Every universal horror movie Hammer remade, ranked
Horror movies come in waves. One of the first started in 1931 with the release of James Whale Frankenstein and Tod Browning’s Dracula. Both in haunting black and white, these films starred Bela Lugosi (Dracula) and Boris Karloff (Frankenstein’s Monster). Continuing the success of these films, Universal Studios has released a plethora of horror films featuring monsters both adapted from literature and originally created, and it was these films that made Universal a studio. powerful.
The Universal line has become iconic characters in pop culture and a common face on Halloween, and their eponymous features have been remade several times – first in the 1950s-60s, by British studio Hammer. Only a few of Hammer’s films were direct remakes of Universal, and some monsters like the Invisible Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon were excluded from Hammer’s catalog entirely. Hammer’s films were also shot in spooky technicolor, with lots of blood splatter effects, which made for a very different experience.
5 Wolfman and the werewolf curse are two different werewolf stories
1941 The werewolf wasn’t the first werewolf movie produced by Universal, but it’s the most famous. The cast consists of many Universal Horror regulars – Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot (the titular werewolf), Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, and even a brief but important appearance for Bela Lugosi. Missing from any source beyond the general werewolf myth, Wolf man the beats often echo those of the whale Frankenstein – a tragic monster pursued by provincial Europeans. Still, it comes across as an often potent horror piece.
The same can’t be said for Hammer’s first werewolf photo, The werewolf curse. Rather than contemporary Wales, Curse is located in the 17th century. The film spends much of its first half jumping from one pellet to a new one – this scattered storytelling makes the lack of source material even more evident than in The werewolf. The film’s claim to fame is that it was Oliver Reed’s first leading role; he’s far from bad, but the absence of the usual Hammer stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing is felt.
4 The phantom of the opera reinvents history
While The Phantom of the Opera isn’t as famous as Dracula or The Frankenstein Monster, the Phantom debuted at Universal before either. The studio first produced a silent film in 1925, starring Lon Chaney Sr. Ghost is a literary adaptation, more precisely from 1910 by Gaston Leroux The Phantom of the Opera. In 1943, Universal released a second Ghost film, this one with color, sound, and Claude Rains in the title role. It was still two decades for another The Phantom of the Opera, this one by Hammer.
Hammer’s adaptations were generally even less faithful than Universal’s – for Ghost, they only followed the broadest features. The ghost itself is completely reimagined, with a different, nicer backstory and ending. His deformity is also the result of injuries sustained later in life, rather than the marks of his birth. the fisherman Ghost is Hammer’s most bloodless remake, and as in Curse of the werewolf, the absence of Lee & Cushing casts a shadow. At least this time, Michael Gough helps fill the void as the hateful Lord Ambrose D’Arcy.
3 The mummy remakes a universal horror movie, but not the obvious
After Frankenstein the year before, 1932 saw Boris Karloff return to Universal for The Mummy. While Bram Stoker’s novel Jewel of the Seven Stars could have provided sources from the same well as Dracula, the filmmakers went in an original direction. Karloff played Imhotep, a mummy desperate to claim a woman he believed to be the reincarnation of his lost love, Princess Anck-su-namun.
hammer The Mummy, created in 1959, was the fourth collaboration between Terence Fisher, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. As in the previous ones, Cushing plays the hero – archaeologist John Banning – and Lee the villain – the mummy, renamed Kharis. Functionally, The Mummy is a slasher movie – the real villain is Mehmet (George Pastell), an Egyptian angry with Banning’s team for disrupting the holy ground, and who uses Kharis as an instrument of revenge. Lee as Kharis doesn’t quite have the same presence he brings to Dracula or Frankenstein’s creature, possibly because the mummy is featureless other than his eyes. Yet its imposing size means the creature is still very frightening.
2 Frankenstein’s Curse Straddles The Book Even Further Than James Whale Did
The Universal and Hammer cycles both started in earnest with an adaptation by Mary Shelley. Modern Prometheus. James whale Frankenstein is a classic, although it later surpassed with the sequel Bride of Frankenstein. Many of the most iconic elements of the creature’s history, layout and appearance in Igor at “it’s alive – alive!” come from the Whale movie, not the pages of Shelley. Universal product 7 Frankenstein movies in total. Almost 10 years after the last – Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein – Hammer reintroduced the story to the public in 1957.
To be frank, Fisher’s Frankenstein is not as good as Whale’s. It’s not a bad movie, but it follows Shelley’s story even more broadly. Cushing’s Doctor Frankenstein may have the same name as Shelley’s, Victor (as opposed to Colin Clive’s “Henry”), but the not-so-good Doctor is reimagined from a naive student beyond his grasp to a sociopathic murderer. – its path of itself – destruction is not tragic, although well deserved. As for the monster – although Lee brings an intimidating presence, his creature lacks the humanity of Shelley’s Adam or even Karloff’s monster. His deadly green skin makes him more grotesque than Karloff, a technicolor advantage over black and white.
1 Dracula’s horror is even better than its universal predecessor
Universal and Hammer both followed their Frankenstein debuts with an adaptation of Dracula. Horror of Dracula makes similar deviations from previous iterations which Frankenstein’s Curse did – the size of the cast is rationalized, some motivations are changed (by Horror, Jonathan Harker is a colleague of Van Helsing aware of Dracula’s true nature from the start), and the villain’s defeat is different.
Technicolor gives Horror of Draculathe images of just the right pop. The blood appearing onscreen, in its (unnatural) red hue, definitely makes the horror more real – the majority of that credit, however, has to go to the star. Bela Lugosi is the model Dracula’s pop culture adapted, but while Lugosi is iconic, Christopher Lee is both creepier and sexier at the same time. Even deprived of his magnetic voice for almost a dozen lines spoken within five minutes of his appearance, it’s easy to imagine being trapped by Lee’s Dracula. The close-up where it reveals its true nature through bloodstained fangs is one of the most frightening forms devoted to celluloid.
NEXT: Castlevania Anatomy: Five Weird, Raw Facts About Dracula’s Body
Venom: the 15 most powerful symbiotes, ranked
About the Author