The Phantom Monster Show!

In 1953, two wonderful Universal Studios horror classics were re-released as a double bill titled THE PHANTOM MONSTER SHOW!


The event promised plenty of thrills and chills: “See… A NEW JUGGERNAUT OF DESTRUCTION LOOSED UPON THE WORLD! Transformed Terror… A Shadowy Hand That Lives… Living Skeletons…”

But wait, that wasn’t all: “See… Frankenstein’s Challenge to His Maker! A Synthetic Woman Brought to Life! A Mate For the Monster! The End of Love … and Life!”

Bride of Frankenstein 13a.jpg

Rationalizing a good reason to pony up for a pair of 15-20 year-old films, the promoters added the tagline, “Good pictures like good books never grow old.” By that time, however, I’m sure audiences were clamoring for a fun Universal horror re-release that they could take the kids to. “Horror Hit No. 1” was SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone, Lionel Atwill, and Josephine Hutchinson, originally released in 1939.

Bride of Frankenstein 09.jpg

“Horror Hit No. 2” was THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, and Una O’Connor, originally released in 1935.

I love both films, but BRIDE remains my favorite of the two with its superior sense of humor and its double dose of sympathetic, stitched-up creatures.

Bride of Frankenstein 16a.jpg

The colorized lobby cards that accompanied THE PHANTOM MONSTER SHOW! also give me a thrill. The wobbly skull art lining the borders scream “horror movies!” to Monster Kids, and the crude cut-out heads of Karloff’s Frankenstein’s Monster and Lugosi’s Ygor, balancing each side, make for a folksy double-bill presentation. I’d love to time-travel back to this event for a cool October weekend afternoon matinee.

Bride of Frankenstein 08.jpg

For more movie lobby card coolness click HERE.

For more FRANKENSTEIN fun, check out the great Art of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: