Earlier this week we told you about the latest batch of classic Universal and pre-1949 Paramount films now available on DVD as part of the Universal Vault series. In the article (click here) we listed comedies, dramas, musicals, mysteries…but there wasn’t a horror or science fiction title to be had. Well, don’t worry, fans of fright and fantasy; we simply didn’t want to overload you with too many titles all at once. Check out the fearful feast of featured flicks below.
Watch as mad scientist John Carradine’s experiments turn a ferocious ape into a beautiful woman; a snake cult’s seductive leader puts the bite on some American G.I.s; a gigantic praying mantis attacks the eastern U.S.; and intrepid explorers are trapped in a subterranean kingdom whose pale-skinned rulers have a workforce of bug-eyed, claw-handed mutants to do their bidding. Some of these films had only been out previously as part of multi-disc collections, so now you have own only the ones you want. And remember, you can see the complete list of Universal Vault releases–along with the week’s other new titles–by clicking here:
The Black Cat (1941) — A group of conniving relatives gathers to wait for their wealthy aunt to die so they can collect the inheritance. One of them isn’t that patient and murders her, but this is only the start of the killing of both heirs and the old woman’s dozens of cats–who must die before the money is released–in this horror/comedy. Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert, Gladys Cooper, Alan Ladd, and Bela Lugosi as the estate’s caretaker star.
Captive Wild Woman (1943) — The first of three Universal “ape woman” chillers finds mad scientist John Carradine injecting an orangutan with a dying woman’s blood, turning it into a beautiful she-creature that turns back into her murderous anthropoid state when her jealous streak is aroused. Evelyn Ankers, Milburn Stone, and Acquanetta as “Paula” co-star.
Cult of the Cobra (1955) — A group of American G.I.s in the Far East stumbles upon the secret rituals of a snake-worshipping native cult. The head priestess follows the men back to the States and, using her power to transform herself into a cobra, begins killing them one by one. Slithery shocker stars Faith Domergue, Richard Long, David Janssen, Marshall Thompson.
The Deadly Mantis (1957) — Better break out the pesticide, because seismic activity in the Arctic has loosed a thousand-ton giant praying mantis from an icy slumber of eons…and he’s woken up hungry! As the enormous insect makes its way toward warmer climes–Washington, D.C., to be precise–can the soldiers and scientists stop it before congressmen wind up on the menu? Big bug bonanza stars Craig Stevens, William Hopper, Alix Talton.
Horror Island (1941) — Classic Universal horror/comedy effort follows a diverse group of characters who are lured to a supposedly haunted mansion on a remote island with hopes of finding a hidden treasure. Before you can say “boo!,” the fortune-seekers start getting murdered by a mysterious cloaked figure. Who is responsible for the killings, and can anyone escape? Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo, Peggy Moran star.
Jungle Woman (1944) — The exotic Acquanetta goes wild once more as ape-woman Paula Dupree in this fear-laden follow-up to “Captive Wild Woman.” After discovering the cursed beauty wandering amnesiac on his sanitarium grounds, a researcher (J. Carrol Naish) tries to discover the secrets of her past–and learns to his sorrows that those secrets were best left buried. Evelyn Ankers, Milburn Stone, Lois Collier co-star.
Man Made Monster (1941) — Lon Chaney, Jr. makes his horror film debut, playing carnival sideshow “electric man” “Dynamo” Dan McCormick, who becomes a guinea pig for mad scientist Dr. Paul Rigas’ (Lionel Atwill) scheme to develop a race of supermen. The doc adds more juice to Dynamo, transforming him into a glowing, indestructible creature. Anne Nagel, Frank Albertson co-star.
The Mole People (1956) — Intrepid archeologists John Agar and Hugh Beaumont explore caves in the mountains of Asia, only to discover an underground-dwelling race of albinos who keep as their slaves the hunchbacked, clawed and bug-eyed Mole People. Can our heroes escape with their lives? Only if their flashlight batteries hold out! With Alan Napier, Cynthia Patrick.
The Monolith Monsters (1957) — When a meteor slammed into the American Southwest and its fragments littered a tiny town, scientists pounced on the opportunity to study the phenomenon. They’d better make their notes fast, as the pieces of crystalline debris start absorbing moisture from all available sources–including humans–and grow into titanic obelisks crushing all in their path! Stunning sci-fi staple stars Grant Williams, Lola Albright, Les Tremayne
Night Monster (1942) — In the wake of a botched surgery that left him a double amputee and a recluse, millionaire Kurt Ingston (Ralph Morgan) invited his treating physicians to his remote estate to discuss a charitable gift. As the duped doctors die one by one, the other houseguests try to discover who’s responsible–but weren’t prepared for the uncanny truth. Dark-house chiller co-stars Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Irene Hervey, Niels Asther.
Supernatural (1933) — Bereaved heiress Carole Lombard contacts a phony psychic in hopes of reaching the spirit of her late brother, but during a seance she is possessed by the vengeance-seeking spectre of one of the would-be seer’s former victims in this occult-tinged suspense tale. With Alan Dinehart, H.B. Warner, Vivienne Osborne, Randolph Scott.