Friday, October 4, 2013

The Essentials- "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948)

The Essentials-#25

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
If you needed a perfect example of a Monster Mash on film, it would definitely be "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein."

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were a very famous comedy group in their time. They were a comic duo who did vaudeville, television, radio and yes film. Some of their most popular films were their take on the horror genre, these two actors were able to blend comedy and horror in magnificent ways. I feel "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" was their crowning jewel. Something I feel defined what the duo was trying to accomplish all along. I love this movie because it was able to blend old-school slapstick with some classic suspense. I have known six-year-old's that were actually creeped-out by certain scenes in this movie.

Bud Abbott plays Chick Young and Lou Costello plays Wilbur Grey, Chick and Wilbur work as baggage clerks at the Florida railway station. They intercept a call from Lawrence Talbot aka The Wolfman. Talbot is trying to warn them about a particular shipment from the McDougal House of Horrors, which is what seems like a wax museum. The shipment is not what it seems and before Chick can warn Wilbur, Talbot turns into a werewolf, unable to speak of the impending doom. The boxes from McDougal contain the bodies of The Frankenstein Monster and Count Dracula (played by Bela Lugosi).

The film gets crazy as Dracula and pretty female surgeon are apart of a strange plot to put Wilbur's brain into the body of the Frankenstein monster, and how bonkers everything gets is just part of the fun. I can understand how Abbott and Costello were so popular during this time-period their comedy is sharp and their performances broad. They make the most of this big monster gathering, and they make the entire thing very fun. If you like the old school Universal Horror films, I don't see how you can't get a kick of the loopy craziness of this comedy.



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