11/21/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

MGM Studios DVD presents
Die Monster Die!/The Dunwich Horror (1965/1970)

"Dunwich, Dr. Armitage, might appear to you as just another small town."
- Wilbur Whateley (Dean Stockwell)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: March 09, 2006

Stars: Boris Karloff, Nick Adams, Sandra Dee, Dean Stockwell
Other Stars: Suzan Farmer, Freda Jackson, Patrick Magee, Paul Farrell, Ed Begley, Lloyd Bochner, Sam Jaffe, Talia Coppola, Jack Pierce, Joanna Moore Jordan, Toby Russ
Director: Daniel Haller

Manufacturer: Sunset Digital Studios
MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality/nudity
Run Time: 02h:48m:13s
Release Date: September 20, 2005
UPC: 027616920607
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ A-B-B D

DVD Review

Director Daniel Haller did a lot of television work (The Fall Guy, Knight Rider, Matlock) later in his career, but horror fans remember him best as the man behind a pair of respectable American International H.P. Lovecraft adaptations, both of which are collected here by MGM as a double bill. 1965s Die Monster Die! and 1970s The Dunwich Horror were effectively spooky back then for their own separate reasons, and both films have managed to retain a moody charm over the years, no doubt due the undeniable darkness of Lovecraft's storytelling (even if it gets muddied a little here and there).

Die Monster Die! (1965)
01h:18m:39s

Also known as Monster of Terror, this one is based on Lovecraft's The Colour Out of Space, and stars the great Boris Karloff as Nahum Witley, a wheelchair-bound scientist rolling around a creepy old haunted house in the town of Arkham. The genre-friendly Nick Adams steps in as the heroic Stephen Reinhart, who arrives in Arkham to track down his fiancee Susan, played with an innocent tight blouse appeal by Suzan Farmer. There's a lot of disparate weirdness going in this one, with strange meteorites, unfriendly villagers, giant vegetables and mutated people all creeping in and out of the narrative that is perhaps a bit hard to follow (meaning it doesn't really make sense), but that is immensely watchable anytime Karloff rolls onscreen.

All of the faults of the Jerry (Curse of the Crimson Altar) Sohl screenplay that sadly diddle Lovecraft's original story get swept under the rug due to Karloff's presence, and he shows that at nearly 80 years old he could still carry a horror film, even if the storyline got fuzzy. American International—never known to spend any substantial sums of money to make a film—get the look of the haunted house spot on here, and Haller lets it radiate with a shadowy, atmospheric hipness.

Maybe not the most faithful or logical Lovecraft adaptation ever put to film, but Karloff is the selling point here.

The Dunwich Horror (1970)
01h:27m:34s

Not as strong visually as Die Monster Die!, but definitely somewhat of a more stable adaptation is Haller's version of The Dunwich Horror. Dean Stockwell, in a neat 1970s porn star perm, is Wilbur Whateley, who just happens to be a little less than human. On a visit to the Arkham Miskatonic University he dives right into a copy of The Necromonicon, and also sets his sights on the naive cuteness of Sandra Dee, here in the role of student librarian Nancy Wagner. There's standard issue Lovecraft talk of resurrecting "The Old Ones", and Wilbur lures virginal young Nancy away where she eventually gets strapped to a sacrificial altar, and the only one that can save her is wise old Dr. Armitage, played by Ed Begley assisted by Lloyd Bochner in shoddy old man makeup.

I know this one has gotten beat up over the years as another weak Lovecraft adaptation, but I've always enjoyed this particular film as a decent treatment with a developing sense of dread. Perhaps some of the POV effects do look a little cheesey during the final act, but Haller achieved a great bit of casting by putting former Gidget Dee as the damsel in distress, even culling a nude scene for her that makes Stockwell's Son of Satan seem all the more evil. Plus there's a nice coda that today would have heralded a sequel.

Both of these films have been issued before separately, but MGM has budget-priced this double bill making it an easy find for well under $15. Well worth it, if you ask me.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyesyes
Anamorphicyesyes


Image Transfer Review: Both Haller films get the anamorphic widescreen treatment, with Die Monster Die! showing up in 2.35:1 and The Dunwich Horror in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Die Monster Die! has a quite a bit of specking throughout, and the level of detail is rather soft, but colors and fleshtones appear very solid and natural, especially considering the vintage of this title. The print for The Dunwich Horror is noticeably cleaner, though grain is more pronounced here, but the image is substantially sharper than Die Monster Die!, though there is some flicker in spots. Colors look consistently bright, as do fleshtones.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: Both films have been issued in no frills mono (available in English or French), and the quality is within acceptable limits, though neither are particularly robust. Of the two films, Die Monster Die! seems a bit flatter, but dialogue on both is consistently discernible and clean.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 32 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in French, Spanish with remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: This two-sided disc houses one film per side, with each cut into 16 chapters, and the original theatrical trailers are included also. Optional subtitles are available in French or Spanish.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Director Daniel Haller gets showcased in a nifty double-bill of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired films, presented here by MGM on a two-sided disc as part of their budget Midnite Movies banner. It's not often you get Boris Karloff and Sandra Dee showing up on the same DVD, even if it's two different films.

Highly recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store