Sci-Fi Creature Classics (2014)

DVD Cover (Mill Creek)
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This four-pack of sci-fi monster movies includes 20 Million Miles to Earth, Mothra, It Came From Beneath the Sea, and The Giant Claw. --Amazon
Review by Bill Wolford
Added: May 30, 2014
This is the first time that a Mill Creek product had me wondering who this movie pack might be marketed to? Serious sci-fi film buffs will have most, if not all of these releases in hi-def special editions, and would not stoop to buying these four films one one DVD in compressed format. Three of these four films are classics, so even people with smaller collections are going to want the best versions of these films available. I came to the conclusion that this set must be aimed at two sets of people. Aliens who have never seen sci-fi cinema at its best, and children of movie collectors who don't want their super duper special hi-def editions ruined when little Johnny smears his peanut butter and jelly sandwich all over it, trying to get it into the DVD player. So, I guess I can understand why Mill Creek might have put out this collection. I just hope that they don't keep putting these films out that are readily available in much better versions elsewhere. I know they have done this in fifty and hundred movie packs, but there are rarities mixed into those sets as well, unlike this one. Here are the synopsis of the four films included.

20 Million Miles to Earth - (1957) B&W Not Rated 1.85:1
On its way home from Venus, a U.S. Army rocket ship crashes into the sea off of Sicily leaving Colonel Calder the sole survivor... or so it seems. A sealed container is also recovered from the wreck, and when a zoologist and his granddaughter open it, the gelatinous mass inside escapes. Overnight, it grows into a horrific monster that has doubled in size. In desperation, Calder calls in the Army to help fight the monster, which has taken refuge atop the Coliseum in Rome. But it will take more than man's weapons to fight the evil forces of the unknown and save the world from destruction.
(Beware: on the front cover, this is advertised in color... if you look on the back, you can see it's actually the B&W version).

The Giant Claw - (1957) B&W Not Rated 1.85:1
Global chaos erupts when an enormous bird from outer space ventures to Earth and begins killing scores of innocent bystanders in this awe-inspiring sci-fi thriller starring stunning Mara Corday and Jeff Morrow. Four times faster than sound, the bird is bigger than a battleship and surrounded by an invisible radar-resistant shield which repels existing destructive devices. It's a race against time for scientists Mitch MacAfee and Sally Caldwell to devise a weapon against this abominable creature before it obliterates the World. Can they do it? IS there enough time? See for yourself in this terrifying adventure of man against monstrosity.

It Came From Beneath the Sea - (1955) B&W Not Rated 1.85:1
In Ray Harryhausen's vintage sci-fi thriller, a giant, radioactive octopus makes the deadly mistake of attacking Navy Captain Pete Mathews' submarine, prompting the bold commander to pursue the monstrous beast across the Pacific Ocean before it attacks anyone else. But as the military races to develop a special torpedo that will penetrate the mutated octopus's brain and destroy it, the eight-armed monstrosity suddenly discovers how to survive on land, wreaking havoc first on the Golden Gate Bridge and then in the Embarcadero, sending the terrified citizens of San Francisco running for their lives.

Mothra - (1961) Color Not Rated 2.35:1
A science fiction classic! After an atomic blast, members of a Japanese expedition explore the heavily-radiated Infant Island. Much to their surprise, the scientists discover that life still exists there: two beautiful twin girls called Ailenas. Standing only six inches high, they are the guardians of Mothra, a sacred giant egg. Later, Nelson, one of the explorers whose avarice has gotten the best of him, returns to the island to kidnap the Ailenas with plans to exhibit them around the world. Nelson gets more then he's bargained for, however. The giant egg hatches into a larva which grows to tremendous size and wreaks havoc on downtown Tokyo. Soon the caterpillar metamorphoses into a gigantic moth which the entire Japanese armed forces can't stop. Will the Earth survive?
(Note: this is the English dubbed version with no subtitles option. Also, it looked a little stretched out to me, but it could have just been my eyes... but this is a budget set).

I did notice that all of these were Columbia films, or licensed through them, so Mill Creek must have had a deal with them to release these classics on their budget label for some reason. So, if you're one of the very few who have been unlucky enough to have never seen any of these classics, or if you have a curious preteen, go ahead and pick this up. Otherwise, you can safely skip it, as there is nothing new here that you wouldn't already have on a deluxe edition. 9/10 for the movies, 4/10 for this collection crammed on to one DVD.
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