This is an interesting package, in that the title feature could just as easily pass as an extended extra to accompany all the shorts here. At any rate, said feature is a 104-minute documentary/autobiography. Don Glut has been successively fan, amateur filmmaker, writer and pro, and most of the film consists of him sitting in front of the camera, recounting his amateur days. Interspersed are brief interview with his mother, friends, and other notable fans/historians such as Bob Burns and Bill Warren, as well as clips from the films. Glut still has a great many of the props he used as a kid, which is astonishing. The style of the doc is very simple, and this probably won’t have too much appeal beyond, well, the same kind of people as this feature is about. But for anyone who ever read an issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland, this will bring a nostalgic tear to your eye. It also makes an excellent companion piece to Monster Kid Memories Home Movies.
The 2.0 does the job nicely as far as the music is concerned, which shows up primarily with the shorts themselves (as an accompaniment to the – naturally – silent films). As for the interviews themselves, there’s a rather distracting hollow quality on the recording of Glut speaking.
Rating the transfer quality of the shorts is, of course, irrelevant. The documentary is sharp enough, but there are a few lighting issues now and then (though this isn’t the fault of the transfer). The colours are vibrant enough, but not as solid as one would like, and become noticeably grainy.
The primary extra (or is this the main feature?) is the collection of all 41 of Glut’s films – twelve hours worth of stuff, complete with engaging commentary. We should all be so lucky as to revisit our misspent youths in this way, but at least we can revisit Glut’s. The movies are divided into numerous categories. Disc 1 has “Dinosaurs” and “Classic Monsters.” Disc 2 has the rest: “Teenage Monsters,” “Superheroes,” and “Miscellaneous.” Beyond the latter, there is yet another miscellany, including a trailer for “Spy Smasher,” deleted scenes (!), footage of Forrest J. Ackerman in Chicago, an featurette interview with Glut by “Count Gorde de Vol,” image galleries, Glut’s amateur filmography, and some ads for his books.
A wonderful little tribute to a completely charming creative obsession. Every Monster Kid out there should check this out.