ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN
Reviewed October 2nd, 2000 by Chuck Arrington
Ok here’s the deal. Take the biggest comedy stars of the era and pair them with the biggest monsters and you get Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein.
Bud and Lou are working as baggage handlers in the cargo area of a local train station. On one particular day, two packages for McDougals’ House of Horrors arrives. One containing the supposed remains of Count Dracula and the other the remains of the Frankenstein monster! Certain that Bud and Lou, McDougal, have damaged his packages has them deliver the crates to his residence, uncrate them and await the insurance adjuster’s appraisal. Now, if you have Dracula and Frankenstein’s’ monster together in the same room, only Lou and Bud are gonna see them and sure enough, that’s the case! Dracula’s plan is to place the brain of a silly minded, easily led person into the skull of the monster so that he can be controlled. However, unbeknownst to him, Lawrence Talbot is on to his plan and is coming to America from England to stop Draculas’ fiendish plot to rule the monster! For those of you who don’t already know, Lawrence Talbot has something of a dark side to him whenever the moon is full! In any event, this collection of Universal Classic Monsters and comedies brightest stars proves to be both full of scares and jolts as well as huge laughs. Abbott and Costello is admittedly, the greatest horror/comedy ever!
The audio presented is in 2.0 channel mono and does nothing to detract from the film’s overall presentation. The dialogue is clean and the soundtrack is nicely balanced between both fronts. As there are no surround effects and no LFE, the surrounds and sub are dormant throughout the whole of the feature.
The video is presented in its original full frame format. Because the B&W imagery is so stark and solid, these visuals are among the best of the Universal Classic Monsters series. There are the required flicking and scratches for a print of this age but other than that I found the transfer quite satisfying!
As with all the Universal Monsters, the disc is loaded with information regarding the pre-production, production and background antics of the cast & crew during shooting. A Making of feature entitled: Abbott and Costello meet the Monsters runs at about an hour and has all the information ever available about the making of the film. While the documentary itself does play a lot like a Bud/Lou appreciation society, it does provide enough information about the stars and the monsters to make it interesting.
Next there is the commentary by Gregory Monk. I have never cared for these simply because, they take away from the enjoyment of the film. It’s one thing to hear comments from those either involved with the film directly or those extremely close to the action. 3rd hand information from someone who heard something about someone is wholly uninteresting to me. Now I know, all of the principal characters are long dead however, I would have preferred to not have anecdotal information in place of actual factual info.
Next are the production photographs with the score for the film playing over them, the trailer, production notes and cast and filmmaker bios.
Here are all of the Best monsters together in one place at one time! The only thing better would have been to have Karloff reprise his role as the monster. No slight on Glenn Strange! He did an outstanding job! The reigning kings of comedy of this era coupled with the reigning monsters of the day…really, do you need another reason to pick this one up? This movie is awesome in every single sense of the word!
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