Universal Monster Classics Finally Getting 4K Release Later This Year

It was only a matter of time, but it looks like some of your favorite black and white creature features are headed to 4K UHD physical disks in the near future.

The DigitalBits had a scoop about some of the Universal Monsters getting the physical 4k Ultra HD treatment in the very near future. Their intel suggests a more thorough release coming as soon as September or October that would include at least four titles.

They point to foreign pre-sale sites, like a French release advertising a 4K set that would include some of the Universal Monsters heavy hitters: Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and Frankenstein. A German site is offering individual titles in steelbooks as well, so that could also be something that comes to the States at some point. (Either way, 4K IS NOT region-locked, so import away!)

Nothing has been made official Stateside yet, but the studio already has these 4k masters from their last Blu-ray box set. Even though the Blus were remastered in 4k, they were only released in standard 1080p definition.

That's tech talk that basically translates to "if you have a really big TV, you'll see a quality difference between 4K and Blu-ray."

Still, any preservation of these classics is good news. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of movies that have been lost to time that never made the jump between 35mm prints to any home video format, let alone all the way from VHS to discs.

Physical Media is Still the Way

I may be biased since I'm a long-time physical media collector, but there is a world of difference between a 4K stream and a 4K disc. For instance, you can stream Stranger Things in 4K on Netflix and it looks good. But if you have the 4K discs they put out (a rarity, since Netflix hardly ever releases their original programming on physical media), it's a giant leap up in clarity and sound.

For audio/video enthusiasts it's the only way to get a true uncompressed picture and lossless audio. And with the average home television getting bigger and better as prices continue to drop, it's progressively more likely that you'll have a set that'll really take advantage of these higher def releases.

I've noticed in my personal 4K experience that older titles tend to see the most benefit from these remasters. So I'm especially interested in seeing these gothic black and white masterpieces in the best contrast and definition yet.

Also, you know when you buy a movie and have it sitting on your shelf it won't suddenly and without warning just disappear someday as some titles often do on streaming services. Even archives where you "own" a digital copy of a movie have been known to erase your license or even digitally tinker with the product. Everybody remembers "Maclunkey," right?