Sunday, October 12, 2008

Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein

There are so many good Halloween movies to watch.  You'll notice I don't list particularly gruesome or scary movies. That's just not my thing. I like to laugh. I thought about just listing all of my favorites here, but then I realized that I still have another seventeen days straight of blogging, and I may need some material later on. This movie is a classic, and I don't think you have to be either a fan of the old Universal Monster Movies (which I am) or of Abbott and Costello (which I can be), to appreciate it. The "plot" of the movie -- if such a thing exists -- revolves around two dopey baggage handlers who receive a couple of mysterious crates, supposedly containing the bodies of Count Dracula, and the Frankenstein Monster, which then come to life. The Wolfman shows up, and Dracula is determined to take the brain of the dim witted Wilbur Grey (Costello), and put it into the Frankenstein Monster - thus making the creature as docile and dangerous (to his master anyway) as a puppy. Thereby avoiding the mistake that Dr. Frankenstein made, the first time around. Comedic mayhem ensues.

 Really, this movie was a stunt, blending two of Universal's best franchises -- The Monsters, and Abbott and Costello -- to see what would happen. 
This was the last time that Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. dawned their costumes, as Dracula and the Wolfman, respectively. The Frankenstein Monster -- made famous by Boris Karloff -- is played by Glen Strange, which, somehow, seems appropriate.


The best part about this movie, is the comedic timing of Abbott and Costello. They were at the top of their game here -- particularly when it comes to the subplot, involving the unlikely notion of the rotund, big mouthed, moronic, but innocent Wilbur being caught in a love triangle with two gorgeous -- and much taller -- women.

This gem of a movie is the direct ancestor of one of my favorite films of all time: Young Frankenstein.

"I've had this brain for thirty years. It hasn't done me any good!" -- Wilbur Grey, on why he is not the ideal candidate for a brain transplant. 

Something to watch for: Notice the Frankenstein Monster's reaction the first time he sees Wilbur. It classic!


Meaghan said...

Im definitely going to watch some of these! Love the old black and white movies :)


tiarastantrums said...

seriously - Hilarious!