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Halloween-themed movies/TV shows arrive on Blu-ray and DVD
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Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein, a role he played in several Hammer horror films. This entry, "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed" (1969), is part of a four film set on Blu-ray for the first time. - photo by Chris Hicks
Some of these Halloween-themed horror shows, some for adults and many for teens and young children, began arriving in early September. But I just didnt have the heart to think about trick-or-treaters until October. So here we go.

Horror Classics, Volume 1 (Warner/Blu-ray, 1959-70, four discs, four movies). Vivid Blu-ray upgrades for four movies from the color reboots of Universals classic monster flicks by the British Hammer Films studio. Hammer effectively reinvented movie horror in the 1960s and upped the ante in terms of violence and sex though its still nothing close to what dominates the genre today. Three of these are sequels, and since this is Volume 1 it would have been nice to have the first of Hammers Frankenstein and Dracula films, but perhaps theyll arrive with Volume 2.

Following its huge success with Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula, the studio released The Mummy (1959, not rated) with its two biggest in-house stars, Christopher Lee as the title character and Peter Cushing as the archaeologist who digs him up and lives to regret it.

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969, PG-13) is the fifth (and one of the best) in Hammers Frankenstein series with Cushing as the Baron, attempting to transplant his dying friends brain into a new body.

And finally, two sequels in Hammers Dracula franchise, the fourth and fifth in the series, both starring Lee: Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968, G), with the Count accidentally resuscitated and out for revenge when his castle is exorcised, and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970, R for violence and sex, re-rated from PG), in which the bloodsucker is more of a supporting character in a tale of Satanists bringing him back to life. Grave is quite good; Blood is one of the series weaker entries.

R.L. Stines Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls (Universal/DVD/Digital, 2015, PG). This straight-to-video, teen-friendly fright flick (invoking the titles of two horror-movie classics, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Carnival of Souls) is liberally laced with comedy as Dr. Hysterias traveling horror show arrives in Danville for the small towns annual Halloween and Harvest Festival.

Four high school friends are disturbed to find that the shows zombies and witches seem a little too real. Then one in the group (Dove Cameron) discovers they are kidnapped teenagers from around the country who have been transformed after Dr. Hysteria captures their souls.

Midnight Masquerade (Cinedigm/DVD/Digital, 2015). Hallmark Channel fairytale, a variation on Cinderella with a Halloween twist, has a young businesswoman (Autumn Reeser) inheriting a billion-dollar candy company, then being romanced by a lawyer (Christopher Russell) in a firm that is suing her.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickeys Monster Musical (Disney/DVD, 2013-15, three episodes, bonus episode of Minnies Bow Toons: Tricky Treats; reusable Halloween mini-tote). The main calling card here is the title cartoon, Mickeys Monster Musical, in which Mickeys ancestor Count Mickula shows up. Also here are Mickeys Pirate Adventure and Mickeys Farm Fun-Fair. And, of course, Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Pluto are also on hand.

Monster High: Boo York, Boo York (Universal/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2015, Ever After High special). Boo York is a feature-length musical cartoon (with eight original songs) in the Monster High toy/toon franchise, with Cleo de Nile and friends heading to a party celebrating the return of a magical comet, but Cleos evil sister Nefera intends to harness the comets powers. Also here is the Ever After High Netflix special Spring Unsprung, based on a webisode series.

Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest (Shout! Kids/Hasbro/DVD, 2013-14, five episodes, sing-alongs; pumpkin carving stencil). Episodes from this animated childrens show are Door-Jammed, Eight Arms to Hold You, Pawlm Reading, War of the Weirds and The Very Littlest Pet Shop. (Is the underside of a paw really a pawlm?)

Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot: Mystery in Care-a-Lot (Lionsgate/DVD, 2012, three episodes). Episodes from the animated childrens series include themes related (however remotely) to Halloween: Nightbears, Sleuth of Bears and Welcome to Grump-a-Lot.

Sabans Power Rangers Trickster Treat (Lionsgate/DVD, 1994-2013, four episodes). Episodes are Raising Spirits from the Power Rangers Megaforce series, Trickster Treat from Power Rangers Samurai, Zedds Monster Mash from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and It Came From Angel Grove from Power Rangers Zeo.

20 Halloween Stories (Scholastic/Cinedigm/DVD, 2015). These animated stories with a tinge of spookiness are intended for children ages 3-8. Included are Where the Wild Things Are, Creepy Carrots, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything and many more.