Monster Mash: 'Alien Vs. Predator'

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As a joke, he said, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, thinking that the studio might have had its fill after the likes of Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein.

Universal Studios wasn't kidding, however, and Siodmak suddenly had to pull a script out of thin air. Lon Chaney Jr., the original Wolf Man, was called in to literally revive his most famous role, as grave robbers unearthed Wolfie. Instead of going on another full moon rampage, our troubled furry friend sniffed out Dr. Frankenstein, who apparently was listed under his HMO, for the treatment of infernal canine curses.

Lugosi and Chaney end up in a death battle as the walls of Frankenstein's Castle come tumbling down, saving the studio from declaring a winner and allowing both creatures to return in such monster mashes as House of Frankenstein and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, wherein Dracula seeks to install Costello's brain in the flat-headed fiend for his own ghoulish pleasures.

2. King Kong vs. Godzilla

When Japan's most famous lizard squared off with America's super-sized gorilla it was a true World Series of Monster Slapdowns, but this 1962 slugfest only came into being when no American studio would back Frankenstein vs. King Kong.

Willis O'Brien, who had done the special effects for the original King Kong, wanted to see his monkey go bananas on Mary Shelley's masterpiece. The fact that Frankenstein's Monster is basically an oversized man with secondhand parts and King Kong is bigger than a house didn't seem to matter. So what if the monkey has better reach? The monster has literary gravitas.

A Tokyo film studio finally bought the rights, substituting Godzilla as Kong's sparring partner. Vicious rumors spread that Kong only wins in the U.S. version, and that Godzilla roared victoriously in Japan.