The Boris Karloff Collection 

Various/2006

You would think that a review of this set would begin with the phrase "just in time for Halloween," but the truth is that "The Boris Karloff Collection" contains mostly historical melodramas "? a genre Karloff loved "? and one oddball crime story ("Night Key"), so it isn't particularly Halloween-y at all.
 
It's nice to have "Tower of London" on DVD at last. In this one, Karloff plays Richard III's favorite executioner (Basil Rathbone is Richard and Vincent Price is one of the victims). "The Strange Door" stars Charles Laughton hamming it up in a Robert Louis Stevenson-based goof, "The Climax" was Karloff's first color film, and "The Black Castle" co-stars noir heavy Stephen McNally and Lon Chaney Jr., who meets his end in a pit of alligators. What more could you want from movie entertainment?
 
As is usual with Universal's second-tier releases, there is no bonus material. The bonus is getting five movies for a low price and enjoying some wonderfully overcooked screen villainy. Recommended for collectors of Universal horrors and for parents who have kids that want to watch something "scary," but not "really scary."

"?Doug Bentin

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