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Horror News and Commentary

Karloff's Best Film Finally on DVD

Momentous news for Boris Karloff fans comes in the form of an official DVD release of his 1935 thriller "The Black Room." As seems to be the case with a lot of the more obscure works of popular actors from yesteryear, "The Black Room" appears in a set. Also included in what Columbia Pictures is calling the "Icons of Horror Collection" are three other Karloff classics: "The Man They Could Not Hang," "Before I Hang" and "The Boogie Man Will Get You."

No horror fan accustomed to this kind of film bundling will be surprised to learn that "The Black Room" is the only truly great film of the bunch. Director Roy William Neill found Karloff's magic and gunned it. But Karloff had an uncanny knack for elevating just about everything he did anyway, so you can't go wrong with the under-$20 price tag for this set. "The Man They Could Not Hang" and "Before I Hang" are both watchable, and "The Boogie Man Will Get You" is a downright rib-tickler. If nothing else, the collection shows off Karloff's considerable acting range. But still, it's his peerless dual performance as twin brothers Gregor and Anton de Bergmann in "The Black Room" that raises the collection from mere curiosity to must-have.Hey, as the back of the box proclaims, "Boris Karloff was to the horror movie what Fred Astaire was to the musical." Who can argue with that?--Pete Mesling

Posted by Pete on December 19, 2006 12:20 PM
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