The Universal Monsters have been rebooted, reinvented and remade countless times over the last 90 years since Bela Lugosi first showed up as Dracula back in 1931, but no matter how hard they try, the studio have never been able to recapture the magic of those glory days. The likes of Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and the various sequels and spinoffs were massively popular throughout the 1930s and 40s, so much so that they still arguably remain the definitive interpretations of the characters to this day.
Of course, with such marketable commodities at their disposal, Universal are constantly trying to relaunch the brand for modern audiences. But up until Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man scored widespread critical acclaim and bumper box office last year, the monsters had become increasingly irrelevant after the decades of disappointment that followed in the wake of Stephen Sommers’ 1999 camp cult classic The Mummy.
Van Helsing, The Wolfman, Dracula Untold and Tom Cruise’s The Mummy all underperformed at the box office while leaving both fans and reviewers feeling cold, but for those who enjoy the Universal Monsters in their classic form, several of the all-time greats will be streaming for free on YouTube this month before being made available for purchase at a discount price.
Next Friday brings Dracula and The Mummy, the following day sees Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein available, and the weekend’s closed out by The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Of course, the vast majority of these titles are regarded as the apex of the Universal Monsters back catalogue, and they’ll all be available on the Fear: The Home of Horror channel.