Back in 2014 Universal issued the "Classic Monsters Complete 30 Film Legacy Collection" DVD mega-box.
ALL the Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, Invisible Man and Wolf Man movies produced by Universal in the 1930s and '40s, plus some stragglers from the 1950s.
Individual multi-disc boxes were also issued for each monster.
Now Universal is gradually re-releasing these "Legacy Collection" boxes on Blu-Ray with improved black & white pictures.
Its amazing how many shades of gray those old negatives had.
Quite beautiful pictures.
No new extras on Blu-Ray, but all the extras from DVD have been carried over:
Commentary tracks, bonus features, and English SDH subtitles.
Boris Karloff is best remembered as the Frankenstein monster (1931), but the following year Universal also cast him in the first Mummy film.
Karloff appeared in two sequels to Frankenstein (1935 & 1939), but he never again played the Mummy.*
The Mummy franchise was never as popular with the public as Frankenstein, Dracula or the Wolf Man.
The Mummy had to wait eight years for the first sequel, and
Universal couldn't even get the character's name straight: Imhotep, Kharis or Klaris?
-- 1932: "The Mummy" - Boris Karloff as Imhotep
-- 1940: "The Mummy's Hand" - Tom Tyler as Kharis (introduction of tana leaves)
-- 1942: "The Mummy's Tomb" - Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis
-- 1944: "The Mummy's Ghost" - Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis
-- 1944: "The Mummy's Curse" - Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis
-- 1955: "Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy" - Eddie Parker as Klaris
Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. are horror movie legends, but Tom Tyler and Eddie Parker are nearly forgotten.
Tom Tyler was a B-Movie actor who starred in nearly 100 low-budget Westerns.
Eddie Parker was a stuntman/actor with 305 listings on the IMDB data base.
Photo 1 = Tom Tyler out-of-makeup
Photo 2 = Eddie Parker out-of-makeup
[Eddie Parker is driving the car. The better-known bit player Anthony Warde is aiming the gun (source: IMDB)]
* Karloff played Frankenstein and the Mummy.
Lugosi played Dracula and Frankenstein.
Only Lon Chaney Jr. played all four monsters.
-- Karloff also starred in two later Frankenstein sequels, but not as the monster:
"House of Frankenstein" (1944) as Dr. Niemann (mad scientist) and
"Frankenstein 1970" (1958) as Baron Victor von Frankenstein (ditto)
The wonderfully cheesy "Mummy's Hand" (1940) is less a sequel, and more a re-make of "The Mummy" (1932).
The only character common to both films is the Pharaoh Amenophis (an actual historical figure).
In "The Mummy", Imhotep steals the Sacred Scroll of Thoth in an attempt to bring the Pharaoh's daughter, Ankh-es-en-Amon, back to life.
In "The Mummy's Hand", Kharis steals the Sacred Tana Leaves in an attempt to bring the Pharaoh's daughter, Ananka, back to life.
Convicted of blasphemy, both Imhotep and Kharis are sentenced to be wrapped as Mummies and buried alive.
British actor George Zucco played the high priest of Karnak in the first three sequels.
Any film with George Zucco in it is guaranteed to be both wonderful and cheesy.
Three new Blu-Rays, one reissue:
Disc 1 ("The Mummy" + bonus features) is the 2012 Hi-Def Blu-Ray transfer used in the Universal Classic Monsters Blu-Ray Collection (8 discs).
-- Universal Blu-Rays released before 2015 do not have the "Resume Movie" option.
When your viewing is interrupted in the middle of a film, you cannot resume watching at the point where you left off, but have to go back to the beginning of the disc.
I wish Universal had re-engineered Disc 1 to include that convenient feature, but I guess they wanted to save money.
Not a deal-breaker, but it would be nice.
(the actual picture quality is not affected).
Discs 2-4 (five films) were transferred to Hi-Def in 2014 in preparation for Universal's 100th Anniversary.
Released on DVD in 2014 (but DVD cannot reproduce all the details of the Hi-Def master).
The belated Blu-Ray release comes in 2017 with this Mummy Legacy collection.
Beautiful black and white pictures + they have the "Resume Movie" feature.
BORIS KARLOFF HORROR FILMS ON DVD/BLU-RAY
-- see Comment One (dated May 17, 2017). Click on "Oldest first".
Other "Legacy Collection" Blu-Ray boxes from Universal:
-- Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection (Blu-ray)
-- Frankenstein: Complete Legacy Collection [Blu-ray]
-- The Wolf Man: Complete Legacy Collection [Blu-ray]
"Legacy Collection" boxes not yet on Blu-Ray:
-- The Invisible Man (six films)
-- The Creature from the Black Lagoon (three films)
Universal has been extra-thorough in assembling these boxes, which means there is considerable overlap among the Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolf Man franchises (at least the prices were kept low.)
BUT the Mummy never met the Wolf Man or Frankenstein or Dracula (neither did the Invisible Man).
The 30 film mega-box also included the 1943 "Phantom of the Opera" with Claude Rains (only one film; no sequels).
Available on an older Blu-Ray
Phantom of the Opera (1943) (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet) (single disc)
- Actors: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Arthur Byron, Dick Foran
- Directors: Charles Lamont, Karl Freund, Christy Cabanne, Harold Young
- Producers: Carl Laemmle Jr, Ben Pivar, Howard Christie
- Language: English
- Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 5
- Studio: Universal
- Run Time: 399.00 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B06XS2PGPV