EDITOR’S NOTE This podcast is dedicated to Universal Monsters, but there are many excellent (and some awful) vintage Universal Horror films out there that don’t feature any of these classic monsters and so won’t be featured on our show. They are absolutely still worth covering, so we’ve invited guest writers from our listenership to share their thoughts on the finer points of the lesser-known Universal Horror films. Now, enjoy this chronicle of the classic Universal Horror movie canon, from Dark Mark Longfield.
Universal Pictures is a movie production company that was formed in 1912 with Carl Laemmle as president. It’s the oldest still-operating studio in the United States and has produced thousands of films. Among those films, Universal is famous for its early production of iconic horror films that helped create and define the genre of horror as we know today. In this article I will outline a canon of horror films produced by Universal Pictures during its classic era, beginning with The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and ending with The Leech Woman (1960). The focus will be on defining the canon, rather than going in-depth on any individual film, actor, or filmmaker.