Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) – Well they’d thrown a bunch of the Universal Monsters into single movies. Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf Man all wreaked havoc in the “monster mash” movies House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula. What else could be done? Obviously, humor! The series had kind of descended … Continue reading

House of Frankenstein (1944) & House of Dracula (1945)

So Universal had gone through all the classic monsters: Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and the Wolf Man. Then they decided to mash the franchises together with Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Then they figured “if two, why not three?” That’s where these movies come in. These are commonly referred to as … Continue reading

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) – In the 1940s, a company called Timely Comics (now known as Marvel Comics) had two big characters: the Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner. They decided that the only natural thing to do was put them together and make them fight. The whole Marvel Universe was born in … Continue reading

Son of Frankenstein (1939) & The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

I’ve been marathoning my way through the Universal Monster films of the 1920s-50s. By and large I’ve found them to be as excellent as I remember from my youth (in the early 90s, I was not yet born when they were made… hell, my dad wasn’t born when most of them were made). However as … Continue reading

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – The horror genre is one that is often met with dismissiveness if not outright derision. There’s a spectrum, to be sure, and on the lower end of it you have exploitation films that promise and deliver no more than jumps, blood, maybe a little gratuitous nudity. On the upper end … Continue reading

Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein (1931) – So I have saved the best for not-quite-last (since some of the other movies I intend to watch are sequels to this one). Frankenstein is my favorite of the old Universal Monster movies. It’s also the most popular with five sequels and a crossover with Abbott and Costello. Boris Karloff and Jack … Continue reading

Dracula (1931)

Dracula (1931) – Despite hits like The Phantom of the Opera, Universal Studios head Carl Laemmle wasn’t particularly interested in making horror movies. Carl Laemmle Jr., on the other hand, was quite keen to bring Dracula to the big screen. History has kind of sided with Laemmle Jr., I am happy to say. Dracula was … Continue reading

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) – While the “Golden Age” of the Universal Monster movies began in 1931 with Dracula, Universal Studios was not a total stranger to the horror genre. They had some big hits starring Leonidas Frank Chaney, known as the Man of a Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney. Chaney was rightfully celebrated … Continue reading

The Wolf Man (1941)

The Wolf Man (1941) – Creighton Chaney decided to follow in the footsteps of his father Lon Chaney, the legendary “man of a thousand faces” famous for such films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. The studio rechristened Creighton as Lon Chaney, Jr. and he often, as in The … Continue reading

The Mummy (1932)

The Mummy (1932) – Two reviews into my retrospective of the Universal Monster films, I haven’t yet mentioned one of the people largely responsible for their classic iconography: Jack Pierce. Well, third time’s the charm. Jack Pierce was the leading make-up guy at Universal after Lon Chaney (Sr.) walked off the set of The Man … Continue reading