray/FCD2193

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