Universal Studios played a big role in defining and popularizing the horror movie genre in America with hits like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy to name a few. Although you loved these movies on the big screen, there are a lot of inside facts you would not be aware of. Here are some of the fun facts every cinephile should know about Universal monster movies.
The hunchbacked assistant Igor was not in the Dr. Frankenstein novel
The first time the hunchbacked assistant Igor helped Dr. Frankenstein was in Mel Brook’s 1974 parody of Universal’s monster movies, Young Frankenstein. Igor’s character was not present in the original Frankenstein novel, in fact, there is no Igor in the original Frankenstein film or Bride of Frankenstein. But we all loved Igor following Dr. Frankenstein in his lab.
An iconic scene in the Dracula movie was cut by the censorship movement
Hays Code that was adamantly followed by the American censorship movement led to the pre-code Dracula movie being re-shot to meet the norms of the post-code world. In the original Dracula movie, a man stood in front of the audience informing the audience that a vampire might be walking among us. This was considered anti-religious and was clipped.
The legendary 20 secondsof The Wolf Man’s transformation scene took a long time to film
1941’s The Wolf Man was probably the most acclaimed Universal werewolf flick as it was able to successfully convince the audience into believing that a man was really becoming a wolf. Lon Chaney Jr. and the movie team took 10 hours to shoot the 20-second scene which included a tedious makeup and transformation shooting exercise.
It took two terrible movie versions to make a true classic, 1925’s Phantom of the Opera
Gaston Leroux’s novel was first tried to be filmed by director Rupert Julian and it failed so bad that Universal ordered to re-shot it. Subsequently, the second version was tried by Edward Sedgwick and it tanked too. It took Maurice Pivar and Lois Weber to pick up the best scenes from Julian’s and Sedgwick’s version to deliver 1925’s classic, Phantom of Opera.
The concept of the cinematic universe was invented by Frankenstein meet the Wolf Man
The beginning of the crossover storylines started in the 1940s when Siodmak pitched this idea to the silver screen and in 1943 came up with Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. This movie became such a big hit with the audience that Universal came up with many monster crossovers like The House of Frankenstein and The House of Dracula.
Aren’t these flabbergasting monstrous facts?