CineSavant Column

Tuesday July 23, 2019


From Comic-Con, Scream Factory has reported a list of new horror/fantasy/sci-fi pictures coming up on their slate. They’re all but finished with the run of available Universal hits of the 1950s, assuming they don’t spring for the barrel-bottom likes of Curucu, Beast of the Amazon. The one item that jumps out is Val Guest & Nigel Kneale’s superior Hammer film The Abominable Snowman. Trailers from Hell was just celebrating Val Guest, with Joe Dante commenting on Abominable. I’m directing anybody in charge of the project to remember that one existing Blu-ray for the movie is missing part of a scene — as described in the 2015 CineSavant article CineSavant’s Guide To The New Wave Of Classic Hammer Blu-Rays. You’d be surprised by the kinds of slip-ups that occur, and not just because somebody calls out the wrong vault master to be authored for disc. An important release of this summer could have used some more timely film-source information.

And Gary Teetzel tells me that VCI is promising, for November, a Blu-ray of the 1939 Universal serial The Phantom Creeps, starring Bela Lugosi. We’re hoping for high image quality, because the the word is that previous Public Domain copies looked pretty sad. VCI’s scan is said to come from a 35mm fine grain duping element. I’ve only seen still of the odd-looking monster (a robot?) in old issues of Famous Monsters; to me it always looked like a parody of a Witch Doctor mask. Maybe it will look better in motion.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson