Director: Mel Brooks

Starring: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman

Spoof of the classic Universal horror films of the 1930s.

Brooks’ delirious 1974 spoof of the classic Universal Frankenstein movies has not managed to retain the public regard it, and many other of the director’s films, held during the 80s, when they were still fresh enough to attract new audiences. Hopefully the availability of Fox’s DVD version will help restore its good fortune. Although not formally announced as a Special Edition, the disc has features numerous enough to qualify, including a full-length, rather spontaneous, commentary track, a handful of deleted scenes, trailers, TV adverts, about five minutes of outtakes and two black and white interviews, (one with Wilder and Cloris Leachman, the other with Feldman, all in costume), shot for Mexican television.

Fans of the film may want to upgrade if they have  the US version of the DVD, since the Region 2 disc presents the film in widescreen (1.85:1) with 16:9 enhancement, which is a significant improvement. You may want to hang onto your Region 1 disc though, because the Region 2 version unfortunately omits the enormous gallery of production photo’s that is on the US version, many of which reveal small insights into how the film was made. The UK disc has English audio only (with eleven sets of subtitles, including English), whereas the US disc also had French and Spanish audio. The English audio on both discs is in 2.0 mono, but on the US disc it is all channelled through the centre speaker; the UK disc seems to split the sound equally across the front three channels, which may be an error.


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