When I was in grade school my mother and I would watch Shock Theater on Milwaukee’s Channel 18 Saturday night that aired after all the other local stations had finished their 10:00 news.
Dad was usually asleep. My older brother was generally out (played in a band and often got home late). Mom was as sweet as an angel but loved horror movies (“The Silence of the Lambs” was a favorite).
“Shock Theater” supplied a constant diet of the Universal Studio classics. The monsters. The best.
In August indiewire.com expanded on their list of the 100 best horror movies of all-time by increasing it to 110. At #52, according to the website:
“It’s only fitting that a novel as influential and forward-thinking as Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ would inspire a similarly unique and enduring big-screen classic. James Whale’s take on the tale of a striving doctor and the freakish creature he cobbles together from the dead contributed mightily to how people envision the monster, with Boris Karloff’s big-headed and lumbering portrayal still serving as the gold standard.”
We move on to #26.
“…the Bride would appear to represent a welcome opportunity for companionship despite not actually appearing until the last few minutes and thus never fulfilling that role. Almost no one gets their just deserts in ‘Bride of Frankenstein,’ which is part of why it’s more notable some 80-odd years later for its ability to evoke pity than for what few scares it still produces.”
This next film ranked at #110 on indiewire.com’s list of 110.
“He was only 6’1″ but he somehow seems much taller. His eyes sharply lit by a spotlight from cinematographer Karl Freund, (Bela) Lugosi looks striking, even handsome. His protracted delivery set the stage for countless horror films to come (and even more parodies): ‘I do not drink… wine.’ ‘We will leave tomorrow… even-ing.’ He commands the camera. So much so, you think he’ll command you next.”
My favorite Universal Studio monster didn’t crack the website’s Top 110. As a kid I felt sorry for the poor guy and still do.
Another film that didn’t make the list but, to me, was so cool because it had ALL the legends in one movie.
Naturally indiewire.com’s huge list had a ton of non-Universal productions. In my view this is without a doubt the best of all-time. But it came in at #6.
“(Alfred) Hitchcock proved with ‘Psycho’ how impossible it would be for all his many imitators to capture his style. ‘Psycho’ is Hitchcock’s cinematic smirk at our futile attempts to make sense of the senseless.”
Here’s the entire list scanning 11 pages.