Universal Horrors: the birth of American horror cinema and the original cinematic shared universe on Peacock

The great monsters of horror were first defined for the movies almost 100 years ago at Universal Studios when they ushered in the golden age of American horror cinema. They weren’t the first horror movies and they weren’t even the first adaptations of the literary horror classics but they took hold of the public’s imagination, […]

‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ – a delirious sequel on Peacock

Director James Whale did not seek out the sequel to Frankenstein but he turned out a horror masterpiece with Bride of Frankenstein (1935), a delirious sequel that tops the original. The screenplay draws additional story elements from Mary Shelley’s novel, which are reworked for Hollywood, and weaves them in with a new, original character: Dr. […]

The original ‘Frankenstein’ on Peacock

“It’s alive! Alive! In the name of God now I know what it’s like to be God!” James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) is the granddaddy of modern monster movies. Universal was looking to a follow up to the tremendous success of Dracula when it assigned sophomore director Whale to helm an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s famous novel […]

Gloria Stuart stars with Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Raymond Massey, and Ernest Thesiger in James Whale's classic horror comedy

James Whale’s ‘The Old Dark House’ on Criterion Channel and Kanopy

James Whale followed up his iconic horror classic Frankenstein (1931) with the strange, sly, and sardonic The Old Dark House (1932), part haunted house terror and part spoof executed with baroque style. Boris Karloff (fresh from his star-making turn in Frankenstein) takes top billing in the supporting role of Morgan, the scarred, mute butler with […]

Blu-ray: Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection (Universal, Blu-ray) Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man, and the Mummy have traversed the trail from horror icon to camp figure and back again and sparked the imaginations of readers and moviegoers for decades. Yet call forth the images nestled in the public consciousness and you’ll find that the […]

'Mad Monster Party?' from Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass is an animated monster movie spoof. With songs!

‘Mad Monster Party?’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Everyone is familiar with the landmark horror classics. This is one in a series of suggestions for Halloween viewing that may not be so familiar, including titles that teens and tweens (and in some cases adolescents) can watch without breaking the R-rating. In the midst of making their classic Christmas specials (like Rudolph the Red […]

Mario Bava's classic 'Black Sunday' with Barbara Steele

Halloween Picks: The best of Mario Bava on Amazon Prime and Fandor

Mario Bava essentially created the genre of baroque horror known as “giallo,” a distinctly Italian twist on stalk and kill horror film. Under his direction, Grand Guignol gore is transformed into lush, visually elegant cinematic spectacle, a waking nightmare with the poetic grace of a musical and a demented edge of sexual perversity. After rising […]