For today’s post I would like to do a countdown of my top five Universal horror films. During the 1930s and 1940s Universal studio had a run of incredibly successful horror films. These films are all iconic, and went on to inspire the British Hammer Horror films of later years.
Number 5: Frankenstein (1931)
~This is the one of the first films based on Mary Shelley’s story. It was also the first time Boris Karloff played Frankenstein’s monster. It is an absolute classic, and a must watch.
Number 4: The Wolf Man (1941)
~The Wolf Man made a star of Lon Chaney Jr. He was the son of silent screen legend Lon Chaney, and inherited his father’s penchant for playing horror film antagonists. In the case of this film, he is an unwilling werewolf! This one gets bonus points for featuring Bela Lugosi as a gypsy fortune teller.
Number 3: The Mummy (1932)
~This film featured another turn by Boris Karloff. Here he played the titular mummy. It is much what one would expect from the title, and much better than many other mummy films to follow!
Number 2: Dracula (1931)
~In 1931 Bela Lugosi portrayed his signature character of Dracula on film for the first time. This is only the second film version of the tale ever made. The first was Nosferatu in 1922, but that version had to change character names, as F.W. Murnau did not have permission of the Stoker estate to use his characters. Bela Lugosi brought to the role the guise of being a gentleman.
Number 1: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
~My number one favorite Universal horror film is without a doubt Bride of Frankenstein! It is the only sequel on this list, and it is actually better than the original (in my opinion at least)! Elsa Lanchester portrayed both Mary Shelley (in the prologue) and the bride at the end. It is a truly fun watch, and a unique film in the Frankenstein film pantheon.
~I hope you have enjoyed this countdown. Let me know your thoughts and your own favorites in the comments below!