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DVD Shopping Bag: MGMs Queen of Blood

Setting up a Basil Double Feature

By Robert T. Trate     April 26, 2011
Source: Mania.com


The original poster for Queen of Blood a la DVD Shopping Bag
© MGM/Bob Trate

 

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is now offering classic films from MGM’s library in a limited edition collection. Wave 4 of these titles was released last month but we here at Mania finally got our hands on two of them. The genre titles included THE BLACK SLEEP(1958), DAUGHTERS OF SATAN (1972), and the QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966). The last title in particular has a bit of allure as it is the only time Roper (John Saxon), Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone), and Billy (Dennis Hopper) teamed up to find an intergalactic vampire. Of course, we are making a reference to the characters that these actors are better known for. It is incredibly enticing to see these actors together despite knowing full well that this film isn’t going to be their greatest.
 
The DVD’s picture quality isn’t the greatest either. Immediately, “Manufactured using the best resources available” comes up on the screen. This column alone condemns and scrutinizes every classic film that comes out on Blu-ray. With this simple statement, we can be a tad more forgiving. Many films of this nature are left to pirated copies or VHS transfers. Twentieth Century Fox is now enabling us to see films from another era in the best quality available. Does it behoove them to release a Blu-ray of these films? That will probably never happen for any of these three titles. Yet here we are willing to sit back, pop some popcorn, and watch this B movie.
 
If you have never heard of the Queen of Blood here is your quick premise. In 1990 mankind has made contact with intelligent life from outer space. En route to Earth our first visitors accidently crash land on Mars. We rush to their rescue and discover our new friends thrive on a different kind of food, blood.
 
The film is riddled with techno babble that makes Star Trek sound like Shakespeare. The sets, for the future now our past, are of course laughable. Basil Rathbone doesn’t really interact with any of the main cast, indicating his shooting days were probably very brief. Dennis Hopper is so young that in his first appearance on screen he is unrecognizable. John Saxon has more hair and well… you get the point. All this quickly washes away as this 1966 version of the future sucks you in. Much like Michael Bay’s Armageddon (1998) anything and everything goes wrong for these space travelers. There is tons of excitement for the guys and a small love story for the girls. A perfect B movie if ever there was one out of 1966.
Outside of the quick build up to the plot at hand, our Queen of Blood isn’t on screen as much as she should be. The discovery of what she does is met with a lot of understanding and acceptance despite the body count. It makes for an interesting tale and again a perfect second picture on a double bill of two movies. The main thing that many fans of science fiction movies and cartoons will recognize is the sound effects. Many, if not all, are identical to the Tom and Jerry episode called “Mouse into Space”. There are probably many other movies and cartoons with these sound effects but with the MGM logo on the box the connection is easily made.
There will never be a special edition of the Queen of Blood. Sadly, that is a very true fact. The cover lacks any of the B movie charm that the original poster had (see header image). A gallery of these would have made a nice special feature. Even the trailer, found on Internet Movie Database would been have fun too (seen here). Though an interesting fact can also be found on IMDB, since this was an ultra low budget production the elaborate special effects were taken (uncredited) from two big budget Soviet Union productions. There were Mechte Navstrechu (1963), and Nebo Zovyot (1960). If you look at the rocket ships in the film you’ll see the Soviet red star on the wings. It truly is a B movie through and through.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is already preparing their next wave of MGM films to be released. Old Dracula (1975) starring David Niven, in the title role, promises to be in the vein of Young Frankenstein (1974). Until then we’ll check out The Black Sleep. Here we’ll see Lobo (Tor Johnson) tangle with the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.), Dracula (Bella Lugosi), Casy (John Carradine) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne himself Basil Rathbone.
 
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
 
1. Sin City (Two-Disc Theatrical & Recut, Extended, and Unrated Versions) [Blu-ray]
2. The Holy Mountain [Blu-ray]
3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
4. Marvel The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Vol. 1
5. El Topo [Blu-ray]
 
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
Blood Out Starring Val Kilmer, AnnaLynne McCord, Luke Goss and Vinnie Jones
 
Blood Out [Blu-ray]
 
The Crow Starring Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, Rochelle Davis
 
Daylight [Blu-ray] Starring Sylvester Stallone, Viggo Mortensen, Dan Hedaya
 
Deception Starring Andie MacDowell, Liam Neeson and Viggo Mortensen
El Topo [Blu-ray] Starring Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky
 
Forgiven Starring Alan Autry, David Hart, James W. Tuck and Kimberly Autry
Gangs Of New York [Blu-ray] Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Gone Baby Gone [Blu-ray] Starring Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Casey Affleck
Great Raid [Blu-ray] Starring Benjamin Bratt, James Franco and Robert Mammone
Hero [Blu-ray] Starring Jet Li, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung and Ziyi Zhang
 
Iron Monkey [Blu-ray] Starring Rongguang Yu, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang and Shi-Kwan Yen
 
Jackie Brown (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
 
Kill Bill: Volume 1 [Blu-ray] Starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah
Kill Bill: Volume 2 [Blu-ray]
Knockout Starring Steve Austin, Daniel Magder, Benjamin Ratner
Knockout [Blu-Ray]
Loveless: Vocal Collection
 
Machine Girl [Blu-ray]
 
No Country For Old Men [Blu-ray]
 
Pulp Fiction Starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson
Sacrifice Starring Cuba Jr. Gooding, Christian Slater, Kim Coates
Sacrifice [Blu-ray]
Sin City (Two-Disc Theatrical & Recut, Extended, and Unrated Versions) [Blu-ray]
 
Sniper: Reloaded Starring Billy Zane, Chad Michael Collins, Annabel Wright
 
Sniper: Reloaded [Blu-ray]
 
ANIME
 
Asylum Session
 
Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Five Starring Stephanie Nadolny, Sean Schemmel, Jillian Michaels
 
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Jason Liebrecht and Leah Clark
 
Girl Who Leapt Through Space 1
 
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [Blu-ray]
K-On! Vol. 1 [Blu-ray]
K-On! Vol.1 [DVD]
 
Naruto Shippuden Box Set 6 Starring Junko Takeuchi, Chie Nakamura, Yoichi Masukawa
 
Pokemon 4Ever
 
Sgt. Frog: Season Two Starring Todd Haberkorn, R. Bruce Elliot, Cherami Leigh
 
CARTOONS
 
Clerks - The Animated Series Uncensored Starring Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes
 
Marvel The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Vol. 1 Starring Iron Man and Thor
Marvel The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Vol. 2 Starring Captian America and Iron Man
 
South Park: Complete Fourteenth Season Starring Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes and Mona Marshall
 
South Park: Complete Fourteenth Season [Blu-ray]
 
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
 
Adventureland [Blu-ray] Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds
 
Bad Santa (Unrated Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham
 
Chasing Amy [Blu-ray] Starring Ben Affleck, Ethan Suplee and Scott Mosier
 
Clerks (Collector's Edition)
Clerks (10th Anniversary Edition)
Comic Book: The Movie Starring Mark Hamill, Donna D'Errico, Billy West and Joseph Burns
Extract [Blu-ray] Starring Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Ben Affleck and Mila Kunis
 
Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
 
Scary Movie [Blu-ray] Starring Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams, Marlon Wayans and Carmen Electra
 
Scary Movie 3.5 - Special Unrated Version (Dimension Collector's Series) Starring Anna Faris, Charlie Sheen, Regina Hall and Pamela Anderson
Swingers (Collector's Edition) Starring Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston
 
Criterion Collection
 
Blow Out (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow and Dennis Franz
 
Blow Out (Criterion Collection)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Christina Ricci
 
HORROR
 
Chawz [Blu-ray] Starring Eum Tae-Woong
 
Chawz
 
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering Starring Naomi Watts and Mark Salling
Darkness Starring Anna Paquin, Lena Olin and Iain Glen
 
Dementia 13 Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack Starring William Campbell, Luana Anders and Bart Patton
 
Dinoshark Starring Eric Balfour and Roger Corman
Dinoshark [Blu-ray]
 
The Dorm That Dripped Blood [Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack] Starring Daphne Zuniga, Laurie Lapinski, Stephen Sachs
 
From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money Starring Danny Trejo, Robert Patrick, Tiffani Thiessen
 
From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter Starring Danny Trejo, Rebecca Gayheart, Marco Leonardi
 
Halloween: H2O Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams
 
Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers Starring Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd and Kim Darby
Mongolian Death Worm Starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Drew Waters, George Cheung
 
Phantoms Starring Ben Affleck, Rose McGowan, Live Scheiber and Peter O'Toole
 
Poor Pretty Eddie Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack Starring Leslie Uggams, Shelley Winters and Michael Christian
 
Scream (Collector's Series)
 
Scream 2 (Deluxe Collector's Series)
 
Scream 3 (Collector's Series)
 
The Terror [Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack] Starring Jack Nicholson, Boris Karloff and Sandra Knight
 
Timo Rose's GAME OVER Starring Raine Brown, Debbie Rochon, Magdalena Kalley
 
Wes Craven Presents: Dracula II: Ascension Starring Jason London, Craig Sheffler and Jason Scott Lee
 
Wes Craven Presents: Dracula III: Legacy Starring Jason Scott Lee and Jason London
 
MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY
 
Finding Neverland [Blu-ray] Starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (Also includes 2d version) Starring Cayden Boyd, George Lopez, Kristin Davis and David Arquette
 
A Wrinkle in Time Starring Alfre Woodard and Gregory Smith
 
Battle of Los Angeles [Blu-ray] Starring Tim Abell and Edward DeRuiter
 
The Brothers Grimm Starring Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Monica Bellucci and Petr Ratimec
 
The Brothers Grimm [Blu-ray]
Equilibrium Starring Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs and Emily Watson
 
Highlander - The Final Dimension (Special Director's Cut) Starring Christopher Lambert
 
Highlander - Endgame Starring Christopher Lambert, Adrian Paul, Bruce Payne
The Holy Mountain [Blu-ray] Starring Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas and Juan Ferrara
 
The Neverending Story 3: Escape from Fantasia Featuring Jack Black Starring Jack Black and Jason James Richter
 
Renaissance Starring Daniel Craig, Catherine McCormack, Jonathan Pryce
 
Spy Kids Starring Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino
 
Spy Kids 2 Starring Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino
 
TV LAND
ER: The Complete First Season Starring Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies
 
ER: The Complete Second Season Starring Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies
 
ER: The Complete Third Season
ER: The Complete Fourth Season Starring Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies
 
ER: The Complete Fifth Season Starring Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies
 
ER: The Complete Sixth Season Starring Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies
 
Growing Pains: Complete Second Season Starring Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold
 
Horatio Hornblower: Original Adventures Starring Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay and Paul McGann
Human Planet [Blu-ray] Starring John Hurt
 
Human Planet
 
The Larry Sanders Show: Season 3 Starring Garry Shandling, Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor
Lucy Show: Official Fourth Season Starring Gale Gordon, Jimmy Garrett and Ralph Hart
 
Testees: The Complete Series Starring Jeff Kassel, Steve Markle, Joe Pingue and Kenny Hotz
 
The Universe: The Complete Series Megaset [Blu-ray]
 
Upstairs Downstairs Starring Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard, Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins
 
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 1 of 1
1 
redhairs99 4/26/2011 12:37:45 PM

Ha!  Comic Book The Movie!  That was actually better than I thought it would be.  Of course, I did pick pick it up for $5 at a flea market not long after it came out, so that might have added to my enjoyment.

Bob, we need a review of that Fear and Loathing Criterion release.  Is it just the 2-disc DVD ported over to Blu or are their additional features?  How's the picture quality, etc.?

1 

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