31 Days of Halloween: Universal Monsters Horrorthon

It’s finally here! My week-long horrorthon starts now, kiddies. I’ll be updating all day, so keep checking back. I have a little less time this year than I have had in the past (I constantly reminisce about the week when I watched 50 horror movies…one day soon I’ll do that again). If I had 168 straight hours, I would program it a lot like the 24-Hour Horrorthon, which is kind of a mix-tape approach. This year, though, I’m having theme days. My rules are: (1) maximize time and fit in as many movies as possible; (2) watch at least one movie every day that I’ve never seen before; and (3) entertain you, my darling readers.

I’ve blacked out my windows and popped some popcorn, so let’s kick off the week with some Universal Monsters!



  • I love the warning at the beginning of the movie and the cast list that just says “Monster…………..?” Don’t get me wrong, I love the Internet, but I sometimes wish we could be a bit more innocent regarding movies, with question marks and spoiler warnings in the credits and opportunities to leave if you’re prone to fainting. It’s very charming.
  • I’m sorry, I can’t watch the lecture room scene and not giggle about Abby Normal from Young Frankenstein.
  • Has there been a better cinematic mad scientist since Colin Clive? I don’t think so.
  • “Now I know what it feels like to be God!” Pardon the pun, but the creation scene is just as electrifying now as it must have been in 1931.
  • Fritz must have pulled the wings off flies when he was a child. (It took me a second to remember his name. When I look at Dwight Frye, all I see is Renfield.)
  • Damn but Karloff is amazing. He breaks my heart just by reaching out his hands.
  • “To the house of Frankenstein!” The maid who chugs the champagne is a woman after my own heart.
  • The tracking shot of Maria’s father carrying her through the crowd at the wedding as the shock and sadness ripples across their faces is so beautiful.
  • “A good cast is worth repeating.” See? Charming.

Bride of Frankenstein


  • Starring KARLOFF and “The Monster’s Mate….?” Love it.
  • These movies are really making me want to get some wolfhounds.
  • “It’s a perfect night for mystery and horror. The air itself is filled with monsters.”
  • I love Una O’Connor. I have a weakness for character actors, and she is a fantastic one. I had forgotten how funny this movie is.
  • “Dr. Pretorius. Pretorius? Pretorius. Dr. Pretorius.”
  • “To a new world of gods and monsters.” Have you guys seen Gods and Monsters, the movie about James Whale? I haven’t seen it since it came out in 1998, but I recall liking it very much.
  • Oh my God, the homunculi. I love this movie.
  • Not gonna lie, I kind of want to party with Dr. Pretorius. Having a candlelit dinner with a pile of bones inside a crypt sounds like a good time.
  • There are a lot of canted angles and quick cuts leading up to the Bride’s creation scene. Whale certainly knew how to build tension.
  • “We belong dead.” Four minutes of screen time is all it took Elsa Lanchester’s Bride to become one of the most famous movie characters in history. I know I say that a lot, but it awes me.

The Invisible Man


  • I’ve never seen this before (I know, bad horror geek girl).
  • HA! “The Players: Claude Rains (The Invisible One).” And Una O’Connor again, hooray.
  • I think we would all act like that if we were invisible…play ridiculous pranks on people and laugh the whole time. I especially like the Throw the Fake Nose at People trick.
  • Claude Rains has the perfect voice for this role. He’s very imperious.
  • “It’s cold outside when you have to go about naked.” His vocal performance really is perfect. The movie wouldn’t work if he weren’t so cocksure. And the effects are very well done.
  • I love Una, but I would have thrown things at her too. She is particularly screechy in this role.
  • “That funny little head. I always liked it.” Um…thank you?
  • If I were invisible, this would never occur to me in a million years: “Power to make multitudes run squealing in terror at the touch of my little invisible finger!” I obviously lack imagination. And by “imagination” I mean “megalomania.”
  • Damn, Claude Rains is having the time of his life. This is fantastic.
  • I love the reveal as he dies, with the skull appearing first and then gradually taking the shape of his face. Great ending.

The Wolf Man


  • Gotta love a movie that opens with a dictionary explaining the subject to the audience.
  • That is the creepiest damn pick up line. “Can I buy the earrings that I saw on your dressing table when I was spying on you through my telescope?”
  • The wolf attack is scary. I’m sure they kept the gore out of sight at least partly for the censors’ sake, but it was much more effective because it was mostly in the shadows or behind a tree.
  • I love Maleva for just nope-ing the hell on out of there after she delivered the soon-to-be Wolf Man at his door.
  • “Wolf? Gypsy woman? Murder? What is this?” Well, if I had to guess, I’d say season 8 of American Horror Story.



  • The sets for these movies are gorgeous. I don’t know how anyone walks into Dracula’s crumbling Gothic castle, sees a 30-foot-wide spiderweb, and says to themselves, “Yes, I believe I shall spend the night here, with this man who loves blood and fears crucifixes.” But it is indeed gorgeous.
  • The brides are so wonderfully creepy. I kind of want to dress up as one for Halloween, but that would require getting three friends to do it with me, which would require me to have three friends, so that’s out.
  • Tod Browning’s shots on the ship are beautiful. The shadow of the captain who was murdered and tied to the wheel and Renfield staring up at the rescuers while he grins maniacally — those are images that stay with you, for both their beauty and their horror.
  • The mirror effect when Dracula meets Van Helsing is so well done. That’s one of film’s creepiest “vampires cast no reflection” scenes.
  • Jebus, Renfield’s laugh is so disturbing. I saw a stage version of Dracula 20-ish years ago, and the actor who played Renfield went ALL OUT. It was incredible. Renfield is definitely the juiciest role, if you will again pardon my pun.
  • These people have a harder time keeping track of Renfield than Laurie did with Carl.

That’s it for today, fiends! Thanks for reading. I had a lot of fun with this, and I hope you enjoyed it too. I’ll be back tomorrow with a totally different theme. Until then, leave me a comment to let me know what your horrorthon and/or Halloween plans are. Stay creepy!


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