Fox Horror Classics, Volume 2

(20th Century Fox)

If by “classic,” Fox means old, then yes, these B movies from the 1930s and ’40s qualify as classics. However, don’t go looking for anything on par with Dracula or Frankenstein here.

The films include Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s (All About Eve) first film, Dragonwyck (1946), starring Gene Tierney, Walter Huston and Vincent Price. It’s an atmospheric, gothic adaptation of the popular ’40s novel, and probably the best film here.

Chandu the Magician from 1932 stars Bela Legosi as Roxor, a megalomaniacal villain with, yep, a deathray. Only a mesmerizing magician can save the day.

Dr. Renault’s Secret (1942) is about a young man who visits his fiancée at the remote French villa where her scientist father performs bizarre, Dr. Moreau-esque experiments.

Grade: C

—Mike Sebastian

Fox Horror Classics, Volume 2 is currently available.

Haunted Histories: Volume 2

(A&E)

This five-disc History Channel set features in-depth profiles of “real life” supernatural phenomenon. Topics touched on include: haunted houses, more haunted houses, zombies, voodoo rituals and the search for the real Frankenstein.

It’s fun to listen to the spurious commentary from the various experts they assemble and consider the possibility of these phenomena being real. But for the skeptics, it’s also fun to read between the lines and psychoanalyze those involved.

Grade: B

—Mike Sebastian

Haunted Histories, Volume 2 is currently available.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [Blu-Ray]

(Dark Sky)

This might be sacrilege, but I’m a horror movie buff who never saw the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, just the remake. I loved the remake and am happy to report that I loved the original as well.

Whenever I’ve seen the remake, my stomach hurts I’m so tense. With the new transfer, you can now be creeped out with better quality.

The commentary is better than most. Extras include deleted scenes, commentary with director Tobe Hooper, Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface) and director of photography Daniel Pearl and blooper reel.

Grade: A-

—Frederick Mintchell

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [Blu-Ray] is currently available.

The Wizard Of Gore

(Genius)

This remake of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ 1970 horror film is a surprisingly interesting failure. Despite being a remake, it manages to do something original in today’s horror market. Namely, it doesn’t resort to torture porn and it was not based on a superior Japanese film.

It stars Kip Pardue (Loggerheads) as Edmund Bigelow, a kind of investigative reporter of the underground goings on in an alternate reality nourish Los Angeles. One night, Edmund stumbles onto a magic show starring Montag the Magnificent (Crispin Glover) who seems to perform horrendous acts of torture on unwitting volunteers. When these same volunteers turn up dead days later, Edmund is dragged into a dizzying, nightmarish world as he tries to understand what’s happening.

The film owes more to David Cronenberg than James Wan as it attempts to engage the mind, taking a mind-bending trip through an atmospheric existential nightmare. It ultimately doesn’t totally work, but the fact that its makers recognized that there is more than one horror story to be told is refreshing.

Grade: B+

—Mike Sebastian

The Wizard of Gore is currently available.