Universal Pictures is opening up its horror vaults to resurrect some venerable movie monsters.

Currently in development there: "Clive Barker's `The Mummy,' " from the horror novelist who wrote and directed "Hellraiser." And director John Carpenter, who remade RKO's "The Thing" for Universal in 1982, has gone fishing for "The Creature From the Black Lagoon.""(Universal) used to make a lot of monster movies, and they'd love to do them again if they can find people to do them," Carpenter says. "I talked to (studio executive) Tom Pollock and suggested `The Creature From the Black Lagoon,' who was always one of my favorite '50s monsters.

"I liked the way he looked up at the girl from underwater. My idea is to make him a little more human, give him a little more intelligence. The story is in the writing stages now."

Barker is co-writing his "Mummy" script with Mick Garris, who directed Universal's just-aired "Psycho IV" for Showtime. Barker says that his bandaged zombie will be a departure from the seven previous Universal versions, which began in 1932 with Boris Karloff as "The Mummy."

"I refer to our film as `The Egyptian Project' because it's so very different from `The Mummy' that Universal produced," Barker says. "Unfortunately it's a top-secret project, but it's radically, radically different."

Carpenter, whose 1978 cult classic "Halloween" inspired a decade of slasher films, believes that the Universal films may mark a change in the direction of horror.

"I think there's an appetite for a rejuvenated approach to horror," Carpenter says. "There's always a place for horror movies, for something that scares you. I think that the cycle of slasher films has kind of worn itself out." - DANIEL CERONE

- Wind in Their Sales:

HOLLYWOOD - Is there room on the Atlantic Ocean - and on the big screen - for two Christopher Columbuses?

There was room two weeks ago in the trade papers for splashy multi-page ads touting two such projects, both to be released in 1992 to capitalize on the 500th anniversary of the Italian explorer's voyage to North America in the service of Spain.

Producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind are working with a script by Mario Puzo, "Christopher Columbus: The Movie," with plans to begin shooting in April. They claim to have "exclusive" access to Spain's full-size re-creations of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, now under construction. The father-and-son team responsible for the "Superman" movies will also "use members of the Spanish navy as extras," a spokesman says.

To be budgeted at $45 million to $50 million, the Salkinds' film is planned as a July 4, 1992, global release, with Universal Pictures handling domestic distribution. A source reports that David Lean is being considered as director.

Undaunted, producer-director Ridley Scott plans "Christopher Columbus," from a script by French journalist Roselyne Bosch. It will "go beyond the history books" to tell "the truth about the man and what happened," says a Scott spokeswoman. The film's star - and start date - will be announced shortly.

What about the Salkinds' claim to ties with the Spanish government?

"We've had some of the same conversations (with Spanish officials) and they're supportive," says the Scott spokeswoman. "1992 is a big year for Spain. They won't care if there are 10 films about Christopher Columbus." - PAT H. BROESKE

- Talk of the Town:

HOLLYWOOD - What impact will the shutdown of producer-director Larry Cohen's "The Heavy" have on Las Vegas, N.M. (pop. 15,000)? The production was canceled earlier this month after only one day of shooting there because of "creative differences" between Cohen and star David Carradine.

"It was bad for this town," laments Ashwini Sinha, manager of the Palomino Motel, where the production crew of the low-budgeter was housed. "And it's too bad for me. They were supposed to stay three or four weeks."

Differences between Cohen and Carradine came to a head during an arm-waving and shouting match on Halloween evening, according to an eyewitness account in the local newspaper, the Optic. The film was almost immediately canceled.

"I saw lots of crew members who were gloomy and crying," Sinha says.

Mary Beth King, managing editor of the Optic, says that Las Vegas will rebound - Turner Broadcasting's "A Miracle in the Wilderness," starring Kris Kristofferson, starts filming there this week.

"It's a movie capital of sorts in New Mexico," King says of the little town, situated 60 miles northeast of Santa Fe. " `The Heavy' would have been the 12th film shot here in 20 years."

Kristofferson was here once before, to shoot "Convoy" (1978). The last production to complete filming in Las Vegas, N.M., was "Fool for Love" in 1984. - JOHN M. WILSON

- Gaffes on Parade:

HOLLYWOOD - Glenn Close is seen in three different suits - each a different color - in a "Jagged Edge" courtroom scene. Singer Don McLean's "American Pie," released in 1971, plays in the background of "Born on the Fourth of July" - set in 1968-69. The Depression Era "Harlem Nights" has characters spouting such modern expressions as "Yo" and "I'll let you have your space." In "The 'Burbs," set in middle America, the Disney Channel's Burbank office building can be glimpsed in the background.

These glaring goofs are among a couple hundred from over 150 films compiled by Bill Givens in "Film Flubs - Memorable Movie Mistakes," just published.

Other gems:

- Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), in "Star Wars," shouts "Carrie!" to Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).

- Fred MacMurray, playing a carefree, never-married bachelor in "Double Indemnity," wears a wide gold wedding band throughout the picture.

- Yul Brynner's earring appears, disappears - even changes ears - as he sings "Is a Puzzlement" in "The King and I."

- In "North to Alaska," John Wayne loses his hairpiece during a fight scene . . . but it's back on in the next shot.

Whenever Givens mentions his book, he says, someone inevitably has a favorite film flub to share. - JOHN M. WILSON

- Quibbles & Bits:

- Going Hollywood? Footballer-turned-thespian Brian Bosworth - aka "The Boz" - has legally changed his last name to Bozworth.

- Jay Leno will provide the voice of the title character in a redubbed, camped-up version of the '50s B-film "Hideous Sun Demon" - now called "What's Up, Hideous Sun Demon?"

- Where literacy has gone: Writer-producer Bob Kosberg bragged to Daily Variety that an idea he sold to Tri-Star ("Buddy Cops") began with one line - "Why not make a movie about buddy cops who can't bond?" Kosberg added that a high-ranking Columbia executive "got it immediately and loved it."

- Cinefile:

HOLLYWOOD - Odd couples are the name of the game in upcoming buddy movies. In Universal's comedy "Pure Luck," Danny Glover and Martin Short team up to go looking for a missing woman known to be incredibly unlucky. As they retrace her steps, Glover hopes that Short, who is incredibly unlucky too, will stumble into the same pitfalls as the woman. Herschel Weingrod and Timothy Harris' script derives from Francis Veber's French comedy, "La Chevre" ("The Goat"), which starred Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard. Australian Nadia Tass will direct this Americanization for producers Lance Hool and Sean Daniel. Filming begins Dec. 17 in Acapulco.

C. Thomas Howell and Wallace Shawn make an odd pair of detectives in RCA-Columbia's "Nickel and Dime." They play bounty hunters who search for heirs to large fortunes. The film, which goes the end of this month, was written by Ben Moses, Seth Front and Eddy Polon. Moses will direct for producer Lynn Danielson.

Donald Sutherland will play a Canadian Mountie in "Agaguk," a period Eskimo drama co-starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Jennifer Tilly and Toshiro Mifune which films in Alaska and Canada beginning this month. Jacques Dortmann directs for producer Claude Leger. - KIRK HONEYCUTT

- The Movie Chart:

Films going into production:

BECOMING COLETTE (Becoming Colette Productions-Bibo Film Production-Les Films Ariane, S.A.R.L.). Shooting in France and Germany. Klaus Maria Brandauer is the influential husband of the title character, an unassuming French farm girl who went on to write "Gigi" and other works. Executive producers Todd Black, Kathryn Galan and Joe Wizan. Producers Peer J. Oppenheimer and Heinz Bibo. Director Danny Huston. Screenwriter Ruth Graham. Also stars Mathilda May and Virginia Madsen.

CURLY SUE (Warner Bros.). Shooting in Chicago. John Hughes moves over to Warners - producing, directing and writing this James Belushi vehicle. Belushi plays a street-slick con artist who charms his way into the life and heart of an adorable 8-year-old orphan girl. Executive producer Tarquin Gotch. Also stars Kelly Lynch and Alisan Porter.

DOC HOLLYWOOD (Warner Bros.). Shooting in Gainesville, Fla. "Memphis Belle's" Michael Caton-Jones directs Michael J. Fox in the role of an ambitious medical resident headed cross-country to patient-rich Beverly Hills. En route, Fox finds himself stranded in a Southern town where his experiences change his life.