Monstrous cinematic treats coming up at QUAD

Derby arts centre Quad.'Photo by Graham Lucas Commons
Derby arts centre Quad.'Photo by Graham Lucas Commons

QUAD in Derby presents a special film season called Universally Monstrous, dedicated to golden days of horror films made by Universal studios.

QUAD will screen these monster classics in June and July.

From 1931, Universal Studios had a string of mega hits that established horror as a box office draw with crowds flocking to see the suave Bela Lugosi as Dracula, the monstrous Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster, the hirsute Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man and the shocking Elsa Lanchester as the iconic Bride Of Frankenstein.

QUAD will screen highlights of the period with weekly double bills from June 1 to July 9, culminating in a classic, retro 3D presentation of Creature From The Black Lagoon. Film fans can also learn more about the 1930s films and how they are closer to modern day horror than you think.

Author and film critic Jon Towlson will lead a one-day course on 1930s Universal horror cinema and beyond. With clips and discussion, the course presents memos, letters and censorship reports from the studio archives and other research from Jon’s book, The Turn To Gruesomeness in American Horror Films. Universal Horrors Film Course takes place in QUAD on Saturday, June 2, from 10am to 5pm, tickets are £25 or £20 concession and include entry to the Double Bill screening of Frankenstein and The Bride Of Frankenstein (PG).

James Whale’s wry adaptation of the Mary Shelley classic Frankenstein, from 1931, established the iconic monster look, with the bolts and the zigzag scar across the forehead.

The Bride Of Frankenstein was the sequel starring Elsa Lanchester as the Bride alongside Karloff’s Monster. Fleeing from a group of enraged villagers seeking revenge for the death of a young girl, Frankenstein’s Monster finds refuge in an old crypt. Frankenstein (PG) and The Bride Of Frankenstein (PG) screen in QUAD on June 1-4. The screenings on Friday and Saturday will be introduced by author and film critic Jon Towlson.

The first ‘official’ adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula brought the enigmatic and spellbinding Bela Lugosi to the big screen, and all the iconic imagery that we now connect with Dracula were established in this ground-breaking film. Dracula (PG) and Dracula’s Daughter (PG) screen in QUAD on June 8-11.

Another pairing from director James Whale’s The Invisible Man, the tale of mysterious Dr Griffin, who arrives in a small English village covered in bandages and wearing dark glasses, and takes a room at the local tavern.

Unbeknown to the villagers, Griffin has created a serum that makes him invisible. Nominated for Best Special Effects at the 1941 Oscars, The Invisible Man (PG) and The Invisible Man Returns (PG) screen in QUAD on June 15-18.

In The Mummy, a team of British archaeologists accidentally revive a mummified high priest after 3,700 years of unquiet slumber. Alive again, he sets out on an obsessive and deadly quest to find his last love. The Mummy (PG) and The Mummy’s Tomb (PG) screen in QUAD on June 22-25.

Lon Chaney Jr plays The Wolf Man Larry Talbot, who returns to his ancestral home in Wales after the death of his older brother. Attempting to reconcile with his estranged father and win the heart of a local girl, Larry’s integration into his new community becomes strained when he falls victim to a vicious animal attack.

The Wolf Man (PG) and Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman (PG) screen in QUAD on June 29-July 2.

Presented in Retro 3D, Creature From The Black Lagoon is about a group of scientists on a research mission deep in the Amazon. They capture a creature from the mysterious Black Lagoon, who becomes enamoured with the head scientist’s female assistant. But the creature – an amphibious missing link – escapes and kidnaps the object of his affection, causing his former captors to launch a crusade to rescue their colleague and destroy the monster they have discovered.

In Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy Bud and Lou head to Egypt after overhearing a Cairo archaeologist talk about discovering a legendary mummy. They apply to be chaperones for the corpse’s journey to America. But when they arrive at the archaeologist’s home, find he has mysteriously been murdered and the mummy has disappeared….

Creature From The Black Lagoon (PG), presented in Retro 3D with free 3D glasses provided, and Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (U) screen in QUAD on July 6-9.

Film tickets are £9, £7 concessions for single screenings or £12, £10 concessions for double bills. A Universally Monstrous Season Pass allows entry to all 12screenings for £50, £42 concessions (less than £4.50 per film)

For more information or book to online go to or call QUAD box office on 01332 290606.

Photo credit: Graham Lucas Commons