Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Boris Karloff, William Shatner, Leslie Nielsen, Richard Chamberlain, Cloris Leachman, Mary Tyler Moore, Russell Johnson, Edward Platt, Natalie Schafer, Tom Poston, Elizabeth Montgomery, Ursula Andress, Howard McNear, Dick York, and many more
Directed by Herschel Daugherty, John Brahm, Ida Lupino, John Newland, Jules Bricken, Douglas Heyes, Arthur Hiller, Paul Henreid, Gerald Mayer, Mitchell Leisen, Ted Post
Distributed by Image Entertainment
Okay, let me get this out of the way. I am about to gush. There are several actors out there who are idols to me, and one of them is no doubt the legendary Boris Karloff. To say Frankenstein had an impact on horror culture is a bit of an understatement. At the height of his popularity Karloff decided to embrace the then new medium of television, and with his signature show of murder and mayhem, “Thriller”, he did just that while scaring the hell out of the entire country in the process.
Running just two seasons, from 1960-1962, “Thriller” the series doled out sixty-seven episodes of nothing but suspenseful spine-tingly goodness that have been available in various home video forms from crappy looking VHS tapes to even crappier looking DVD-R’s that have been sold at every horror convention under the sun. I’m here to tell you that you can finally throw all that sub-par stuff away because Image Entertainment has given this series a release that’s fit for a king!
Throughout the show’s run a delightful lot of murder, madmen, and even sporadic supernatural baddies was always on tap for the brave soul who decided to tune in; yet, due to some really unfortunate studio politics, the series fell to the wayside and sunk into obscurity, never to be revered with the level of popularity of other shows of its ilk including “The Twilight Zone” or “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”. It was home to some legendary directors, some legendary stars (give a look at the sampling of the line-ups above), and of course some legendary writers such as Robert Bloch and Donald S. Sanford, who between them penned a whopping twenty-five episodes. This release is your chance to sample all of that wondrous lunacy and rediscover this vintage bit of horror history all over again in grand fashion.
Usually we only bother to mention the quality of a transfer if it’s on Blu-ray high definition (and it’s a shame that this isn’t, but we’ll gladly take what we can get), but really, hat’s off to the guys and gals at Image. The remastering job they’ve done here could be the best damned restoration I’ve seen in forever. Wow. Just wow.
After you’re done watching the show itself, which will take you a good long while, there are literally hours and hours of special features to comb through, including twenty-nine commentaries, vintage promotional videos, isolated score tracks, a still gallery to die for, and more. Seriously, it doesn’t ever get much better than it does here. Again … Bravo, Image.
What we have here, folks, is the stellar return of a forgotten gem of a horror series with the great Boris Karloff as our host and sometimes star. Do you really need to know a single thing more? This is the type of entertainment that could only have been produced during the golden age of TV, and fans watching closely will soon realize that what they are seeing is a veritable blueprint for the way the industry and the genre has evolved. This easily gets our vote for box set of the year. Get it. Own it. Share it. Love it. And do it NOW!
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Discuss Thriller in our forums!