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Dracula - The Restoration

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Dracula - The Restoration

Universal's Look at Restoring a Classic

By Robert T. Trate     July 06, 2012
Source: Universal Studios

For the first time ever, eight of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces of the horror genre are available together on Blu-ray as Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection debuts on October 2, 2012 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. 

Digitally restored from high resolution film elements in perfect high-definition picture and perfect high-definition sound for the first time ever, Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection brings together the very best of Universal's legendary monsters—imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror that launched a uniquely American movie genre. 

This definitive collection features eight films on Blu-ray, a collectible 48-page book featuring behind-the-scenes photographs, original posters, correspondence and much more. Each iconic film is accompanied by an array of bonus features that tell the fascinating story of its creation and history, including behind-the-scenes documentaries, filmmaker commentaries, interviews, storyboards, photo galleries, and trailers. Especially appealing for fans are a never-before-seen featurette about the restoration of Dracula and the first ever offering of Creature from the Black Lagoon in its restored Blu-ray 3D version.

Check out this first look on the Dracula restoration below.  

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
joelr 7/6/2012 8:35:01 AM

Chills. I hope the fact that they use the Phillip Glass/Kronos Quartet score in this little clip means it will be included as an alternate soundtrack on the Blu.

monkeyfoot 7/6/2012 9:15:46 AM

I absolutley love the old Universal horror movie classic and thank you very much Robert for the articles you have done on them.

As much as I love the idea of these restorations it looks like its taking away something I liked. I first enjoyed these films as a kid sometimes on late night TV. What really thrilled me and filled me with creepiness and horror from those times was the B&W graininess and crackle of the prints I saw. Something about those made an indelible impression on me of scary unworldiness that I enjoy to this day.

For instance, in Dracula the scenes where the Count and his brides rises from their graves at the beginning or Dracula coming into Mina's room first as a bat then turning into the dark figure of a man to sup from her neck, or where he attempts to control Dr. Van Helsing with his outstretched hand saying "Come ....here!" All these were done in silence with no music and just the soft crackle of old film in the background. Just thinking of those scenes gives me a thrill.

If ever I were to direct a horror film I would do it in the style of these classics with nothing but the retro graininess and crackle and pop of ancient film to enhace the impending menace of doom.  

Ecole2k 7/6/2012 9:57:28 AM

From what I hear on the restored audio, there crackle is still there, though very very low. You can't take it all away until you re-record the audio... which would work in some things but not this if you are going to maintain the mono. I did feel the same as you do about the crackle and hiss, but I think it's needed because with the current sound systems today, that old film sound would be just horrible and annoying. The picture looks fantastic. I haven't bought the Universal monsters on DVD or Blue-Ray yet, so this would be a worth while treat.

thezillaman 7/7/2012 1:39:06 AM

@monkeyfoot, you are so right on that. it's what make them a classic and fun to watch. 

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