Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Dungeon of Harrow (1962)

For 22 dollars at Best Buy I picked up this Gothic Horror box set from Alpha Video, former makers of some of the cheapest looking budget vhs that I've ever seen. I don't know why I keep plugging Best Buy. Yes, I work in a record store. No, it is not the Best Buy, thank God! It just so happens that these guys sell the DVD bundles that I am in favor of. I wrote an article that goes into detail about why I'm into these low quality, low cost, collections of allegedly public domain films.

The Gothic Horror box is very attractive, but once it was opened I discovered it is very cheaply made. The binding is essentially clear, very sticky, packaging tape. The trays that hold the discs can each be ripped off and stuck back on with ease, though I don't think that is an intended feature of the packaging. Serious DVD-philes will be upset, though I could really give a shit. I'm not paying for a Criterion edition here.

I chose the most obscure movie to watch first, Dungeon of Harrow. The image quality is undeniably awful and extremely washed out. What's worse is that it changes before your eyes from near black and white, to different colored tints, to faded full color. I know what you are thinking, "Warren has a crappy tv"... well maybe, but in this case, I assure you, it's the dvd.

Again I found the poor quality more amusing than irritating, but Cub - who has watched many a mutilated, chopped, 5th-generation-copy, vhs tape without complaint - did express annoyance and decided to drift off to sleep in the middle of the movie. Dungeon of Harrow is the only dvd I've watched so far from the set, so this review of the whole box is premature, but hey, this is a blog and I can report details in future posts as I plow through this set over the next year or so.

The verdict so far: I'm glad I bought it - I prefer quantity to quality! I am a trash collector.

The verdict on Dungeon of Harrow directed by Pat Boyette: I loved this movie which is heavy on atmosphere, fog machines, and impending doom.


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