Can you imagine Halloween without Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy, the Wolfman, or Dracula? You can't, and even more, you have a very specific image of what those characters should look like. There is a reason for that: Universal Pictures monster movies. During an incredible run from the 1920s to the 1950s, Universal Pictures laid the framework for all subsequent horror films. The secret to their success?
With Halloween fast approaching, I've been thinking a lot about scary movies. In our last post, we looked at the classic Universal Pictures monster movies. By the 1950s, however, science fiction films had overtaken monster movies at Universal Pictures. Things looked bleak for Frankenstein et al, as they’d been reduced to being co-stars in comedy films. But in far-off Britain, the folks at Hammer Films were about to give the monsters a new lease on life.
Over the last few blog posts, in the spirit of Halloween, we've been looking at classic horror movies in the form of the famous Universal and Hammer monster films. In the process, we've looked at such scary movie icons as Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, the Lon Chaneys Sr. and Jr., Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing. But as I've been writing these, I realized that I had neglected one of the towering figures of the genre: Vincent Price.
In our survey of classic scary movies, we’ve covered the Universal monster movies, Hammer Horror, and the films of Vincent Price. But we’d be remiss to neglect classic films that fall outside these easily defined categories. Let’s take a look at some of these films.
It's Halloween time, and I sure hope you're reading a scary book (or two!). If you're not, might I suggest some Shirley Jackson? She is my favorite author you've never heard of. She has the perfect books for a past-midnight reading marathon, if you don't mind glancing over your shoulder every now and then.