The Best 30s Monster Movies  

Ranker Film
220 votes 93 voters 1.7k views 22 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite monster films that were released in the 1930s.

As you’ll see on this 1930s monster movie list, the 30s were a landmark decade for the genre. Beginning with the 1931 version of Frankenstein, which deviates significantly from Mary’s Shelley’s novel of the same name, the film starred Boris Karloff as the monster and spawned two sequels in the same decade, Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein.

But things did not stop there. Also among the top 30s monster movies are The Mummy, King Kong, the cult classic Freaks, and Dracula. Also make sure to check out The Black Cat the first film to pair Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff.

So, which of the movies on this list of the best 30s monster films were your favorites? And who do you like better, Lugosi or Karloff? Vote up your favorite monster movies from the 30's and make sure to add any we might have missed.

list ordered by
Ranker Video
Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Frankenstein is a 1931 horror monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by ...more
Ranker Video
Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot
King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster/adventure film directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose was from an ...more
Ranker Video
Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle
Dracula is a 1931 vampire-horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by ...more
Ranker Video
Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan, Billy Barty
Bride of Frankenstein is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester ...more
Ranker Video
Hedda Hopper, Otto Kruger, Halliwell Hobbes
Dracula's Daughter is a 1936 American vampire horror film produced by Universal Studios, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. Directed by Lambert Hillyer from a screenplay by Garrett Fort, the ...more
Ranker Video
Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone
Son of Frankenstein is a horror monster film and is the third film in Universal Studios' Frankenstein series and the last to feature Boris Karloff as the Monster as well as the first to feature ...more
Ranker Video
Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Noble Johnson
The Mummy is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and stars Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. The movie also features Zita Johann, David Manners ...more
Ranker Video
Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
Not to be confused with the 1941 version also featuring Bela Lugosi. The Black Cat is a 1934 horror film that became Universal Pictures' biggest box office hit of the year. The picture was the ...more
Ranker Video
Bela Lugosi, Lionel Barrymore, Lionel Atwill
Mark of the Vampire is a 1935 horror film, starring Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, and Jean Hersholt, and directed by Tod Browning. It is a talkie remake of ...more
Ranker Video
Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy, Roscoe Ates
Freaks is a 1932 American horror film in which the eponymous characters were played by people who worked as carnival sideshow performers and had real deformities. The original version was ...more
Ranker Video
Bela Lugosi, Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott
Island of Lost Souls is a 1932 American science fiction horror film starring Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi and Kathleen Burke as the Panther Woman. The film was ...more
Ranker Video
Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Madge Bellamy
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial White Zombie is a 1932 American independent Pre-Code horror film directed and produced by brothers Victor Halperin and Edward Halperin. The screenplay by Garnett Weston, based on The Magic ...more
Ranker Video
Sybille Schmitz, Nicolas de Gunzburg, Maurice Schutz
Vampyr is a 1932 German–French horror film directed by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. The film was written by Dreyer and Christen Jul based on elements from J. Sheridan Le Fanu's ...more
Ranker Video
Valerie Hobson, Spring Byington, J. M. Kerrigan
Werewolf of London is a 1935 Horror film starring Henry Hull and produced by Universal Pictures. Jack Pierce's eerie werewolf make-up was simpler than his version six years later for Lon Chaney, ...more
Ranker Video
Maureen O'Sullivan, Lionel Barrymore, Rafaela Ottiano
The Devil-Doll is a horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring a cross-dressing Lionel Barrymore and Maureen O'Sullivan as his daughter, Lorraine Lavond. The movie was adapted from the ...more
Ranker Video
Oscar Beregi, Sr., Rudolf Klein-Rogge
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a 1933 German crime film directed by Fritz Lang. The movie is a sequel to Lang's silent film Dr. Mabuse the Gambler and features many cast and crew members from ...more
Ranker Video
Dean Jagger, George Cleveland, Mantan Moreland
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Revolt of the Zombies is a 1936 American horror film directed and produced by the Halperin Brothers which stars Dean Jagger and Dorothy Stone. It is one of the earliest zombie films. Although it ...more
Ranker Video
Mischa Auer, Rex Lease, Sidney Bracey
The Monster Walks directed by Frank R. Strayer, is a black-and-white horror movie.
Ranker Video
Boris Karloff, Max Schreck, Mae Clarke
Boo! is a 1932 comedy short film by Universal Pictures, directed and written by Albert DeMond. Boo! contains clips of famous horror films, such as The Cat Creeps, Frankenstein and Nosferatu, ...more
Ranker Video
Mischa Auer, Ralph Morgan, Robert Frazer
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Condemned to Live is a 1935 American horror film starring Ralph Morgan and Maxine Doyle, and directed by Frank R. Strayer. The film is unusual for its time, as it approaches the topic of ...more
Ranker Video
Peter Lorre, Colin Clive, Sara Haden
Mad Love is a 1935 American horror film, an adaptation of Maurice Renard's story The Hands of Orlac. It was directed by German-émigré film maker Karl Freund, and stars Peter Lorre ...more
Ranker Video
Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Lionel Atwill
The Vampire Bat is an American horror film starring Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, and Dwight Frye.