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MGM Horror Classics: Mad Love, the Mask of Fu Manchu, Mark of the Vampire, The Devil Doll

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MGM in the ’30s was primarily a glamour factory, but the studio did dabble in the kind of horror fare normally associated with rival Universal — with fun results, as this new three-disc set documents. The camp quotient is high: Movies that feature Myrna Loy as a Chinese temptress (The Mask of Fu Manchu), Lionel Barrymore in drag (The Devil Doll), and Peter Lorre going nuts (Mad Love) can’t be taken entirely seriously. Nevertheless, all three have chilling moments, and the fourth, Mark of the Vampire, is a legitimate treasure. A remake of an apparently lost Lon Chaney silent from the ’20s, it finds Bela Lugosi, striking actress Carol Borland, and cinematographer James Wong Howe (Picnic) conjuring up the most poetic visual imagery ever seen in a vampire flick. Fortunately, the razor-sharp transfer here does it full justice. A

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