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Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Is there really a better comedy/horror movie than this combination that joined one of the screen’s great comedy teams with the Universal Monsters of the golden era? With all due respect to Mel Brooks’ classic Young Frankenstein and my love of Don Knott’s The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, not for my money and don’t even get me started on what modern audiences get fed today with the Scary Movie series. While I’m not even sure if it would work, the only thing that might compare today to what Bud and Lou gave us alongside Lon, Bela and Glenn would be to take two of today’s funny men (you pick) and have them tangle with Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers. Now in all fairness to the movies made today, I will say that the 2010 release Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil had me in stitches.

I’ll assume for this outing that the majority of my readers have seen this classic from Universal and if you haven’t than it’s high time you did. Me? I’ve lost count of how may times I’ve laughed along at the antics of Bud and Lou as they tangle with Lon’s Wolfman, Bela’s Immortal Count Dracula and Glenn Strange once again donning the boots and electrodes of the Frankenstein Monster. If I had to estimate than I’m going relatively high with approximately 20 viewings since childhood when I’d never miss it if it were to turn up on TV. The VHS tape only increased my viewing opportunities right up to the blu ray edition I recently sat in on.

Rather than go into the zany plot that sees Bela intending to put Lou’s brain into the hulking Monster’s body with Lon trying to stop Bela from succeeding, let’s celebrate the film with images and quotes that have had me and my two sons, Ethan and Kirk, laughing since they too were kids.

“I saw what I saw when I saw it.”

Lou : “Well that’s gonna cost you overtime because I’m a union man and I work only sixteen hours a day. 

McDougal (Frank Ferguson) : “A union man only works eight hours a day.”

Lou : “I belong to two unions.”

Bud : “I know there’s no such person as Dracula. You know there’s no such person as Dracula.”

Lou : “But does Dracula know it?”

Bela : “Well, you young people. Making the most of life. While it lasts. ” 

Lou: “I’ve got a date. In fact I’ve got two dates.”

Lon : “But you and I ‘have a date with destiny.”

Lou : “Let Chick go with Destiny. “

Bud : “You know the old saying? Everything comes in threes. Now suppose a third girl should fall in love with you?”

Lou : “What’s her name?”

Bud : “We’ll say her name is Mary.”

Lou : “Is she pretty?”

Bud : “Beautiful.”

Lou : “Naturally. She’d have to be.”

Bud : “Now you have Mary, you have Joan, and you have Sandra. So, to prove to you that I’m your pal, your bosom friend, I’ll take one of the girls off your hands.”

Lou : “Chick, you’re what I call a real pal… you take Mary.”

Lou : “Mr. Talbot, and I thought you were such a nice man too. Look at you, you’re a mess.”

Lon : “Last night I went through another one of my horrible experiences. Many years ago I was bitten by a werewolf. Now, whenever the full moon rises I turn into a wolf myself.”

Lou : “Oh pal. That’s all right; I’m sort of a wolf myself.”

Bud : “I’m gonna settle this thing once and for all. We’ll search this place.”

Lou : “Look Chick, it’s a little past sunset and if Dracula is here he’s gonna be wanting breakfast, and I’m fatter than you, and it ain’t gonna be me.”

Lou : “Dracula is Dracula. And Sandra’s gonna use my brain to make a bigger dummy out of the other dummy.”

Bela : “What we need is young blood… and brains…”

Yeah I do love this comedy classic and to think the whole thing gets rolling at McDougal’s House of Horrors. Next time I visit there I’d best be careful I too don’t run into Bela, Lon and Glenn. Oh, what they heck am I saying? I’d love to meet them. Wouldn’t you?

 

8 Comments »

  1. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is a great movie! The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, Young Frankenstein, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein are my top three old comedy horror movies, in that order. Anything with the late great Don Knotts is a thumbs up in my book. Thanks for writing about this genre!

  2. Your good review has made me dig out my DVD of Bud, Lou, and friends. And my DVD of ‘Eye-gore’ and friends. And see if I can find Mr. Chicken somewhere since I never saw it.

  3. I have the four-pack of the Bud & Lou monster films, but haven’t watched any of them yet! Not sure where the Frankenstein entry stands chronologically, but I’ll probably end up watching them in order, by year. I’ve heard ‘A & C Meet Frankenstein’ is the best of the bunch, though…do you agree with that assessment?

    And I think you hit on something: if they found two good comedians for these roles, and the story was both funny AND smart, I think a movie where two guys tangle with Freddy, Jason, and Michael might actually work. But I’m sure, somehow, the studio would foul it up in the end.

  4. Yes! Also agree on “Tucker and Dale”. My favorite single moment is during the climactic chase when Lou whips the coverlet off the table and then gestures at the audience for approval. Always cracks me up.

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