Roger Corman's Horror Classics Vol.1
Film Chest Media recently released the 3-disc "collector's set" Roger Corman's Horror Classics, Vol. 1, each disc containing one of Corman's beloved horror cheapies--A Bucket of Blood, Dementia 13, and The Terror. It's true enough that all three of these films have been released umpteen times on DVD, often crammed together in multi-disc sets from archive houses like Mill Creek. It's also true that all three of these films have fallen into the public domain, and so they are easily found online to watch for free. But this is, I can comfortably say, the best that any of these films have ever looked.
These are old films that were shot cheaply on film more than fifty years ago(!), so don't expect pristine, digital quality. These are, however, HD restorations from the original 35mm prints, and much of the expected image blips and flaws have been eradicated. The picture is much sharper and clearer than any of the other releases that I have seen, opening up a whole new world of detail to the viewer.
They are presented in widescreen format, which in itself is missing from many of the old bargain bin releases, and all except for A Bucket of Blood are offered in 5.1 stereo.
It's nice to see a house like Film Chest giving these PD films the respect they deserve, though I admit that I wish there were more in the way of bonus features. Aside from film trailers and brief "Before & After Restoration Demos", there's nothing to keep you occupied once the films are complete. A film historian's audio commentary track or a short documentary about Corman would have been an excellent addition.
Still, for Roger Corman fans who are looking to upgrade their collection, this is a pretty nice place to start.
Special thanks to Film Chest for the screener!