The Best Crossovers In Horror Movie History

Who doesn't love a good crossover? Besides the fact that they settle nerds' constant debates of "who would win in a fight between ___ and ___?," there's something so exciting about seeing the main characters of two or more different franchises coming together for the first time ever. Another reason why crossovers have so much appeal with audiences is that there are often legal reasons why characters from one series can't mingle with those of another, making the times when they do meet on the big (or small) screen all the more special.

Crossovers got a massive boost in popularity due to the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, crossovers haven't only been relegated to the superhero realm; for decades, there have been numerous other examples of fictional worlds colliding across numerous genres. In fact, well before Nick Fury appeared at the end of "Iron Man" to tell Tony Stark about the Avengers Initiative, Universal Studios was bringing their beloved monster movies together. Let's take a look at those, as well as many other of the best crossovers in horror movie history.

Honorable Mention: Abbott and Costello Meet Universal's Monsters

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were a popular comedy duo who first honed their chops doing burlesque shows together in the 1930s in New York City. They gained enough notoriety to move into the realm of radio, turning them into celebrities in the 1940s. Soon, Hollywood came knocking, and the two comedians appeared in movies, including "One Night in the Tropics," "Buck Privates," and "In the Navy." Even though Abbott and Costello were firmly in the comedy genre, they deserve a place on this list for their meetings with various well-known horror icons.

Because of their relationship with Universal Studios, it wasn't long before someone had the idea to pair the comedy duo with the studio's stable of monsters, and so "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" was released in 1948. The film was so successful that it led to other crossovers, wherein they meet the Invisible Man and the Mummy. This first installment — which also featured Dracula and the Wolf Man — is arguably the best of these crossovers, as it struck the perfect balance of horror and comedy. "Meet Frankenstein" takes its monsters seriously, while keeping the gags suitably riotous. The two contrasting elements accentuate one another, whereas further installments downplayed the seriousness of the monsters, functioning more like comedy movies with a goofy monster in them.

Lake Placid vs. Anaconda (2015)

The "Lake Placid" series kicked off with a fun first installment in 1999, which followed the culinary adventures of an unusually large crocodile that's been plaguing locals at Black Lake, mostly by eating them. "Lake Placid 2" and "Lake Placid 3" told pretty much the same story, which was followed by the wonderfully mistitled, "The Final Chapter." Alongside these films were the similarly-styled "Anaconda" series, which saw dumb humans getting munched on by giant anacondas. Despite the comparable subjects of each series, "Anaconda" gets the edge in terms of subtitles; it's hard to beat "The Hunt for the Blood Orchid," "Offspring," and "Trail of Blood."

What's better than a movie about an unnaturally large predator chomping on people like they were gummy bears? A movie about TWO unnaturally large predators chomping on people like gummy bears. 2015 finally saw everyone's favorite SyFy channel beasts take each other on in a toothy free-for-all in "Lake Placid vs. Anaconda." While not exactly "Citizen Kane," this crossover makes for a great Friday night viewing with hot pizza and a cold six-pack. It does everything a movie about a giant crocodile fighting a giant snake should do, and its B-movie bona fides are boosted even further with the appearance of the horror movie icon, Robert Englund, most famous for playing Freddy Kreuger.

House of Dracula (1945)

Following "House of Frankenstein," the executives at Universal Studios decided that another one of their monsters should host a party at their home. However, the title is a bit misleading, as it's not Drac's pad that the movie is set in, but the castle of Dr. Franz Edelmann. Either way, the good doctor's latest patient is Dracula, as he believes Edelmann may have a way to cure him of his vampirism. But Edelmann must find some time in between the blood transfusions he's conducting on Dracula, as the Wolf Man thinks the doctor can cure him of his lycanthropy.

This may sound like "Dr. 90210" set in Transylvania, but there's actually quite a bit of monster action to enjoy. The plot is ludicrous and relies too heavily on coincidence: Not one, but two monsters seek the same doctor to develop a solution to their monstrous sides, the very doctor whose castle just so happens to be on top of an underground lair that leads to the cave where Frankenstein's monster has been lying dormant. Still, one can very easily sense that the writer who came up with the story had the same excitement of a child crashing his Optimus Prime toy into the Millennium Falcon. Turn off the logical side of your brain, and you'll have a great time with this one.

House of Frankenstein (1944)

A mad scientist obsessed with playing god — who's totally not Dr. Victor Frankenstein — promises to build a new body for his hunchbacked flunky — who's totally not Igor. But first, the scientist, Dr. Gustav Niemann, has some revenge to take care of and does what any vengeance-seeking scientist would do by siccing Dracula on an enemy. However, Dracula starts complicating Niemann's plans, so he disposes of the nocturnal Count pretty early in the film. Niemann and his assistant Daniel get back to their quest and end up at Castle Frankenstein (which is not really a house, if we're being nitpicky), whose basement happens to house the preserved bodies of both Frankenstein's monster and the Wolf Man. And here we thought it was going to just be a wine cellar.

Flying by at a quick 70 minutes, the writer of "House of Frankenstein" clearly didn't care much for developing a layered, complex plot. But nobody came to this monster mashup for character development or narrative intricacy. While the film doesn't hold up well today as a monster crossover, it still has plenty of charm on tap as its creators struggled so hard to concoct clever ways to bring Universal's top monsters together, making it a must-see as an early example of franchise-building. Wrap a burrito in a slice of pizza, then deep-fry it; it's not haute cuisine, but it's probably the best way to bring those constituent pieces together.

Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys

The video rental stores of the 1980s and 1990s were packed with horror films that featured micro monsters like the "Gremlins," "Ghoulies," and "Child's Play" movies. Considering Full Moon Features was never afraid to cash in on a trend, they developed their own series to follow suit, "Puppet Master" and "Demonic Toys." These two film franchises might seem similar to one another, but they're actually quite different: In "Puppet Master," the primary antagonists are evil puppets that kill people, while in "Demonic Toys," the primary antagonists are evil toys that kill people. Got it?

If you've been craving a movie about two groups of pint-sized dolls duking it out during the holidays, then "Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys" is the Christmas movie for you. This movie falls into the "so bad it's good" category and is definitely for cult movie fans who can appreciate the sheer amount of weirdness it packs. Beefing up this flick's B-movie credentials is the inclusion of Corey Feldman, who hams it up as a loveable yet less-than-heroic protagonist.

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

The Wolf Man is resurrected when a couple of grave robbers accidentally open up his crypt on a full moon. After causing some trouble, the Wolf Man reverts to his human form as Larry Talbot and is admitted into a hospital by the skeptical Dr. Mannering, who can't seem to put Talbot's lycanthropic explanation and the brutal murder of a constable nearby together. Anyway, Talbot escapes and heads to Dr. Frankenstein's old pad to look for some scientific way to cure himself of his wolfish-ness. While searching among Frankenstein's research, he stumbles upon the doctor's previous creation chilling in some ice, and decides to set him free, only for him to later wreak havoc in the generic Eastern European village of Vasaria.

Here it is, folks, the original crossover movie, and like many of the other titles on this list, it's every bit as contrived as you might think. Still, this is fan service, not Shakespeare. Seeing these two titans of horror share the same screen must've blown minds back in 1943, and despite its silliness, it remains quite watchable today. The climactic showdown between the title monsters is suitably grand, and the high production values lend a surprising amount of atmosphere to the film. Lon Chaney Jr. is charming as ever as Larry Talbot-slash-the Wolf Man, and Bela Lugosi, who previously played Dracula, does an admirable job following in the footsteps of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

Intelligence and madness must be hereditary in the Frankenstein bloodline, as the last surviving scion of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Durea, also happens to be conducting "experiments" that would easily get him discredited from every scientific institution. Durea's latest endeavor is developing a cure for his lackey, Groton, to help fix his damaged body and mind. The mad scientist believes that in order to finish developing the serum, he'll need to revive the corpse of ancestor Frankenstein's monster. Dracula catches word of the doctor's predicament and offers his help, as long as he gets a sip of the cure he's working on, believing it will render him impervious to the sun's fatal rays.

If you have some room on your list of guilty pleasures, add "Dracula vs. Frankenstein." Cult movie director Al Adamson — who helmed such "masterpieces" as "Psycho A-Go-Go," "Blood of Ghastly Horror," and "Satan's Sadists" — takes the reins on this totally groovy tribute to Universal's classic monster flicks. Hippies, bikers, and psychedelia abound in this flick, whose Dracula looks like he should be haunting discos instead of graveyards, and whose Frankenstein's monster has a face that looks like a plate of mashed potatoes that was left in the sun too long. Still, despite the dated 1970s look and the cheap production values, the climactic showdown is worth the price of admission alone.

Dollman vs. Demonic Toys (1993)

For those not familiar with "Dollman," it was another attempt by Full Moon Features to jump on the bandwagon of movies featuring tiny creatures running amok. However, to differentiate themselves a bit from the rest of the pack, the "creature" is actually tough-as-nails cop Brick Bardo from the planet Arturos, who gets sent to Earth and shrunk down to 13 inches tall along the way. Even though he's the size of a Barbie doll and is trapped on an unfamiliar planet, that won't stop him from taking down a gang that's been terrorizing the Bronx.

Before the "Demonic Toys" faced off against the "Puppet Master," they first had to test their mettle against "Dollman." Here, Bardo teams up with another minuscule person (Nurse Ginger from "Bad Channels," yet another Full Moon Features film that deals with tiny characters) to stop the demon that possessed the toys from "Demonic Toys" from rising again, which is now trying to become human. Despite the fact that this film recycles a lot of footage from the previous installments to pad out its already-short runtime (it's barely over an hour), "Dollman vs. Demonic Toys" is a ton of cheesy fun. Every cast member completely throws themselves into their respective roles, with their enthusiasm more than making up for a thin plot. If you're in the market for a bite-sized "Avengers: Endgame," give this one a try.

Sadako vs. Kayako (2016)

Sadako Yamamura is the primary antagonist of the "Ring" franchise; she is the spirit of a young girl with psychic abilities who, because of her frightening abilities, was thrown into a well to drown by her adoptive father. Her malignant spirit then went on to haunt a videotape that results in the deaths of anyone who watches it after seven days unless they share it with someone else. Kayako is the main villain of the "Ju-On" series; she was a shy woman who, along with their son, was brutally murdered by her husband, as he suspected she was cheating on him. She now haunts the house where she was killed, tormenting anyone who moves in.

The obvious resemblance between the two Japanese ghosts — pale face and long jet-black hair — makes them obvious contenders for a big-screen showdown. In "Sadako vs. Kayako," Sadako is again bedeviling anyone who watches her videotape. When someone is stuck with her curse, a plan is hatched to rid them of it: enter the house where Kayako was killed and let the two evil spirits duke it out over their victim. It's a nutty plot, to be sure, and it does take a while to get to the big ghostly bout. However, it's worth the wait, as there's no shortage of ghastly groans, dark mists, and supernatural contortion on display. While this film replaces much of the intensity of the previous installments with humor, that only adds to the pulpy appeal.

Dinocroc vs. Supergator (2010)

"Dinocroc" and "Supergator" were produced by Roger Corman, who built so much of his career on making movies that shamelessly "borrow" elements from big-budget Hollywood blockbusters and from other Roger Corman movies. I'd be repeating myself if I gave separate summaries for each film, so I'll just give the following catch-all description: A giant crocodile-slash-alligator is created through dubious scientific means, escapes from the lab, and eats a bunch of people. In Corman's "Dinocroc vs. Supergator," the ersatz croc and gator bust out of their respective research facilities (as expected) and eat lots of people.

"Dinocroc vs. Supergator" may not be Oscar-worthy, but it has a delightful simplicity that's hard to resist. On their own, "Dinocroc" and "Supergator" are just peanut butter and jelly, but it's Corman's genius that realized this and put them together to make an uncomplicated, yet wholly satisfying, sandwich of a movie. Who can't get into a movie that forces its poor actors to scream bloody murder while pretending to be chomped by a giant, poorly-animated lizard? So much of the fun is derived from thinking about how the cast had to play low-grade material as straight as possible. The highlight of the film is the fiery climax between Dinocroc and Supergator that looks like it was rendered on an Apple II. By the way, my comments are totally complimentary; "Dinocroc vs. Supergator" is some of the best Friday night trash entertainment you could possibly ask for.

King Kong Vs Godzilla (1962)

In order to boost the ratings of the TV shows his pharmaceutical company sponsors, Mr. Tako orders some of his men to go to a mysterious island where a massive monster is said to live, and bring him back to Japan to increase viewership. However, in one of the craziest coincidences of all time, an American nuclear submarine crashes into an iceberg that contains a dormant Godzilla, who heads straight to the Land of the Rising Sun. You'd think that the King of the Monsters would be thrilled to meet another giant creature, but it isn't long before the two start throwing punches and destroying everything around them.

Keep in mind that this is mostly a "Godzilla" movie with King Kong thrown in. Certain changes had to be made to the giant ape, which I assume were to give him a more competitive chance. For example, he was made taller (he was only 50 feet tall in the original RKO film) and was given the ability to absorb electricity to make him more powerful. This may upset some King Kong purists, but I love it; Godzilla has plenty of abilities himself, so Kong's extra powers makes their fights even more visually interesting and unpredictable. Think of it as big-screen fan-fiction from the early-1960s, and you'll be able to appreciate this one a lot more.

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Audiences were treated to the grand return of Godzilla in his 2014 reboot, which positioned him as less of a villain, and more of a protector of humans against other monsters. This was followed by 2019's "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," which sees the titular titan team up with Mothra and Rodan to take on King Ghidorah, further cementing his reputation as a (somewhat) benevolent force of nature. This film also tied into 2017's "Kong: Skull Island," wherein the U.S. government organization Monarch sends a team of military personnel and other experts to a newly discovered island for a research mission on giant primordial creatures, only to encounter too much of what they were looking for in the form of the massive ape himself.

Following in the footsteps of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was only a matter of time before Godzilla and King Kong met in a blockbuster whose budget was probably equal to the GDP of a small country. Like 1962's "King Kong vs. Godzilla," the plot is merely an excuse to get these two titans together, and boy does it work. One of the great things about the film is the attention that's paid to the massiveness of each monster, treating their fight more like a duel of gods than just a big lizard and a big ape punching each other. The true highlight is when they team up against Mechagodzilla, as it approaches "Avengers" levels of fan service fulfillment.

Alien vs. Predator (2004)

Like "Freddy vs. Jason," fans were teased with the possibility of their beloved extraterrestrials sharing the screen together years before the meeting took place. The "Alien" films, up until that point, largely followed Ellen Ripley and her various clashes with the xenomorph species across three films. The "Predator" franchise kicked off with the titular big game hunter from space taking out a bunch of mercenaries before getting his just desserts from the Governator. It was in 1990's "Predator 2," which took place in Los Angeles, wherein a xenomorph skull is seen in a Predator ship that fans learned that the two franchises took place in the same universe.

Fans finally got their wish granted in 2004 with "Alien vs. Predator," which follows a group of researchers who get caught in a battle between the warring species in an ancient pyramid in Antarctica. "AvP" wasn't exactly embraced by fans or critics, but that was for the more watered-down PG-13 version. Watch the unrated version, as it fleshes out the story a little more and features considerably more action and extraterrestrial violence. The practical effects and makeup design of the creatures are terrific, and the action is also well-designed; shaky cameras and choppy editing were pretty popular in the early-2000s, making the clearly-defined fight scenes a breath of fresh air. In terms of wonderfully brutal extraterrestrial encounters, no other movie comes close to matching the amount of slime and gore that spills from these creatures in "AvP."

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Ever since Freddy Kreuger's glove burst out of the ground at the end of "Jason Goes to Hell" to grab the infamous hockey mask, fans had to wait a whole decade before the two horror icons shared the screen together to see who was the king of slaughtering teens. Part of what made the matchup so enticing was how they would be pitted against each other, as they both have completely different modus operandi: Jason hacked up horny teens in the real world, while Freddy hacked up horny teens in their dreams.

Luckily, "Freddy vs. Jason" devised a way to bring them together in a way that perfectly blends the worlds of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th." Freddy uses Jason as a means to return to his old job of supernatural killer. The two then go on a delightfully bloody competition to see who's the best at what they do. What's great about this movie is that it does a great job paying tribute to the styles of the original franchises; Freddy's scenes embody the surrealistic dream logic that characterizes the "Nightmare" films, while Jason's scenes capably recreate the suspense of his best kills from the "Friday" movies. All of this leads up to a slasher clash for the ages that's filled with all of the brutal slicing, dicing, and hacking that fans could want. Props to Robert Englund, who showed no loss in his typical swagger as Freddy, even after 20 years of playing the character.