Ken & Tess

My Universal Monster Shirt Has Faded In The Wash


Here’s the picture from the front of a shirt which I received as a gift several years ago.  I’ll wear it to work on Halloween.

It features the most memorable of the Universal Studios monsters.

In the middle, of course, is The Frankenstein’s monster as portrayed by Boris Karloff.  Karloff had to sit in the make-up chair for four to five tedious hours in order to prepare for a day’s filming.

Also pictured is Elsa Lanchester who joined Karloff in The Bride of  Frankenstein. Lanchester was married to distinguished British actor Charles Laughton.    She was twice nominated for best supporting actress although not for her brief appearance in the Frankenstein feature.

The Mummy was another Karloff creature feature which was released in the early 1930s and it proved to be yet another trying experience for the British actor because of the extensive amount of time spent in both applying and removing his make-up which included linen bandages which were treated with acid and burned in an oven to achieve the look of something or someone who had been lying in a sarcophagus for a few thousand years.

Dracula is pictured as played by the Hungarian actor with the hypnotic eyes, Bela Lugosi.  This was the movie that convinced Universal executives that there was money to be made by trying to scare the dickens out of movie goers.  Lugosi had successfully played the part on Broadway before being cast as Hollywood’s original Count from Transylvania.

Finally, there’s The Creature From The Black Lagoon which was released to theaters in 1954.  Two different “actors” were employed to don the rubber suit and portray the creature.  One played the creature during underwater shoots and the other when the amphibious humanoid  stalked the heroes on land.  There was a long and drawn out dispute over who designed the creatures look.  Whoever it was, their work has proven to be iconic.

There you have it…….all on one monstrous and laundry faded shirt.