A documentary examining the early days of horror films, particularly those crafted at Universal Studios during the 1930s.

Director:

Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drácula (1931)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Centuries-old vampire Dracula preys upon the innocent Eva and her friends.

Directors: George Melford, Enrique Tovar Ávalos
Stars: Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar, Barry Norton
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Count Alucard finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South; his four nemeses are a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancé and the woman he loves.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Robert Paige, Louise Allbritton
Boo (1932)
Short | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A wisecracking narrator mocks footage featuring Frankenstein's monster and Count Dracula.

Director: Albert DeMond
Stars: Morton Lowry, Mae Clarke, Lawrence Grant
The Wolf Man (1941)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr.
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The juice of a rare Tibetan flower is the only thing that keeps Dr. Glendon from turning into a werewolf during a full moon.

Director: Stuart Walker
Stars: Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Valerie Hobson
Certificate: Passed Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A young heiress finds evidence suggesting that at night she acts under the influence of a family curse and has begun committing ghastly murders in a nearby park.

Director: Jean Yarbrough
Stars: Don Porter, June Lockhart, Sara Haden
Sci-Fi | Horror | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi
The Tingler (1959)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us.... See full summary »

Director: William Castle
Stars: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, hoping to free herself of a mysterious evil influence.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill
The Black Cat (1934)
Adventure | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
Frankenstein (1931)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff
Dracula (1931)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator (voice)
...
Himself
...
Herself
...
Himself
Carla Laemmle ...
Herself
Sara Karloff ...
Herself, daughter of Boris Karloff
Forrest J. Ackerman ...
Himself (as Forrest Ackerman)
David J. Skal ...
Himself
...
Herself
...
Herself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Anne Carré ...
Herself, widow of Ben Carré
...
Himself
Nicholas Webster ...
Himself
...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

A documentary examining the early days of horror films, particularly those crafted at Universal Studios during the 1930s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terror Universal  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not enough detail for knowledgeable fans but for the casual viewer of the genre, this is an interesting documentary
29 October 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This documentary looks back at the era of the horror movies produced by Universal Studios. Starting with the silent classics, we are told the story behind Phantom of the Opera, Dracula through to the later horrors of The Wolf Man etc. With clips of the films, stills from the period and interviews with those involved directly, experts, fans and relatives of the original stars talk about the films and the stars of the period.

Having recently seen several Universal classic horrors (the only good thing about the 'holiday' of Halloween) I was interested enough to watch this documentary about the Universal era. The film is interesting and will engage anyone with a passing interest in the films but not those who already have a good working knowledge of them. This is because the film skims over the surface, talking generally about the main people and films but never really going into great detail about any one of them. What it does well is to look at a lot of films – I had heard of/seen most of them but there were one or two that were unknown to me and interested me for that reason. The sweeping approach just about works because there is enough in the way of anecdotes and stories to just about make it feel constantly informative, and I assume that the film is aimed at an audience famialr with the films but not to the point where they will know anything beyond what is on screen.

Usually when a documentary rolls out relatives of dead stars I start to shudder but here it works pretty well. The various daughters etc are only sparingly used, and more time is given over to Branagh's informative narrator, stars of some of the films and the various 'experts' all contribute well. Of course the clips take up most of the running time (again something that may bother those very familiar with the films) but the contributions tend to play over well without feeling too obtrusive.

Overall an interesting film but one that will only really appeal to fans of the films that have not taken their interest beyond just seeing the film. With such a big subject to cover in a short time, very little detail can be given on any one aspect; hence well-informed fans will feel that this documentary is too simplistic. However for me, and the majority of viewers I'd guess, this was an interesting film that used clips and interviews well with just enough interesting stories and snippets to make for a memorable little film.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Universal Horror muirino
Discuss Universal Horror (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?