Monday, October 8, 2012

Spooktober: Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Back in the day, WPIX in New York regularly filled their Sunday lunch hour with Abbott & Costello movies, preceded by either The Abbott & Costello Show or F-Troop reruns, both of which have been discussed here previously. Being that we're now three weeks plus away from Halloween, I thought we'd start discussing the duo's horror-themed movies.

In 1948, Universal decided it'd be a good time to do a genre crossover and have Bud & Lou meet three of the classic "Universal monsters" in "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein". Of course, they don't really meet Dr. Frankenstein, but rather the Monster (Glenn Strange, later of Gunsmoke). If memory serves me, this was Lon Chaney, Jr.'s last go-round as Lawrence Talbot, aka the Wolf Man (though I could be wrong).

The plot, of course is rather simplistic. Dracula (Bela Lugosi) has control of the Monster and needs a functioning human brain to place in the creature's body, making it easier for him to control. Now, who do ya think ol' Drac decided to, ah, recruit? Yup. Costello was almost always portrayed as being dumber than a bag of hammers, or, at the very least, gullible enough to fall for anything, making his character a perfect guinea pig for Dracula's brain transplant experiment. Talbot and Chick (Bud Abbott) have to save the day, but it's a hard scrabble, especially when the Wolf Man renews hostilities with his old enemies.

Unfortunately, as much as I'd prefer to have the complete film available to post, we'll settle for a trailer, provided to YouTube by horrormovieshows.........

Lest we forget, the film ends with a sort-of teaser for the team's meeting with the Invisible Man, with a voice over done by no less than Vincent Price! Another actor, however, would play the Invisible Man in the subsequent film.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I was one of those faithful A&C viewers! I seem to remember F-Troop preceding the movies. Dad and I could never get enough of the collapsing watchtower!

Loved their humor and the duo were both quite talented in their own way. I thought it was genius to have Lon Chaney, Jr. reprise his role as the werewolf and Lugosi reprising Dracula!!

I've seen the "A&C Meet The Invisible Man" as well and it's one of my favorite A&C films.

hobbyfan said...

What I'm planning to do is locate the films where Bud & Lou meet the Invisible Man, the Mummy, and also have at it with Boris Karloff (as the Killer) before the end of the month.

I can tell you from experience that 'PIX did run A & C's sitcom periodically in the Sunday 11 AM slot to rest F-Troop from time to time.