THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan
"THE VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION VOL. II"
Last year, when Scream Factory released The Vincent Price Collection Vol. 1 on Blu-Ray, horror fans rejoiced. It was a magnificent set, packed with good movies and copious extras. The company, which is dedicated to curating horror films, is now releasing The Vincent Price Collection Vol. II. And guess what? It's even better.
Seven films starring the beloved actor are brought to Blu-Ray for the first time in this set, which also includes a 32-page collector's book featuring an essay by author and film historian David Del Valle. Here's what else you will find:
The House on Haunted Hill - A millionaire offers ten thousand dollars to whoever can last the night locked in a creepy old house. This William Castle classic is best remembered for a gimmick in which a plastic skeleton glided across movie theaters via a pulley at a key moment in the story. Special features are a new audio commentary from author/historian Steve Haberman, the theatrical trailer, a still gallery, an introduction from Vincent Price, and three featurettes: The Art of Fear, Working With Vincent Price, and Vincent Price: Renaissance Man.
Return of the Fly - This sequel to the 1958 classic finds another individual turned into a fly, but this time he has to deal with an industrial spy in addition to a transformation. Bonus features are audio commentary with actor Bret Halsey and film historian David Del Valle, a theatrical trailer, a TV spot, and a still gallery.
The Comedy of Terrors - For my money, this is the jewel of the set. Price pays an ethically-challenged undertaker who, with assistant Peter Lorre, kills people, then offers up his services to the deceased's loved ones. Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, and Joe E. Brown co-star in this comedy. It's occasionally a little too heavy on slapstick humor, but Price and Lorre have a great time exchanging zingers onscreen, which is a lot of fun. Supplements are an introduction and parting words from Price, a featurette about screenwriter Richard Matheson, the theatrical trailer, and a still gallery.
The Raven - Price plays one of his signature roles in this adaptation of the classic Edgar Allen Poe story, directed by the legendary Roger Corman. Extras are an introduction and parting words from Price, audio commentary from Steve Haberman, another Richard Matheson featurette, a short entitled “Corman's Comedy of Poe,” promotional material, the theatrical trailer, and a still gallery.
The Last Man on Earth - A disease turns what's left of humanity into vampires, and Price has to fight them. This was, of course, later remade as the Will Smith vehicle I Am Legend. Bonus goodies are audio commentary from David Del Valle and author Derek Botelho, yet another look at writer Richard Matheson (whose frequent collaborations with Price obviously yielded some of their best work), and a still gallery.
The Tomb of Ligeia - Let's just refer to the poster's tagline: “Even on her wedding night, she must share the man she loved with the 'Female Thing' that lived in the Tomb of the Cat.” How can you resist that? Price plays a man whose obsession with his dead wife impacts his new marriage. This one's another Corman flick based on a Poe story. Extras are introduction and parting words from Price, audio commentary from Corman, new audio commentary with co-star Elizabeth Shepherd, new commentary from film historian Constantine Nasr, the theatrical trailer, and a still gallery.
Dr. Phibes Rises Again - This sequel to one of my favorite Price flicks finds the doctor seeking the Scrolls of Life in an attempt to resurrect his deceased wife. Bonus materials are the theatrical trailer and a still gallery.
The films selected for The Vincent Price Collection Vol. II are terrific, and the supplements are both plentiful and entertaining. This is a worthy celebration of a one-of-a-kind actor who left behind an amazing body of work. Any self-respecting Vincent Price fan will want to add this set to their Blu-Ray library.
For more information, please visit the Scream Factory website.
Buy a copy of my book, "Straight-Up Blatant: Musings From The Aisle Seat," on sale now at Lulu.com! Paperback and Kindle editions also available at Amazon.com!