Universal Monsters Resurrected: From Old to New - Rooftop Film Club

Rooftop Film Club


Universal Monsters Resurrected: From Old to New

This year, Universal unleashed its greatest mega-monster: Dark Universe, a brand spankin’ new franchise that aims to resurrect Universal’s classic monsters.

Dark Universe kicked off its revamped monster-verse with the newly released ‘The Mummy’, and is slowly leaving crumb trails to a whole world of new and old. Are we excited? Definitely.

The Mummy

The OG Monster:

The original toilet paper man himself. In this 1932 classic, the Mummy was played by Boris Karloff AKA Frankenstein. He starts off all bandaged up (obviously), but as the film goes on, his wrapping comes away and reveals his leathery and ultra-wrinkled skin. Scary stuff for the time.

The Resurrection:

Dark Universe’s first film to rise from the ground is lead by Tom Cruise, but sure enough – he’s not the Mummy. This Mummy is a Mummette! She’s radiant and badass, with markings on her face (think: ‘hieroglyphic face tattoos’) and eyes with splitting irises.

Any Differences?

Well, yeah – a lot. The story doesn’t mimic the ’32 version (although the ’99 remake with Brendan Frasier definitely does) and the visuals, between gender differences and physical appearance, are very different. Also the reboot takes place in London, as opposed to Egypt in the ’32 version.

Fun Fact: The original 1932 “The Mummy” had a production budget of $196,000. The 2017 “The Mummy” had a production budget of $125 million.


Phantom of the Opera

The OG Monster:

The “monster” here is the disfigured Phantom, played by Lon Chaney, who strikes terror in a Parisian opera house by going on a wild rampage and causing catastrophe and chaos amongst the theatre full of patrons. Because women.

The Resurrection:

The Dark Universe version is currently in development, but we don’t know any more. So… yeah.

Any Differences?

Well, the obvious one here is the factor of sound – the 1925 version is a silent film, whereas we’re assuming the remake won’t be because millennials or something, we dunno.

Fun Fact: A few years before “Phantom of the Opera” was released in 1925, Lon Chaney played Quasimodo in the Universal Drama/Horror Classic: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.


Bride of Frankenstein

The OG Monster:

The Bride of Frankenstein is one of the most iconic in female horror classics, and her look is certainly memorable. Considering she’s a monster, she’s pretty tame; she was created simply to serve her main man, Frankenstein. Feminism, amirite?

The Resurrection:

“Bride of Frankenstein” is next on the resurrection table following the release of “The Mummy”. Who’s the bride? We don’t know yet. What we do know is that Frankenstein will be played by Javier Bardem, and it will be directed by “Beauty and the Beast’s” Bill Condon (we think he has a thing for ugly-ass-creature films).

Any Differences?

Well, we hope that the Bride of Frankenstein will actually have more of a role in the reboot. In the original, she didn’t make her appearance until the very end of the film, and didn’t have a single line. Step up, Condon.

Fun Fact: The movie was actually banned in quite a few countries at first – including Hungary, Palestine, and tons of scene cuts in China and Sweden. With underlying sexual tones and multiple casualties, many governments weren’t about it.


Invisible Man

The OG Monster:

This guy didn’t start off all that monstrous. He wrapped himself up to form his silhouette and went about his merry way—but when people started questioning his overdramatic layers and motives—things went south. He lost his patience and wreaked havoc on the city, incognito. Because that’s karma, bitches.

The Resurrection:

The new ‘Invisible Man’ is set to be played by Johnny Depp and written by “Now You See Me’s” Ed Solomon. All we really know is it’s currently in development, and the Invisible Man’s about to get a whole lot hotter.

Any Differences?

Well, the 1933 version actually did a pretty good job with their visuals in terms of creating an ‘invisible’ man, but we can assume that a modern day VFX team might spice it up a bit.

Fun Fact: In the 1940 sequel ‘The Invisible Man Returns’, the Invisible Man was played by none other than legend Vincent Price in his horror debut.


Wolf Man

The OG Monster:

It’s an age-old story, man transforms in a gnarly werewolf, causes terror about the city and tries to protect his lady… As for his appearance, you’ve got all the werewolf features – piercing teeth and claws, a mean snout, and ‘more than even the 70s could handle’ body hair.

The Resurrection:

It’s interesting that they’re creating a reboot so fast, since a remake was just released in 2010 with Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt. That said, the 2010 version was intensely dramatic, and reports say that this Dark Universe reboot will be way more action-packed.

Any Differences?

We figure a primary difference amongst the films is the pace of the story line, since the OG version is 70% him running through the forest and ducking behind trees. Hopefully we see a bit less tree and a bit more Wolfman action.

Fun Fact: In the original 1941 version, one scene called for Wolfman to get in a fight with a real bear! The bear ended up running away on set, but they did capture a few moments, which made it into the film!


Creature from The Black Lagoon

The OG Monster:

He’s mean, he’s green, and he has a thing for the ladies (as most of these monsters seem to). Armed with long sharp claws, rugged teeth, and a fearsome reptilian face, this is one slimy sea creature you don’t wanna find in your local lake.

The Resurrection:

Not too much has poked its head out from the water just yet – but we do know is that it’s set for a 2019 release date, and it’s being written by “Aquaman” writer Will Beall. Reports say that the story will include a “creature” that swims about (and assumedly causes mayhem) in a “black lagoon”. At least they’re staying true to the title.

Any Differences?

It’s tough to compare with such little detail released about the reboot, but we can hope that the biggest difference will be in the realism of the creature’s appearance (not to throw shade on the OG Creature– it was way scary for its time). That said, good luck finding a ‘damsel in distress’ as stunning as the original’s Julie Adams!

Fun Fact: In the original version, the Creature was actually played by two different people –one for the water scenes and one for the scenes on land. Two costumes had to be made for the actors, because of a 4” height difference.

Bonus Fun Fact (We just had to): The 1955 sequel, “Revenge of the Creature”, was Clint Eastwood’s first movie!