Universal Horror B-Sides: The Mummy (1932) & House of Frankenstein (1944)

The Mummy House of Frankenstein
Boris Karloff in The Mummy (1932) and House of Frankenstein (1944)

Date: October 13 at 5pm
Location: The Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Description: This double bill of black-and-white horror launches Nightmare City: Universal B-Sides, a series of Halloween screenings focusing on lesser known titles from Universal Studios, the company that gave us such famous movies monsters as Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man.

The Mummy (1932, starring Boris Karloff as Imhotep) is not really a B-side, ranking among the best of the early Universal horror films, but it is in a sense forgotten, its memory erased by the 1940s follow-ups that cast the title character as a mute zombie, limping after victims who somehow never outran him. Karloff's Mummy is more of an evil sorcerer, and the story line deliberately mimics DRACULA - even down to casting Edward Van Sloan and David Manners as the heroes opposing the living dead man out to possess a young woman who is the reincarnation of his old love (a plot that would be endless recycled in DARK SHADOWS, BLACULA, and BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA).

House of Frankenstein (1944, with Boris Karloff , Lon Chaney Jr. and John Carradine)is a later, lesser effort from the waning days of Universal horror - a grab-bag attempt to fit all the studio's classic monsters into one film. The production values are first rate, and Karloff is in fine form as the mad scientist Dr. Neimann, but it is impossible to take the whole thing seriously, and it's disappointing to see how little screen time each monster gets - even worse, they never interact with each other.

Subsequent screenings include: The Raven (1935), House of Horrors, Weird Woman (1944), and the Spanish-language version of Dracula (1931).

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