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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Science Fiction > Drama > Fox Horror Classics, Volume Two (Chandu The Magician/Dragonwyck/Dr. Renaultís Secret/20th Century Fox DVD)

Fox Horror Classics, Volume Two (Chandu The Magician/Dragonwyck/Dr. Renaultís Secret/20th Century Fox DVD)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C+†††† Films: C+

 

 

Fox has decided to continue issuing interesting, unusual and lesser know Horror genre films from their catalog and Fox Horror Classics, Volume Two features Chandu The Magician (1932), Dragonwyck (1946) and Dr. Renaultís Secret (1942), all of which are good, but not great.What makes them watchable and rewatchable is the unusual talent involved on each, making them important Fox films just the same and among their attempts to compete with Universal.

 

Chandu The Magician (1932) is based on the old radio serial of the same name and was the first of two times Bela Lugosi would bring it to life, followed by a filmed chapter serial two years later.This was co-directed by master Production Designer William Cameron Menzies a few years before making the epic British version of Things To Come and Sci-Fi Horror classic This Island Earth, but this also reunites him with genius cinematographer James Wong Howe from The Spider the year before.The title character takes (Edmund Lowe) on Lugosiís villain and the results are not bad.When the script fails, the density of the look delivers.

 

Dragonwyck (1946) is Joseph L. Mankiewiczís directing debut, as he juggles period piece and gothic horror tale with Gene Tierney, Vincent Price, Walter Huston, Henry Morgan and Jessica Tandy.Unfortunately, the two do not always mesh and that always caused the film to drag in its unevenness, but it is still a unique work and one worth a look.This is especially true for film fans and more proof of what a good actor Price really was.

 

Dr. Renaultís Secret has been lost for a long time, but is a sort of Dr. Moreau-type film where a mad doctor (George Zucco) keep a human with animal characteristics (J. Carrol Naish) under his control as he investigate evolution.Directed by the formidable Harry Lachman (known for his Charlie Chan work among other films) makes for a good film worth rediscovering in the genre and one that was bold for its time and suddenly is again; it almost is a minor classic.

 

The 1.33 X 1 black and white image in all three cases is very good for the format and Fox has fixed and restored them to the best of their ability.Detail can be very good in shots and all are enjoyable and distinct.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on all is as good as age and this old version of digital compression can deliver, while none have Stereo upgrades and Dragonwyck even offers an isolated music track.Other extras include stills sections & featurettes about the films on all the discs, trailers & restoration comparisons on all but Chandu and two radio reenactments of Dragonwyck with none other than Price starring in both.

 

All in all, a solid set worth seeing.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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