Author Topic: Who are THE Universal Monsters?  (Read 1631 times)

Petar_G

  • New Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:10:34 PM »
Hi everyone - I'm new to the group, but a longtime Universal Monsters fan. The first movie I ever saw was The Wolfman, and there's been no turning back ever since. I collected all the Sideshow figures over the years, but not a lot else, unfortunately.

I saw a recent thread about whether the Metaluna Mutant qualifies as a Universal Monster and it made me think about the different groupings over the years. e.g. Van Helsing marketing focused solely on 'The Big Three' - Dracula, Frankenstein Monster, Wolfman - including action figures and DVD sets.

However, 'The Big Four" - including the Mummy - are also regularly used for merchandise and as features in posters and advertising.

I particularly remember merchandise and movies in the 90s & 00's that focused on "The Big Six" - adding the Bride of Frankenstein (despite her ilmited screen time) and the Creature from the Black Lagoon - and they're still a major focus of UM marketing today.

Also, with the recent BluRay collection (plus Reaction figures), The Phantom of the Opera and The Invisible Man are regularly included, to form "The Big Eight".

But when it comes to plush toys, Pop Vinyls and most action figure lines, The Metaluna Mutant is regularly featured. Does this qualify it for "The Big Nine"?

So I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on who they consider to be THE Universal Monsters - The Big Three, Four, Six, Eight or Nine?!?

On a sidenote, have Universal ever provided an official list of who their main monsters are? Or has it just come from different artists focusing on their favourites?

Petar G

Mike Scott

  • Army General
  • *****
  • Posts: 22651
  • So terrifying only screams can describe it!
    • Monster Magazines
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 10:54:53 PM »
Welcome to the UMA, Peter!  :)

So I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on who they consider to be THE Universal Monsters - The Big Three, Four, Six, Eight or Nine?!?

Well, I think you pretty much got it right. The marketing started in the early '60s with the Aurora model kits, which included your big 6, plus the Phantom and Quasi. Sideshow had the biggest selection with 4 Franks and characters like Larry T., Bela the Gypsy, Fritz and all. Diamond added the A&C "Dr. J & Mr. H." But, the big 4 and 6 have been used for the most UM collectibles sets, over the years. The more monsters the better, I say, although the big 6 are the real core of the UMs.

On a sidenote, have Universal ever provided an official list of who their main monsters are?

Whichever ones they think will make them money!  ;D
CREATURE FAN

Visit My Monster Magazines Website

marsattacks666

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 22923
  • I'm almost.....Human.
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 07:37:36 AM »
Great thread.
    "They come from the bowels of hell; a transformed race of walking dead. Zombies, guided by a master plan for complete domination of the Earth."

Haunted hearse

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 3620
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 03:43:02 PM »
To me, the big three are Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, and Wolfman. But I certainly learned how popular the Creature was, once I joined the Universal Monster Army. That's not to say, I'm not fond of the other's, such as the Mummy, and Phantom of the Opera.
What ever happened to my Transylvania Twist?

LugosiFan25

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 696
  • You're horrid, you're ghastly, and I love you true
    • The Eternal Drive-In
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2018, 04:37:58 PM »
I think you can separate them into four categories:

SILENT ERA:
The Hunchback (Quasimodo)
The Phantom of the Opera (Erik)
The Man Who Laughs (Gwynplaine)

THE FIRST GOTHIC ERA:
Dracula
Frankenstein's Monster
The Mummy (Imhotep)
The Invisible Man
The Werewolf of London
The Bride of Frankenstein
Countess Zaleska, Dracula's Daughter

(There's also a case to be made for Dr. Pretorius, Dr. Mirakle and his gorilla throwback, Hjalmar Poelzig and others, but for the sake of keeping it simple, we'll stop here...)

THE SECOND GOTHIC ERA:
Ygor
The Wolf Man
The Son of Dracula (yes, I believe he is actually his son)
The Mummy (Kharis)
Paula, the Ape Woman
Dan, the Electric Man Made Monster
The Brute Man
The Mad Ghoul

(Along with various other Invisible people)

THE ATOMIC ERA:
Alien from It Came From Outer Space
The Gill Man
Tarantula
Metaluna Mutant
The Mole People
The Deadly Mantis
The Incredible Shrinking Man (not sure how monstrous he is, though)
The Monolith Monsters
June Talbot, the Leech Woman
Drake Robey, the Vampire
Prof. Blake, the Monster on the Campus

That's how I view it all. I apologize if it is lengthy or if I left anything out. But I don't just like leaving it the "Big Eight" because clearly there are many more monsters that need the love!
"....flying saucers? You mean the kind from up there?"

LaettnersLegacy

  • Corporal
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 01:42:04 PM »
Iíve always considered Dracula, Frankenstein, the Bride, Wolf Man, the Mummy, Invisible Man and Creature as the main monsters

Then you got Phantom of the Opera. I figure ppl most likely think of this version in their mindís eye even if they do not know the movie or itís silent or even Universal

Hunchback, werewolf of London, Draculaís Daughter, Son of Dracula are ones who are general fans of horror know of

Then you got the sci fi monsters like the Mutant, Mole Men, and the giant animals and such
"This is my left foot. This is my right foot. These are both my feet"

Mike Scott

  • Army General
  • *****
  • Posts: 22651
  • So terrifying only screams can describe it!
    • Monster Magazines
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 02:13:43 PM »
Iíve always considered Dracula, Frankenstein, the Bride, Wolf Man, the Mummy, Invisible Man and Creature as the main monsters.

They're the ones that had their own series of movies, or appeared in someone else's series.


Hey, Petar! Where'd you go?  ;D
CREATURE FAN

Visit My Monster Magazines Website

LaettnersLegacy

  • Corporal
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 04:58:27 PM »
What about Norman Bates?
"This is my left foot. This is my right foot. These are both my feet"

Doh!

  • Corporal
  • ****
  • Posts: 457
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 05:51:50 PM »
Norman's hardly a monster. Why, he wouldn't even harm a fly...

Rich

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2019, 12:40:29 AM »
This might be a superficial way of answering this question, but I think it is easy to say that the 2004 Legacy DVD collections and the new Complete Legacy DVD and Blu-ray collections represent the canon of Universal Monster Universe. I have always thought of it that way. The recent box sets include a complete film list.
Listen to them. Children of the Night. What music they make!

fearliath

  • Specialist
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2019, 12:00:33 PM »
There is nothing any of you could do to convince my 7 year old son that the Deadly Mantis and Tarantula are not starting lineup Universal Monsters. That being said, his starting lineup is more football team sized and mine is more basketball. If I were to form a basketball team of Universal Monsters it would look like this:

Starting Lineup: Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon

Second String: Phantom of the Opera, Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Metaluna Mutant

Third Stringers: Mole People, Kharis Mummy, Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde (A&C), Werewolf of London

Fourth String/Walk-on's: Countess Marya Zaleska, Count Alucard, Tarantula, Giant Mantis, It ...Came from Outer Space

I feel like I left something major out.

Mike Scott

  • Army General
  • *****
  • Posts: 22651
  • So terrifying only screams can describe it!
    • Monster Magazines
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2019, 03:51:43 PM »
I feel like I left something major out.

Shrinking Man?  Monster on the Campus?
CREATURE FAN

Visit My Monster Magazines Website

fearliath

  • Specialist
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2019, 04:13:11 PM »
Shrinking Man?  Monster on the Campus?

I'd put them in more of the minor leagues (D League) of Universal Monsters. They'd have to show me some strong work to make it to the 4 deep.

the_last_gunslinger

  • Corporal
  • ****
  • Posts: 258
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2019, 02:13:58 PM »
I'd put them in more of the minor leagues (D League) of Universal Monsters. They'd have to show me some strong work to make it to the 4 deep.

Shows how much you know, pal. The D League doesn't exist anymore. ;D
The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed...

fearliath

  • Specialist
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
Re: Who are THE Universal Monsters?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2019, 08:16:31 PM »
Shows how much you know, pal. The D League doesn't exist anymore. ;D

That would explain why I never see these flicks for sale in the Walmart video aisle. Maybe they can get picked up by a squad in the European League (Hammer horror???).