Die Monster Die!

Die Monster Die! (1965)
MGM Home Entertainment
Cast: Boris Karloff, Nick Adams, Suzan Farmer
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

Boris Karloff has been a horror legend in his lifetime, and he still remains one of the most powerful names in the genre over 30 years after his passing. No name runs a chill down your spine like Karloff’s does, and few actors have epitomized and embraced the genre as wholeheartedly as he did. ’Die Monster Die!’ is a 1965 production based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft that was produced by the team of James Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff, who were also heavily involved in Roger Corman’s adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe films, starring the immortal Vincent Price. These films have a very unique quality that is modernistic to a degree, yet also capture the very essence of gothic horror. ’Die Monster Die!’ is no exception and with its atmospheric visuals and captivating premise, the film is a welcome DVD release for any fan of classic horror.

MGM Home Entertainment present the film in a widescreen transfer in its 2.35:1 aspect ratio, that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. Although the transfer could have used some clean-up, the presentation is beautiful to say the least. Scratches, dust and slight grain is evident in the print and occasional registration problems cause the image to waver. However, the definition of the presentation is fantastic, giving us an image that is highly detailed and rich. Color reproduction is very good, nicely capturing the slightly faded color palette used by the production. Flesh tones are very natural and the colorful highlights in the set decoration stand out beautifully, just as the production designers anticipated. The image on this DVD is very sharp and yet, no signs of edge-enhancement are evident. No ringing artifacts artificially sharpen the image, and instead, the contrast and balance of the presentation is meticulous, creating bright highlights without blooming, and deep, solid blacks.

The DVD contains monaural Dolby Digital audio tracks in English and French that are in good condition, too. Although slight noise and hissing is audible on occasion, and the frequency response is noticeably limited, it gives the film a vintage quality that perfectly suits the movie. To be honest, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way, and it is great to see and hear this film come to live so splendidly on this release. MGM Home Entertainment’s ’Midnight Movies’ is on the way to become one of my favorite DVD release series if all the releases turn out as good as this one!