Warner Brothers has announced that it will release a DVD box set containing four films featuring Boris Karloff (FRANKENSTEIN) and/or Bela Lugosi (DRACULA), the two greatest stars of classic horror films from the early sound era: THE WALKING DEAD, FRANKENSTEIN 1970, YOU’LL FIND OUT, and ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY. It may be a bit generous to term any of the included titles “classics,” but they are fondly remembered by fans who saw them as children on “Monster Chiller Horror Theatre” or whatever the local TV equivalent was.
I have a particular fondness for YOU’LL FIND OUT, a haunted house spoof in which Karloff, Lugosi, and Peter Lorre co-star with band leader Kay Kaiser. The musical sequences do go on a bit, but the film gives the three horror stars ample opportunity to spoof their bogeyman image; in fact, more than the later Universal Studios “Monster Rallies” (HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, HOUSE OF DRACULA), YOU’LL FIND OUT is a good showcase for audiences to see an ensemble of their favorite horror icons.
The set is scheduled for an October 6 release, with a suggested price of $26.98.
Here is the press release:
KARLOFF & LUGOSI HORROR CLASSICS
The Walking Dead! Frankenstein-1970!
You’ll Find Out! Zombies on Broadway!
OCTOBER 6 FROM WARNER HOME VIDEO
Burbank, Calif., June 15, 2009 – Horror fans will again be screaming this Halloween when Warner Home Video debuts the Karloff & Lugosi Horror Classics October 6 — four frightfully fun horror classics all in one collection and on DVD for the first time. Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, iconic horror actors best known for creating the screen’s original Frankenstein and Dracula characters, star here in other roles in The Walking Dead, Frankenstein-1970, You’ll Find Out and Zombies on Broadway. The 2-disc set will be available for $26.98 SRP.
The Walking Dead (1936)
The Walking Dead is a unique blend of cinematic horror and the classic Warner Bros. gangster stylings. This long-admired cult favorite stars Boris Karloff, who gives an outstanding performance as John Ellman, an ex-con framed for murder who’s sentenced to the electric chair. When Ellman is brought back to life through the miracles of science, his only task is to seek revenge against those responsible for his death. Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) directs this eerie tale.
–Commentary by historian Greg Mank
Nearly twenty years after his final appearance as the Frankenstein monster in Son of Frankenstein, Boris Karloff returned to the screen in a new film derived from the Mary Shelley story that first catapulted him to stardom. In this 1958 horror classic, Karloff appears in the role of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a descendent of the original doctor, whose depleted fortune forces him to grant a film crew access to the family castle to shoot a horror flick. It’s not all bad, though, since he now has a supply of fresh body parts ready for harvesting.
–Commentary by historians Charlotte Austin and Tom Weaver
You’ll Find Out (1940)
Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre poke fun at their horror-genre personas in this wacky 1940 RKO mix of music, murder and mirth. The plot finds the trio of horror legends leaving a trail of terror and laughs along the way, as they plan a murder in order to nab a young heiress’ inheritance in a spooky, spoofy haunted house tale. The film was one of several hits of the era featuring the music and merriment of the then popular Kay Kyser and his band. The film’s original song, “I’d Know You Anywhere” was Oscar® nominated.
Zombies on Broadway (1945)
The emphasis is equally spread between horror and hi-jinx in this wacky RKO production that has endeared itself to generations of die-hard Lugosi fans. Here, Bela Lugosi stars as mad scientist Dr. Paul Renault who ends up with more than he bargained for when he encounters
two inept Broadway press agents (Alan Carney and Wally Brown) looking for a real-life zombie to use for a publicity stunt in promoting a new nightclub.