Silver Screams Cinema 08/17/21

Viavision [Imprint] (Region-Free)

Fans of Republic horror take note of ths boxed collection of 6 — count ’em Six — horror and sci-fi curiosities from the ’40s and ’50s, aimed straight at covetous fantasy film addicts. Wacky scripts, strange characterizations and poverty row production values are on view, but the fine transfers reveal professional cinematography and occasional impressive direction. The films are definitely of their time — the censor-inhibited 1940s pictures rely on spooky situations because they can’t show blood or too much violence. And a pair of low-end B&W ‘scope thrillers from the ‘fifties drive-in era do more with less, cutting corners in interesting ways. Viavision anoints the shows with expert commentaries and a couple of real surprises: an entire extra feature and a rare 1950s TV show. The horror Beat goes On: Return of the Ape Man, The Phantom Speaks, The Vampire’s Ghost, Valley of the Zombies, She Devil and The Unknown Terror… and a special SD encoding of Erich von Stroheim in The Lady and the Monster On Blu-ray from Viavision [Imprint].