This year Universal is marketing their 100th anniversary by releasing 100 blu rays of their classic films. To Kill a Mockingbird, Jaws, The Sting, All Quiet on the Western Front, ET, Harvey, and The Blues Brothers are some of them, BUT as good as those films may be THAT is not what is exciting us here at Brooklyn Halloween.
The big 5! Dracula, the Frankenstein monster, the Wolfman, The Mummy, and the Creature From the Black Lagoon. ALL these characters were made famous and/or created by Universal studios. All are archetypes and even today when we think of these characters we think of these versions of them. Who can ever forget Boris Karloff’s immortal Frankenstein monster or Bela Lugosi’s infamous portrayal of Count Dracula? Then there was Lon Chaney’s tragic Wolfman, the shambling Kharis/Im Ho Tep of the Mummy films exacting his revenge, and one of the greatest, most classic monster suits ever to hit the screen. The Creature From the Black Lagoon.
Amazingly enough it doesn’t stop with these 5 either. Universal was also responsible for the classic original silent films of the original Hunchback of Notre Dame and the original Phantom of the Opera, both played by the infamous Lon Chaney. Then there was The Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and the very first werewolf film in Werewolf of London. Oh and let’s not forget the best monster/comedy ever made…..Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein! Universal even set a precedent by producing the very first monster vs monster movie, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.
An impressive list? You bet it is, and Universal has released a Blu Ray box containing beautifully re mastered versions of Frankenstein, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Wolfman, The Phantom of the Opera (a so-so 1943 remake), The Mummy and the Creature From the Black Lagoon. If you have a blu ray player and want to watch classic monster films for Halloween, that look almost new, then this is where you start. After that you can branch out by watching the sequels. Son of Frankenstein is a great one and Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman is really entertaining. The Black Cat, The Raven, and even the sci fi semi classic This Island Earth are also very much worth checking out too. After that…….watch as many of the rest as you want. Just don’t miss out on the big 5. They are waiting for you!