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Monsters and Madmen: The Criterion Collection

Four "B" genre films from 1958-9 — The Atomic Submarine, The First Man Into Space, The Haunted Strangler, and Corridors of Blood — get the Criterion treatment. Two are handsomely mounted gothic creepers starring late-career Boris Karloff. Two are a pair of low-rent Space Age boilerplates that'll never make anyone's list of milestone sci-fi. There's not a masterpiece among them, but each is sufficiently enjoyable to the suitably minded. What links all four is their British producers, Alex and Richard Gordon, brothers who had grown up as fans of the good old shock-and-schlock stuff, then parlayed their enthusiasm into making their own of movies against the usual odds of frugal budgets, short shooting schedules, and disinterested studios. As usual, Criterion serves up great-looking prints and abundant worthy extras, this time highlighted by Tom Weaver's in-depth conversations the Gordon brothers providing commentary tracks for all four films. Two dual-spindle keep-cases within a paperboard case.
—Mark Bourne

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