Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Review

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Deliverymen Chick and Wilbur transport the Frankenstein Monster to a Florida castle where Dracula plots to give the creature dimwit Chick’s brain. The Wolf Man enlists the comedians’ aid in battling the vampire.


In Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula, Universal Pictures teamed their various monsters in messy, enjoyable gothic scrambles. By 1948, the horror saga had run out of steam the series that had begun with Dracula and Frankenstein in 1931 wound up pitting the studio’s copyrighted famous monsters against the hugely-popular comedy team of Abbott and Costello. The result was such a hit that Bud and Lou went on to mix it with Boris Karloff, the Mummy, Jekyll and Hyde and the Invisible Man.

Actually, it’s not one of Abbott and Costello’s better vehicles – they do a lot of annoying whining and slapping business, often in routines where a babyish Lou tries to convince the grumpy Bud that there’s a monster approaching, but not much of the ‘who’s on first’-style vaudeville crosstalk that made them popular in the first place. It misses an obvious comic possibility: Dracula’s plan to put Lou’s brain in the Monster’s body is thwarted, which means no scene in which the flatheaded giant bawls and bellows like Costello.

Bela Lugosi, in one of the few A-grade productions of his later career, makes a dignified return to the role that had made (and cursed) his career, but the most doggy enthusiasm comes (aptly) from the try-anything-for-a-laugh Lon Chaney Jr as Larry Talbot, his character from The Wolf Man. There are a few funny exchangees: Chaney: 'you don't understand, every night when the moon is full, I turn into a wolf!' Costello: 'Yeah, you and thirty million other guys!'

A little bit of going through the motions with this horror spoof but fans will enjoy