'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein' is best of the slapstick monster movies featuring the pair

BY DENNIS KING For The Oklahoman Published: October 2, 2012
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On its 100th anniversary, Universal Pictures is rereleasing several gems from its vaults, and one of these is an inspired teaming of the studio's classic monster crew with the baggy-pants burlesque veterans Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” now available on DVD, is the first and best of several slapstick monster movies featuring the comics and the creepers.

The 1948 comedy deftly combines two lucrative franchises — Bud and Lou's bumbling buddy routine, featuring Costello's stammering, stumbling, scaredy-cat persona, and the stable of Universal monsters featuring the lumbering title goon (Glenn Strange), bloodthirsty Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), the howling Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.) and even a brief appearance by the Invisible Man (Vincent Price).

Abbott and Costello appear as inept railroad baggage clerks who are assigned to deliver two large crates to MacDougal's House of Horrors. Inside are the Frankenstein monster and Count Dracula. When the two creatures escape, Bud and Lou give chase. To complicate matters, Lou's girlfriend (Lenore Aubert) is really a mad scientist who schemes to implant her boyfriend's simpleton brain into the Frankenstein monster. Naturally, as the saying goes, chaos ensues.

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