Sunday, August 26, 2012
|5:15 p.m.||Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein|
Charles T. Barton (U.S., 1948)
The title undersells it: Abbot and Costello don’t simply meet Frankenstein’s monster, but the whole grotesque stable (Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man) of the Universal universe. At the outset, these icons of film history are unjustly relegated to a Floridian house of horrors. But immortal Dracula (Bela Lugosi) insists that “what we need today is young blood—and brains.” This provides both a raison d'être for the film—Frankenstein (so-called “Franky-boy”) is slotted for a new brain, preferably Lou Costello’s—and an analogy for the imaginative revivification of 1930s creature features that the ensuing romp undertakes: a metamorphosis of horror into farce.
• Written by Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo, John Grant. Photographed by Charles Van Enger. With Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi. (83 mins, B&W, 35mm)