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Classic Universal Monsters [discussion forum] (1 Viewer)

Emcee

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I figured with October still being fairly young, we could get a conversation started here about the old-school Universal Monsters. It all started with the movie versions of Dracula and Frankenstein, both originally released in 1931, which were each followed by multiple sequels. Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff were the kings of horror during its earliest years, and later additions of The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Wolf Man (1941), and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) only added to the line's pedigree.

Anyone out there a fan of these monsters and their movies?


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jayembee

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The original Cinematic Universe.

I'm a fan. Good or bad, they're all a gas. I'm with a lot of folks who don't think that The Phantom of the Opera really belongs, though, but the Abbott & Costello entries do.
 

Michael Elliott

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They're certainly my favorites. I saw the Fathom Events MUMMY/BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN this past weekend and I'm looking forward to their screenings of PHANTOM and CREATURE. I've seen them on the big screen several times but never pass up a chance for a new viewing.
 

tomborn1942

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Been a huge fan since I saw the Creature in 1954 when I was 12. Was really happy when Shock Theater came on TV in 57. I have many models and busts of all my favorite monsters.

Tom Paul
 

maxfabien

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They're certainly my favorites. I saw the Fathom Events MUMMY/BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN this past weekend and I'm looking forward to their screenings of PHANTOM and CREATURE. I've seen them on the big screen several times but never pass up a chance for a new viewing.
I saw the Fathom Events too, and I was shocked...shocked! that, aside from "Swan Lake" over the opening credits, and a few other minor orchestrations, they added a music score to "The Mummy". It ruined the tension, especially in the opening scene when the mummy first comes to life. Whose brainstorm was this?
 

bujaki

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The Phantom of the Opera in 4K looks glorious! The Technicolor is breathtaking. I hadn't seen it looking this wonderful since a 35mm screening at MoMA.
The Mummy is a flawless transfer.
Will check the others later.
This via my old eyes on my LG OLED.
 

bujaki

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Creature from the Black Lagoon (4K) looks splendid.
The Bride of Frankenstein is a jewel in the crown. Whale and Mescall were after Rubens' lighting and this 4K transfer just makes you want to weep in admiration of their artistry.
 

mackjay

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Over many years of seeing them, I find THE MUMMY to be my favorite. It has a very good plot and atmosphere. Karloff and the cast, excellent and Freund's direction and cinematography. Agree with those who say it looks great now (blu-ray in my case, I don't have 4K). A real pleasure to watch it over and over again. I like the Frankenstein films quite a lot. Not crazy about vampires...so....and The Creature somehow never seemed to fit with the others.
 

ScottRE

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The Creature somehow never seemed to fit with the others.
It's after the Universal "horror" wave and sits right in the sci-fi era. It has a totally different feel. I get that they're more monster movies than SF films, but I also feel like the Creature films are outliers. If it pillaged the "Son of Frankenstein" and "The Wolf Man" scores, maybe it woulda felt closer. :D
 

Emcee

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It's after the Universal "horror" wave and sits right in the sci-fi era. It has a totally different feel. I get that they're more monster movies than SF films, but I also feel like the Creature films are outliers. If it pillaged the "Son of Frankenstein" and "The Wolf Man" scores, maybe it woulda felt closer. :D
The sci-fi craze in the 1950s was equally interesting, and there's some strong entries into that sub-genre. Imagine being a teenager back then (my parents weren't even thought of at the time) and going to the drive-in and seeing such other-worldly delights as Forbidden Planet and The Blob. I actually added some of these movies to my Amazon cart earlier in the week.
 

ScottRE

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The sci-fi craze in the 1950s was equally interesting, and there's some strong entries into that sub-genre. Imagine being a teenager back then (my parents weren't even thought of at the time) and going to the drive-in and seeing such other-worldly delights as Forbidden Planet and The Blob. I actually added some of these movies to my Amazon cart earlier in the week.
I agree, I love the SF era and revisit those films after Halloween usually. There's something about those films that make them perfect for viewing in the cooler months. I tend to equate some genres with the seasons for some reason.
 

jayembee

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It's after the Universal "horror" wave and sits right in the sci-fi era. It has a totally different feel. I get that they're more monster movies than SF films, but I also feel like the Creature films are outliers. If it pillaged the "Son of Frankenstein" and "The Wolf Man" scores, maybe it woulda felt closer. :D
Well, that's the thing, innit. Universal refers to this uber-franchise as "Classic Monsters", not "Classic Horror". So, in that respect, the Black Lagoon films fit, even if the tone (and genre) is totally different. And since it's a series of films, it fits in whereas other one-shot 50s SF/monster films, like say Tarantula, do not.

I always found it odd that some of the sub-franchises are a legit series, like Dracula and Frankenstein (even though there might be inconsistencies) while in others, like the Mummy or Wolf Man "series", they're groups of distinct one-offs that are concept-related instead of specific character-related. In some ways, that was something of a plus, since it brought some extra variety into play.
 

ScottRE

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Well, that's the thing, innit. Universal refers to this uber-franchise as "Classic Monsters", not "Classic Horror". So, in that respect, the Black Lagoon films fit, even if the tone (and genre) is totally different. And since it's a series of films, it fits in whereas other one-shot 50s SF/monster films, like say Tarantula, do not.
That is a solid point and, for whatever reason, I didn't make the connection.


I always found it odd that some of the sub-franchises are a legit series, like Dracula and Frankenstein (even though there might be inconsistencies) while in others, like the Mummy or Wolf Man "series", they're groups of distinct one-offs that are concept-related instead of specific character-related. In some ways, that was something of a plus, since it brought some extra variety into play.
I rather felt those two were connected. Kharis the Mummy was the main baddie in the last 4 movies and Larry Talbot was the guy in the Wolf Man follow ups - although he never had a movie to himself after his intro, something I wish he'd had.

The Invisible Man, however, fits your point perfectly. A different character and feel every time.
 

jayembee

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I rather felt those two were connected. Kharis the Mummy was the main baddie in the last 4 movies and Larry Talbot was the guy in the Wolf Man follow ups - although he never had a movie to himself after his intro, something I wish he'd had.

You're right, Kharis was a repeat in the sequels. My bad.

But while Larry Talbot appeared in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and the two "House of" movies, I was thinking of the other movies that were in the Wolf Man Legacy set, Werewolf of London and She-Wolf of London, which weren't even related to each other (despite the similarity of titles and setting), let alone to The Wolf Man.

The Invisible Man, however, fits your point perfectly. A different character and feel every time.

On the other hand, none of the Invisible Man films are connected with the Dracula/Frankenstein/Wolf Man "universe". Except for Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, and that only because of A&C.
 

Sam Favate

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For those that have seen the Universal Monsters 4k discs, how much of any upgrade are they from Blu-ray?
 

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