Universal Monsters, Kubrick Style!
It's bedtime, so I won't go into a long explanation of who the Monsters are (discerning readers would already be aware.) Suffice to say I managed to collect 9/12 of the little guys, missing only Bride of Frankenstein & Doctor Frankenstein from Series 1 & the Mole Man from Series 2. If I ever get a windfall, I may try to track them down.
In order of their appearance in the movies, I bring you:
Lon Chaney as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. When he played football for Notre Dame, he was neither the Quarterback nor the Halfback. He was the Hunchback! (Oh, I slay me!)
Lon once again outdoes himself in the makeup department, to whit: "Chaney pulled his eyeballs out from their sockets with thin wires, so that his eyes appeared to bulge out and their sockets became very deep. He then kept his eyes in their bulged-out position with wires and painted his eye sockets black, giving a skull-like impression to them. He also pulled the tip of his nose up and pinned that in place with wire, enlarging his nostrils with black paint, and putting a set of jagged false teeth into his mouth to complete the ghastly deformed look of the Phantom." (From the Wiki entry.) We see him here masked and unmasked. Somehow the Kubrick fails to capture the horrific appearance of The Phantom of the Opera.
Bela Lugosi, in his role as Dracula, was the role for which he was forever typecast. I'm waiting for his Plan 9 From Outer Space figure.
Frankenstein gave Boris Karloff an equally terrific role, though he managed to kick off the heavy boots and walk in other roles.
For example, he returned as Imhotep in The Mummy. He really gets enwrapped in his roles.
Claude Rains appears (erm, disappears) in The Invisible Man. Well worth seeing (erm, not seeing.) Here we can view him with his trenchcoat on and then flashing us.
Lon Chaney, Jr. takes on the role of The Wolfman. Like father, like son.
Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.
I could make mention of the land & sea actors who portrayed the Gill-Man in The Creature from the Black Lagoon, but no one has really heard of them. Let's just say that Julie Adams was woman enough for any respectable creature to kidnap. (Hey cool, she showed up in "Lost", who knew!)
One of the best of the 50's monsters, has to be The Metaluna Monster from This Island Earth. One of the Taglines: "Two mortals trapped in outer space... challenging the unearthly furies of an outlaw planet gone mad!"
Digging up these guys has inspired me to do a Universal Special...stay tuned tomorrow...