Blu-ray Review: Die, Monster, Die!

The major movie studios didn’t think much of the creepy fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. His Cthulhu Mythos had captured the imagination of many a geeky college kid, but had made zero impact in Hollywood. But someone at American International Pictures saw Lovecraft as an author whose works could be transformed into films that could rival their Edgar Allen Poe series. Most moviegoers thought AIP’s The Haunted Palace was another Poe flick starring Vincent Price. Turns out the script was based on Lovecraft’s The Strange Case of Dexter Ward.. A few years later, AIP tapped into Lovecraft once more as his “The Colour Out of Space” became Die, Monster, Die! with Boris Karloff.

Nick Adams (Rebel Without a Cause) arrives in a remote English town to meet his fiance’s family. Turns out they live even further out of town. The townspeople aren’t the most helpful with getting him out there. Nobody wants to give him a lift to his fiance’s place. A cabbie tosses him out of the taxi. He has to take a long walk through the woods. The pleasant English countryside gives way to a ravaged section with a crater. Was this the site of a Nazi bombing during World War II or something more ominous? When your future father-in-law turns out to be Boris Karloff, you can pretty much admit it’s going to be something more ominous. Things at the house are extremely messed up. Adams wants to be polite so not to upset the family. Karloff is in his old scientist role as he keeps hiding things from his potential son-in-law. But it’s hard to hide the weird flowers, plants and animals from the guy. Sure he’s got his experiments, but these are things that are not normal science. There’s a strange green glow all around the manor. Adams’ future mother-in-law doesn’t like going near other people. It’s not shaping out to be a great way to meet the parents. The movie has the major climax when Adams discovers what’s really lurking deep in the basement.

Die, Monster, Die! has its shares of frights courtesy of the glowing object. What are the chances Adams isn’t going to end up messed up like the rest of the family members in the house. In a way, the movie harkens back to House of Usher with a contemporary feel and a science fiction center. The movie delivers an important message: if a cabbie won’t take you to your future in-law’s house, break up with her immediately.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfers bring out the creepy glow from the secret in the basement. The audio is a Mono DTS-HD Master Audio. The mix is fine for the era with a lot of odd electronic noises to make things sound more alien.

Theatrical Trailer
(1:55) scares you with what’s in the basement.

Die, Monster, Die! brings another tale from H.P. Lovecraft to the big screen. Karloff comes off well as the father who has a major secret hidden from his future son-in-law.

Scream Factory presents Die, Monster, Die!. Directed by: Daniel Haller. Screenplay by: Jerry Sohl. Starring: Boris Karloff, Nick Adams, Freda Jackson, Suzan Farmer, Terence de Marney and Patrick Magee . Running Time: 78 minutes. Rating: Unrated. Released: January 21, 2014.

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