Horror Scenes That I Love: Bela Lugosi’s Monologue in Bride of the Monster


“Home?  I have no home.”

So begins the monologue that serves as the centerpiece of the 1955 Ed Wood film, Bride of the Monster.  The monologue is delivered by Bela Lugosi, appearing in one of his final roles.

Far too often, people tend to be snarky about the work that Lugosi did under the direction of Ed Wood.  But you know what?

He actually delivers a pretty good performance in Bride of the Monster.

Ignore all of the stuff about atomic supermen and instead, just pay attention to the way Lugosi delivers the lines.  Pay attention to the pain in his voice as he says that he has no home.  Pay attention and you’ll discover that Lugosi actually gave a good performance in Bride of the Monster.  He delivers the lines with such wounded pride that you can’t help but think that maybe we should let him create a race of atomic supermen.

Among the old horror icons, Lugosi has always been the most underrated actor.  He got typecast early and he appeared in some unfortunate films but Bela Lugosi had real talent and you can see it in this scene.

Halloween Havoc!: FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (Universal 1943)


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FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN was Universal’s first Monster Mash-Up, and in my opinion the best of the lot. From here, things got a little crowded, but by spotlighting just two supernatural terrors, we get a spooky, atmospheric ‘B’ film that really works. Lon Chaney Jr. returns to his signature role of Lawrence Talbot, suffering from the curse of lycanthropy, and he’s even better than in the original (which I reviewed in 2015 ). And The Monster is played by 60-year-old Bela Lugosi , in the part he rejected twelve years earlier. Bela’s interpretation is… interesting (but more on that later).

The eerie opening scene features two graverobbers under a full moon, breaking into the Talbot family crypt. Opening the lid of the late Larry Talbot’s coffin, they find the body is covered in wolfbane, and one of them recites that familiar “Even a man who’s pure in heart…” poem…

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Halloween Havoc!: GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (Universal 1942)


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The success of Universal’s SON OF FRANKENSTEIN meant a sequel was inevitable, and the studio trotted out GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN three years later. Horror stalwarts Bela Lugosi (as the broken-necked Ygor) and Lionel Atwill (although in a decidedly different role than the previous film) were back, but for the first time it wasn’t Boris Karloff under Jack Pierce’s monster makeup. Instead, Lon Chaney Jr., fresh off his triumph as THE WOLF MAN , stepped into those big asphalter’s boots as The Monster. But while SON OF was an ‘A’ budget production, GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN begins The Monster’s journey into ‘B’ territory.

Old Ygor is still alive and well, “playing his weird harp” at deserted Castle Frankenstein. The villagers (including Dwight Frye! ) are in an uproar (as villagers are wont to do), complaining “the curse of Frankenstein” has left them in poverty, and storm the castle to blow it up…

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Halloween Havoc!: BLACK FRIDAY (Universal 1940)


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The Twin Titans of Terror, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, reteamed for their fifth film together in 1940’s BLACK FRIDAY. Horror fans must’ve been salivating at the chance to see the duo reunited after the success of the previous year’s SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, but left the theaters let down upon discovering Boris and Bela share no scenes together, and the bulk of the action is carried by character actor Stanley Ridges in a dual role.

The movie’s a variation on the old Jekyll & Hyde theme, with a twist: instead of a secret formula, the change occurs via brain transplantation! The preposterous premise finds Karloff on death row as Dr. Ernst Sovac, walking that last mile to his fate in the electric chair. Sovac hands his notes and records to a sympathetic newspaper reporter, and our film begins in earnest. Flashbacks relate the tale of kindly old English literature Professor…

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Halloween Havoc: SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (Universal 1939)


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Horror films took a hiatus from Hollywood from 1937 to 1939. The British Horror Ban forbid monster movies from being screened without an X rating, curtailing the export of terror-inducing tales. The Production Code was in full effect, with Joseph Breen and his censorship minions clamping down on what they considered wasn’t suitable for the public. Lastly, Carl Laemmle Sr. (and his son) were ousted from Universal Studios, the company he founded, with J. Cheever Cowdin taking over as Chairman. Cowdin was a money man with a tight hold on the bottom line for the cash-strapped Universal.

Then in 1938, a Los Angeles theater desperate for business featured a triple-bill consisting of FRANKENSTEIN , DRACULA , and KING KONG , playing to sold-out crowds, and a nationwide rerelease saw similar box-office success. The Universal Monsters were back in business, and a third sequel to their profitable series based on Mary…

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Halloween Havoc!: THE INVISIBLE RAY (Universal 1936)


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THE INVISIBLE RAY, the third Universal teaming of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi , is probably the least discussed of their seven films together. And I don’t quite know why, because I find it an entertaining meld of horror and science fiction that holds my interest for its 80 minute running time. The two stars are well spotlighted, with Bela as one of the good guys (for a change!) and Boris giving a hammy but well crafted performance as a scientist unhinged by his newest discovery.

A curly-haired Karloff stars as Dr. Janos Rukh, awaiting the arrival of a group of his fellow scientists for a demonstration of his Invisible Ray as a storm rages outside. Rukh’s wife Diana and blind Mother Rukh greet them: Sir Francis Stevens and his wife Lady Arabella, French astro-chemist Dr. Felix Benet, and Lady Arabella’s nephew Ronald Drake, who’s along for the ride. Rukh…

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Halloween Havoc!: THE BLACK CAT (Universal 1934)


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THE BLACK CAT has nothing to do with Edgar Allan Poe , but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this thoroughly dark, twisted film. Not only is it the first teaming of horror icons Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi , it’s their only movie together that plants the two stars on equal ground. It’s also the best film ever made by cult director Edagr G. Ulmer , who’d never again get the opportunity to work at a major studio, or the chance to work with a pair of legends like Boris and Bela in one film.

Bela is Dr. Vitus Verdegast, eminent Hungarian psychiatrist, returning after 15 long years in a Russian prison camp to “visit an old friend” at Marmaros, “the greatest graveyard in the world”, where tens of thousands died during WWI. Vitus is forced by chance to spend the train ride with American honeymooners Peter and…

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