Being a guy who grew up in the 50’s watching black and white movies every Saturday and Sunday, I loved the movie monsters. After awhile the old favorites were showing up on late night television and I watched them again and again. My favorites were:
1. Boris Karloff
Mr. Karloff was the classic Frankenstein to me. He didn’t have to speak any lines. He just moans and groan and walk around stiffly. He played lots of other roles and later in life had his own television series. He looked like he would have been a great grandpa.
2. Bela Lugosi
Mr. Lugosi was Dracula. His slow flowing movements and scary accent made him perfect for the role. He played lots of other monsters, but to me he was Dracula.
3. Lon Chaney
Mr. Chaney invented the scary film monster. He was a makeup artist extraordinaire and in silence brought to life creatures that only appeared in our imagination. Lon Chaney gets an extra point because his son followed in his footsteps. He was the best Wolf Man ever. He also was a pretty good bartender.
4. Vincent Price
Mr. Price could have been just another Sauvé actor, but he had a flare for the macabre. Again it was the voice and the laugh and that look in his eyes that had seen something dark. He even became friends with Michael Jackson. I told you he was scary.
5. Peter Cushing
Mr. Cushing’s angular face caught the shadows and brought out the fear without a word. He never received the fame of the others, but was one who kept the genre going until others caught the bug. Plus he got a pretty good spot in Star Wars.
6. Peter Lorre
Mr. Lorre was more like a sidekick to the others than a starring role. With his soft-spoken mousey voice and buggy eyes, he could make any scene draped in foreboding terror.
These were the first make believe monsters in my life. From there I lost interest and grew tired of scary when it turned gory. Many others have gone on with special effects and buckets of blood, but these guys could scare the bejesus out of you with just a look.