Welcome to Unboxing Horror! Each month we’ll be unboxing a horror film on Blu-ray. We’ll explore the packaging, discs, inserts and even navigate the menus of each film we review. Our goal is to overload you with so much unboxing goodness, that your eyes will bleed. So if you’re still sitting on the fence about whether or not to add a new film to your collection, or upgrading to Blu-ray… we’re here to help. The victim of this episode is Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection released nationwide on October 2, 2012. This truly is the essential collection. It contains nine of Universal’s greatest classic monster films including: Dracula, Spanish Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Now we have a lot to cover, so let’s check out the packaging of this awesome set. So here it is. All nine films are stored inside a sturdy cardboard slipcover that’s slightly taller and wider than your average Blu-ray case. As you can see here… And it’s almost three cases thick. This way you can get an idea of what it may look like on your entertainment shelf, and how much space it will take up. When compared to a traditional DVD… It’s a going to be a bit wider, and about half an inch shorter. Now although the slipcover may look kind of bland, it’s actually quite attractive in person
with its glossy black and gray case. In fact the gray is almost reflective, making the fog on the packaging really pop. Here’s a look at the rest of the packaging: we have the top. Spine. The bottom. And the back. As you’ll notice, it’s quite reflective… and very sexy. Unlike most cases, this actually opens up from the left instead of the right. Removing the contents inside… we have a 45 page booklet… and a digipak. The booklet, The Original House of Horror: Universal and a Monster Legacy contains a brief history of Universal Studio’s influential role in the horror genre, along with production notes of each film in this set. And also it contains bios on the men and women who made the
films in this set possible such as Lugosi, Jack Pierce and Boris Karloff. Here’s an idea of what… we’re just quickly flipping through this giving you an idea of what this booklet looks like. Turning to the digipak… And you’ll notice that it has the same glossy black and gray just like the slipcover. This is the front. Spine. And the back. There is an insert inside… this came with the original release, but uh, this may be a little out of date because I know it contains like a limited time only on the Alfred Hitchcock Collection, I’m not too sure if that’s still in print. This is kind of useless, with promotions on action figures and… 100 year centennial celebration, a code for the Universal Monsters online game, which actually is no longer online anymore. And, uh, that’s pretty much it with the insert. The digipak here is actually almost identical to the Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray, that was released in 2011. So if you have that, you’ll know what I mean because as you open it up you’ll have… eight pages with each film. You’ll notice that all the pages actually have the disc inside the sleeve. I know a lot of people don’t like that. But uh, it’s not that big of an issue. A lot of people worry about scratching, but… I mean of course it would have been nice if they had a more traditional case though, but it’s not that big of an issue. As you’ll notice each page is dedicated to each movie. They get a theatrical poster, very brief bio the movie, along with the special features and run-time on each film, and the course each disc. Quickly flip through. This is… Frankenstein here. Just look at the disc. Turn that guy around. The Mummy. As you’ll notice, it can be quite a pain if they get… kind of stuck in there. I try to keep them out as far as I can, so I don’t have to dig my fingers into the sleeves in order to pull them out though. The Invisible Man. The Bride of Frankenstein. The Wolfman. Phantom of the Opera. And The Creature from the Black Lagoon. And the very last page has all… eight horror icons there. It’s pretty cool. Very nice, reflective looking. So with the packaging out of the way, we’ll take a gander at the menus. In order to save time, we’ll just look at
the menu for Frankenstein. If you own any Blu-ray release from Universal Studios, you’ll understand why because the studio has, well… universal menus for their movies. So just like any other Blu-ray from Universal, the menus in this set look identical. You have your navigation on the left, like “Play,” “Chapters,” “Setup,” “Extras” and “How To.” Clicking on “Extras” pulls up the sub menu, that contains all the features and commentaries. And on the right you have clips from the movie and music playing in the background. And as you’ll notice you’ll have a little bit of fog on the left-hand side of the bottom of the screen. So there you have it… Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential
Collection on Blu-ray. This set comes “RecommenDEAD!” It contains nine classic monster films without the lackluster sequels. The only sequel you’ll see on this set is The Bride of Frankenstein, and that’s far from being lackluster. Now to be fair, not all the sequels are poor. But most of them are. So if you’re not someone who is interested in all the sequels, this set is definitely up your alley. Now all nine films look and sound great on Blu-ray. Especially Dracula, Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein. Which were among three of thirteen films
to receive a complete restoration from Universal Studios during their centennial celebration 2012. You’ve literally haven’t heard or seen these
films like you have on Blu-ray. For example, the hiss that has always plagued Dracula on previous home video releases has finally been toned down. I’ve actually heard sound effects and character dialogue that I’ve never heard before. Now the other five films on this set, although they haven’t received the same restoration as Dracula, Frankenstein or The Bride of Frankenstein received They still definitely look better, and sound better than they have on DVD. Plus as an added bonus, we get a restored version of Spanish Dracula, and a 3D version of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. However, you will need a 3D TV in order to watch the 3D version of The Creature. Not having one myself, I cannot comment
on 3D quality of the movie, but from reviews that I’ve read, the 3D version actually looks better than the 2D version. As for special features, all the featurettes have been ported over from previous DVD releases. There really isn’t anything new here, with the exception of one new feature on each disc, that takes a look at the past 100 years of Universal Studios and their restoration efforts and some the classic films. So if you’re someone who is not interested in all the numerous sequels that spawned from the classic movies… this set is definitely worth adding to your collection. However if you’re not a fan of the packaging, or maybe not interested in all nine films included on this set Universal Studios is releasing each film individually, so you can pick and choose which films you want to buy. That wraps up this unboxing. If you enjoyed this episode, please support us by subscribing. And don’t forget to catch new episodes the first Tuesday of every month. We would love to do episodes more frequently, but these films do cost money. And remember if you have any questions or comments regarding Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection feel free to contact us we would love to hear from you. Until next time… stay horrified!