Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

As Sure as His Name's Boris Karloff, It's a "Thriller" on DVD

While it's been swirling around the rumor mills for the past six months, a press release on Friday made it official: Image Entertainment will be releasing the complete series of Boris Karloff's seminal horror/mystery anthology Thriller on DVD on August 31, 2010. The show ran for 60 episodes over two seasons from 1960 to 1962. Boris Karloff hosted each episode and acted in a few of the stories as well. One episode, "Pigeons from Hell," made our list of great episodes of television horror. The full press release (courtesy of Tom Weaver posting at the Classic Horror Film Board) is below:

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2010

As sure as my name is Boris Karloff, this is going to be a THRILLER!

ON AUGUST 31, IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
BRINGS A TELEVISION CLASSIC TO DVD

"THRILLER: The Complete Series"
14-DVD Deluxe Box Set

Features all 67 episodes, remastered and uncut with over 50 hours of exclusive bonus features!

Chatsworth, CA - For two seasons and over sixty episodes, horror icon Boris Karloff invited television audiences to enjoy captivating tales of suspense, murder, and relentless terror as host of the 1960s anthology series "Thriller." Featuring stories from such master storytellers as Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Bloch, Cornell Woolrich and starring a galaxy of classic television stars from the 1960s and 1970s, "Thriller" was dubbed by Stephen King as "the best horror series ever put on TV."

Now, Image Entertainment proudly announces a tribute to a television legend with the August 31st release of "Thriller: The Complete Series" 14-DVD Deluxe Box Set. All 67 unforgettable episodes have been remastered, and are presented uncut for the first time since their original broadcasts! And for this very special release, over 50 hours of bonus features have been exclusively and specially created, with over 24 hours of audio commentaries, over 31 hours of isolated music & effects tracks for select episodes from composers Jerry Goldsmith and Morton Stevens, rare episode promos, extensive promotional and production still galleries and more! SRP is $149.98, and pre-book is August 3rd.

"Thriller" still stands today as one of the most chilling television shows ever produced. In addition to the sterling pedigree of stories chosen for the series, "Thriller" boasts an impressive cast of then and future superstars including William Shatner ("Star Trek," "Boston Legal"), Leslie Nielsen (The Naked Gun films), Rip Torn ("The Larry Sanders Show"), Richard Chamberlain (The Towering Inferno, "The Thorn Birds"), Oscar-winner Cloris Leachman ("Phyllis," Young Frankenstein), Oscar-nominee Mary Tyler Moore (Ordinary People), Russell Johnson ("Gilligan's Island"), Edward Platt ("Get Smart"), Natalie Schafer ("Gilligan's Island"), Tom Poston (Zotz!, "Newhart"), Elizabeth Montgomery ("Bewitched," "The Legend of Lizzie Borden"), Ursula Andress (Dr. No, Casino Royale) , Howard McNear (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, "The Andy Griffith Show"), Dick York (Inherit The Wind, "Bewitched") and many, many more!

And there was talent behind the camera. Episodes were directed by such veterans as "Twilight Zone" alums Douglas Heyes and John Brahm, Mitchell Leisen (Hold Back The Dawn, Death Takes A Holiday) and actor-turned-director Paul Henreid (Casablanca, Now Voyager).

"Thriller: The Complete Series" 14-DVD Deluxe Box Set is the ultimate tribute to the legendary television series and the ultimate must-have for any fan of horror, classic TV...or both! So turn out the lights, settle into your couch, and just keep telling yourself: It's only a TV show. It's only a TV show...

Episodes
SEASON 1: The Twisted Image, Child's Play, Worse Than Murder, The Mark of the Hand, Rose's Last Summer, The Guilty Men, The Purple Room, The Watcher, Girl with a Secret, The Prediction, The Fatal Impulse, The Big Blackout, Knock Three-One-Two, Man in the Middle, The Cheaters, The Hungry Glass, The Poisoner, Man in the Cage, Choose a Victim, Hay-Fork and Bill-Hook, The Merriweather File, The Fingers of Fear, Well of Doom, The Ordeal of Dr. Cordell, Trio for Terror, Papa Benjamin, Late Date, Yours Truly Jack the Ripper, The Devil's Ticket, Parasite Mansion, A Good Imagination, Mr. George, The Terror in Teakwood, The Prisoner in the Mirror, Dark Legacy, Pigeons from Hell, The Grim Reaper.

SEASON 2: What Beckoning Ghost?, Guillotine, The Premature Burial, The Weird Tailor, God Grante That She Lye Stille, Masquerade, The Last of the Sommervilles, Letter to a Lover, A Third for Pinochle, The Closed Cabinet, Dialogues with Death, The Return of Andrew Bentley, The Remarkable Mrs. Hawk, Portrait Without a Face, An Attractive Family, Waxworks, La Strega, The Storm, A Wig for Miss Devore, The Hollow Watcher, Cousin Tundifer, The Incredible Doktor Markesan, Flowers of Evil, ‘Til Death Do Us Part, The Bride Who Died Twice, Kill My Love, Man of Mystery, The Innocent Bystanders, The Lethal Ladies, The Specialists.

Special Features
· 29 New Audio Commentaries featuring Arthur Hiller, Patricia Barry, Ernest Dickerson, David Schow, Tim Lucas, Gary Gerani, Jim Wynorski, Richard Anderson, Lucy Chase Williams, Steve Mitchell, Marc Scott Zicree, Alan Brennert, Beverly Washburn, Larry Blamire, Jon Burlingame, Daniel Benton, Ron Borst, Craig Reardon
· Extensive Promotional and Production Still Galleries
· Rare Episode Promos
· Thriller Series Promo
· Isolated Music & Effects Tracks for Select Episodes from Composers Jerry Goldsmith and Morton Stevens

Thriller: The Complete Series DVD
Street Date: August 31, 2010
Pre-book: August 3, 2010
Genre: Horror, Television, 1960s
Languages: English
Format: Full-screen (1.33:1)
Audio: Dolby Digital 1.0
Year: 1960 - 1962
SRP : $149.98
Length: 3354 minutes
UPC : 014381642926
Cat#: ID6429NCDVD

The set doesn't appear to be available for pre-order on Amazon yet, so keep your eyes peeled.

Hey, who’s going to argue

Hey, who’s going to argue with Steven King? Finally, one of the last of the classic 1960 television shows to make it to DVD! This was a show that scared the daylights out of me when I was 8 years old and forced my mom to ban scary movies and spooky TV shows for…well it seemed like forever. The episode I watched was “The Hungry Glass” starring William Shatner and Russell Johnson. A few years later, when I was a teenager, a local station would show two episodes of Thriller every Saturday night, but “The Hungry Glass” never turned up.  Ironiclly, it wasn’t until just a couple of months ago that it found this episode on the internet and was able to watch again after 49 years. This show was so ingrained in my memory, that even after all these years I still remembered many of the scenes vividly. This is a great series and, although some of the scares might pale against today’s horror features, it’s still got enough chills to make you want to turn on the lights before entering a dark room. Definitely a must-have for classic horror fans!

Paul

Paul, I've heard a lot of

Paul, I've heard a lot of great things about The Hungry Glass, and rest assured that when I do pick up this set, I'm going to make a beeline for that episode.

"He went for a little walk! You should have seen his face!"

Nate, while I think “The

Nate, while I think “The Hungry Glass” is still the eeriest of the many excellent episodes of Karloff’s classic series; please remember that I saw this episode when I was just 8 years old. However, unlike many TV shows and movies that scared me as a kid, but have lost their punch after seeing them again as an adult, when I watched this episode for the first time in 49 years on the internet, I was not disappointed. I hope you will experience some of the same chills from this spooky episode that I have felt.

Paul

This is good news. I have

This is good news. I have fragmentary memories of seeing bits of this replayed on television in the late 1960s as a very young child and budding horror fan. It will make a nice addition to my Twilight Zone and Outer Limits collection.

My dad had a VHS tape of

My dad had a VHS tape of Thriller that he bought years ago. It contained the episode The Grim Reaper. I remember watching it and it creeped me out. My dad told me that Thriller scared him as a kid, especially The Grim Reaper. As soon as I found out about the DVD release, I had to tell my dad. Father's day is around the corner, I think I know what I'm going to get him.

Lindsey Churosh (Lady Ash)

http://ladyashpresents.blogspot.com/

 

 

I have already written a

I have already written a positive review of the release of this excellent tv series on Amazon, sight unseen, and now, having received the set, must add some qualifiers. The set is thus far a disappointment. Obviously, owning it for only one day, I haven't watched all the episodes but I did spot check a few of them and must concur with others that it could have been better. Much better.

The main fault with this dvd release is, by far, in the inferior film sources that were used for the video masters. I watched the first episode in its entirety. I knew trouble was up when it became apparent that this episode was transferred from what looks like a so-so 16mm print. I then went to check the "Grim Reaper" episode and found that one to be excellent - though not anywhere near as good as it was on the old laserdisc release. Next I checked the episode that is, perhaps, the most beloved of the entire series, "Pigeons From Hell". I was heartbroken. It was clearly mastered from a grainy, poor-density print (16mm again?). After that my heart sank. A few more episodes were checked revealing the same hit-or-miss quality.

What happened??? After Image's magnificent TWILIGHT ZONE set, clearly mastered from pristine 35mm negatives, I expected the same care to be used for THRILLER. What explains this? The bad economy...Image not wanting to spend the money to go back to the originals for the transfer? Poor judgment....some 24-year-old executives at the company not knowing or caring what potential they had here? Universal Studios...not being cooperative with Image? What explains these second-rate film elements used for this dvd? It is known that Image had some financial difficulties...were they the reason for this low-budget release?

Everybody talks "digital this" and "digital that" but all seem to forget that it is the original FILM elements that makes the transfers look good or bad. Again, what is the reason Image didn't go after 35mm negative material? Did Universal lose the negatives?

Some have rightly complained about all those interviews on the set.  I agree.  Who cares what some of these people think about THRILLER? Who watches these interviews these days anyway? Why spend money collecting interviews with people like Ernest Dickerson (who's he?) when they could have invested that money and effort into finding the best film materials to use for the transfers? I don't need a group of relatively unknown "experts" to tell me how good THRILLER is. I KNOW how good it is.

Should you buy this set? That is a hard one to answer. I want to say "yes" because this is, without question, the best horror series ever put on television and for that reason alone you should own it. But Image needs to know, despite the difficulties they are going through, that they cannot charge $100 for a set like this using only very fair film elements as their source. The old laserdisc set that had a half-dozen episodes was vastly superior in both picture and sound than what we have here. A pity they never released the entire series on laserdisc.

Also, these dvd folks need to know that using the "M&E" (music and effects) tracks is really kind of a waste of time.  If the original music-only track is no longer available then don't bother with anything else. An M&E track is simply annoying.

Will Image do what CBS did with their disastrous FUGITIVE dvd release...call them all back and make new ones after that stupid move they made with the music? I doubt it. But someone either at Image or Universal needs to step up and explain what happened here. And fast.  Here was a show that was brilliantly photographed in rich, lustrous black and white, and some of the episodes seen on this dvd are washed-out and grainy.  This is simply unacceptable for a show of that quality.

How I wish I could have praised this release to the skies. How terribly sad that such a superb tv series could not be given the same care and thought on a dvd release that so many other rubbishy tv shows get.

I agree somewhat with your

I agree somewhat with your comments on the quality of the Thriller DVDs but in my opinion it is the audio on certain episodes that make me so mad. I couldn't wait to watch "The Hungry Glass" but the storm winds at the beginning that I so loved because they gave such creepy atmosphere sounded more like someone blowing into a metal can. I have this episode on an old VHS tape and the wind on it sounds like real wind. How can Image mess up the audio so bad compared to how good it sounded on old reruns I have seen before. Shouldn't digitally restored film sound better than old sindicated reruns on TV? I hear that other episodes have audio problems also. This set cost way to much for it to have these problems. I can't believe how long I waited for this series to finally come to DVD. So much for that!

One of the best horror shows

One of the best horror shows ever. Superior stories and acting make this one a true TV classic

I agree with Dan and Tyler

I agree with Dan and Tyler that there are big problems with the video and audio quality of this set.  I'm a hugeThriller fan and have been ever since I was a kid and watched reruns of the show in the late 1960s and the 1970s.  After watcing the DVD bootlegs of the show for the past several years, I was really excited when I learned about the "official" release from Image.  And I was greatly disappointed to see that Image's discs aren't that much better than the bootlegs.  As already pointed out, the video quality of my favorite episode, "Pigeons from Hell," is awful.  Even worse, however, is the audio for the episode "Guillotine."  The dialogue goes out of sync with the picture about ten minutes into the episode and doesn't sycn back up for about another ten minues!  What a disappointment to fans, and what a slap in the face to the memory of Boris Karloff and the other greats who worked on this excellent show!

I haven’t purchased the DVD

I haven’t purchased the DVD set, but fortunately our public library has it for rent at a dollar a disc. My wife checked out the first 6 discs and I watched as many episodes as I could in that week before having to return them.

 

The Hungry Glass was the first on my list to watch and my 17-year-old son even gave it a “thumbs up.” This is impressive, considering he was weaned on Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and all of the Saw films. The sound was terrible, but the visuals were good enough to keep things interesting. Other episodes varied in visual or audio quality, but most weren’t much better than what you might find in a $5 bargain bin collection of One Step Beyond.

 

After the holidays, I plan to check out the remaining discs. Judging from the earlier comments here, my expectations aren’t going to be too high, but at just $1 per disc to rent, I’m glad we didn’t invest in the full set.

Paul

One can but hope that if the

One can but hope that if the economy ever recovers and Image stays in business that they will one day re-release this set with proper transfers of quality film elements.

And I would also hope that someone with a bit more intelligence would re-design the menus.  Some unthinking 24-year-old (I imagine) designed the menus so that the major shock scenes in each episode are depicted on the menu screen - which, of course, destroys the shock value altogether.  In just one example among many the classic, and very horrible last shot of "The Cheaters" episode is actually shown on the menu - thereby destroying the effect of the show's ending! It is this kind of boneheadedness that makes one's jaw drop.

Hey There. I found your blog

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I'll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I'll certainly return.

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