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Universal Horror - 26/5/2010 8:00:19 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
Well a while back I got hold of, cheaply, the Legacy Collection sets of Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolfman, I used to love these films when I was younger though I have not seen any in ages, and have just started to watch them. I figured that I'll start a thread and do short reviews of each film as I watch them.  I thought this thread belonged in Golden Oldies and won't get lost either!  Now I know there was a general horror thread a couple of years ago so any mod that thinks this should be in there will, I am sure, probably just edit and transplant this post into that thread, but I felt all the Universal films deserved a thread of their own as they are a sort of a series and I will try to keep this thread going.  I hope people may chime in with their own views and reviews and perhaps disagree with mine totally!

First up shortly,Dracula!

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 26/5/2010 8:33:58 PM >


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Post #: 1
RE: Universal Horror - 26/5/2010 8:33:24 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
DRACULA [1931]

A solicitor, Jonathan Renfield, travels to Transylvania to meet a Count Dracula, who wants to buy a property in Whitby.  In Dracula's spooky castle he encounters the Counht's vampiric brides and is then bitten by Dracula himself, becoming his slave.  With Renfield in tow, he goes to England and starts to vampirise a young woman called Lucy, but has reckoned without Professor Van Helsing, who is an expert in vampires.....


Watching Dracula is actually a rather strange experience.  It's extremely stagy and stilted, as with most very early sound films, and in fact the filmmakers basically just transplanted a popular stage version of the film onto the screen. It therefore really is like seeing a play for much of the time, and the pace of many scenes is extremely slow.  However, it's also really atmospheric and even creepy at times, especially the early scenes set in the castle, which is a fantastic Gothic abode replete with cobwebs, shadows and....armadillos.  Later on some bits in Dracula's England home are equally effective and the virtually silent sequences of Dracula about to bite [of course you don't see anything!] his victims, who of course are clad in white gowns, have a real poetic quality.  Some of the changes to Bram Stoker's novel, including Renfield not Jonathan Harker being the character who visits Dracula  in the first third, work well, but sadly the low key climax is very disappointing, as if they ran out of money.  Bela Lugosi remains a great Dracula though, with unforgettable delivery of some of his classic lines, while out of the rest of the cast Dwight Frye stand out as the insane insect eating Renfield.  Tod Browning's direction is rather stiff though.  Obviously the studio was still finding it's feet with sound movies and Dracula is perhaps a touch disappointing overall compared to many subsequent adaptations but is still a fascinating film to watch as long as you have the patience!
7/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 4/8/2010 10:27:18 PM >


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Post #: 2
RE: Universal Horror - 26/5/2010 8:54:09 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6718
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

DRACULA [1931]

A solicitor, Jonathan Renfield, travels to Transylvania to meet a Count Dracula, who wants to buy a property in Whitby.  In Dracula's spooky castle he encounters the Counht's vampiric brides and is then bitten by Dracula himself, becoming his slave.  With Renfield in tow, he goes to England and starts to vampirise a young woman called Lucy, but has reckoned without Professor Van Helsing, who is an expert in vampires.....


Watching Dracula is actually a rather strange experience.  It's extremely stagy and stilted, as with most very early sound films, and in fact the filmmakers basically just transplanted a popular stage version of the film onto the screen. It therefore really is like seeing a play for much of the time, and the pace of many scenes is extremely slow.  However, it's also really atmospheric and even creepy at times, especially the early scenes set in the castle, which is a fantastic Gothic abode replete with cobwebs, shadows and....armadillos.  Later on some bits in Dracula's England home are equally effective and the virtually silent sequences of Dracula about to bite [of course you don't see anything!] his victims, who of course are clad in white gowns, have a real poetic quality.  Some of the changes to Bram Stoker's novel, including Renfield not Jonathan Harker being the character who visits Dracula  in the first third, work well, but sadly the low key climax is very disappointing, as if they ran out of money.  Bela Lugosi remains a great Dracula though, with unforgettable delivery of some of his classic lines, while out of the rest of the cast Dwight Frye stand out as the insane insect eating Renfield.  Tod Browning's direction is rather stiff though.  Obviously the studio was still finding it's feet with sound movies and Dracula is perhaps a touch disappointing overall compared to many subsequent adaptations but is still a fascinating film to watch as long as you have the patience!
7/10

"Ah the children of the night"Just love these old B&W movies of the 30's,they where part of my childhood up bringing,as i was allowed to stay up late on a Friday night for the Horror double bill on BBC 1.Happy memories.


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Post #: 3
RE: Universal Horror - 27/5/2010 11:13:12 PM   
siegfried


Posts: 13582
Joined: 16/12/2007
From: Long ago and far away
I love the Universal horror films: Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride Of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy (One of the very best of them), House Of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man are all part of my collection.
The copy of Dracula which I have also contains the Spanish language version which was shot at the same time as Tod Browning's version, and is in some ways superior to it: less stagy and with more fluid camera work.
I look forward to the rest of your assessments of this fine classic series.

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Post #: 4
RE: Universal Horror - 29/5/2010 10:50:40 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: siegfried

I love the Universal horror films: Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride Of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy (One of the very best of them), House Of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man are all part of my collection.
The copy of Dracula which I have also contains the Spanish language version which was shot at the same time as Tod Browning's version, and is in some ways superior to it: less stagy and with more fluid camera work.
I look forward to the rest of your assessments of this fine classic series.


Thankyou.  My set also has the Spanish version, and also a version with Philip Glass music, should be interesting..........

Of course I'm still missing The Mummy, Invisable Man and Creature [Black Lagoon] sets, but I'll buy them soon.  I've always considered them slightly seperate from the Wolfman, Dracula and Frankenstein series as the latter characters ended up meeting each other, but I'll certainly get to them eventually!  As you say The Mummy was one of the best, at least from what I remember!

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Post #: 5
RE: Universal Horror - 29/5/2010 10:53:34 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

DRACULA [1931]

A solicitor, Jonathan Renfield, travels to Transylvania to meet a Count Dracula, who wants to buy a property in Whitby.  In Dracula's spooky castle he encounters the Counht's vampiric brides and is then bitten by Dracula himself, becoming his slave.  With Renfield in tow, he goes to England and starts to vampirise a young woman called Lucy, but has reckoned without Professor Van Helsing, who is an expert in vampires.....


Watching Dracula is actually a rather strange experience.  It's extremely stagy and stilted, as with most very early sound films, and in fact the filmmakers basically just transplanted a popular stage version of the film onto the screen. It therefore really is like seeing a play for much of the time, and the pace of many scenes is extremely slow.  However, it's also really atmospheric and even creepy at times, especially the early scenes set in the castle, which is a fantastic Gothic abode replete with cobwebs, shadows and....armadillos.  Later on some bits in Dracula's England home are equally effective and the virtually silent sequences of Dracula about to bite [of course you don't see anything!] his victims, who of course are clad in white gowns, have a real poetic quality.  Some of the changes to Bram Stoker's novel, including Renfield not Jonathan Harker being the character who visits Dracula  in the first third, work well, but sadly the low key climax is very disappointing, as if they ran out of money.  Bela Lugosi remains a great Dracula though, with unforgettable delivery of some of his classic lines, while out of the rest of the cast Dwight Frye stand out as the insane insect eating Renfield.  Tod Browning's direction is rather stiff though.  Obviously the studio was still finding it's feet with sound movies and Dracula is perhaps a touch disappointing overall compared to many subsequent adaptations but is still a fascinating film to watch as long as you have the patience!
7/10

"Ah the children of the night"Just love these old B&W movies of the 30's,they where part of my childhood up bringing,as i was allowed to stay up late on a Friday night for the Horror double bill on BBC 1.Happy memories.



Ditto, they were part of my childhood too.  I wasn't always allowed to stay up but I would often sneak downstairs and watch them anyway.  They were sometimes alot scarier that way!

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Post #: 6
RE: Universal Horror - 30/5/2010 2:32:27 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77709
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera
Of course I'm still missing The Mummy, Invisable Man and Creature [Black Lagoon] sets, but I'll buy them soon.  I've always considered them slightly seperate from the Wolfman, Dracula and Frankenstein series as the latter characters ended up meeting each other, but I'll certainly get to them eventually!  As you say The Mummy was one of the best, at least from what I remember!



Absolutely my favourite from a great series of horror films. Rains is fantastic.

I'd comment on Dracula but, out of the ones I own, it's the one I've seen least and longest ago. In fact, I don't think I've seen it in the last ten years, something that needs to be rectified!

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Post #: 7
RE: Universal Horror - 30/5/2010 10:53:43 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
The Invisable Man, another classic indeed, and very funny if I remember correctly.  As is James Whale's The Old Dark House.  He made four brilliant horror movies, The Invisable Man, The Old Dark House, Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein, though I've not seen any of his non-horror stuff.

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 30/5/2010 11:33:06 AM >


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Post #: 8
RE: Universal Horror - 30/5/2010 11:30:41 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
FRANKENSTEIN [1931]

Dr. Henry Frankenstein, aided by his hunchback assistant Fritz, sets out to create new life by making a man from the parts of dead people.  Unfortuantely when Fritz is out stealing a brain, he drops the one intended and brings back the brain of a criminal.  When the creature is brought to life, he's a mute, childlike creation who is immediately rejected by his creator.  Frankenstein leaves the monster to be killed by Dr.Waldman and prepares to get married to his sweetheart Elizabeth, but the monster kills Waldman, plus Fritz who tormented him, and escapes into the countryside........

Right from the beginning, with Frankenstein and Fritz grave robbing in a very creepy cemetery set replete with a prophetic Grim Reaper, Frankenstein is a much more confident and assured movie than Dracula, with camera work that is not only fluent but sometimes really inventive for the time, such as the 'progressive close ups' when the monster first appears.  It moves at a tremendous pace all the way through and even almost dispenses with the usual light relief most films of the time, especially the darker ones, felt a need to put in. There are at least three great scenes-the creation, the incredibly horrifying yet touching scene where the Monster meets a little girl and throws her in the water like their flowers [often cut], and the exciting climax set in a burning windmill.  All three, and indeed many other aspects, have been imitated countless times, in fact this may be one of the most influential films of all time. The film was obviously influenced by German Expressionism [especially the castle] and Frankenstein's equipment is especially similar to that used in Metropolis  but really this exists in a dark, poetic fairytale world of it's own, all grey skies and grim symbolism everywhere. The script does drastically simplify Mary Shelley's novel but most of her themes still remain and the monster is still a pathetic creation who doesn't understand the world and is constantly rejected by a world which in turn doesn't understand him.  Boris Karloff's performance is one of the great screen performances, at times frightening but also so touching and often really subtle, it's just fascinating to study. Colin Clive is overly melodramatic as Frankenstein and there are a few dated elements [though I think the lack of a score actually helps], but generally this is both entertaining and a true work of art and fully deserves it's place as a classic of cinema.
9/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 4/8/2010 10:27:44 PM >


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Post #: 9
RE: Universal Horror - 3/6/2010 7:16:46 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6718
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

FRANKENSTEIN [1931]

Dr. Henry Frankenstein, aided by his hunchback assistant Fritz, sets out to create new life by making a man from the parts of dead people.  Unfortuantely when Fritz is out stealing a brain, he drops the one intended and brings back the brain of a criminal.  When the creature is brought to life, he's a mute, childlike creation who is immediately rejected by his creator.  Frankenstein leaves the monster to be killed by Dr.Waldman and prepares to get married to his sweetheart Elizabeth, but the monster kills Waldman, plus Fritz who tormented him, and escapes into the countryside........

Right from the beginning, with Frankenstein and Fritz grave robbing in a very creepy cemetery set replete with a prophetic Grim Reaper, Frankenstein is a much more confident and assured movie than Dracula, with camera work that is not only fluent but sometimes really inventive for the time, such as the 'progressive close ups' when the monster first appears.  It moves at a tremendous pace all the way through and even almost dispenses with the usual light relief most films of the time, especially the darker ones, felt a need to put in. There are at least three great scenes-the creation, the incredibly horrifying yet touching scene where the Monster meets a little girl and throws her in the water like their flowers [often cut], and the exciting climax set in a burning windmill.  All three, and indeed many other aspects, have been imitated countless times, in fact this may be one of the most influential films of all time. The film was obviously influenced by German Expressionism [especially the castle] and Frankenstein's equipment is especially similar to that used in Metropolis  but really this exists in a dark, poetic fairytale world of it's own, all grey skies and grim symbolism everywhere. The script does drastically simplify Mary Shelley's novel but most of her themes still remain and the monster is still a pathetic creation who doesn't understand the world and is constantly rejected by a world which in turn doesn't understand him.  Boris Karloff's performance is one of the great screen performances, at times frightening but also so touching and often really subtle, it's just fascinating to study. Colin Clive is overly melodramatic as Frankenstein and there are a few dated elements [though I think the lack of a score actually helps], but generally this is both entertaining and a true work of art and fully deserves it's place as a classic of cinema.
9/10

I love this classic Karloff Frankenstein,and have to say i'd give it 10/10,as it is one of the best horror movies of the 30's and an all time classic of Gothic Horror.


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Post #: 10
RE: Universal Horror - 4/6/2010 3:30:51 AM   
siegfried


Posts: 13582
Joined: 16/12/2007
From: Long ago and far away
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

The Invisable Man, another classic indeed, and very funny if I remember correctly.  As is James Whale's The Old Dark House.  He made four brilliant horror movies, The Invisable Man, The Old Dark House, Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein, though I've not seen any of his non-horror stuff.

I forgot to mention The Old Dark House, which I also have in my collection. Next to The Bride Of Frankenstein, which in my opinion is his masterpiece, it's my favourite of Whale's films.
I've only seen a couple of his non-horror films: Show Boat (by far the best version) and The Man In The Iron Mask. Both well worth tracking down.
I assume you've seen Gods And Monsters, in which Ian McKellan played Whale. If not, I'd heartily recommend it.

_____________________________

"Premeditated murder is one thing, but I will not have lying in this house."

Marriage is one of those things that is best gotten over with in youth - like chicken pox.

Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 11
RE: Universal Horror - 6/6/2010 12:48:36 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
WEREWOLF OF LONDON [1935]

Whilst on an expedition in Tibet to find a special flower that can apparently cure lycanthropy, Dr.Glendon is attacked and bitten by a werewolf.  Back home, as he starts to lose his wife to her old beau, Glendon becomes wrapped up in his work trying to grow the flower and eventually becomes a werewolf himself, killing on the streets of London.  Then the mysterious oriental Dr.Yogami shows up, also interested for some reason in the flower......

This was Universal's first stab at a werewolf movie and was obviously considered something of a misfire as when The Wolf Man came along a few years later it started all over again and totally ignored this movie. Indeed it doesn't work all that well, despite having an exciting basic plot it's rather lacking in tension and atmosphere, as if director Stuart Walker wasn't all that interested in making a horror movie. The film is also burdened with lots of appalling dialogue in the first half though there is some fantastic comic relief in the second half from two old ladies who swig gin and knock each other out. The werewolf makeup is very minimal and reminded me more of a Mr Hyde, and it's wierd seeing the monster don a coat and hat.  Henry Hull is okay in the title roll, obviously deciding to play it cold and distant, but unfortunately we don't feel nearly as much sympathy for him as we should and the climax is almost over before you know it.  Hull's first transformation, as the camera follows him past pillars and each time he's changed a bit more, is excellently done, and I found it interesting that the werewolf's victims were all 'loose' women, making me think that Guy Endore's novel The Werewolf Of Paris [which of course was loosely adapted for Hammer's The Curse Of The Werewolf] inspired this movie a bit. Generally this is certainly enjoyable but considering the really high standard of the studio's horror output of the time it's generally a bit of a disappointment though certainly no disaster.
6/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 4/8/2010 10:28:10 PM >


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Post #: 12
RE: Universal Horror - 6/6/2010 12:53:48 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: siegfried

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

The Invisable Man, another classic indeed, and very funny if I remember correctly.  As is James Whale's The Old Dark House.  He made four brilliant horror movies, The Invisable Man, The Old Dark House, Frankenstein and Bride Of Frankenstein, though I've not seen any of his non-horror stuff.

I forgot to mention The Old Dark House, which I also have in my collection. Next to The Bride Of Frankenstein, which in my opinion is his masterpiece, it's my favourite of Whale's films.
I've only seen a couple of his non-horror films: Show Boat (by far the best version) and The Man In The Iron Mask. Both well worth tracking down.
I assume you've seen Gods And Monsters, in which Ian McKellan played Whale. If not, I'd heartily recommend it.


Amazingly I haven't seen Gods And Monsters, it's one of those films I've always intended to see but it's always passed me by, maybe I finally will now!

Although I've tried to keep these reviews short and sweet I think the next film [which you've already mentioned!] deserves a more lengthy write up, I hope I do it justice!

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Post #: 13
RE: Universal Horror - 12/6/2010 2:03:20 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6718
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

WEREWOLF OF LONDON [1935]

Whilst on an expedition in Tibet to find a special flower that can apparently cure lycanthropy, Dr.Glendon is attacked and bitten by a werewolf.  Back home, as he starts to lose his wife to her old beau, Glendon becomes wrapped up in his work trying to grow the flower and eventually becomes a werewolf himself, killing on the streets of London.  Then the mysterious oriental Dr.Yogami shows up, also interested for some reason in the flower......

This was Universal's first stab at a werewolf movie and was obviously considered something of a misfire as when The Wolf Man came along a few years later it started all over again and totally ignored this movie. Indeed it doesn't work all that well, despite having an exciting basic plot it's rather lacking in tension and atmosphere, as if director Stuart Walker wasn't all that interested in making a horror movie. The film is also burdened with lots of appalling dialogue in the first half though there is some fantastic comic relief in the second half from two old ladies who swig gin and knock each other out. The werewolf makeup is very minimal and reminded me more of a Mr Hyde, and it's wierd seeing the monster don a coat and hat.  Henry Hull is okay in the title roll, obviously deciding to play it cold and distant, but unfortunately we don't feel nearly as much sympathy for him as we should and the climax is almost over before you know it.  Hull's first transformation, as the camera follows him past pillars and each time he's changed a bit more, is excellently done, and I found it interesting that the werewolf's victims were all 'loose' women, making me think that Guy Endore's novel The Werewolf Of Paris [which of course was loosely adapted for Hammer's The Curse Of The Werewolf] inspired this movie a bit. Generally this is certainly enjoyable but considering the really high standard of the studio's horror output of the time it's generally a bit of a disappointment though certainly no disaster.
6/10

I'd forgotten i'd even seen this one,and your review is just perfect,as you said not up there with the classics,but still a good horror movie.
quote:


Amazingly I haven't seen Gods And Monsters, it's one of those films I've always intended to see but it's always passed me by, maybe I finally will now!

Although I've tried to keep these reviews short and sweet I think the next film [which you've already mentioned!] deserves a more lengthy write up, I hope I do it justice!

It's a great movie about the great man himself,and a wonderful movie that should be seen by any fan of Whale's body of work.And i guess your reviewing Bride 


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Post #: 14
RE: Universal Horror - 12/6/2010 2:36:02 PM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5669
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

DRACULA [1931]

A solicitor, Jonathan Renfield, travels to Transylvania to meet a Count Dracula, who wants to buy a property in Whitby.  In Dracula's spooky castle he encounters the Counht's vampiric brides and is then bitten by Dracula himself, becoming his slave.  With Renfield in tow, he goes to England and starts to vampirise a young woman called Lucy, but has reckoned without Professor Van Helsing, who is an expert in vampires.....


Watching Dracula is actually a rather strange experience.  It's extremely stagy and stilted, as with most very early sound films, and in fact the filmmakers basically just transplanted a popular stage version of the film onto the screen. It therefore really is like seeing a play for much of the time, and the pace of many scenes is extremely slow.  However, it's also really atmospheric and even creepy at times, especially the early scenes set in the castle, which is a fantastic Gothic abode replete with cobwebs, shadows and....armadillos.  Later on some bits in Dracula's England home are equally effective and the virtually silent sequences of Dracula about to bite [of course you don't see anything!] his victims, who of course are clad in white gowns, have a real poetic quality.  Some of the changes to Bram Stoker's novel, including Renfield not Jonathan Harker being the character who visits Dracula  in the first third, work well, but sadly the low key climax is very disappointing, as if they ran out of money.  Bela Lugosi remains a great Dracula though, with unforgettable delivery of some of his classic lines, while out of the rest of the cast Dwight Frye stand out as the insane insect eating Renfield.  Tod Browning's direction is rather stiff though.  Obviously the studio was still finding it's feet with sound movies and Dracula is perhaps a touch disappointing overall compared to many subsequent adaptations but is still a fascinating film to watch as long as you have the patience!
7/10


WOW.....just discovered this thread and now I am hooked.....great review mate and I am looking forward too the many more reviews that are coming....

As I run a second hand shop, imagine my delight when only last week, someone handed in the complete collection of the Dracula films from the Hammer studios.....

But Bela was and still is the ultimate for me......yes I associate Lee more with my childhood, but Bela has this kind of haunted look which is memorising

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Post #: 15
RE: Universal Horror - 15/6/2010 9:57:33 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

WEREWOLF OF LONDON [1935]

Whilst on an expedition in Tibet to find a special flower that can apparently cure lycanthropy, Dr.Glendon is attacked and bitten by a werewolf.  Back home, as he starts to lose his wife to her old beau, Glendon becomes wrapped up in his work trying to grow the flower and eventually becomes a werewolf himself, killing on the streets of London.  Then the mysterious oriental Dr.Yogami shows up, also interested for some reason in the flower......

This was Universal's first stab at a werewolf movie and was obviously considered something of a misfire as when The Wolf Man came along a few years later it started all over again and totally ignored this movie. Indeed it doesn't work all that well, despite having an exciting basic plot it's rather lacking in tension and atmosphere, as if director Stuart Walker wasn't all that interested in making a horror movie. The film is also burdened with lots of appalling dialogue in the first half though there is some fantastic comic relief in the second half from two old ladies who swig gin and knock each other out. The werewolf makeup is very minimal and reminded me more of a Mr Hyde, and it's wierd seeing the monster don a coat and hat.  Henry Hull is okay in the title roll, obviously deciding to play it cold and distant, but unfortunately we don't feel nearly as much sympathy for him as we should and the climax is almost over before you know it.  Hull's first transformation, as the camera follows him past pillars and each time he's changed a bit more, is excellently done, and I found it interesting that the werewolf's victims were all 'loose' women, making me think that Guy Endore's novel The Werewolf Of Paris [which of course was loosely adapted for Hammer's The Curse Of The Werewolf] inspired this movie a bit. Generally this is certainly enjoyable but considering the really high standard of the studio's horror output of the time it's generally a bit of a disappointment though certainly no disaster.
6/10

I'd forgotten i'd even seen this one,and your review is just perfect,as you said not up there with the classics,but still a good horror movie.
quote:


Amazingly I haven't seen Gods And Monsters, it's one of those films I've always intended to see but it's always passed me by, maybe I finally will now!

Although I've tried to keep these reviews short and sweet I think the next film [which you've already mentioned!] deserves a more lengthy write up, I hope I do it justice!

It's a great movie about the great man himself,and a wonderful movie that should be seen by any fan of Whale's body of work.And i guess your reviewing Bride 



Bride?  How on earth did you guess lol?!

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 15/6/2010 9:58:34 PM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

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Post #: 16
RE: Universal Horror - 15/6/2010 10:06:33 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: HughesRoss


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

DRACULA [1931]

A solicitor, Jonathan Renfield, travels to Transylvania to meet a Count Dracula, who wants to buy a property in Whitby.  In Dracula's spooky castle he encounters the Counht's vampiric brides and is then bitten by Dracula himself, becoming his slave.  With Renfield in tow, he goes to England and starts to vampirise a young woman called Lucy, but has reckoned without Professor Van Helsing, who is an expert in vampires.....


Watching Dracula is actually a rather strange experience.  It's extremely stagy and stilted, as with most very early sound films, and in fact the filmmakers basically just transplanted a popular stage version of the film onto the screen. It therefore really is like seeing a play for much of the time, and the pace of many scenes is extremely slow.  However, it's also really atmospheric and even creepy at times, especially the early scenes set in the castle, which is a fantastic Gothic abode replete with cobwebs, shadows and....armadillos.  Later on some bits in Dracula's England home are equally effective and the virtually silent sequences of Dracula about to bite [of course you don't see anything!] his victims, who of course are clad in white gowns, have a real poetic quality.  Some of the changes to Bram Stoker's novel, including Renfield not Jonathan Harker being the character who visits Dracula  in the first third, work well, but sadly the low key climax is very disappointing, as if they ran out of money.  Bela Lugosi remains a great Dracula though, with unforgettable delivery of some of his classic lines, while out of the rest of the cast Dwight Frye stand out as the insane insect eating Renfield.  Tod Browning's direction is rather stiff though.  Obviously the studio was still finding it's feet with sound movies and Dracula is perhaps a touch disappointing overall compared to many subsequent adaptations but is still a fascinating film to watch as long as you have the patience!
7/10


WOW.....just discovered this thread and now I am hooked.....great review mate and I am looking forward too the many more reviews that are coming....

As I run a second hand shop, imagine my delight when only last week, someone handed in the complete collection of the Dracula films from the Hammer studios.....

But Bela was and still is the ultimate for me......yes I associate Lee more with my childhood, but Bela has this kind of haunted look which is memorising


Thanks very much mate, I also associate Hammer more with my childhood, I did see many of the Universal films quite early on but after a while found the Hammer films more to my taste, cos they had blood and stuff!  Generally I still watch Hammer movies far more often, hence the occasional review in the Hammer thread, but am enjoying revisiting [or in some cases visiting for the first time] the Universal films at the moment, I think I can appreciate them more now I'm older and [maybe] wiser.

I adore Lee as Dracula but Lugosi has that accent, something Lee never tried except in his last Dracula film.  I suppose Lee with Lugosi's voice would be my ultimate Count!

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 17
RE: Universal Horror - 16/6/2010 11:11:10 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]

Dr. Frankenstein survives the burning windmill [at the end of the previous film] and is taken to the village where he is nursed back to health by his wife Elizabeth. However he is then visited by the eccentric Dr.Pretorious who has also created life but only in miniature form, and wants to join forces with Frankenstein in creating a better form of life.  Meanwhile the Monster has also survived and although he kills, he just wants companionship and is constantly rejected by humanity. Maybe if he and Pretorious could get Frankenstein to make him a female companion though.......


Bride Of Frankenstein is in my opinion the jewel in the crown of Universal's horror cycle, and while there would be many enjoyable and often very good entries to come, they would never better it. It's a work of stunning imagination, a film which seems to be constantly seems to be straining against the confines of the traditional Gothic horror movie and lovingly mocks it, in an even more inventive and elaborate way then director James Whale's previous The Old Dark House and The Invisable Man.

After a strange but very tone-setting opening in which see Mary Shelley, the original author of Frankenstein, being persuaded by her companions Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to carry on her tale, we immediately follow on from the previous movie [ignoring the cheery epilogue that Universal had added to it]. The horde of villagers is watching the windmill burn, and while the Burgomaster is trying to get them all to go home, we are treated to a helarious Una O'Connor shrieking and crying "insides is always the first to go". After they all leave a couple, grieving because the Monster had killed their daughter, remains. The husband falls into a pit and is promptly throttled by the still-alive Monster, then climbs out and is helped out by the wife thinking it's her husband....who is then pulled into the pit. Then Una sees the Monster and runs aways screaming. Even in the first ten minutes, the mixture of horror, comedy, with a touch of pathos, is simply sublime and things carry on in the same way, never once putting a foot wrong.

It's simply one great scene after another. This is an amazingly fast paced and action packed film, with the Monster constantly encountering and being harassed by humans [one big sequence where the Monster terrorises the vilage was, along with a few other bits and pieces, cut upon release, perhaps because it showed the Monster as being too unsympathetic]. In one audacious bit he's virtually crucified, perhaps the most striking bit of symbolism in a film packed with it. Whale was openly gay at a time where it was looked down upon, and he obviously identified with the persecuted Monster. The culmination of this is the beautiful passage where the Monster comes across a blind hermit in the forest and for a brief time, finds a friend. This scene is incredibly touching and still almost brings me to tears, not helped by having Ave Maria playing in the background! Then of course there's the climax where the Bride is unveiled.  She is truly a striking creation, with her white shroud [or wedding dress?], sticking back hair as if she's being electrocuted, and horrible hisses. A shame she doesn't appear for long though.

Borid Karloff is again sublime as the Monster, apparently he was against the Monster speaking, as he does in this film, but the performance is even more detailed and clever then before, and the greater humanisation of the Monster in the script really allows him to create almost tear-inducing pity. Colin Clive is memorably harassed as Frankenstein and pretty much every other role, however minor, is memorably filled and usually given at least one moment to shine, but for me, the standout performance,after Karloff and Elsa Lancester's too briefly seen Bride, is Ernest Thesiger as Dr.Pretorius. Thesiger creates a truly eccentric, grotesque, subtly perverse but very funny character, and after Karloff is given all the best scenes, whether it's dining on a tomb in a crypt and casually welcoming the Monster with a "have a cigar, they're only weakness" [though earlier he'd said it was gin!], or unveiling his little creations in another audacious scene, with really good special effects and the helarious sight of the tiny 'King' twice climbing out of his jar to get at the tiny  'Queen'.

Bride Of Frankenstein was, like most of these films, entirely studio bound, and here this is used to brilliant advantage, creating a really evocative dark fairy world. Buildings [and even characters] are often photographed from wierd angles [John J.Mascell the cameraman was reportedly pissed throughout, was this a bad thing or actually a very good thing?] and the expressionistic forest looks like something from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mention must also be made of Franz Waxman's theme filled score, which often adds it's own ironic comment on the action, such as the wedding bells that accompany the Bride's entrance. Despite being such a striking artistic accomplishment, Bride Of Frankenstein never once forgets to be fun ,it's extremely entertaining throughout. Many years ago I showed it to my half brother who was 8 at the time and he was engrossed and loved it, a sure sign of this 75 year old film's durability. It's a masterpiece though and through.
10/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 4/8/2010 10:28:34 PM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

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Post #: 18
RE: Universal Horror - 16/6/2010 5:59:19 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6718
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]

Dr. Frankenstein survives the burning windmill [at the end of the previous film] and is taken to the village where he is nursed back to health by his wife Elizabeth. However he is then visited by the eccentric Dr.Pretorious who has also created life but only in miniature form, and wants to join forces with Frankenstein in creating a better form of life.  Meanwhile the Monster has also survived and although he kills, he just wants companionship and is constantly rejected by humanity. Maybe if he and Pretorious could get Frankenstein to make him a female companion though.......


Bride Of Frankenstein is in my opinion the jewel in the crown of Universal's horror cycle, and while there would be many enjoyable and often very good entries to come, they would never better it. It's a work of stunning imagination, a film which seems to be constantly seems to be straining against the confines of the traditional Gothic horror movie and lovingly mocks it, in an even more inventive and elaborate way then director James Whale's previous The Old Dark House and The Invisable Man.

After a strange but very tone-setting opening in which see Mary Shelley, the original author of Frankenstein, being persuaded by her companions Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to carry on her tale, we immediately follow on from the previous movie [ignoring the cheery epilogue that Universal had added to it]. The horde of villagers is watching the windmill burn, and while the Burgomaster is trying to get them all to go home, we are treated to a helarious Una O'Connor shrieking and crying "insides is always the first to go". After they all leave a couple, grieving because the Monster had killed their daughter, remains. The husband falls into a pit and is promptly throttled by the still-alive Monster, then climbs out and is helped out by the wife thinking it's her husband....who is then pulled into the pit. Then Una sees the Monster and runs aways screaming. Even in the first ten minutes, the mixture of horror, comedy, with a touch of pathos, is simply sublime and things carry on in the same way, never once putting a foot wrong.

It's simply one great scene after another. This is an amazingly fast paced and action packed film, with the Monster constantly encountering and being harassed by humans [one big sequence where the Monster terrorises the vilage was, along with a few other bits and pieces, cut upon release, perhaps because it showed the Monster as being too unsympathetic]. In one audacious bit he's virtually crucified, perhaps the most striking bit of symbolism in a film packed with it. Whale was openly gay at a time where it was looked down upon, and he obviously identified with the persecuted Monster. The culmination of this is the beautiful passage where the Monster comes across a blind hermit in the forest and for a brief time, finds a friend. This scene is incredibly touching and still almost brings me to tears, not helped by having Ave Maria playing in the background! Then of course there's the climax where the Bride is unveiled.  She is truly a striking creation, with her white shroud [or wedding dress?], sticking back hair as if she's being electrocuted, and horrible hisses. A shame she doesn't appear for long though.

Borid Karloff is again sublime as the Monster, apparently he was against the Monster speaking, as he does in this film, but the performance is even more detailed and clever then before, and the greater humanisation of the Monster in the script really allows him to create almost tear-inducing pity. Colin Clive is memorably harassed as Frankenstein and pretty much every other role, however minor, is memorably filled and usually given at least one moment to shine, but for me, the standout performance,after Karloff and Elsa Lancester's too briefly seen Bride, is Ernest Thesiger as Dr.Pretorius. Thesiger creates a truly eccentric, grotesque, subtly perverse but very funny character, and after Karloff is given all the best scenes, whether it's dining on a tomb in a crypt and casually welcoming the Monster with a "have a cigar, they're only weakness" [though earlier he'd said it was gin!], or unveiling his little creations in another audacious scene, with really good special effects and the helarious sight of the tiny 'King' twice climbing out of his jar to get at the tiny  'Queen'.

Bride Of Frankenstein was, like most of these films, entirely studio bound, and here this is used to brilliant advantage, creating a really evocative dark fairy world. Buildings [and even characters] are often photographed from wierd angles [John J.Mascell the cameraman was reportedly pissed throughout, was this a bad thing or actually a very good thing?] and the expressionistic forest looks like something from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mention must also be made of Franz Waxman's theme filled score, which often adds it's own ironic comment on the action, such as the wedding bells that accompany the Bride's entrance. Despite being such a striking artistic accomplishment, Bride Of Frankenstein never once forgets to be fun ,it's extremely entertaining throughout. Many years ago I showed it to my half brother who was 8 at the time and he was engrossed and loved it, a sure sign of this 75 year old film's durability. It's a masterpiece though and through.
10/10

I can see by this review that you trully love this classic movie,and you talk about not being able to match are reviews on The Weird/Strange thread.This is one of the best reviews i've read about on this classic,and nearly put's Frankenstein into second place,but i still love it to much to do that.Bride will always be a very very close second,to my favorite horror movies of the 30's,and it is one of the greatest sequels of all time .



_____________________________

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(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 19
RE: Universal Horror - 17/6/2010 11:57:12 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5669
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]

Dr. Frankenstein survives the burning windmill [at the end of the previous film] and is taken to the village where he is nursed back to health by his wife Elizabeth. However he is then visited by the eccentric Dr.Pretorious who has also created life but only in miniature form, and wants to join forces with Frankenstein in creating a better form of life.  Meanwhile the Monster has also survived and although he kills, he just wants companionship and is constantly rejected by humanity. Maybe if he and Pretorious could get Frankenstein to make him a female companion though.......


Bride Of Frankenstein is in my opinion the jewel in the crown of Universal's horror cycle, and while there would be many enjoyable and often very good entries to come, they would never better it. It's a work of stunning imagination, a film which seems to be constantly seems to be straining against the confines of the traditional Gothic horror movie and lovingly mocks it, in an even more inventive and elaborate way then director James Whale's previous The Old Dark House and The Invisable Man.

After a strange but very tone-setting opening in which see Mary Shelley, the original author of Frankenstein, being persuaded by her companions Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to carry on her tale, we immediately follow on from the previous movie [ignoring the cheery epilogue that Universal had added to it]. The horde of villagers is watching the windmill burn, and while the Burgomaster is trying to get them all to go home, we are treated to a helarious Una O'Connor shrieking and crying "insides is always the first to go". After they all leave a couple, grieving because the Monster had killed their daughter, remains. The husband falls into a pit and is promptly throttled by the still-alive Monster, then climbs out and is helped out by the wife thinking it's her husband....who is then pulled into the pit. Then Una sees the Monster and runs aways screaming. Even in the first ten minutes, the mixture of horror, comedy, with a touch of pathos, is simply sublime and things carry on in the same way, never once putting a foot wrong.

It's simply one great scene after another. This is an amazingly fast paced and action packed film, with the Monster constantly encountering and being harassed by humans [one big sequence where the Monster terrorises the vilage was, along with a few other bits and pieces, cut upon release, perhaps because it showed the Monster as being too unsympathetic]. In one audacious bit he's virtually crucified, perhaps the most striking bit of symbolism in a film packed with it. Whale was openly gay at a time where it was looked down upon, and he obviously identified with the persecuted Monster. The culmination of this is the beautiful passage where the Monster comes across a blind hermit in the forest and for a brief time, finds a friend. This scene is incredibly touching and still almost brings me to tears, not helped by having Ave Maria playing in the background! Then of course there's the climax where the Bride is unveiled.  She is truly a striking creation, with her white shroud [or wedding dress?], sticking back hair as if she's being electrocuted, and horrible hisses. A shame she doesn't appear for long though.

Borid Karloff is again sublime as the Monster, apparently he was against the Monster speaking, as he does in this film, but the performance is even more detailed and clever then before, and the greater humanisation of the Monster in the script really allows him to create almost tear-inducing pity. Colin Clive is memorably harassed as Frankenstein and pretty much every other role, however minor, is memorably filled and usually given at least one moment to shine, but for me, the standout performance,after Karloff and Elsa Lancester's too briefly seen Bride, is Ernest Thesiger as Dr.Pretorius. Thesiger creates a truly eccentric, grotesque, subtly perverse but very funny character, and after Karloff is given all the best scenes, whether it's dining on a tomb in a crypt and casually welcoming the Monster with a "have a cigar, they're only weakness" [though earlier he'd said it was gin!], or unveiling his little creations in another audacious scene, with really good special effects and the helarious sight of the tiny 'King' twice climbing out of his jar to get at the tiny  'Queen'.

Bride Of Frankenstein was, like most of these films, entirely studio bound, and here this is used to brilliant advantage, creating a really evocative dark fairy world. Buildings [and even characters] are often photographed from wierd angles [John J.Mascell the cameraman was reportedly pissed throughout, was this a bad thing or actually a very good thing?] and the expressionistic forest looks like something from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mention must also be made of Franz Waxman's theme filled score, which often adds it's own ironic comment on the action, such as the wedding bells that accompany the Bride's entrance. Despite being such a striking artistic accomplishment, Bride Of Frankenstein never once forgets to be fun ,it's extremely entertaining throughout. Many years ago I showed it to my half brother who was 8 at the time and he was engrossed and loved it, a sure sign of this 75 year old film's durability. It's a masterpiece though and through.
10/10


Well that is it.....I don't think I bother reviewing this film I can see you love shine through this movie, its also in my Top horrors of all time, a wonderful sad/tragic story that is beautifully played and one that needs to be viewed by all fans of the genre....

What's next then?

_____________________________

Our first ever HCF MOVIE AWARDS

http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/2012/01/horrorcultfilms-movie-awards-of-2011-all-the-winners-right-here-of-our-first-ever-hcf-awards/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 20
RE: Universal Horror - 17/6/2010 7:02:19 PM   
DAVID GILLESPIE


Posts: 2888
Joined: 27/2/2007
From: Glasgow
quote:

ORIGINAL: HughesRoss


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]

Dr. Frankenstein survives the burning windmill [at the end of the previous film] and is taken to the village where he is nursed back to health by his wife Elizabeth. However he is then visited by the eccentric Dr.Pretorious who has also created life but only in miniature form, and wants to join forces with Frankenstein in creating a better form of life.  Meanwhile the Monster has also survived and although he kills, he just wants companionship and is constantly rejected by humanity. Maybe if he and Pretorious could get Frankenstein to make him a female companion though.......


Bride Of Frankenstein is in my opinion the jewel in the crown of Universal's horror cycle, and while there would be many enjoyable and often very good entries to come, they would never better it. It's a work of stunning imagination, a film which seems to be constantly seems to be straining against the confines of the traditional Gothic horror movie and lovingly mocks it, in an even more inventive and elaborate way then director James Whale's previous The Old Dark House and The Invisable Man.

After a strange but very tone-setting opening in which see Mary Shelley, the original author of Frankenstein, being persuaded by her companions Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to carry on her tale, we immediately follow on from the previous movie [ignoring the cheery epilogue that Universal had added to it]. The horde of villagers is watching the windmill burn, and while the Burgomaster is trying to get them all to go home, we are treated to a helarious Una O'Connor shrieking and crying "insides is always the first to go". After they all leave a couple, grieving because the Monster had killed their daughter, remains. The husband falls into a pit and is promptly throttled by the still-alive Monster, then climbs out and is helped out by the wife thinking it's her husband....who is then pulled into the pit. Then Una sees the Monster and runs aways screaming. Even in the first ten minutes, the mixture of horror, comedy, with a touch of pathos, is simply sublime and things carry on in the same way, never once putting a foot wrong.

It's simply one great scene after another. This is an amazingly fast paced and action packed film, with the Monster constantly encountering and being harassed by humans [one big sequence where the Monster terrorises the vilage was, along with a few other bits and pieces, cut upon release, perhaps because it showed the Monster as being too unsympathetic]. In one audacious bit he's virtually crucified, perhaps the most striking bit of symbolism in a film packed with it. Whale was openly gay at a time where it was looked down upon, and he obviously identified with the persecuted Monster. The culmination of this is the beautiful passage where the Monster comes across a blind hermit in the forest and for a brief time, finds a friend. This scene is incredibly touching and still almost brings me to tears, not helped by having Ave Maria playing in the background! Then of course there's the climax where the Bride is unveiled.  She is truly a striking creation, with her white shroud [or wedding dress?], sticking back hair as if she's being electrocuted, and horrible hisses. A shame she doesn't appear for long though.

Borid Karloff is again sublime as the Monster, apparently he was against the Monster speaking, as he does in this film, but the performance is even more detailed and clever then before, and the greater humanisation of the Monster in the script really allows him to create almost tear-inducing pity. Colin Clive is memorably harassed as Frankenstein and pretty much every other role, however minor, is memorably filled and usually given at least one moment to shine, but for me, the standout performance,after Karloff and Elsa Lancester's too briefly seen Bride, is Ernest Thesiger as Dr.Pretorius. Thesiger creates a truly eccentric, grotesque, subtly perverse but very funny character, and after Karloff is given all the best scenes, whether it's dining on a tomb in a crypt and casually welcoming the Monster with a "have a cigar, they're only weakness" [though earlier he'd said it was gin!], or unveiling his little creations in another audacious scene, with really good special effects and the helarious sight of the tiny 'King' twice climbing out of his jar to get at the tiny  'Queen'.

Bride Of Frankenstein was, like most of these films, entirely studio bound, and here this is used to brilliant advantage, creating a really evocative dark fairy world. Buildings [and even characters] are often photographed from wierd angles [John J.Mascell the cameraman was reportedly pissed throughout, was this a bad thing or actually a very good thing?] and the expressionistic forest looks like something from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mention must also be made of Franz Waxman's theme filled score, which often adds it's own ironic comment on the action, such as the wedding bells that accompany the Bride's entrance. Despite being such a striking artistic accomplishment, Bride Of Frankenstein never once forgets to be fun ,it's extremely entertaining throughout. Many years ago I showed it to my half brother who was 8 at the time and he was engrossed and loved it, a sure sign of this 75 year old film's durability. It's a masterpiece though and through.
10/10


Well that is it.....I don't think I bother reviewing this film I can see you love shine through this movie, its also in my Top horrors of all time, a wonderful sad/tragic story that is beautifully played and one that needs to be viewed by all fans of the genre....

What's next then?

I wouldn't even try to match this spot on review. The only thing that I will add is that whenever I think about these b&w classics, I get that warm feeling in my heart about when I was a young un. I remember my brother and myself staying up late to watch a double bill of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein with a packet of Stackers and Toffee Pops. Those were the days and not a  worry in world!


_____________________________

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(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 21
RE: Universal Horror - 18/6/2010 8:14:17 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5669
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
Stackers???????

How old actually are you

_____________________________

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(in reply to DAVID GILLESPIE)
Post #: 22
RE: Universal Horror - 18/6/2010 10:25:07 AM   
DAVID GILLESPIE


Posts: 2888
Joined: 27/2/2007
From: Glasgow

quote:

ORIGINAL: HughesRoss

Stackers???????

How old actually are you

Me applying and failing for role as Hannibal Smith in A-Team feature.



_____________________________

Cludge Judge * Cold Fish

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 23
RE: Universal Horror - 18/6/2010 10:39:10 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5669
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
That's what DRINK does to you mate, you only under 30

_____________________________

Our first ever HCF MOVIE AWARDS

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(in reply to DAVID GILLESPIE)
Post #: 24
RE: Universal Horror - 19/6/2010 8:30:49 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]

Dr. Frankenstein survives the burning windmill [at the end of the previous film] and is taken to the village where he is nursed back to health by his wife Elizabeth. However he is then visited by the eccentric Dr.Pretorious who has also created life but only in miniature form, and wants to join forces with Frankenstein in creating a better form of life.  Meanwhile the Monster has also survived and although he kills, he just wants companionship and is constantly rejected by humanity. Maybe if he and Pretorious could get Frankenstein to make him a female companion though.......


Bride Of Frankenstein is in my opinion the jewel in the crown of Universal's horror cycle, and while there would be many enjoyable and often very good entries to come, they would never better it. It's a work of stunning imagination, a film which seems to be constantly seems to be straining against the confines of the traditional Gothic horror movie and lovingly mocks it, in an even more inventive and elaborate way then director James Whale's previous The Old Dark House and The Invisable Man.

After a strange but very tone-setting opening in which see Mary Shelley, the original author of Frankenstein, being persuaded by her companions Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to carry on her tale, we immediately follow on from the previous movie [ignoring the cheery epilogue that Universal had added to it]. The horde of villagers is watching the windmill burn, and while the Burgomaster is trying to get them all to go home, we are treated to a helarious Una O'Connor shrieking and crying "insides is always the first to go". After they all leave a couple, grieving because the Monster had killed their daughter, remains. The husband falls into a pit and is promptly throttled by the still-alive Monster, then climbs out and is helped out by the wife thinking it's her husband....who is then pulled into the pit. Then Una sees the Monster and runs aways screaming. Even in the first ten minutes, the mixture of horror, comedy, with a touch of pathos, is simply sublime and things carry on in the same way, never once putting a foot wrong.

It's simply one great scene after another. This is an amazingly fast paced and action packed film, with the Monster constantly encountering and being harassed by humans [one big sequence where the Monster terrorises the vilage was, along with a few other bits and pieces, cut upon release, perhaps because it showed the Monster as being too unsympathetic]. In one audacious bit he's virtually crucified, perhaps the most striking bit of symbolism in a film packed with it. Whale was openly gay at a time where it was looked down upon, and he obviously identified with the persecuted Monster. The culmination of this is the beautiful passage where the Monster comes across a blind hermit in the forest and for a brief time, finds a friend. This scene is incredibly touching and still almost brings me to tears, not helped by having Ave Maria playing in the background! Then of course there's the climax where the Bride is unveiled.  She is truly a striking creation, with her white shroud [or wedding dress?], sticking back hair as if she's being electrocuted, and horrible hisses. A shame she doesn't appear for long though.

Borid Karloff is again sublime as the Monster, apparently he was against the Monster speaking, as he does in this film, but the performance is even more detailed and clever then before, and the greater humanisation of the Monster in the script really allows him to create almost tear-inducing pity. Colin Clive is memorably harassed as Frankenstein and pretty much every other role, however minor, is memorably filled and usually given at least one moment to shine, but for me, the standout performance,after Karloff and Elsa Lancester's too briefly seen Bride, is Ernest Thesiger as Dr.Pretorius. Thesiger creates a truly eccentric, grotesque, subtly perverse but very funny character, and after Karloff is given all the best scenes, whether it's dining on a tomb in a crypt and casually welcoming the Monster with a "have a cigar, they're only weakness" [though earlier he'd said it was gin!], or unveiling his little creations in another audacious scene, with really good special effects and the helarious sight of the tiny 'King' twice climbing out of his jar to get at the tiny  'Queen'.

Bride Of Frankenstein was, like most of these films, entirely studio bound, and here this is used to brilliant advantage, creating a really evocative dark fairy world. Buildings [and even characters] are often photographed from wierd angles [John J.Mascell the cameraman was reportedly pissed throughout, was this a bad thing or actually a very good thing?] and the expressionistic forest looks like something from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mention must also be made of Franz Waxman's theme filled score, which often adds it's own ironic comment on the action, such as the wedding bells that accompany the Bride's entrance. Despite being such a striking artistic accomplishment, Bride Of Frankenstein never once forgets to be fun ,it's extremely entertaining throughout. Many years ago I showed it to my half brother who was 8 at the time and he was engrossed and loved it, a sure sign of this 75 year old film's durability. It's a masterpiece though and through.
10/10

I can see by this review that you trully love this classic movie,and you talk about not being able to match are reviews on The Weird/Strange thread.This is one of the best reviews i've read about on this classic,and nearly put's Frankenstein into second place,but i still love it to much to do that.Bride will always be a very very close second,to my favorite horror movies of the 30's,and it is one of the greatest sequels of all time .




Thanks for the compliment mate, yeah it's neck and neck between the two films, though I think Bride edges the first movie.  I can see why many people prefer Frankenstein though, for it's starker, more serious approach.

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 25
RE: Universal Horror - 19/6/2010 8:37:14 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: HughesRoss


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]

Dr. Frankenstein survives the burning windmill [at the end of the previous film] and is taken to the village where he is nursed back to health by his wife Elizabeth. However he is then visited by the eccentric Dr.Pretorious who has also created life but only in miniature form, and wants to join forces with Frankenstein in creating a better form of life.  Meanwhile the Monster has also survived and although he kills, he just wants companionship and is constantly rejected by humanity. Maybe if he and Pretorious could get Frankenstein to make him a female companion though.......


Bride Of Frankenstein is in my opinion the jewel in the crown of Universal's horror cycle, and while there would be many enjoyable and often very good entries to come, they would never better it. It's a work of stunning imagination, a film which seems to be constantly seems to be straining against the confines of the traditional Gothic horror movie and lovingly mocks it, in an even more inventive and elaborate way then director James Whale's previous The Old Dark House and The Invisable Man.

After a strange but very tone-setting opening in which see Mary Shelley, the original author of Frankenstein, being persuaded by her companions Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to carry on her tale, we immediately follow on from the previous movie [ignoring the cheery epilogue that Universal had added to it]. The horde of villagers is watching the windmill burn, and while the Burgomaster is trying to get them all to go home, we are treated to a helarious Una O'Connor shrieking and crying "insides is always the first to go". After they all leave a couple, grieving because the Monster had killed their daughter, remains. The husband falls into a pit and is promptly throttled by the still-alive Monster, then climbs out and is helped out by the wife thinking it's her husband....who is then pulled into the pit. Then Una sees the Monster and runs aways screaming. Even in the first ten minutes, the mixture of horror, comedy, with a touch of pathos, is simply sublime and things carry on in the same way, never once putting a foot wrong.

It's simply one great scene after another. This is an amazingly fast paced and action packed film, with the Monster constantly encountering and being harassed by humans [one big sequence where the Monster terrorises the vilage was, along with a few other bits and pieces, cut upon release, perhaps because it showed the Monster as being too unsympathetic]. In one audacious bit he's virtually crucified, perhaps the most striking bit of symbolism in a film packed with it. Whale was openly gay at a time where it was looked down upon, and he obviously identified with the persecuted Monster. The culmination of this is the beautiful passage where the Monster comes across a blind hermit in the forest and for a brief time, finds a friend. This scene is incredibly touching and still almost brings me to tears, not helped by having Ave Maria playing in the background! Then of course there's the climax where the Bride is unveiled.  She is truly a striking creation, with her white shroud [or wedding dress?], sticking back hair as if she's being electrocuted, and horrible hisses. A shame she doesn't appear for long though.

Borid Karloff is again sublime as the Monster, apparently he was against the Monster speaking, as he does in this film, but the performance is even more detailed and clever then before, and the greater humanisation of the Monster in the script really allows him to create almost tear-inducing pity. Colin Clive is memorably harassed as Frankenstein and pretty much every other role, however minor, is memorably filled and usually given at least one moment to shine, but for me, the standout performance,after Karloff and Elsa Lancester's too briefly seen Bride, is Ernest Thesiger as Dr.Pretorius. Thesiger creates a truly eccentric, grotesque, subtly perverse but very funny character, and after Karloff is given all the best scenes, whether it's dining on a tomb in a crypt and casually welcoming the Monster with a "have a cigar, they're only weakness" [though earlier he'd said it was gin!], or unveiling his little creations in another audacious scene, with really good special effects and the helarious sight of the tiny 'King' twice climbing out of his jar to get at the tiny  'Queen'.

Bride Of Frankenstein was, like most of these films, entirely studio bound, and here this is used to brilliant advantage, creating a really evocative dark fairy world. Buildings [and even characters] are often photographed from wierd angles [John J.Mascell the cameraman was reportedly pissed throughout, was this a bad thing or actually a very good thing?] and the expressionistic forest looks like something from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mention must also be made of Franz Waxman's theme filled score, which often adds it's own ironic comment on the action, such as the wedding bells that accompany the Bride's entrance. Despite being such a striking artistic accomplishment, Bride Of Frankenstein never once forgets to be fun ,it's extremely entertaining throughout. Many years ago I showed it to my half brother who was 8 at the time and he was engrossed and loved it, a sure sign of this 75 year old film's durability. It's a masterpiece though and through.
10/10


Well that is it.....I don't think I bother reviewing this film I can see you love shine through this movie, its also in my Top horrors of all time, a wonderful sad/tragic story that is beautifully played and one that needs to be viewed by all fans of the genre....

What's next then?


Thanks mate, I try to keep these reviews fairly short [as I think once they hit the 40s the films get very samey from what I remember], but couldn't resist with one of my all time favourite movies!  Would love to read your take on it as well.  As for what's next, it's one I've never ever seen and isn't often shown I think, and is a sequel to another film I've reviewed

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 26
RE: Universal Horror - 19/6/2010 8:42:23 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: DAVID GILLESPIE

quote:

ORIGINAL: HughesRoss


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]

Dr. Frankenstein survives the burning windmill [at the end of the previous film] and is taken to the village where he is nursed back to health by his wife Elizabeth. However he is then visited by the eccentric Dr.Pretorious who has also created life but only in miniature form, and wants to join forces with Frankenstein in creating a better form of life.  Meanwhile the Monster has also survived and although he kills, he just wants companionship and is constantly rejected by humanity. Maybe if he and Pretorious could get Frankenstein to make him a female companion though.......


Bride Of Frankenstein is in my opinion the jewel in the crown of Universal's horror cycle, and while there would be many enjoyable and often very good entries to come, they would never better it. It's a work of stunning imagination, a film which seems to be constantly seems to be straining against the confines of the traditional Gothic horror movie and lovingly mocks it, in an even more inventive and elaborate way then director James Whale's previous The Old Dark House and The Invisable Man.

After a strange but very tone-setting opening in which see Mary Shelley, the original author of Frankenstein, being persuaded by her companions Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to carry on her tale, we immediately follow on from the previous movie [ignoring the cheery epilogue that Universal had added to it]. The horde of villagers is watching the windmill burn, and while the Burgomaster is trying to get them all to go home, we are treated to a helarious Una O'Connor shrieking and crying "insides is always the first to go". After they all leave a couple, grieving because the Monster had killed their daughter, remains. The husband falls into a pit and is promptly throttled by the still-alive Monster, then climbs out and is helped out by the wife thinking it's her husband....who is then pulled into the pit. Then Una sees the Monster and runs aways screaming. Even in the first ten minutes, the mixture of horror, comedy, with a touch of pathos, is simply sublime and things carry on in the same way, never once putting a foot wrong.

It's simply one great scene after another. This is an amazingly fast paced and action packed film, with the Monster constantly encountering and being harassed by humans [one big sequence where the Monster terrorises the vilage was, along with a few other bits and pieces, cut upon release, perhaps because it showed the Monster as being too unsympathetic]. In one audacious bit he's virtually crucified, perhaps the most striking bit of symbolism in a film packed with it. Whale was openly gay at a time where it was looked down upon, and he obviously identified with the persecuted Monster. The culmination of this is the beautiful passage where the Monster comes across a blind hermit in the forest and for a brief time, finds a friend. This scene is incredibly touching and still almost brings me to tears, not helped by having Ave Maria playing in the background! Then of course there's the climax where the Bride is unveiled.  She is truly a striking creation, with her white shroud [or wedding dress?], sticking back hair as if she's being electrocuted, and horrible hisses. A shame she doesn't appear for long though.

Borid Karloff is again sublime as the Monster, apparently he was against the Monster speaking, as he does in this film, but the performance is even more detailed and clever then before, and the greater humanisation of the Monster in the script really allows him to create almost tear-inducing pity. Colin Clive is memorably harassed as Frankenstein and pretty much every other role, however minor, is memorably filled and usually given at least one moment to shine, but for me, the standout performance,after Karloff and Elsa Lancester's too briefly seen Bride, is Ernest Thesiger as Dr.Pretorius. Thesiger creates a truly eccentric, grotesque, subtly perverse but very funny character, and after Karloff is given all the best scenes, whether it's dining on a tomb in a crypt and casually welcoming the Monster with a "have a cigar, they're only weakness" [though earlier he'd said it was gin!], or unveiling his little creations in another audacious scene, with really good special effects and the helarious sight of the tiny 'King' twice climbing out of his jar to get at the tiny  'Queen'.

Bride Of Frankenstein was, like most of these films, entirely studio bound, and here this is used to brilliant advantage, creating a really evocative dark fairy world. Buildings [and even characters] are often photographed from wierd angles [John J.Mascell the cameraman was reportedly pissed throughout, was this a bad thing or actually a very good thing?] and the expressionistic forest looks like something from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mention must also be made of Franz Waxman's theme filled score, which often adds it's own ironic comment on the action, such as the wedding bells that accompany the Bride's entrance. Despite being such a striking artistic accomplishment, Bride Of Frankenstein never once forgets to be fun ,it's extremely entertaining throughout. Many years ago I showed it to my half brother who was 8 at the time and he was engrossed and loved it, a sure sign of this 75 year old film's durability. It's a masterpiece though and through.
10/10


Well that is it.....I don't think I bother reviewing this film I can see you love shine through this movie, its also in my Top horrors of all time, a wonderful sad/tragic story that is beautifully played and one that needs to be viewed by all fans of the genre....

What's next then?

I wouldn't even try to match this spot on review. The only thing that I will add is that whenever I think about these b&w classics, I get that warm feeling in my heart about when I was a young un. I remember my brother and myself staying up late to watch a double bill of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein with a packet of Stackers and Toffee Pops. Those were the days and not a  worry in world!



Same here........except for the Stackers and Toffee Pops maybe!  Used to always beg to be allowed to stay up to see the next Universal double bill and even if I wasn't allowed I'd often sneak downstairs and watch them.  We would all talk about it at school the following Monday, you weren't cool if you hadn't seen the Sat late night horror flick. How things have changed-I can't imagine today's kids looking forward to the next 30s horror movie and raving about it in the playground.

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 20/6/2010 3:53:42 PM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to DAVID GILLESPIE)
Post #: 27
RE: Universal Horror - 19/6/2010 8:55:58 AM   
Snake-Eyes


Posts: 9970
Joined: 1/10/2005
From: ZONE 2
Young Snake-Eyes used to love staying up late on Friday Nights and watching Channel 4 Double-Bills of stuff like FRANKENSTEIN vs. THE WOLF MAN and THE MUMMY'S HAND - Cool Stuff.

_____________________________

"When you have to shoot, shoot don't talk."

http://www.expendablespremiere.com/index.html

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 28
RE: Universal Horror - 19/6/2010 9:56:17 AM   
DAVID GILLESPIE


Posts: 2888
Joined: 27/2/2007
From: Glasgow
quote:

ORIGINAL: Snake-Eyes

Young Snake-Eyes used to love staying up late on Friday Nights and watching Channel 4 Double-Bills of stuff like FRANKENSTEIN vs. THE WOLF MAN and THE MUMMY'S HAND - Cool Stuff.


Maybe not in the same league as Frankenstein  and Bride of...,your suggestions hit the spot also. The Wolfman was always my favourite in the early days and Lon Chaney Jnr is a bit of a hero of mine. Anything associated with werewolves was worth a watch including The Abbot and Costello releases.



_____________________________

Cludge Judge * Cold Fish

(in reply to Snake-Eyes)
Post #: 29
RE: Universal Horror - 20/6/2010 11:56:21 PM   
siegfried


Posts: 13582
Joined: 16/12/2007
From: Long ago and far away
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN [1935]

Dr. Frankenstein survives the burning windmill [at the end of the previous film] and is taken to the village where he is nursed back to health by his wife Elizabeth. However he is then visited by the eccentric Dr.Pretorious who has also created life but only in miniature form, and wants to join forces with Frankenstein in creating a better form of life.  Meanwhile the Monster has also survived and although he kills, he just wants companionship and is constantly rejected by humanity. Maybe if he and Pretorious could get Frankenstein to make him a female companion though.......


Bride Of Frankenstein is in my opinion the jewel in the crown of Universal's horror cycle, and while there would be many enjoyable and often very good entries to come, they would never better it. It's a work of stunning imagination, a film which seems to be constantly seems to be straining against the confines of the traditional Gothic horror movie and lovingly mocks it, in an even more inventive and elaborate way then director James Whale's previous The Old Dark House and The Invisable Man.

After a strange but very tone-setting opening in which see Mary Shelley, the original author of Frankenstein, being persuaded by her companions Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley to carry on her tale, we immediately follow on from the previous movie [ignoring the cheery epilogue that Universal had added to it]. The horde of villagers is watching the windmill burn, and while the Burgomaster is trying to get them all to go home, we are treated to a helarious Una O'Connor shrieking and crying "insides is always the first to go". After they all leave a couple, grieving because the Monster had killed their daughter, remains. The husband falls into a pit and is promptly throttled by the still-alive Monster, then climbs out and is helped out by the wife thinking it's her husband....who is then pulled into the pit. Then Una sees the Monster and runs aways screaming. Even in the first ten minutes, the mixture of horror, comedy, with a touch of pathos, is simply sublime and things carry on in the same way, never once putting a foot wrong.

It's simply one great scene after another. This is an amazingly fast paced and action packed film, with the Monster constantly encountering and being harassed by humans [one big sequence where the Monster terrorises the vilage was, along with a few other bits and pieces, cut upon release, perhaps because it showed the Monster as being too unsympathetic]. In one audacious bit he's virtually crucified, perhaps the most striking bit of symbolism in a film packed with it. Whale was openly gay at a time where it was looked down upon, and he obviously identified with the persecuted Monster. The culmination of this is the beautiful passage where the Monster comes across a blind hermit in the forest and for a brief time, finds a friend. This scene is incredibly touching and still almost brings me to tears, not helped by having Ave Maria playing in the background! Then of course there's the climax where the Bride is unveiled.  She is truly a striking creation, with her white shroud [or wedding dress?], sticking back hair as if she's being electrocuted, and horrible hisses. A shame she doesn't appear for long though.

Borid Karloff is again sublime as the Monster, apparently he was against the Monster speaking, as he does in this film, but the performance is even more detailed and clever then before, and the greater humanisation of the Monster in the script really allows him to create almost tear-inducing pity. Colin Clive is memorably harassed as Frankenstein and pretty much every other role, however minor, is memorably filled and usually given at least one moment to shine, but for me, the standout performance,after Karloff and Elsa Lancester's too briefly seen Bride, is Ernest Thesiger as Dr.Pretorius. Thesiger creates a truly eccentric, grotesque, subtly perverse but very funny character, and after Karloff is given all the best scenes, whether it's dining on a tomb in a crypt and casually welcoming the Monster with a "have a cigar, they're only weakness" [though earlier he'd said it was gin!], or unveiling his little creations in another audacious scene, with really good special effects and the helarious sight of the tiny 'King' twice climbing out of his jar to get at the tiny  'Queen'.

Bride Of Frankenstein was, like most of these films, entirely studio bound, and here this is used to brilliant advantage, creating a really evocative dark fairy world. Buildings [and even characters] are often photographed from wierd angles [John J.Mascell the cameraman was reportedly pissed throughout, was this a bad thing or actually a very good thing?] and the expressionistic forest looks like something from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Mention must also be made of Franz Waxman's theme filled score, which often adds it's own ironic comment on the action, such as the wedding bells that accompany the Bride's entrance. Despite being such a striking artistic accomplishment, Bride Of Frankenstein never once forgets to be fun ,it's extremely entertaining throughout. Many years ago I showed it to my half brother who was 8 at the time and he was engrossed and loved it, a sure sign of this 75 year old film's durability. It's a masterpiece though and through.
10/10

What can I say that you haven't already covered in your excellent review?
As I've already mentioned, Bride Of Frankenstein is my favourite of all the films in the Universal Horror cycle.
Totally agree with your comments about Ernest Thesiger's performance as Doctor Pretorius. To me, he's the high point of the film. His delicious performance as Horace Femm in The Old Dark House also comes very close.
Sadly today Ernest Thesiger tends to be overlooked and unappreciated, and it's good to see him getting some recognition. He had a long and very productive career, lasting into the 1960s, and including roles in The Winslow Boy, The Bad Lord Byron, Quartet, The Robe, Sons And Lovers and The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone.
Keep up the good work, Doctor. I'm looking forward to your next review.

_____________________________

"Premeditated murder is one thing, but I will not have lying in this house."

Marriage is one of those things that is best gotten over with in youth - like chicken pox.

Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 30
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