Now I can fully understand categorizing something and putting it into a nifty little package complete for our enjoyment. Take a look at the Haunted Histories Collection that A&E has put together and you’ll completely understand what I’m talking about. But when you have a television series you’re going to have those that are casual viewers and those that are hardcore fans. By the time your series comes out on DVD, then you’ll have a good number of both of those demographics picking up seasons because they love the show or they simply want to get into it more. Fans are going to salivate for the seasons and pay their hard-earned money to make sure their collections are complete. So don’t go out on a limb to make a few extra pennies by rehashing something we’ve already bought and expecting us to shell out more cash for it.
Monster Quest is a series that takes a look at all those legends, questions, and supposed myths that have plagued civilizations for centuries. How real is Bigfoot? Do little green men come down from outer space to pick up human test subjects? Is Nessie a peaceful creature that simply wants to swim around her lagoon unbothered? All of those questions and so many more make people wonder if the stories they’ve been hearing since they were children are true. The series creators decided to not only take those different phenomenons and showcase them, but also research them. I mean it’s not like there hasn’t been a number of television shows giving viewers information and the history of Bigfoot, but how many of them have actually taken you on the search for it?
When it comes to “monsters” most often we are there to listen to eyewitness accounts of people who may or may not have seen them. The cool thing about Monster Quest is that it takes real experts on its episodes’ subjects and lets them give their true feelings and knowledge. Most of them don’t proclaim to have seen the things they know so much about which makes it all seem so much more real if you can understand that. Because they aren’t boasting of constant sightings and clues left behind, it makes their vast education of the creatures so much more valid because the truth is still out there somewhere waiting to be found.
This little collection is only four episodes long and is entitled Movie Monsters in regards to the famed monstrous beasts that have adorned the silver screen. “Jaws In Illinois” discusses the great white shark among others and how they truly torment people, but perhaps not as in depth as ol’ Bruce in the film Jaws. “Swamp Stalker” delves into the subject of a huge monster that walks through the swamps and bogs much like Swamp Thing. “American Werewolf” is easily understood as the dog or wolfmen are showcased in depth lurking around certain places in the United States. Finally there is the episode called “Vampires In America” which is also easy to comprehend as our blood-sucking friends skulking in the shadows of New England are dissected. Each episode is really good actually and they probably couldn’t have picked four better episodes to incorporate into a themed collection about our famous beasts.
My big problem comes with A&E throwing together an essentially worthless collection that appears to be in existence for no other reason than to make a little money. In this set is one episode each from seasons one and two while the other two come from the recently released seasons three. Not to mention the fact that the DVD cases have changed cover art for each of the three seasons released so far, but that isn’t the situation here. The cover art from season one is recycled with just the different title thrown on. A cool little image representing the movies couldn’t be put together? Probably not because it seems as little work as possible was put into this release. Yeah the episodes still rock, but the release as a whole is just bothersome.
Jaws In Illinois
Vampires In America
The episodes are shown in 1.78:1 Widescreen format and all looks good from the interviews, to the news footage, to all of the computer generated imagery for the stories. Some of the colors are a bit dull and could be a bit brighter at times, but nothing is too harsh. Even though the dull colors have been a problem through both seasons; the second season seems to have improved on those issues a little bit.
The episodes are heard in Stereo Sound and the mostly dialogue driven series comes through just fine.
As much as I love MonsterQuest and all that comes from the series, there’s just no real way I can possibly endorse this release. Sure the four episodes chosen are also extremely good, but it’s not any reason to grab this DVD. Unless you haven’t bought any of the seasons so far and don’t plan on it, but want a little bit of MonsterQuest in your life…then you may want to grab this little set. Those of you that are fans and have a season or two, don’t waste your money here. I mean what other possible explanation could they come up with for releasing such a small little collection other than to raise a profit?
A&E Home Video presents MonsterQuest: Movie Monsters. Directed by: Michael Stiller, Jared Christie, Beth Pacunas, and more. Starring: Various. Running time: 188 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: September 29, 2009. Available at Amazon.com