Universal Monsters - Dracula - Phantom City Creative

Mondo Gallery Presents The Universal Monsters!

The Universal Monsters are hands down my favorite series of films. Indeed of all time. I have shared my literally earliest film memories on the site before. Which of course was for James Whale’s 1931 cinematic masterpiece Frankenstein. However that was only my first taste of the beautiful dark universe that the studio had to offer.

[Via] Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

This is a fact that I’ve shared on the Saturday Frights podcast once or twice before. Even as a young boy I sided with the Universal Monsters. The Frankenstein Monster, the Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon were hunted and hounded by mobs and interlopers.
Universal Monsters - Doctor Frankenstein

Granted of course the actions of Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera and The Invisible Man are a little more harder to defend.
Universal Monsters - Dracula - 1931

Having said that though I still side a little with them. The outcasts,the forgotten and shunned, are feelings I understood as I was growing up. Luckily the midnight movies I could tune in on our TV antennae, gave me a first class education on the classic horror films offered by Universal Pictures.

Now I do realize I am not in the minority when it comes to loving the Universal Monsters. Thanks to my co-writer on the Saturday Frights Facebook page, Rockford Jay, I learned this evening of a new art exhibit.

Universal Monsters - Mondo Gallery

Illustration images courtesy of Mondo.

Taking place at this very moment in Austin, Texas – you can visit the Mondo Gallery. Checking out the beautiful artwork of such talented artists like Francesco Francavilla.
Universal Monsters - Frankenstein - Francesco Francavilla

I would be remiss in not pointing out that one of personal favorites happens to be Eric Powell’s. Focusing on my favorite of the Universal Monsters – The Wolf Man!
Universal Monsters - The Wolf Man - Eric Powell

Let us not forget Jonathan Burton’s take on 1933’s The Invisible Man. A character that I feel you can still sympathize with as it was his experiment that unintentionally drove him mad.
Universal Monsters - The Invisible Man - Jonathan Burton

Then there is Stan & Vince’s work featuring The Mummy. In truth, while not my favorite Universal Monster, I personally feel this illustration captures the spirit of the classic film posters of old.
Universal Monsters - The Mummy - Stan and Vince

Want to get a better taste of the Universal Monsters artwork being featured? Thankfully there is a video that has been uploaded to YouTube!

Phantom of the Opera Production Still (1925)

A huge thanks to our friends over at Monster Crazy for this incredible production still for the silent horror classic, the Phantom of the Opera. Released in 1925 and starring Mary Philbin and the legendary Lon Chaney, the actor who was billed as the man of a 1,000 faces, the theatrical adaption of the literary masterpiece by Gaston Leroux continues to impress movie fans.

It was re-released in 1929 as a sound picture, using Vitaphone and disks by Western Electric. It is estimated that 40% of the film had to be re-shot for synchronous sound while the remainder of the film was either dubbed over or had music added. During the re-shoots Lon Chaney was not available so Universal Pictures dubbed dialogue over the scenes featuring the Phantom’s shadow. It is believed that Phillips Smalley (A Day at the Races) was hired for these readings.

The Phantom of the Opera was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1998 as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”