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January 19, 2011

Movie Review: Roger Corman's Sci-Fi Classics

Shout! Factory (DVD/Blu-ray gods) continues their spectacular Roger Corman's Cult Classics line with a Sci-Fi Classics triple feature. Included is Attack of the Crab Monsters, War of the Satellites and the original Not of this Earth. Check out my review of this stellar release!

Buy Roger Corman's Sci-Fi Classics on DVD

The Films:

Not of this Earth
A space vampire aka Paul Johnson, (Paul Birch) from the planet Davanna, hunts down men & woman, killing them with his death emitting white eyes and pumping the blood out of their bodies. Johnson realizes he can't do this forever, so he goes to get a blood transfusion from a local doctor. Dr. Rochelle (William Roerick) refuses to perform the transfusion without a blood test from Johnson, leading him to control the Doctor's mine telepathically. The Doctor, under Johnson's control, assigns nurse Nadine Story (Beverly Garland) to care for the alien, issuing him blood several times a day. Nadine, unsuspecting of Johnson's plan, obliges solely for the $200 a week she will be payed for her work. We discover why Johnson needs blood so badly. His planet Davanna is suffering from some kind of blood plague and his species sent him to Earth to collect as much as possible. I really enjoyed watching this. The acting, effects, setting and overall atmosphere make this a classic for me. Paul Birch has an intimidating presence and Beverly Garland (r.i.p) is quite a beauty, even in 'ol black and white. Plus the awesome Dick Miller makes a memorable cameo! It's Corman at his low budget best and it all works wonderfully.

Attack of the Crab Monsters &
War of the Satellites
Giant crabs that speak and Dick Miller vs. aliens in space. Nuff said. It's a lot of fun watching these monster/space flicks. It has that low budget charm that only Corman can provide. A blast to watch.

The DVD:

Once again, Shout! goes above and beyond to deliver a phenomenal DVD.

*New Anamorphic Widescreen & Fullscreen negative film transfers
AotCM/NotE widescreen transfers look really damn great, Shout! did an exceptional job as usual. WotS is given a fullscreen transfer and looks good, no complaints here. Audio does a fine job as well.

*2 Discs
AotCM/NotE get their own discs since they were both paired together when they were shown theatrically. WotS and bonus features round out the second disc.

*Clear Case-Double Sided Artwork-Insert
I LOVE how Shout! puts the Corman discs in clear clases with double sided artwork. It's little details such as this that make me adore Shout! An insert (something I also love to have with my dvds) included details Corman discs available from other companies. 

Bonus Features:

This, like all Shout/Roger Corman's discs, is where it really shines. There is a bevy of new features for this release.

*A Salute to Roger Corman documentary
New interviews with Corman, Peter Fonda, Joe Dante, James Horner and more. Everyone that got their start with Roger talk about their experiences and how it changed their lives.

*2 Audio Commentaries
AotCM & NotE both get commentary from Universal Horror authors.

*Roger Corman Trailer Collection
This is where the disc truly shines. Over 25 trailers of Corman's films and productions. I was surprised to see this one here, I had no idea it would be included and it's a definite plus.

*TV Prologues
AotCM & NotE each have text scenes detailing what they are about to watch. Very "Twilight Zone", another welcomed bonus.

What more can I say? Cliff MacMillan and everyone at Shout! are doing god's work. The Roger Corman discs are a cult/horror/cinema fan's wet dream. I own every single RC release(including the beyond amazing Blu-rays) and there's no reason why you shouldn't either. Support Cliff and Shout! because this is a company that truly cares about it's product and most importantly us, the fans. Long Live Roger Corman!

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