A Universal Monsters movie marathon should be more than just a once a year event! These are some of the movies that started it all and have been cited as movies that inspired many of the great horror writers and directors of today and yesterday working in the film industry. The franchise actually started with a silent era in the 1920’s but the Golden Age of the 30’s and 40’s is where the most popular and best movies are. Here are my favorites:
A classic that is still cited today as one of the best horror movies of all time. Originally released in 1931 and based on the book by Mary Shelly it stars Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster in the role that launched his career and made him an icon of horror. This is a must see for any horror fan and while you’re at it check out “Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein” starring Robert DeNiro as The Monster as well as Bride of Frankenstein.
The Wolf Man
The Wolf Man is a beautiful movie that has remained timeless. This movie, the second to last of the original Universal Monster movies starring the great Lon Chaney, has inspired virtually every werewolf themed horror film including modern day classics like An American Werewolf in London and The Howling. It should also be noted that The Wolf Man was the most successful movie released in the 1940’s under the Universal Monsters moniker. That decade was dominated by spin-offs of previously successful monster movies from the 20’s and 30’s with a few original ideas thrown in.
Creature From the Black Lagoon
Released in 1954 this was the last of the original Universal Monster movies that came out thirteen years after The Wolf Man. This was also the only new monster released during the 1950’s “Monster Revival” period. The others were “Creature” sequels an “Abbot and Costello Meet (insert monster here)” movie. This isn’t really a horror movie but more of a Science Fiction film and even a love story. However it is one of the most brilliant movies ever made.
Dracula was the first monster of the 1930’s “Golden Age” of Universal Monsters movies unleashed on the world. Released in 1931 and based on the book by Bram Stoker this movie made Bela Lugosi a horror icon. A Spanish version of Dracula was also released the same year. It wasn’t unlikely for studios to release foreign language versions of their films in this era, however, most of these no longer exist with Dracula being the exception. It’s almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t seen Dracula in one form or another so I doubt I can really say much of anything else. I would also recommend checking out “Nosferatu.”
There are several other films to note, mainly The Invisible Man, The Mummy and Werewolf of London. For a full list of Universal Monsters films check out the Wikipedia entry on it here.
Source by Joe Simon