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Classic Universal Horror - Page 3

post #101 of 142
Wolf Man vs Dracula sounds like it could have been very entertaining. Shame.

The Wolf Man is my favorite Universal monster film. Chaney Jr.'s physical performance of Talbot and the Wolf Man are so very unique. I still find that you have to really pay close attention to detect that they were the same actor. It was a different world back then, but Talbot still comes off as a bit of jerk and a little creepy. Yes, I was spying on you with my telescope, isn't that charming of me? But you still feel for the big dope after he realizes what he has become.

Dracula is my second favorite. People above have described it as boring, but I've never found it so. Yes, it has no musical soundtrack, but I find that to be one of the most powerful aspects of its moody dread. Of course you could argue that there are many missed opportunities from Dracula's brides to his off screen final confrontation with Van Helsing, but there is still so much that is told with sound and visuals that I cannot condemn it for it's faults. Less sometimes is more, I guess. Lugosi always seems to be in control of the room and Fry's Renfield still gives me the creeps looking up out of the hold of the Demeter.

There is also one thing that I find so much more appealing about these old Universal Horror films and that is that the villains are allowed to be bad. They slaughter innocents, cause terror and when on occasion you are asked to sympathize with them, it is never spoon fed to you by other characters.
post #102 of 142
Thread Starter 
Anybody have the goods on what Whale's DRACULA'S DAUGHTER would have been about? I've heard vague rumors, but nothing concrete.
post #103 of 142
Thread Starter 
Over at TCM's blog, someone makes a case for the Kharis Mummy movies. I'm not buying it, but it's about as good an argument for them as you're going to see mounted. See http://moviemorlocks.com/2010/10/22/...-mummy-movies/
post #104 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTwin View Post
Anybody have the goods on what Whale's DRACULA'S DAUGHTER would have been about? I've heard vague rumors, but nothing concrete.
Not familiar with any of the rumors but I wouldn't be surprised if it was similar to the film that was made. It's got a dark humor to it- roughly equivalent to the way Bride of Frankenstein both honors and sends up its predecessor- and in many ways I like it better than the Lugosi film.
post #105 of 142
I would like to think it had plenty of lesbian subtext and Ernest Thesiger as the best Van Helsing ever.
post #106 of 142
No Thesiger, but you can judge the rest for yourself.
post #107 of 142
This is why I don't visit much anymore...
post #108 of 142
Thread Starter 
FYI, the rumors I heard about Whale's intentions involved much more elaborate sets, lesbianism (naturally), and a flashback sequence where Dracula is cursed to become a vampire and his court is turned into pigs. (I'd rather hope that his court was turned into armadillos.)
post #109 of 142

Has anyone picked up that "The Wolf Man vs. Dracula - An Alternate History For Classic Film Monsters" book?  I'm seriously considering it, as well as this..........

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Daughter-Alternate-History-Monsters/dp/1593934750/ref=lh_ni_t

 

That's right, they also published the unused script for "James Whale's Dracula's Daughter"!

 

 

 

They've also put out the following:

 

"Dracula starring Lon Chaney" - http://www.amazon.com/Dracula-Starring-Lon-Chaney-Alternate/dp/1593934785/ref=pd_sim_b2

"Robert Florey's Frankenstein starring Bela Lugosi" - http://www.amazon.com/Robert-Floreys-FRANKENSTEIN-Starring-Lugosi/dp/1593934793/ref=pd_sim_b3

"Cagliostro starring Boris Karloff" - http://www.amazon.com/Cagliostro-Philip-Riley/dp/1593934769/ref=pd_sim_b4

post #110 of 142

I've been watching the hell out of these all week long.  I'd never bothered to watch Dracula with the Kronos Quartet score before....................and now I'll probably watch it that way from here on out!  Great stuff.

 

Anyway, my drawn-out marathon has me longing for the return of Gothic horror and monster movies.  Sure, I'll always have these, the Hammer films, and a few others (Naschy flicks, The Monster Squad, etc.), but I would LOVE to see these come back into popularity again.  The Wolf Man remake might be flawed, but it was a good start.  At the time of its release, Universal was chatting up the possibility of eventually resurrecting all of the old guard and eventually crossing them over with one another again on down the line.............citing Marvel's recent success in doing so.  Of course, The Wolfman didn't even make back its budget worldwide...............thus killing any sequel and further hindering plans to revitalize the Universal Monsters.  I have no doubt the Universal will try again at some point, but it is a real shame that things didn't turn out better.  The Wolfman was certainly not a perfect film, but I think it would have made for a nice rough base in what could become a solid run of new old school monster movies.

 

I have no doubt that the "classics" will be fully revived at some point in the coming years (or decades).  I just hope it is sooner, rather than later.

post #111 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by S.D. Bob Plissken View Post

Has anyone picked up that "The Wolf Man vs. Dracula - An Alternate History For Classic Film Monsters" book?  I'm seriously considering it, as well as this..........

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Draculas-Daughter-Alternate-History-Monsters/dp/1593934750/ref=lh_ni_t

 

That's right, they also published the unused script for "James Whale's Dracula's Daughter"!

 

 

 

They've also put out the following:

 

"Dracula starring Lon Chaney" - http://www.amazon.com/Dracula-Starring-Lon-Chaney-Alternate/dp/1593934785/ref=pd_sim_b2

"Robert Florey's Frankenstein starring Bela Lugosi" - http://www.amazon.com/Robert-Floreys-FRANKENSTEIN-Starring-Lugosi/dp/1593934793/ref=pd_sim_b3

"Cagliostro starring Boris Karloff" - http://www.amazon.com/Cagliostro-Philip-Riley/dp/1593934769/ref=pd_sim_b4




Thanks for the heads up on these. Definitely stuff to check out.

post #112 of 142

Barnes & Noble's Criterion sale is next week and you could do a lot worse than grab the 1932 Island of Lost Souls blu ray.

post #113 of 142

Upon further reflection, and despite Lugosi's shit performance, I think Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is my favorite of the movies, not best. Perhaps it's due to childhood nostalgia, but I still enjoy that Talbot's main motivation is to die. That always seemed really fucked up and bleak, especially during World War II when people were trying to avoid thoughts about Hitlers and whatnot. Of course, the best part of the movie is posted below. It's been stuck in my head for days, so now I'm going to spread the joy! 

 

P.S. Universal, announce the fucking blu rays already. Fuck

 

post #114 of 142
Quote:

Originally Posted by Clarence Boddicker View Post

 

P.S. Universal, announce the fucking blu rays already. Fuck

 

Ask and ye shall receive...

 

THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS ON BLU

post #115 of 142

Seems like a good time to breath some new life into this thread, what with The Mummy 3.0 set to both launch and torpedo the studio's Dark Universe (Copyright pending) next weekend.

 

So, in prep, tonight I watched the final unseen classic Universal monster movie left in my collection, 1931's Spanish Dracula. Outside of Dracula's Daughter, I've never been a fan of Universal's take on the character (give me Nosferatu or Hammer's version any day), and had forever put this one off fearing a repeat of the eeeendless Lugosi version. Lord knows, that movie did not in any way demand another 30 mins tacked onto it.

 

Yeesh, my concerns were warranted. This thing was eternal. While it was fun to play "Spot the Differences" for a while, the last half almost put me to sleep. And the noticeable lack of Browning's creepy, ominous atmosphere did zero favors. I wouldn't call it a bad movie by any stretch - it has its artistic merits and historical value - but it was very much a one-time watch.

 

 Props to Pablo Alvarez Rubio as Renfield, though. He was pretty fantastic.  

 

Planning to revisit the Karloff Mummy in the next day or so. It didn't bowl me over my first time (the first sequel, The Mummy's Hand,  was more my jam), so I'm intrigued to revisit it without false expectations of seeing the standard shuffling, bandaged creature.

post #116 of 142
I've never dipped into the original Mummy sequels. Are they the goods?
post #117 of 142

The Mummy's Hand is a ton of fun, and would appear to have been the primary influence for the 1999 Mummy.

 

Tomb, Ghost and Curse are more of the same, with diminishing returns. The franchise never gets terrible, but it's painfully clear that ambition and financial resources were dropping considerably from movie to movie.   


Edited by Episode29 - 6/1/17 at 8:22pm
post #118 of 142
Rewatched the original MUMMY tonight. Liked it better than the first time - where my expectations of a lurching bandaged monster were pretty much totally crushed - but I have a hard time investing in the scenes not involving the title character. The female lead and male love interest in particular are pretty weak. Love the Egypt flashbacks and opening though.

I know many refer to this as the superior DRACULA. I dunno. I guess? It's nowhere near as iconic, and Lugosi still makes for a more compelling antagonist.
post #119 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Episode29 View Post

Rewatched the original MUMMY tonight. Liked it better than the first time - where my expectations of a lurching bandaged monster were pretty much totally crushed - but I have a hard time investing in the scenes not involving the title character. The female lead and male love interest in particular are pretty weak.
 

Supposedly, Katherine Hepburn was almost cast as Helen/Ankh-es-en-amon. And Universal's repeated use of David Manners as a leading man is perplexing, as he's rather dull in Dracula, too. He comes off almost as a parody of a bland male lead in The Black Cat, which I'd like to believe was intentional.

post #120 of 142

Manners does get the best moment in the film: "He went for a little walk...!"

post #121 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Episode29 View Post

I know many refer to this as the superior DRACULA. I dunno. I guess? It's nowhere near as iconic, and Lugosi still makes for a more compelling antagonist.
I'll grant you that - but the point is that iconic status and Lugosi's raw screen presence are about all that Dracula has going for it in the first place. (Well, that and some pretty solid production design, but both films have that going for them.) Edward van Sloan also manages some good bits, but Lord, it's so creaky and stagebound. The Mummy isn't perfect either, but it's noticeably better on a number of fronts, and Karloff's no slouch in the charisma department either (even if he doesn't get to flex his acting chops as much as in Frankenstein.)

Though yes, David Manners is a massive weak link in both films. But Zita Johann at least gets something more to work with than Helen Chandler (I particularly like that she's the character who gets to call down destruction on the monster, although it does make Manners's character even more of a pointless feeb.)
post #122 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

Manners does get the best moment in the film: "He went for a little walk...!"


Wasn't that Bramwell Fletcher?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post


I'll grant you that - but the point is that iconic status and Lugosi's raw screen presence are about all that Dracula has going for it in the first place. (Well, that and some pretty solid production design, but both films have that going for them.) Edward van Sloan also manages some good bits, but Lord, it's so creaky and stagebound.

Dwight Frye also belongs on the list of positives. His Renfield achieves a good balance of creepy, funny, and pitiable.

post #123 of 142
I'm up and down on Frye as Renfield, but I could see it. He seemed a lot more at home in Frankenstein, though.
post #124 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pither View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
 

Manners does get the best moment in the film: "He went for a little walk...!"


Wasn't that Bramwell Fletcher?

 

Great, now I have to look that up. I've been quoting a library book from the 60s all this time.

post #125 of 142

So just curious as to overall rough consensus: do DRACULA and MUMMY rank at the bottom of the classic Universal first movie pile? Personally, I've always been an INVISIBLE MAN & FRANKENSTEIN guy, with WOLFMAN and CREATURE not too far behind.

post #126 of 142
I need to go back and dig through the pile, there's an appalling number of them that I haven't actually seen. But I'd definitely put Frankenstein at or near the top of the list, because holy shit is that movie good.
post #127 of 142

I'd argue the FRANKENSTEIN series is the all around best. Whereas the rest really spiral into laziness (MUMMY) or random silliness (INVISIBLE MAN), that one holds fairly entertaining until the last movie, HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, which is pretty much a filler movie. Even GHOST has merits.

post #128 of 142
Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, and The Ghost of Frankenstein are a hell of a series, even if Bela Lugosi nearly singlehandedly carries the latter two.
post #129 of 142
There's such a drop in quality with Ghost but yeah, those first three Frankenstein flicks are tops.
post #130 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, and The Ghost of Frankenstein are a hell of a series, even if Bela Lugosi nearly singlehandedly carries the latter two.


As iconic as his Dracula is, Ygor is probably my favorite Lugosi performance. It's a shame he didn't get more opportunities to play outside of his usual image.

post #131 of 142
Son of, Ghost of, and Young Frankenstein are fun to watch as a trilogy, too. I agree that Lugosi's Ygor is fantastic.
post #132 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post


I'll grant you that - but the point is that iconic status and Lugosi's raw screen presence are about all that Dracula has going for it in the first place. (Well, that and some pretty solid production design, but both films have that going for them.) Edward van Sloan also manages some good bits, but Lord, it's so creaky and stagebound.

I believe that the original script was closer to the book, but do to the Great Depression, Universal didn't have the budget, so the movie was closer to the play version of Dracula. 

post #133 of 142
Watched MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE tonight. Have been interested in seeing this one since I was a kid, and saw it on the cover of that kids Universal Horror guidebook series. (anyone else remember them?) I had no idea it was so crazy, though, involving a mad scientist (Lugosi) who kills women by injecting them with gorilla blood while conducting experiments to find his pet a mate. That premise definitely wouldn't fly now!

Overall, nowhere near on par with the best MONSTERS entries, but a fun, weird watch with an appropriately creepy (if lesser) Lugosi turn. Also, psycho gorilla action!
post #134 of 142
I mean, you can't talk about '40s horror and not feature a gorilla at some point.
post #135 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Episode29 View Post

Watched MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE tonight. Have been interested in seeing this one since I was a kid, and saw it on the cover of that kids Universal Horror guidebook series. (anyone else remember them?) I had no idea it was so crazy, though, involving a mad scientist (Lugosi) who kills women by injecting them with gorilla blood while conducting experiments to find his pet a mate. That premise definitely wouldn't fly now!

Overall, nowhere near on par with the best MONSTERS entries, but a fun, weird watch with an appropriately creepy (if lesser) Lugosi turn. Also, psycho gorilla action!

I remember the Edgar Allen Poe story this is based on (and a Clive Barker sequel, republished in one of the Books of Blood anthologies), but I've never seen this version. I love the idea that Universal's classic monster era would produce a story that's even more twisted than the original.
post #136 of 142
Do you guys have any other good non-Monster classic Universal Horror recommendations worth watching? I've heard good things about THE BLACK CAT...
post #137 of 142

The Black Cat is indeed amazing. Also look up James Whale's The Old Dark House.

 

ETA: Island of Lost Souls.

post #138 of 142
Repeating and affirming the praise for The Black Cat. It has Karloff and Lugosi facing off, without monster makeup.

post #139 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Episode29 View Post

Do you guys have any other good non-Monster classic Universal Horror recommendations worth watching? I've heard good things about THE BLACK CAT...


You should check out a double feature of THE BLACK CAT and THE RAVEN. Both are only about an hour long and contain some of Karloff and Lugosi's finest work. Lugosi, in particular, is amazing to watch in THE RAVEN in a marvelously campy tour de force. A lesser Karloff/Lugosi pairing but worth watching: THE INVISIBLE RAY.

 

I also recommend WHITE ZOMBIE, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, and THE OLD DARK HOUSE. All three essential.

post #140 of 142
Watched BLACK CAT last night, and enjoyed the hell out of it. I'm consistently impressed how much creativity, iconic imagery and mood Universal Horror movies can pull out of a low budget, minimal effects and a small handful of locations. I can't say this was my favorite Lugosi performance - his hunchback in SON OF FRANKENSTEIN is just so incredible - but I loved seeing him in dark hero mode. And it's staggering they were allowed to sneak in that scene of him skinning perv-creep Karloff.
post #141 of 142
The director of The Black Cat, Edgar G. Ulmer, reportedly worked as a set designer on Metropolis. I should really seek out more of his directorial work.
post #142 of 142

Detour is essential Ulmer.

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