I never have watched an Abbott and Costello movie, I know some of the routines of course, since you do get them from time to time on comedy satellite radio channels.
Odd this is the third movie on my Wolfman Legacy collection, but it seems like the Wolfman gets the short shrift in the Universal, something kind of odd as Lon Chaney Jr is always up to play the character, while Boris Karloff stops playing the Frankenstein Monster and Bela Lugosi must have parked in someone’s parking spot one day, as this is only the second time and final time that Bela would play Dracula in the Classic Universal Monster series. Sadly this is the last major film for Bela, as after this it’s off to Ed Wood films for the Star. But let’s dive into Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein, shall we?
Abbott and Costello are working at a hotel in Florida, and Lawrence Talbot calls the desk, begging the men to not deliver the packages until he gets there, claiming ownership. The real owner shows up and demands that the crates are delivered to his House of Horrors immediately. Insert Shenanigans. Delivered to the House of Horrors, we discover that Dracula isn’t in the crate anymore, having awoke and is stalking the pair. Insert Shenanigans. We get a plot that involves Abbott trying to double dip on a date with two Hot Chicks, and the Wolfman trying to stop Dracula’s evil plan, whatever that was.
So how is Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein?
This movie MOVES. You don’t have a lot of sitting around, and it’s a wonderful thing after watching some of these movies multiple times. I will say that the monsters do play a minor role and they are really only used to give the duo something to react to. Bud Abbott’s funny skip-step and a moving candle get just as much love as Frankenstein’s Monster. Dracula for the most part just stands there hiding the lower half of his face with his cape, and this for some reason makes him invisible as he stands with his back to the wall. Thankfully later on, he’s out of the cape and allowed to do a bit of acting with both Dr Sandra and Abbott and Costello. What really comes out is Lon Chaney. He does the serious lifting among the Monster Trio, as he is trying to foil Dracula’s plot and comes across as a hero at the end.
Certain things do get on my nerves, like the makeup is cheaper (rubber has come to Universal) and Dracula spends way too much time just standing there with his cape over his face. I just feel like there is a bit of respect lost there, but then again, this is a comedy. I do think this one is worth a watch, especially if you are a fan of Bela, as I am. That’s countered by somethings they do quite well, like the ending joke and the opening credits. 7 leaning upwards, but I can’t see much of a rewatch factor here.
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