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Universal to Unleash Monsters

7 Apr, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Recognizing the cross-promotion opportunities with Universal Studios' theatrical release May 7 of Van Helsing, Universal Studios Home Video April 27 is releasing for the first time on DVD “The Monster Legacy” gift set at $79.98.

The “Legacy” offers nearly 18 hours of original motion pictures and digitally remastered audio soundtracks, including Dracula (1931), starring Bela Lugosi and introducing the first big-screen appearance of vampire hunter Van Helsing; Frankenstein (1931), the original feature film that transformed 44-year-old British-born actor Boris Karloff into “the greatest of all incarnations of monsterhood,” according to Newsweek; and The Wolf Man (1941), starring veteran horror icon Lon Chaney Jr.

“It's the first time the films have been bundled like this,” said a Universal spokesperson, who added that the gift set features unique packaging, including miniatures of each horror character.

The three horror titles — which also are available separately without the miniatures as “The Legacy Collection” at $26.98 each — feature commentaries from Van Helsing director Stephen Sommers (Dracula), film historians Rudy Behlmer and Scott MacQueen (Frankenstein), and archivist Tom Weaver (Wolf Man).

Also included are the original theatrical trailers; photo montages; numerous sequels, such as Dracula's Daughter, Son of Dracula, House of Dracula, The Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein, Werewolf, She-Wolf of London and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man; and The Spanish Dracula, which was filmed in the evenings with a Spanish-speaking cast using the identical script.

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