Universal Pictures didn’t invent monsters, just like Warner Brothers didn’t invent mobsters, but they invented the guy who invented monsters, Doctor Septimus Pretorius. Bride of Frankenstein was one of the few films in history that may have been better than the original. The studio also perfected the crossover, culminating in mad monster parties at the House of Frankenstein or House of Dracula. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection is coming to Blu-ray in HD.
Universal hit the ground skulking in silence with operatic overtones before Tod Browning’s 1931 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s gothic novel Dracula seduced moviegoers and codified the horror genre. Bela Lugosi’s Count Dracula and Boris Karloff’s creature with the “knobs” that scared Mel Brooks into making Young Frankenstein captured the dark imagination and set it to the tune of Tchaikovski’s Swan Lake.
“From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters,” reads the official synopsis. The set “showcases all of the original films featuring the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
The Universal monsters began with the silent films The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, both starring Lon Chaney, although this set only begins with the 1931 Dracula. The films that followed starred Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester and “set the standard for a new horror genre with revolutionary makeup, mood-altering cinematography and groundbreaking special effects.”
The collection includes a 48-Page collectible book. Bonus features include behind the scenes documentaries, the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula, featurettes on Lugosi, Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., make-up artist Jack Pierce, and other dark delicacies.
The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection is coming to Blu-ray on August 28. You can pre-order and check out a complete list of special features right here.