Universal Monsters Part 2- The Monsters

After part 1 which looked at the history of Universal and their Monsters movies, for a bit of fun we thought we’d count down our top five favorite Universal Monsters…

So with no further ado…let the ‘count down’ begin (and excuse the bad Dracula pun…)

The Mummy

The Mummy
The Mummy – starring Boris Karloff

Released in 1932 and starring Boris Karloff in the titular role, The Mummy sees an archaeological expedition uncover the mummy of the ancient high priest Imhotep who, when the accompanying  curse is read, is re-animated to cause chaos and reek revenge…

A Halloween classic needing little more than a few roles of toilet paper…just make sure they’re not the last ones in the house…

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

creature
The creature…from the Black Lagoon

One of the more famous original purveyors of 3D – although released in 2D in many cinemas as the trend was starting to fade, CftBL sees another ill-fated expedition – this time down the Amazon where a skeletal webbed-hand is found, which sees the titular creature at first intrigued by, and soon, highly involved in a deathly kind of way with the trawler crew…

Not such an easy one for would-be Halloween outfit, but if an overgrown goldfish is your thing, the Creature is your man…er…fish…er…fishman.

 

The Wolf Man

Wolfman
The Wolf Man – 1941

The title character, played by Lon Chaney Jr, as portrayed in the 1941 film has been the blue print for pretty much all lycanthrope that followed –  with even American Werewolf in London, forty years later,  paying homage to the film as they sit in the strange little pub, ‘The Slaughtered Lamb‘ when he spots the five pointed star: “that’s a pentangle, a five-pointed star. It’s used in witchcraft. Lon Chaney,Jr. and Universal Studios maintain it’s the mark of the wolf man’

A historical piece, The Wolf Man sees a grieving brother return to his ancestral home to make amends with his estranged father. After being bitten in what he thinks is a wolf attack the man is doomed to undergo the lupine change on the next full moon…a change which is much less dramatic than those seen in the aforementioned AWiL some forty years later, but whose end result is probably much easier to recreate on Halloween with some old dog hair and a comb-back…

 

Dracula

Dracula
Dracula – directed by Tod Browning

Following Bram Stoker’s novel reasonably closely…up to a point…Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of the Count is one of the most iconic in screen history. Innovative at the time for its cinematography, and for raising the ire of the censors…to this day, at least two scenes remain unattached: despite their mildness in today’s eyes.

For many, Lugosi’s portrayal of Dracula is THE portrayal (being a child of the 70s, I tend to go with Christopher Lee, in the Hammer movies, but that’s just me…) – and sadly, for him, it was: he was never able to shake of the public’s perception of him in the role for the rest of his career.

And, if you need a tip on how to create the Drac look for this Halloween? Well, it can’t be THAT hard…

Frankenstein

Frknstein2
Frankenstein as portrayed by Boris Karloff

Debatable? Maybe, but as a Halloween flavored choice, how can you not go with Frankie?

No other creature from the Universal catalog, or any other studio is as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Who says? Well, the Library of Congress for a start…

Frankenstein was a major box office success, resulting in more than 7 sequels, and a million Halloween outfits.

Cartoon Drawing by MechanicalFirefly

Well, that’s our countdown of our favourite Universal Monsters, and if you’re disappointed the Invisible Man didn’t make it on there…he’s probably around somewhere…

 

 

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