A Game of Death

After fifteen years, I have returned.- Vitus Verdegast The first time I saw the 1934 Universal feature, The Black Cat, was in a college course on horror films. I had mixed feelings on it at the time; heretofore, my main exposure to Universal's horror output was the expected fare - Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, et … Continue reading A Game of Death

He Still Lives

Two bullets in his heart. But he still lives.- Wolf Von Frankenstein Son of Frankenstein, released in 1939, is a step in a darker direction for the Monster. In Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, Boris Karloff's nuanced performance built the beast up as a sympathetic character, a child of misfortune, driven into the wilderness and … Continue reading He Still Lives

Restless Seas Rise

The restless seas rise, find boundaries, are contained. Now, in their warm depths, the miracle of life begins.¬†- Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) Universal's 1954 film,¬†Creature from the Black Lagoon, is considered by many to be the swan-song of the Universal Monsters. Debuting almost a decade after the final outings of Dracula, the Wolfman … Continue reading Restless Seas Rise

The Other Side of Death

There's blood on it again.- Countess Marya Zaleska Five years after Universal's Dracula (1931), and five minutes after Dracula's on-screen demise, Dracula's Daughter (1936) arrived to continue her father's sanguinary spree. But unlike her malevolent sire, Countess Marya Zaleska (Gloria Holden) is no self-satisfied monster. Rather, she is an addict, bound by compulsions she cannot … Continue reading The Other Side of Death