Arguably the start of the Universal Monster craze, Dracula released in 1931 stars Bela Lugosi as Bram Stoker’s lead vampire, Dracula. Tod Browning directs the first vampire film with Dracula in the title, a film that frightened audiences with its initial release. Dracula begins the Golden Age of Horror podcast with hosts Dave Dreher and Doc Rotten as they cover the films from the beginning of the horror genre.
Originally set to be a reunion for director Tod Browning and star Lon Chaney, Sr., Dracula is a film that started as a monumental epic from Universal producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. Sadly, Chaney succumbs to throat cancer before filming can begin and is replaced by the stage actor who played the title role on Broadway, Bela Lugosi. Edward Van Sloan signs on to play Van Helsing and David Manners is given the role of John Harker with Helen Chandler as Mina and Frances Dade as Lucy. Dwight Frye makes a lasting impression as Renfield driven mad by Dracula’s influence, eating flies, bugs and rats. His laugh alone is chilling. But it is Lugosi who owns the film and sets the film firmly into the halls of horror history.
Dave Dreher, the lead news writer for HorrorNews.Net, is joined by Doc Rotten from Monster Movie Podcast and the American Horror Story Fan podcast to begin a journey through the origins of terror cinema, the Golden Age of Horror. Starting off by concentrating on the Universal Films, the podcast will stretch out to cover other films of the 20s through the 50s such as The Fly, King Kong, The Uninvited, The Thing from Another World and House of Wax and many, many more. Both co-hosts are huge fans of the early films of the genre having watched the films when they were children in the age when Shock Theater was on weekend television, usually paired with a horror host and are both contributors to HorrorNews.Net and other online horror outlets.
Be sure to contact us with any questions, suggestions or reaction. Let us know what your favorite Universal Horror film is and what films you want the Golden Age of Horror to cover in future episodes. What is your most cherished memory with these classic films? What was the first Horror Film you watched? Or send us photos of your coolest horror collectible or memorabilia. As always, thanks for listening and welcome to the show.
A very special thanks to Midnight Syndicate for allowing us to user their song “It’s Lives!” from their spectacular CD, The Monsters of Legend. It’s the perfect soundtrack for the life of any horror film fan, with 21 terrifying tracks. Check out the details at MidnightSyndicate.com – they even have a limited collector’s edition 12″ vinyl cut of it. You’ll love it!
Dave Dreher: facebook drehershouseofhorrors, twitter @savinifan
Doc Rotten: facebook DoctorRotten, twitter @doc_rotten, letterboxd DocRotten