Vampires bite and villains creep, demons scream and shadows sleep. A fascinating behind the scenes look into the most famous monsters ever shown on WGN'S CREATURE FEATURES.
BELA LUGOSI was paid $500 for his role as the count. Did you know, he was NOT Universal's first choice. Lon Chaney, Sr. was picked for this role, but upon his sudden death of cancer in 1930, the studio had to go with a second choice, Lugosi. He had been playing the count on Broadway for years! It is rumoured that Bela learned his lines phonetically, since his english was so poor. With his deep Hungarian accent and hypnotic stare, Lugosi's role was so powerful that he has become the most famous actor to portray Count Dracula. He only played the part twice, the original, in 1931 and 16 years later in "Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein" in 1948.
BORIS KARLOFF plays the miss shapen monster from 1932. He was NOT Universal's fist choice. With the success of Dracula, the previous year, the studio asked Lugosi to play the part. After finding out that it was a non-speaking part, Lugosi turned it down. And the rest is history! The bolts on Karloff's neck left long term scars and he hurt his back so bad while carrying Colin Clive in one scene, that he eventually had to have surgery to fix it! Karloff went on to play the monster twice more in "Bride of Frankenstein" and "Son of Frankenstein".
BORIS KARLOFF again played a famous monster in 1932's "THE MUMMY". Here he plays the 3,000 year old Imhotep, revived back to live searching for his princess. Karloff was wrapped in gause every day and covered with mud. Universal make-up artist Jack Pierce, once again provided the scary effect as he did the previous year for Frankenstein. The film was inspired by the 1922 discovery of King Tut's tomb and the curse supposedly associated with it!
THE WOLF MAN
LON CHANEY, JR. plays the doomed Larry Talbot. Bitten by a werewolf. Each night when the moon is full, he changes into a blood thirsty beast. With original make-up again by Pierce, Chaney had to endour hours in the chair while Yak hair and make-up was applied layer upon layer to create the startling effect. Up until this film, there was no "official" legend of the Werewolf, just odd and end stories passed down. Screenplay writer Curt Siodmak created the entire Wolf Man legend right down to the silver bullits. It is now considered "Werewolf" fact in all films since. Did you know that actor Lon Chaney, Jr. was the only star to play all four Universal monsters? It's true! he played Dracula in "Son of Dracula", the Mummy in several sequals, Frankenstein's monster in "Ghost of Frankenstein" and of course, the Wolf Man in 5 films. No other actor ever played the Wolf Man for Universal!