Digi-Schlock: THE NURSES COLLECTION (Shout! Factory 2-DVD Set)

The first wave of Shout! Factory’s releases from Roger Corman’s New World/Concorde stable of films covered a lot of obvious horror and sci-fi stuff: Death Race 2000, Piranha, Humanoids From The Deep, etc.  As they’ve continued, they’ve gotten into the stuff the hardcore fans really obsess over, a diverse range of slightly lesser known material like The Great Texas Dynamite Chase and Women In CagesThe Nurses Collection digs even deeper into fan-fave territory by excavating 4 of Corman’s “nurse” movies from the early days of New World.  The results deliver a lot of sexploitative bang for the cult film fan’s buck.

The four films included in this set are Private Duty Nurses, Night Call Nurses, The Young Nurses and Candy Stripe Nurses.  Each film gets a new anamorphic transfer in the 1.78:1 ratio for this set and the results are easy on the eye: the vintage color palette is retained for each but image quality is crisp.

The audio for each transfer comes from the original mono mixes for each title.  There’s some slight but noticeable audio damage in spots: a burbling sound can be heard in quiet spots on The Young Nurses and Night Call Nurses while there’s a bit of distortion in the last few reels of Private Duty Nurses.  It would have been nice to have a little bit of cleanup in these areas but the overall sound quality is solid.

There are also a few featurettes included in this set, one on each disc.  The first disc’s featurette is entitled “Anatomy Of A Nurse Film.”  It’s built around interviews with two nurse-film directors, Night Call Nurses‘ Jonathan Kaplan and Candy Stripe Nurses‘ Alan Holleb.  Both men are self-effacing and witty as they recount how they ended up doing nurse movies for Corman, with Kaplan focusing on slice-of-production-life anecdotes while Holleb is analytical and frank about his work as a first-time director.  Along the way, the two men reveal a lot of fascinating information about the nurse film genre, including how Corman modeled the series upon Valley Of The Dolls and a breakdown of how the nurse characters and subplots were designed.

The second disc’s featurette is “Paging Dr. Corman”  – and it actually features both Cormans, Roger and Julie.  They discuss the commercial factors that inspired the creation of New World’s nurse-flick series and discuss how and why the directors were chosen for Night Call Nurses, The Young Nurses and Candy Stripe Nurses (Private Duty Nurses is oddly omitted from the discussion).  Like “Anatomy Of A Nurse Film,” this twelve-minute piece was directed and edited by Elijah Drenner and it moves at a snappy pace that is punctuated by plenty of colorful clips from the films in this set.

In short, The Nurses Collection is another tidy multi-film New World set from Shout Factory, made all the sweeter by a couple of choice featurettes.  It’s well worth the modest price for exploitation film historians and anyone else into New World/Corman material.

For Schlockmania’s film review of Private Duty Nurses, click here.

For Schlockmania’s film review of Night Call Nurses, click here.

For Schlockmania’s film review of The Young Nurses, click here.

For Schlockmania’s film review of Candy Stripe Nurses, click here.

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