Friday, April 1, 2011

Armand Tesla, the Universal Dracula

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Draculas: Soul Clones and Sons of the Dragon

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When it comes to Dracula, I do not count every version of Dracula as being part of the same series stemming from Bram Stoker’s novel. There are so many different and contrary versions of Dracula out there. The way I divide up Dracula into series is by the author or the particular film or television series he comes from. Thus, Dracula (novel) refers to the character from Stoker’s novel, and he is different than Dracula (Universal), Tomb of Dracula (Marvel Comics), or the Dracula from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Live Action Television Series). Because they are all separate series, the inclusion of one version of Dracula does not imply the inclusion of all versions of Dracula. Each series has to find its way in separately through valid crosses.

There are two theories based on in-story references from series that have been crossed in that support the idea that each of the Dracula series is not the same character. The first is the soul clone theory. This is a theory I first learned from Chuck Loridans which is utilized in his MONSTAAH website. When we get to the first entries on Dracula, the soul clone theory will be discussed in great detail, but essentially, it involves vampires that had been turned by the real Dracula, and also hypnotized and possessed by Dracula, so that they become an amalgamation of their own personality and Dracula’s.

The second theory involved the Sons of the Dragon, a theory of my own, also based on in-story information. In this theory, Satan created emissaries on Earth. These would be vampires, turned directly by Satan rather than another vampire. The word “dracula“ means “son of the dragon” and Satan has often been represented by a dragon. In a way, this would make Draculas the anti-popes. Combining the two theories, Bram Stoker’s Dracula would be a Son of the Dragon, who then went on to create soul clones.

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ANNO DRACULA (SERIES BY KIM NEWMAN)
Release Date: 1992 - 2013 (so far) [Setting is 1888 -1991 (so far)]
Series: Anno Dracula
Horror Crosses: Dracula (novel); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Invisible Man (novel); The Island of Doctor Moreau; The Vampyre; Varney the Vampire; The Soft Whisper of the Dead; They Thirst; Hotel Transylvania; The Black Castle; The Vampire Tapestry; Stephen King Universe; Carmilla; Good Lady Ducayne; The Tomb of Sarah; Ken’s Mystery; The Mysterious Stranger (story); The True Story of a Vampire; Carnacki Ghost Finder; Black Sabbath; The Picture of Dorian Gray; Interview with a Vampire (Anne Rice Vampire Lestat series); The Werewolves of London (Brian Stableford); Count Yorga; The Fearless Vampire Killers; Brides of Dracula; Vampire Circus; Dracula (Universal); Dark Shadows; El Vampiro; Black Sunday; Martin (George A. Romero film); Kolchak the Night Stalker; Blacula; Nosferatu; Kiss of the Vampire; Mr. Vampire; Blood of the Vampire; Daughters of Darkness; Dracula (Hammer); Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Averoigne; Grave of the Vampire/Seed of Terror; Hellraiser; Alraune; The Black Cat (film); Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural; The Vampire Thrills; Faustine; Near Dark; Forever Knight; Fright Night; The House of Dracula (novel by R. Chetwynd-Hayes); Anak Pontianak; Necroscope; Revelations in Black; The Dragon Waiting; The Bloody Pit of Horror/The Crimson Executioner; The Playgirls and the Vampire; The Niece of the Vampire/Fangs of the Vampire; The Phantom of the Opera; Incense for the Damned/Bloodsuckers; Addams Family (television); Frankenstein (Universal); The Monkey’s Paw; Three Mothers trilogy; Toby Dammit; The Exorcist; Cave of the Living Dead; The Golem (1920 film); The Old Dark House; Cat People; Black Magic (film); Spirits of the Dead; Les Vampires; The Awful Doctor Orloff; A Bucket of Blood; Those Who Hunt By Night/Immortal Blood/Traveling with the Dead; The Hunger; Fevre Dream; Empire of Fear; Dr. Blood’s Coffin; The Vampire’s Ghost; The Horrible Sexy Vampire; Mark of the Vampire; Vampire (1979); Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Gray; El Hombre Lobo; Curse of the Undead; Circus of Horrors; The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus; Twice Bitten/Vampire Hookers; The Lost Boys; Deathmaster; Velvet Vampire; I, Vampire; Nancy Baker’s Vampire Stories; Sunglasses After Dark; Vamps (Vertigo Comics); Blade; Scooby-Doo; Hellboy; Nocturna; Rosemary’s Baby; American Psycho; Lost Souls; Elvira; Rosemary’s Baby; The Films of Tarantino and Rodriguez; Light at the End; Andy Warhol’s Dracula/Blood for Dracula; Geek Maggot Bingo; Daughter of Darkness; Nightmare in Blood; Madhouse; Vampire Junction/Vanitas; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Shadowman; Werewolf of London; Little Shop of Horrors; Texas Chainsaw Massacre; The Howling; Gremlins; Suckers: Bleeding London Dry; Desire the Vampire/I Desire; The Creature Commandos; The Vampire (1957); The Vampire (Sydney Horler)
Non-Horror Crosses: Too numerous to list.
The Story: In 1888, during the events of Bram Stoker’s novel, events diverge and Dracula marries Queen Victoria, causing a major alteration in the socio-political world for the next 125 years and beyond.
Notes: This is a divergent timeline, but not a parallel universe. In my theory, a parallel universe is created at the dawn of time at the same time as the main universe and other parallel universes. They may evolve similarly, but they are separate. Meanwhile, each universe has a main timeline, and at each moment, there are an infinite number of divergent timelines created off of the main timeline. When thinking of divergent timelines, try picturing a fork in the road. Both paths lead in different directions, but they both start at the same point, and once were the same road. The Anno Dracula timeline has shown to be an alternate timeline of the main Horror Universe in several other entries in this reference guide. Because it’s a divergent timeline, the above horror crosses, though depicted in an alternate manner, should still count for inclusions in the Horror Universe. Some of the above crossed series are already in, and the others are brought in via this crossover series despite being an alternate timeline series. For the record, the complete Anno Dracula series (thus far) consists of Anno Dracula, the Bloody Red Baron: Anno Dracula 1918, Judgement of Tears: Anno Dracula 1959 (aka Dracula Cha Cha Cha), Coppola’s Dracula (from the Mammoth Book of Dracula), Castle in the Desert: Anno Dracula 1977, Andy Warhol’s Dracula: Anno Dracula 1978 - 1979 (from the Mammoth Book of Vampires), Who Dares Wins: Anno Dracula 1980, The Other Side of Midnight (from Vampire Sextette), You are the Wind Beneath My Wings: Anno Dracula 1984) and Johnny Alucard.


SPIKE VS. DRACULA (IDW PUBLISHING)
Release Date: 2006 (Set in many time periods from the 19th century up to the final season of Angel)
Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Angel
Horror Crosses: Dracula (see Notes); An American Werewolf in London; Dracula (Universal); Frankenstein (Universal); Wolf Man; Dracula (Silent Devil); Dracula (Topps)
Non-Horror Crosses: Abbott and Costello; Zorro
The Story: It is revealed that the gypsy tribe that cursed Angel and then was slaughtered by Spike, Dru, and Darla was the same tribe that was favored by Dracula. Though Dracula wouldn’t learn of Angel’s involvement for some time, he became an instant and unlifetime enemy of Spike, and this rivalry led to present day.
Notes: The Dracula of this story is not necessarily the Dracula of Stoker’s novel, though he claims to be. However, he does seem to be the same Dracula seen in the film “Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula” which would imply he is the same Dracula. It may be he is indeed, but he may just as well be a soul clone with delusions of being the real deal. (If so, True Story may be his false memories.) I leave it up to each individual reader to make their own interpretation, but for crossover purposes, appearances of this Dracula make a Buffy crossover, but not a Dracula crossover. But there are other crossovers in this book. In the late 19th century, Spike inspires the customers and staff of an inn called the Slaughtered Lamb to grab their pitchforks and torches and storm Dracula’s country home. The Slaughtered Lamb appears as an important setting in the film “An American Werewolf in London”. In the modern setting, in Spike’s final fight with Dracula, he mentions that Dracula has also fought Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, King Arthur and Zorro. Spike is probably not aware of soul clones, and believes his rival to be the one and only Dracula. In battling the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man, he is likely confusing this Dracula with the soul clone Armand Tesla (aka Dr. Leighos/Latos) from the Universal films. Dracula fought King Arthur in a Silent Devil Productions comic book mini-series, and Zorro in a Topps Comics Mini-series. Though Joss Whedon’s Dracula is too different to be the same as the Universal version, it’s not improbable for him to be the same guy who fought Zorro and King Arthur. Finally, this mention brings Zorro’s original stories and Topps series into the Horror Universe. King Arthur is a legendary figure so does not count for crossovers.

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THE SHADOW OF FRANKENSTEIN (NOVEL BY STEFAN PETRUCHA)
Release Date: July 2006 (Setting is meant to be 1930s, but not likely considering overall Universal film setting and timeline. Likely it takes place much earlier, circa 1890s.)
Series: Frankenstein (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Dracula (Universal)
The Story: Henry and Elizabeth Frankenstein are in London following the events of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, and are followed by the Creature. Jack the Ripper or a copycat returns and Henry is the prime suspect.
Notes: Seward’s Sanitarium appears, which is from the Universal film Dracula, not the novel.

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DRACULA: ASYLUM (NOVEL BY PAUL WITCOVER)
Release Date: February 22, 2006 (Setting is just after World War I)
Series: Dracula (Universal)
The Story: Dracula rises, having been buried beneath Seward’s Sanitarium.
Notes: This is meant to be the Universal version of Dracula, as played by Bela Lugosi. However, it isn’t the Armand Tesla of the main Horror Universe. This must be a divergent timeline, as it’s revealed in this story that the Dracula in this story, the same Dracula from the Bela Lugosi film, is actually Jesus. In this reality, Jesus became a vampire after the crucifixion. Most of the Horror Universe operates on a basic assumption that Judeo-Christian theology is fairly correct. Thus, a world where Jesus becomes Dracula must exist elsewhere. Besides that, Sherlock Holmes is fictional in this reality.

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DRACULA (FILM)
Release Date: 1931 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Dracula (Universal)
The Story: Count Dracula comes to London to wreak havoc and create some new brides. His chosen brides are Lucy Weston and Mina Seward, both conveniently residing in the house next door to the one recently purchased by Dracula. Dracula finds his efforts opposed by Mina’s father, who owns the sanitarium attached to their home (and where Dracula’s lackey Renfield is a “guest”), Mina’s fiance John Harker, and Professor Van Helsing, an expert on vampires whom Seward has brought in to consult.
Notes: This is not the same Dracula from the original novel by Bram Stoker. It can’t be. Though of course this film was based on the play inspired by the book, there are too many differences and even the time period is clearly different. And yet there are plenty of commonalities as well between the book and the film. And both versions have been pulled into the Horror Universe. So, we must rely on the soul clone theory. Later we will see (in Return of the Vampire) that this vampire was really Armand Tesla. However, as is the case with soul clones, his mind is overtaken by Dracula’s will, and so he starts to think he is Dracula. One of the common occurrences, though I’m not sure why, is for them to summon a realtor to their home in Transylvania, and procure land in London, and then try to turn their neighbors into vampire brides. One might assume that Dr. Seward is perhaps the son of the Seward who ran the insane asylum in the original story, and he has named his daughter after a woman he had admired. Lucy Weston sounding like Lucy Westerna might be a coincidence, or a cruel trick of fate. John Harker may indeed be the child of Jonathan and Mina (Murray) Harker, but if so, his parents never warned him of the dangers of the supernatural. Van Helsing seems also to not be the same man who faced Dracula “Prime”, but as we know from Voodoo Twilight, the Van Helsing family is quite large. It’s likely that Renfield may be related somehow to Dracula’s other lackey. This film is followed by Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula’s Daughter, Son of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, Son of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, and Bud Abbott Lou Costello meet Frankenstein. This film is referenced in non-crossover ways in such films as The Mummy, Bride of the Monster, and The Brides of Dracula. It has also been spoofed many times, including in The Fearless Vampire Killers, Scooby-Doo, Where are You!, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE # 52 “DRACULA VS. THE MUMMY” (DENNIS DRUKTENIS PUBLISHING)
Release Date: September 2004 (Set in 1932, during the events of the Universal film The Mummy)
Series: Dracula (Universal); The Mummy (Universal)
The Story: Dracula fights Imhotep.
Notes: Part of a series that pits classic Universal monsters against each other in fights. The mummy here is Imhotep, shortly after his revival. Dracula is actually the soul clone Armand Tesla.

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HOLLYWOOD ON PARADE “BETTY BOOP MEETS DRACULA” (LIVE ACTION SHORT)
Release Date: 1933 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Betty Boop; Dracula (Universal)
The Story: Betty is performing when she is attacked by Dracula.
Notes: This is a live action short. And yes, it exists. When I saw it on YouTube (referred by a friend) I thought for sure it was someone clever with film editing skills, but further investigation provided evidence that this was indeed real. This live action short was a “behind the scenes” of the cartoon, with Bela Lugosi showing up at the end reprising his role as Dracula. This must of course be the Dracula soul clone Armand Tesla, and this short, meant to be a live action representation of the animated Betty Boop, would bring the classic Betty Boop animated shorts into the Horror Universe.

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DRACULA’S DAUGHTER (FILM)
Release Date: 1936 (Set directly after the events of Dracula)
Series: Dracula (Universal)
The Story: Immediately after the defeat of Dracula, Van Helsing is arrested for murdering the Count, and Van Helsing seeks the aid of psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Garth to convince the police he’s not a nut. Meanwhile, Countess Marya Zaleska shows up, who is a vampire under Dracula’s thrall, and tries to destroy Dracula’s body to end the curse. Having failed that, Zaleska meets Dr. Garth, and he tries to help her overcome Dracula’s will, even after his death. At first, it seems to be working, but soon, Zaleska cannot resist her evil urges. She kidnaps Dr. Garth’s love, Janet, and brings her to Transylvania in order to lure the doctor there, hoping to turn him and make him her vampire lover.
Notes: It’s doubtful that Zaleska is Dracula’s daughter. The story itself never really claims a familial relationship, but instead makes it seem as if Zaleska is merely another of the many women that Dracula (or in this case Tesla) would turn and then have power over mentally. Basically, Zaleska is almost like a soul clone of a soul clone, but of the opposite gender, of course. This film follows The Bride of Frankenstein and is followed by Son of Frankenstein. This film was remade in 1994 as Nadja. This film has been “non-cross” referenced in such films and shows as The Hunger, Gargoyles, and Criminal Minds.

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ATHENA VOLTAIRE: THE COLLECTED WEBCOMICS “THE WRATH FROM THE TOMB” (APE ENTERTAINMENT)
Release Date: First published on paper in 2006. This is a reprint of a web comic that originally appeared earlier online at webcomicsnation.com. However, I don’t tend to count online material as official, unless it is represented also in a more traditionally published form. I understand this may make me seem like a bit of a snob regarding the medium of the web, and perhaps in years to come, my resolve regarding this may disappear. (Setting is 1939)
Series: Athena Voltaire
Horror Crosses: Dracula (novel); Dracula (Universal)
Non-Horror Crosses: Rocketeer; League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; Zalma; The Coming Race
The Story: “Dracula’s daughter” awakens just over 40 years after the death of her “father”.
Notes: Athena Voltaire was an adventure heroine who starred in her own web comic. This story takes place 40 years after the events of the original novel Dracula, and many of the characters in the story or mentioned are from that novel. This is not the same Dracula’s daughter from the Universal film, but there are such similarities between this story and the film that must have been intentional. It makes me feel that either both “daughters” were soul clones of Stoker’s Dracula, or else this daughter is a soul clone of the previous (thus a clone of a clone.) The Rocketeer’s helmet is seen, indicating that comic’s existence in the Horror Universe. A mention of Mina’s disappearance in this story may be alluding to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and its events. Zalma is a story that takes place in the near future of its original 1895 publication date. A vampire hunter in this tale, St. Leger, may be the same character from that book. There is also an attempt in this book to connect Dracula’s vampirism to the novel, the Coming Race, and its underground race of super beings called the Vril-ya. This race has been a metaphor for demons, or fallen angels, for sure, and surely vampirism does have ties to demons. However, I do not think Dracula nor his vampiric race are Vril-ya. There are too many other sources that place a much more mysterious mystical focus on vampirism, and for a book about horror, I’d rather stick to that than trying a sci-fi rationalization. (Perhaps when I write about the Sci-Fi Universe, I’ll review this crossover again from a sci-fi perspective.)

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THE RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE (FILM)
Release Date: January 1, 1944 (Setting is 1940 or 1941, during the London Blitz, as well as 24 years earlier, circa 1916 or 1917)
Series: Dracula (Universal)
The Story: Twenty four years ago, a vampire tries to attack a young girl named Nikki. Reading from a book written by Armand Tesla on vampires in the 18th century, they learn to stake him. Though the vampire’s werewolf lackey tries to prevent it, he fails. When the vampire is staked, the werewolf is freed of his curse, and goes to work for Nikki’s family. Years later, during the blitz, a bomb lands close enough to remove the stake from the vampire, who then pursues the now grown Nikki and enslaves his werewolf lackey once more. Eventually, it’s discovered that the vampire is actually Armand Tesla, the once famed expert on vampires from 200 years prior.
Notes: This film was meant to be a sequel to Dracula for Lugosi, but since it was from another studio, they couldn’t call him so. However, Lugosi wears the same ring, with the Dracula family crest! Since we know that both the original novel by Stoker and the Universal film version of Dracula are brought into the Horror Universe, but the two versions are too different to be the same vampire, they have to be different vampires calling themselves Dracula. We should assume that Stoker’s version is Dracula, since he is the original version. Since we know of the soul clone theory, and its appearance in stories brought into the Horror Universe, we can apply it here. Using the information from this film, we know that Armand Tesla was once a human, who was an authority on vampires. Either through researching, or in pursuit of destroying evil, he must have encountered Dracula “Prime”and been turned into a soul clone. In becoming a soul clone, Tesla absorbed many of Dracula’s traits and memories. Tesla also seems to have become one of the stronger willed and most self-ambitious of the soul clones, and has deluded himself into thinking he is the real Dracula. Tesla, having been of the scientific field, seems to have retained much of that persona still. Tesla will go on to often use false identities, including Dr. Latos and Dr. Leighos. It’s my opinion that all appearances of Bela Lugosi as Dracula are appearances of the soul clone Armand Tesla. Additionally, the Dracula played by John Carradine in the Universal series was meant to be the same Dracula played by Lugosi. In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Larry Talbot knows Dracula (played by Lugosi). However, the Dracula he had previously encountered in House of Dracula was played by Carradine. So clearly Lugosi and Carradine were playing the same soul clone Armand Tesla. So any other appearance of Carradine as Dracula would also be an appearance of Tesla.

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SON OF DRACULA (FILM)
Release Date: 1943 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Dracula (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Dracula (novel)
The Story: Count Alucard arrives in New Orleans, and soon and unexpectedly marries Katherine Caldwell, daughter of the plantation owner, who then mysteriously dies shortly after, thus leaving Katherine and Alucard as owners. Frank Stanley is more surprised than anyone, since he was engaged to Katherine! When he goes to confront her, he finds her dead, but when he comes back with doctor, she seems alive and well. Professor Lazlo is called in to consult, an expert on the unusual, who almost immediately deduces that Alucard is a vampire. While the others suspect he is the son of Dracula, and referring to the Dracula from the Bram Stoker novel, Lazlo thinks it’s Dracula himself having survived.
Notes: I think they were all close to the truth. Indeed, this seems to be another soul clone of Dracula “Prime”. This film follows Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and is followed by House of Frankenstein. It was remade in 1974 as a musical! It’s been referenced in Shaun of the Dead in dialogue that mirrors dialogue from this film, and in True Blood as a movie poster.

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House of Frankenstein (Film)
Release Date: December 1, 1944 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Frankenstein (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Wolf Man (Universal); Dracula (Universal)
The Story: Meet Dr. Gustav Neimann, truly a super-villain. Dr. Neimann has just escaped from prison, aided by his hunchbacked assistant Daniel. The two kill the owner of a travelling show and take over, using it as a cover. First they discover Dracula’s coffin and try to use him in revenge against the Burgomeister who sent Neimann to jail, but Dracula does his thing and tries to seduce the Burgomeister’s daughter instead. They get caught in their plans, and Neimann drops Dracula’s coffin out in the sun, where Dracula (apparently) perishes. Then they show up and find Talbot and the Frankenstein monster frozen in suspended animation after the flood. They unthaw them and revive Talbot. Neimann promises to help kill them both, but actually wants to revive and control the monster. Talbot and Daniel fall for the same girl. However, she falls for Talbot and wants to help him end his curse. Tragically, she ends up having to shoot him with a silver bullet when he transforms and she too dies in the process. The monster, who is revived, throws Daniel out a window, then carries Neimann off, where the two of them (apparently) die sinking in quicksand. ,
Notes: Despite this being a different actor, this is meant to be the same Dracula, Armand Tesla, as in the previous Universal films, just as how the monster remains the same though the actor changes. This film follows Son of Dracula and is followed by House of Dracula. It has been referenced in non-cross ways in such films as The Castle of the Monsters, Mad Monster Party, and Assignment Terror.

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HOUSE OF DRACULA (FILM)
Release Date: December 7, 1945 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Dracula (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Universal); Wolf Man (Universal)
The Story: Tesla Dracula takes on a new identity as Baron Latos and visits a Dr. Edelmann in Visaria, seeking a cure for vampirism. Not long after, Larry Talbot, the Wolf Man, also shows up seeking a cure for lycanthropy. He’s told basically to take a number, and so, since he inconveniently showed up on the night of a full moon, has himself arrested and locked up. The next day, the doctor’s assistants arrange for Talbot to come to the castle, but Talbot fears another transformation and leaps off a cliff to his death. The doctor searches for him and first finds the Monster, holding Neimann’s dead corpse, unconscious in the quicksand. The doctor then finds Talbot, who survived in his werewolf form, but then turns back. Meanwhile, Drac can’t resist his hormones and tries to turn Edelmann’s assistant Milizia. He gets caught and seems to repent. However, when they try to cure Tesla with blood transfusions from Edelmann, Tesla reverses the process, turning Edelmann into a vampire, and then he turns Milizia. Edelmann revives Talbot and (apparently) cures him. But not long after, Edelmann succumbs to the new evil within him. The monster is revived as well, and, well, there’s a lot of fighting. The Monster (apparently) dies when a building collapses on him and burns. Dracula flees. Talbot (apparently) shoots and kills Edelmann.
Notes: This film follows House of Frankenstein and is followed by Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein.

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ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (FILM)
Release Date: June 15, 1948 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Abbott and Costello (Non-Horror); Frankenstein (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Dracula (Universal); Wolf Man (Universal); Invisible Man (Universal)
The Story: Bud and Lou are now working as shipping clerks in La Mirada, FL under the assumed names of Chick Young and Wilber Grey. Two crates arrive for a wax museum, containing Dracula (in coffin) and Frankenstein’s monster. But in reality, it is Armand Tesla and Henry Frankenstein’s monster. Tesla, using the alias Leighos, has come to seek the aid of Doctor Mornay, to get a docile brain put into the monster. She has the perfect candidate: Wilber. Meanwhile, Larry Talbot (the Wolf Man) has arrived in La Mirada in pursuit of this Dracula. To make matters worse, Wilber and Chick are accused of thievery when the wax models they were supposed to deliver disappear (because they got up and walked away, naturally.) This brings insurance investigator Joan Raymond to town. In the end, everyone ends up on the island of Doctor Mornay. (Really.) Mornay’s assistant Dr. Stevens realizes his boss is up to no good and joins in on the heroics. Mornay is turned into a vampire. Wilber keeps his head. Apparently Tesla flees when chaos ensues, while the monster and the Wolf Man end up in suspended animation. The bumblers flee on a boat that just happens to have the Invisible Man Geoffrey Radcliffe in it, who was coming to play but missed all the fun.
Notes: I know there are entries before this one in this chronology, but from a real world perspective, this is where the Horror Universe begins. I know this film is preceded by other films with the three main monsters, but this one has Lugosi as Dracula, adds in the Invisible Man, and has my favorite comedy pair. This is absolutely one of my all time favorite films. So lets talk continuity and canon. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are always the same characters in everything they do. But here’s the thing. They show up four times in this book. In Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, we have the best clue that they are the same guys. First, their characters are Freddie Franklin and Pete Patterson, but when they get flustered they forget and call each other Bud and Lou, and at one point, Lou yells for “Abbooooooott!!!!” So we need to assume the film titles are accurate, and that we are talking about two characters, not actors, named Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who are flim flam artists, thus always moving and changing names. But let’s talk about Abbott and Costello meet Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That takes place in the 1880s. No way that could be them. Well, I propose that it is Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, and that the other films feature Bud Jr. and Lou Jr. Now for the monsters. Dracula here is Armand Tesla, from Universal’s Dracula. (The name comes from the unofficial sequel with Lugosi Return of the Vampire.) He is not the infamous Count, but it’s likely he is one of the soul clones. Count Dracula from time to time turns others into vampires. Some of these he makes his agents while he rests. He controls them mentally, and grants them a limited amount of his powers, and memories. Often, because of the imposed personality, these clones begin to think they are the Count, and even reenact his former schemes. (Many end up in London trying to steal back their “true love”.) Tesla will later also use the alias of Doctor Leighos, but often refers to himself as Count Dracula. The Frankenstein Monster here is the original creature of Henry Frankenstein from Universal’s Frankenstein. The Wolf Man is Larry Talbot, from Universal’s Wolf Man. Geoffrey Radcliffe is the Invisible Man from Universal’s Invisible Man Returns, which is part of Universal’s Invisible Man series. Another note: Tesla casts a reflection in this film, while he cast none in previous films. This may be due to the human blood transfusions he received in his previous appearance. Also, Talbot’s cure from his previous appearance apparently didn’t take, and neither did Radcliffe’s. This film follows House of Dracula and is the final in the Universal Dracula/Frankenstein/Wolf Man franchise. The scene in this film where Lou keeps seeing the monsters move but Bud doesn’t is spoofed in The Best of Bert and Ernie, featuring the Sesame Street characters.

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SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE # 53 “DRACULA VS. THE INVISIBLE MAN” (DENNIS DRUKTENIS PUBLISHING)
Release Date: January 2005 (Setting is 1948, following Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein)
Series: Dracula (Universal); Invisible Man (Universal)
Horror Crosses: An American Werewolf in London
Non-Horror Crosses: Abbott and Costello
The Story: A man named Mornay hires Jack Griffin to kill Dracula.
Notes: In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Dr. Mornay was a female scientist turned into a vampire by Dracula, then apparently killed by the Frankenstein creature. It’s implied that this Mornay is a relative such as a brother, father, or even a husband who is out for revenge. The author implies that Jack Griffin was the Invisible Man from the same film, and also the original film’s villain. Since the first Invisible Man was killed in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume II, and since the voice actor for Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was Vincent Price, who played Geoffrey Radcliffe in Invisible Man Returns, it’s more likely that Jack Griffin is an alias for Radcliffe. The two do battle at an English pub called the Slaughtered Lamb, which was from the film An American Werewolf in London.

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THE ABC SATURDAY SUPERSTAR MOVIE “THE MAD, MAD, MAD MONSTERS” (ANIMATED FILM)
Release Date: September 23, 1972 (See Notes regarding setting)
Series: Mad Monster Party?
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Universal); Frankenstein (Rankin/Bass); Dracula (Universal); Wolf Man; Mummy (Universal); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Universal); Invisible Man (Universal); Creature from the Black Lagoon; King Kong
The Story: When Dr. Henry von Frankenstein creates a bride for his monster, he decides to throw his creations a wedding.
Notes: Dear God, Henry! What have you done? Playing God. Reanimating the dead. Creating a Phyllis Diller. So this is a prequel to Mad Monster Party?, which came out in 1967, so this must take place before then. See my notes for Mad Monster Party? for my notes on the individual characters involved.

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CAPULINA CONTRA LOS MONSTRUOS (FILM)
Release Date: August 22, 1974 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Capulina; Dracula (Universal); Frankenstein (Universal); Wolf Man; Mummy (Universal) -- See Notes
The Story: Capulina is a newspaper and magazine salesman who finds himself having to fight many resurrected monsters under the control of Dr. Who.
Notes: Don’t get excited. It’s not that Dr. Who. The monsters here are meant to be the classic Universal versions from Universal’s Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man, and Mummy series of films. It’s very possible for this Dracula to be Armand Tesla. Frankenstein’s Monster and the Wolf Man are in suspended animation in La Mirada at this time. This is likely another monster, as there are so many, and Lawrence Talbot Junior. Likewise, based on the timeline of the Mummy series, this isn’t Kharis. However, it could be Klaris. Klaris was seemingly blown up in Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, but he does resurface in Return of the Wolf Man. Capulina was a very famous comedic character in Mexico during that time period.

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MCCLOUD (TELEVISION SERIES)
SEASON 7 EPISODE 6 “MCCLOUD MEETS DRACULA”
Release Date: April 17, 1977
Horror Crosses: Dracula (Universal)
The Story: McCloud investigates a serial killer who acts like a vampire, only to find it to be the actor Loren Belasco, who plays Dracula, and in the end, turns out to be really Dracula!
Notes: Loren Balasco, aka Dracula, is played by John Carradine, who also played Dracula in Universal’s House of Dracula and House of Frankenstein. He was one of two actors to play Dracula in the Universal series, the other being Bela Lugosi. Both have played the role other times beyond the Universal series, and I consider that every time they played Dracula is an appearance of the Universal Dracula, Armand Tesla. (Tesla is a soul clone most likely, not the real Dracula, though he is one of the more powerful and independent soul clones.) Carradine has played Dracula in all of the following: House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, Matinee Theatre episode “Dracula” (another adaption of the novel, perhaps a false memory as soul clones tend to have), Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, McCloud episode “McCloud Meets Dracula”, Doctor Dracula, and Nocturna. He was also in Blood of Dracula’s Castle, though not as Dracula, so it doesn’t count. Lugosi has played Dracula in Dracula and Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein. However, he also played Armand Tesla in Return of the Vampire, a film during the era of Universal film horror but not by Universal. If you watch the film, clearly Lugosi is playing Dracula, and this is where I derive that this soul clone’s real name is Armand Tesla, based on in-story information provided in that film. Note that there is one snag to all I just said. In the episode, a clip of one of Balasco’s films is of Carradine in House of Dracula! This would imply that Balasco is actually Carradine in the Horror Universe. But if Balasco is Carradine and Armand Tesla, then he was playing himself in movies based on his exploits (and failures!) Note also that in a Tomb of Dracula story, the Marvel Dracula Soul Clone (who believes himself to be the original) states that he is a fan of Carradine’s portrayal of him. If Carradine really is Tesla, and the Marvel Dracula is really a soul clone, then its possible that Marvel Dracula wouldn’t be aware that Carradine is also a soul clone. Thus we should assume that Belasco is Carradine and Tesla, and that the writers of this episode may have altered the character’s name at Carradine’s request, to throw people off from the truth.

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THE MONSTER SQUAD (FILM)
Release Date: 1987 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Monster Squad
Horror Crosses: Dracula (Universal); Frankenstein (Universal); Wolf Man (Universal); Mummy (Universal); Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal); Dracula (novel) [see Notes for all]
Non-Horror Crosses: Back to the Future
The Story: In 1887, Van Helsing uses an amulet to try to banish Dracula into the void. He failed. Exactly 100 years later the talisman ends up in an unnamed town that appears to be Hill Valley, California. So does Van Helsing’s notebook, that is needed to perform the ritual again. A group of kids must work together to stop Dracula, who has come to town as well, with a group of monster lackeys, to perform his own ritual and bring Hell on Earth, with him as ruler.
Notes: The monsters are all meant to be the Universal monsters (based on the director commentary). This was also the case with Van Helsing, and as with Van Helsing, we have to assume they are not. But at least in the case of this film, we are closer to the original film versions. The Dracula of this film uses the alias Alucard, as did the Dracula from Son of Dracula. Thus, I presume that this is the same vampire from that film, rather than Armand Tesla. The Frankenstein Creature of this film can’t be the one from the Universal series, who is in suspended animation in La Mirada, Florida at this time. But there certainly have been plenty of other creatures out there created by the Frankenstein family. The Wolf Man of this film claims to be Larry Talbot, but since the Universal Wolf Man is also in suspended animation in La Mirada, this must be his son, Larry Talbot Junior. The Mummy here likely isn’t Kharis, but it might be Klaris who did survive the events of Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy as revealed in Return of the Wolf Man. On the other hand, the Gill-Man present could be the same from the original films, or at least the same species. The Van Helsing in this film only appears in an 1887 scene. It may be Abraham from Bram Stoker’s novel. The downtown set used for the town setting is the same used for Back to the Future. There’s nothing to contradict it indeed being Hill Valley. That would bring the Back to the Future trilogy into the Horror Universe. A remake of this film is in development at this writing. This film has been referenced as fiction or paid homage to in numerous other films and on television.


RETURN OF THE WOLF MAN (NOVEL BY JEFF ROVIN)
Release Date: 1998 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Wolf Man (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Universal); Dracula (Universal); White Zombie; The Deadly Mantis; The Monolith Monsters; Werewolf of London; Creature from the Black Lagoon; Man Made Monster; The Mad Monster; Night Key; Invisible Man (Universal); Mummy (Universal)
Non-Horror Crosses: Abbott and Costello
The Story: Caroline Cooke inherits a castle in LaMirada, Florida. The town ends up soon being threatened by a monster as Larry Talbot has returned, after having been frozen in suspended animation for 50 years.
Notes: This novel brings together pretty much all of Universal Horror into the Horror Universe, and is a sequel to Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. Both Talbot and the Frankenstein monster had been in suspended animation in LaMirada for the past 50 years, negating the possibility of any Talbot or Monster appearances being related to the Universal characters during that time frame.


DISNEY ADVENTURES # 200008 “SOCIETY OF HORRORS: THE WRAITH NEXT DOOR” (DISNEY)
Release Date: August 1, 2000 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Society of Horrors
Horror Crosses: Creature from the Black Lagoon; Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Dracula (Universal); Frankenstein (Universal); Wolf Man; Mummy (Universal)
Non-Horror Crosses: You Can’t Do That On Television
The Story: A Gill-Man, a headless horseman, and an alien are roommates, who have to deal with a wraith neighbor.
Notes: The monster roommates have portraits of the Universal versions of Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, the Wolf Man, and the Mummy hanging in their apartment. They also have green slime, like that used on Nickelodeon shows but first introduced on You Can’t Do That On Television.


THE DEVIL’S BROOD (NOVEL BY DAVID JACOBS)
Release Date: 2000 (Contemporary Setting)
Horror Crosses: Werewolf of London; Frankenstein (Universal); Dracula (Universal); Wolf Man (Universal); Invisible Man (Universal); Black Cat
Non-Horror Crosses: Fantastic Four
The Story: All the monsters rise...
Notes: Sequel to Jeff Rovin’s Return of the Wolf Man. Note that Latveria is mentioned, the nation ruled by Doctor Doom, foe of the Fantastic Four. We can assume that a version of the Fantastic Four must exist in the Horror Universe, though they likely operated only for a brief period in the early 1960s.

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THE DEVIL’S NIGHT (NOVEL BY DAVID JACOBS)
Release Date: 2001 (Contemporary setting)
Horror Crosses: Werewolf of London; Dracula (Universal); Frankenstein (Universal)
The Story: Direct continuation of events from Jacobs’ Devil’s Brood.
Notes: Less crossovers. This is the final in the “official” Universal series.

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SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE 2005 YEARBOOK # 13 “THE WOLFMAN VS. DRACULA: FINAL BATTLE” (DENNIS DRUKTENIS PUBLISHING)
Release Date: March 2005 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Wolf Man (Universal); Dracula (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Universal); Dracula (Hammer)
The Story: Larry Talbot works with Jessica Van Helsing to stop Dracula from once again trying to revive Frankenstein’s monster.
Notes: This is the original Larry Talbot of the Universal Wolf Man series of films, having been revived in Return of the Wolf Man. Likewise, this is the Dracula of the Universal series, who I’ve identified to actually be Armand Tesla, who was transformed into a soul clone by the real Count Dracula of Bram Stoker’s novel. Likewise, this isn’t Victor Frankenstein’s creature from Mary Shelley's novel, but rather Henry Frankenstein’s creature from the Universal series, with Igor’s brain, and having recently also revived in Return of the Wolf Man. Jessica Van Helsing is of the famous monster hunting family, and was previously seen in Hammer’s Dracula A.D. 1972 and the Satanic Rites of Dracula. The Hammer Dracula series also has a cross with the Black Forest. Thus this cross confirms that the Hammer Dracula films are in the Horror Universe, and that Dracula must be yet another soul clone. Perhaps the alias he uses of Denrom in those films is a hint of his real name.

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MONTHLY SHONEN SIRIUS “MONSTER PRINCESS” (KODANSHA)
Release Date: July 2005 - April 2013 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Princess Resurrection
Horror Crosses: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Dracula (Universal); Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Creature From the Black Lagoon; Invisible Man (Universal); Invasion of the Body Snatchers; The Fly; Evil Dead
Non-Horror Crosses: Day of the Triffids; Angry Red Planet; Back to the Future; Star Trek; It Conquered the World
The Story: In Japan, a young man is hit by a car. As he lay there dying, he is resurrected by the princess of the Monster Realm. Not only is he brought back from death, but he becomes nearly immortal, with great power, but must serve the princess as her warrior and protector.
Notes: The series has had many links to existing series, including the ones above. I admit there are probably more that I have missed. The “Monster Realm” is probably what the Watcher’s Council (from Buffy) would refer to as a Hell Dimension.

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HOUSE OF THE WOLF MAN (FILM)
Release Date: 2009 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Wolf Man (Universal)
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Universal); Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Dracula (Universal); Creature from the Black Lagoon
The Story: A mad scientist invites five guests to his home to hold a contest to see who will inherit his estate by a process of deadly elimination.
Notes: This film was made as an homage to the classic Universal films and acts as a sequel to the series. The mad scientist is Dr. Bela Reinhardt, but that’s his assumed name. He is really Bela Frankenstein, the son of Peter Frankenstein (from Ghost of Frankenstein) and a gypsy girl who was sister to Bela Blasko, the werewolf who bit and turned Larry Talbot. Reinhardt possesses Larry Talbot’s famous wolf’s head cane. The poem that beings “Even a man who’s pure of heart…” is recited. A Frankenstein monster is released in the home during the contest, probably a new creation of Reinhardt based on family notes. The lab contains one of Dr. Pretorius’ homunculi from Bride of Frankenstein. The library contains a copy of Alhazred’s Alchemy of Transmutation. This may be a reference to the Mad Arab who also authored the Necronomicon. Dracula and his brides also show up. The lab also contains a fossilized hand of a gill-man.

2 comments:

  1. Personally, I consider Demons to be a follow up to the League of Extra-ordinary Gentlemen movie.

    But a good timeline.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If that's the case, I may move the series to the TVCU2 the next time I update the blog. I've never seen the series. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete