Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Halloween 2021 – Part 2

In part 2 of my Dieselpunk Halloween blog posts, I focus on the wonderful cinematic legacy left to us by Universal Pictures.

The first of the Universal Pictures monster movies was Dracula, which was released in 1931.  The movie starred Bela Lugosi and was based on the 1924 stage play Dracula, which was adapted from the 1897 novel by Bram Stoker. It was followed by the sequel Dracula’s Daughter in 1936.

Frankenstein was released the same year as Dracula. Frankenstein stars Colin Clive as Doctor Frankenstein with his creature played by Boris Karloff. Jack Pierce provided the creatures extraordinary make-up. Universal made numerous sequels, including The Bride of Frankenstein (1936) and the Son of Frankenstein.

The Mummy
Released in 1932, The Mummy starred Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Edward Van Sloan, and Arthur Byron. The Mummy was inspired by the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922. 

The Invisible Man
Based on H. G. Wells' 1897 novel, The Invisible Man was released by Universal Pictures in 1933. The movie starred Claude Rains as Dr. Jack Griffin, who discovers a formula that made him invisible and drove him insane. Universal released several sequels, such as The Invisible Man Returns (1940) and a comedy The Invisible Woman (1940). 

The Wolf Man
The 1941 The Wolf Man wasn’t Universal Pictures' first attempt at the werewolf story. That was Werewolf of London, which was released in 1935. However, The Wolf Man is the most famous of the two.  The movie starred Lon Chaney Jr. in the title role. The supporting cast included a who’s who with Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy, and Bela Lugosi. The Wolf Man has several sequels, including Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. 

Young Frankenstein
While not released by Universal Pictures, the Dieselpunk classic Young Frankenstein is a loving tribute to the aforementioned Universal Pictures monster movies. Produced and directed by Mel Brooks and co-written by Gene Wilder, Young Frankenstein was released in 1974. The cast included Wilder as a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein while Peter Boyle played the creature. It co-starred Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, and Gene Hackman.

No comments: