If you’re like me, chances are you spent a good portion of this pre-Halloween weekend watching horror movies. And no journey into the world of cinematic terrors is complete without visiting the classic Universal Monsters. When it comes to the movie mayhem at its most biting featuring these screen icons, look no further than Bela Lugosi as Dracula. Having starred in an acclaimed Broadway run as the infamous bloodsucker, Lugosi became forever identified with the role when he starred as the carnivorous count in Tod Browning‘s Gothic adaptation. Above you see the (still effective) trailer for the 1931 Dracula movie that followed the character from his Transylvanian castle to England as he ensnared the unwary in his diabolical schemes. You aren’t just seeing a glimpse into how a beloved movie monster was marketed to an unsuspecting audience, but getting a look back at the birth of an icon. There’s a reason why we are still talking about Drac — and his Universal companions for that matter — and it’s because there was nothing like them ever seen before. These characters helped illustrate that chills and thrills could be translated to the silver screen, and their films are oozing with style, scares and substance. When Bela Lugosi first appears as Dracula, it raises the hair on your neck because not only does he have an intimidating screen presence, but you always realize that you are viewing history. We are so fortunate to have these sorts of films woven into the tapestry of our culture, and that is something to appreciate at Halloween and all year round!
This post originally ran last year and is being reprinted today as part of our 31 Days of Halloween celebrations!.