The Universal Monsters/Hammer Horror Crossover HoF


Bride of Frankenstein

I wasn't really ready for the change in tone from the original to this one, so that kind of hindered my enjoyment until I realized what I was in store for. Once I was in the right mindset, the offbeat humor started clicking for me. The shrieking lady was pretty grating at first, but in the end I started thinking about how somebody who didn't realize they were watching a comedy would be annoyed by her, then I realized that was me at the beginning of the movie. I had a laugh at my own expense. It's a silly movie that plays it with a mostly straight face, and it has a set of stones on it for showing, or implying, some things that surely would not sit well with a lot of people back then. Specifically thinking of the hints of necrophilia. The best thing about this film is the set design though, for sure. It is reminiscent of the German expressionist silent films that Whale must have been a fan of, seeing as the Bride was inspired by Maria from Metropolis. I still prefer the original Frankenstein film, but the sequel and the original are quite different films. Perhaps they shouldn't be compared at all. James Whale was a tremendous director, and Bride was him being allowed creative freedom. He definitely took advantage of that freedom, making a unique, bizarre, satirical, and challenging film.

F*** it!!!! I'm not here often enough to change it
Holy *****! Blink twice, and off you guys go. I'm happy to say that I already own all but two of those films. That's going to help a lot.

Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
I own three of the noms, will hunt the library for what they have and then we'll just have to see how many are left. Will probably start sometime tomorrow or the day after, had a lot to do at work these last few days, just need some time to catch up.
Why not just kill them? I'll do it! I'll run up to Paris - bam, bam, bam, bam. I'm back before week's end. We spend the treasure. How is this a bad plan?

Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
Well...the library was a bust. Not a single one of the noms there. On the other hand, almost every entry can be found on dailymotion, so if anyone's having trouble finding anything, go there. Mind, the entry taste of fear could only be found under another title, scream of fear.

F*** it!!!! I'm not here often enough to change it
I know and own Scream of Horror. This is so cool. This will be as good as The Slasher Hall of Fame. You guys should run more of these.

OK, my children are helping me find all of these movies. I just found a bunch of classic Noir, and a huge Alfred Hitchcock box, that I forgot I bought. I have an enormous classic horror collection. So anyways, I'll confirm what I have, and have seen, in just a bit. I'll finish up the 40's thread first, but of course, and then I'll hit this baby hard. I've just started a movie/workout schedule that involves two to three movies a day. It all depends on my schedule, and lack of sleep. This will be great.

F*** it!!!! I'm not here often enough to change it
Hey Swan, out of curiosity, what two films would you choose, if you did join in with this part?

Hey Swan, out of curiosity, what two films would you choose, if you did join in with this part?
I haven't really thought too deeply about it. First that comes to mind is Curse of Frankenstein for horror, because I love it oh so much, but I may have chosen something different for this.

Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
The Old Dark House (1932)

Well, this was a different Laughton than was in The Suspect. Also, why is there a woman bedecked in a beard and moustash in this movie?

Five people lost in a storm seek shelter in a remote house, only to find they'd probably preferred to chance the storm.

This was...different. Not bad by any means, the actors portrayed their roles well (even if the heroes of the tale could've used some more personality), but the best ones by far was the rouges gallery. Having Karloff reprise his role from Frankenstein (more or less) was inevitable, I guess, but the showstealer turns up at the end with Brember Wills playing a insane arsonist. He injects some much needed life into the proceedings and is the cause of final comotion. The dialouge with Douglas is the most tense this movie gets, and he does a fine job, coming of as strange at first, then going full cackling crazy as he hurls a carving knife at Douglas. The religious sister and the cowardly master of the house see fit to flee when the confrontation takes place, only to reappear in the morning, shooing the unwanted guests out the door.

As previously stated, the heroes of the tale were a bit thin, or rather they don't get much to do. Laughton was wasted in this, I'm afraid to say, only used as muscle and otherwise only exist to be the jovial one in the group.

Overall, Wills saves this for me. Without him, this would just have been a bit boring, even with Karloff (who doesn't get enough to do) and Laughton on hand. It's OK, but not much more. Sorry Justin.

Well...the library was a bust. Not a single one of the noms there. On the other hand, almost every entry can be found on dailymotion, so if anyone's having trouble finding anything, go there. Mind, the entry taste of fear could only be found under another title, scream of fear.
Oh by the way, thanks for checking for us. Really appreciate it.

Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
The Gorgon (1964)

Ok...this is what I knew of the Hammer company before this HoF: It was a british film company famous for a long line of horror movies throughout the 50s and 60s, had a particular vivid hue of red FX blood, later branded as "Hammer red", and many of the movies starring both Peter Cushings and Saruman himself, Christopher Lee.

Having never seen any of their works, I was exited when this popped up. I was not dissapointed.

So, we got a German hamlet haunted by a 2000 year old, mythical Greek monster. And because noone would believe them...they cover it up and let it happen again and again?

The latest round of killings brings a scapegoat, and when the father of said scapegoat tries to discover what really happened, our story begins. I'd never seen anything with Michael Goodliffe before, but this guy is good. He has a presence that captures you and makes you listen, and in a movie with both Cushings and Lee, that's saying something. The sons weren't as good, but the later one was at least capable. Cushings himself does a great job as the village doctor hiding a dark secret.

Speaking of Lee, two thirds through the movie I sat wondering if a three minute scene was all we where gonna get, and if so, why put his name at the top of the movie? Less than a minute later, Lee shows up and starts bossing everybody around, from the doctor all the way up to the chief of constables. He makes a imposing figure and tries to help everyone keep a level head, while at the same time investigating what has actually happened in the village.

The FX make-up used was very good, I thought. As the victims died, they petrify, shown by them slowly turning grey and then being replaced by stone statues. Again, this was best portrayed by Goodliffe, who, with his last ounce of strength, writes a letter to his surviving son, telling of what has happened. In the morning, his servent apparently finds him dead, slumped over the desk (which brought to my mind the question of how they managed to straighten him out so that they could put him in a coffin?).

A good start to the Hammer side of things. Quite bloodless though, not a trace of the special "Hammer red". Maybe next time.

A very good nom Des!

F*** it!!!! I'm not here often enough to change it
Hey, alright! I'm happy that you liked it so much, Clazor.

I'm going to check the prices of the two movies I don't own, tonight on my Amazon streaming account.


I have acquired The Gorgon and The Horror of Dracula. I already had a couple of the others that I've already seen. I will try to watch a couple of them before the end of this week, so I can get back on track.

Don't think I've forgotten about this.

I sort-of became preoccupied recently, and thereby, haven't been able to dedicate myself as much.

I work, which is nothing new, but I recently started up college once again. That, and the fact I've spent two-days a week, every week, with my girlfriend, hanging out and whatnot (she's not into movies from the 20-60's, I'm afraid).

Lastly, I've been trying to really buckle down on my writing as much as I can. I edited the first one-hundred pages of my fifth novel and finished the next one-hundred pages this month. In February, I'd really like to finish the first-draft of my fourth novel and the final draft of my third.

I will make an effort to watch these films though. I'll try to watch Dracula on Thursday, and, hopefully, Bride of Frankenstein and The Mummy before the end of the week.

The Gorgon

Hammer horror films seem to be very refined. The British accent and well-dressed characters going to castles, albeit abandoned, might have something to do with that. The effects in this film, as mentioned before, are mostly pretty good. The only complaint I have in that department is the decapitation scene effects look pretty weak, and that took me out of the moment. That's not a complaint I usually have, but compared to the scenes of petrification (is that a word?) it falls on its face.

The atmosphere is very good. The acting is all fine. I appreciate how we progress from one character to the next, as if the film didn't care whether or not the character you presume to be the protagonist perishes. This is a very enjoyable horror film, but it doesn't reinvent the wheel.

F*** it!!!! I'm not here often enough to change it
I have three fun events coming up this month, where movie viewing will be a part of it. I'll be picking some of these to view.

"I'll be back!"

Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
The Bride of Frankenstein

It became a double feature.

I allready owned both the original and the sequel, but had not yet found time to watch the latter. Wanting to be completely up to speed, I first watched the original, something which turned out to be, if not unneccesary, then non-essential. We get a brief re-hash of the first story, before being presented with something of a meta-narrative, as we're introduced to the author of the novel: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. She sets off, continuing the story of the monster and it's creator.

As far as I remember, the two films tell the story of the book, but with a different, I guess more happy, ending for Dr. Frankenstein. But at the same time, they shorten, rearrange and cut, as you would, and in the end I'd say that they keep only the very framework of the book and work from there to create their own story.

As to that story, I felt rather a shift in the tone between the two films. Where the first, I think, set out to be more the story of ghoulish terror, this one has more the tone of an adventure; tracking the beast and hunting it after Frankenstein decides not to bow to the creatures wishes and make it a mate. Gone is much of the stalking atmosphere of the creature and instead we are ment to understand it, feel for it. Unfortunately, we don't get sufficient time I'm affraid. Passages that take months might be over in under three minutes, and we're never allowed to let the plight of the creature set in.

Setting that aside, the acting is still of a very high level. Karloff still captures the distinct way of walking and moving that he did in the first film, even when he moved at a more rapid pace, hiding and fleeing his pursuers. Colin Clive continues his portrayal of the wierd and somewhat morally bankrupt Frankenstein, and while he does it well, I have to say that I never found him symathetical as a character. I never liked him or the way he acted towards his friends and family. Even when he ostensibly is trying to protect them from the monster, I feel that he does it more to save himself and his reputation rather than others.

A good film it is, I won't say otherwise, but it is not one of my favourites far. Nonetheless, a good nomination, Des!

Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
House of Horrors

A serial killer finds a discontent artist, and together they set out to take terrible revenge on those that have wronged them.

It's almost novel to have a non-supernatural story to write about. Among the entries here a common murderer isn't something that appears too often. While having a simple story, it doesn't detract from the well acted roles or quirky characters. The stuffy critic that belittles the artist sculpture was akin to the character of Waldo Lydecker from Laura, a high minded man who enjoys ridiculing others in his collumn. Too late he realizes the folly of mocking people who knows where we works and lives.

Rondo Hatton, playing "The Creeper", makes this movie. His large frame and distinguished apperance makes him almost beastly in form, able to throttle even a large man without much trouble.

The artist, in contrast, is a small man, but where body fails the mind can triumph. Kosleck portrays a timid man, but with a temper long tested and soon to erupt. Whilst never doing anything openly himself, he convinces his new freind that if he only can get a sculpture sold, they can get money that will help the murderer escape justice. But for that to happen, his critics must be silenced.

Well acted, well cast and with an interesting take on partners in crime, this was an intreiuging watch that I'm glad to have seen.

Good nomination, McConnaughay!

Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
The Mummy (Karloff)

I believe that between Karloff's monster and his mummy, I think I'd give the edge to the mummy. While still using his expressful face, the mummy's ability to speak and reason, as well as his backstory, makes him my favourite of the two. Wether I prefer Universal to Hammer we'll have to find out down the line.

What's clear though is that Karloff earned all the praise he got as an actor many times over. The quite majesty he displays as the character of Imhotep is breathtaking, and among the actors here I think only Zita Johann or Edward Van Sloan could come anywhere near him in acting level.

Talking of Ms. Johann, she was quite the actress herself. I liked the way she portrayed Helen here, more headstrong than most female roles of the time, and she had more fight in her. She doesn't stand around waiting for help, she takes action and trust to aid. The fact that she's smart helps too. Being the daughter of a archeologist, she's apparently studied by her father's side and developed an interest in ancient Egypt as well. It is even she who defeates Imhotep in the end, with the help of Dr. Muller and Frank.

The iconic scene by the pool's beautiful, but the whole room looks fantastic with the great statue in the background and the insence burner behind her. I was also quite fond of the scroll itself. The craftmanship in it was plain to see and I loved the attention to detail in the heiroglyphs.

All in all a great movie, not lessend by the fact that it was a rewatch. Great nom, Nope!