Our Monstrous May on MeTV continues tonight with one of most requested films in our library- that not only features our Monster of the Month, the Frankenstein Monster- but also includes two other Universal monsters- Dracula and the Wolf Man, both played by the men who brought them to prominence! These classic horrors get mixed up with a veteran team of comedic foils-Bud and Lou- in what many consider the favorite horror comedy of all time- "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein"!
We get to watch Chick and Wilbur at work, as over-worked railroad baggage clerks, struggling to unload their latest shipments and causing most of their own problems. Wilbur has an additional- though welcome- distraction in his latest girlfriend, a knockout named Sandra, who drops by- and Chick is dumbfounded, knowing this beauty is way out of Wilbur’s league. Meanwhile, the phone never seems to stop ringing- but this time it’s a long distance call from London! On the line is someone the boys don’t know (yet) but we certainly do- it’s Larry Talbot, the man cursed to become a werewolf when the moon is full- which it is just so happens to BE at the moment, transforming Talbot before he can completely deliver his dire warning to the boys. Mr. McDougal, an abrasive customer who might have benefitted if only Talbot had completed his warning, arrives to harass the boys, demanding that they drop everything to deliver a couple boxes from the latest shipment to his “house of horrors” exhibition. He plans to make a main attraction of the items- what he swears is the authentic coffin of Count Dracula, and –the body of the REAL Frankenstein Monster! Chick isn’t buying it, but he and Wilbur will take care of it.
And so- on a dark and stormy night (what else?) the boys work the late shift to make the delivery to McDougal’s “House of Horrors”- the perfect setting for the nervous Wilbur to learn that the display pieces are definitely authentic! Naturally, he can’t convince Chick that they are dealing with the real deals- Chick thinks it’s all in Wilbur’s limited and superstitious mind. Dracula , meanwhile, rises from his coffin ( or, his “bunk”, as Lou refers to it) and spirits the Monster away from the museum- leaving Wilbur in a trance, Chick aggravated, and McDougal minus his new attractions! The furious McDougal thinks the baggage handlers have stolen his valuable exhibits and wants them put in jail!
The next stop for Dracula and the Monster is an island castle sanctuary, in which the laboratory notes of the original Dr. Frankenstein are in the hands of a renowned surgeon. But wait-that surgeon is none other than Wilbur’s beautiful girlfriend- Sandra! This finally explains her interest in the chubby fellow- she has great plans for him; she will transplant his easily- manipulated brain into the Monster- thus making the powerful creature easier to command, and the perfect pawn for Count Dracula!
Back on the mainland, we find Wilbur and Chick have been bailed out of jail by a woman. They assume it was Sandra- until a pretty blonde stranger named Joan shows up, and reveals that it was she. Little do the boys realize that Joan is working undercover with McDougal’s insurance company, investigating the supposed theft of his property, in hopes of recovering the missing display items. By sheer coincidence, the boys run into Larry Talbot , who has just arrived from England, and wants to enlist the boys to help him find the two evil creatures of legend, before Dracula carries out his scheme to use the powerful Monster to carry out his fiendish plans!
Wilbur, convinced he’s quite the ladies’ man, with two lovelies wanting to spend time with him, decides to have Joan AND Sandra join him for a big masquerade ball, with Chick hoping to make time with at least one of the ladies. They head to the island castle to pick up Sandra- and while waiting for the girls to finish powdering their noses, answer the castle phone- only to find it’s Talbot, claiming the Monster and Dracula must be in the castle. The boys decide to search the place, stumbling onto a hidden lower chamber where Wilbur again encounters the monsters- and , once again, just like in McDougal’s, can't convince Chick that he's actually found them! When they return upstairs, the girls are ready to go- and Sandra introduces them to her associate, Dr. Leighos- who appears to be the spitting (or biting?) image of Count Dracula! He encourages his visitors and co-workers to go have a good time at the masquerade ball- using his powers to convince the reluctant Sandra to continue their plan, even though she spotted Joan snooping around the Frankenstein papers .
The ball is a must-attend destination for everyone in the area- including nasty Mr. McDougal, Doctor Leighos dressed in a letter-perfect Dracula “costume”, and the less than festive Larry Talbot. The party degenerates into a frantic catastrophe that puts Chick and Wilbur in peril- leading the group back to the island castle, where Wilbur is prepared for the brain transplant- while the Frankenstein Monster is restored to full and dangerous power – and the rising full moon has the usual effect on Talbot , pitting the Wolf Man against the vampire- and the Monster on the loose in pursuit of Wilbur and Chick!
This classic Universal picture revived both the careers of Bud and Lou AND the studio's monster roster, resulting in a few more films with the boys meeting other Universal horrors. As usual, we'll give you some background on the production, run down the cast- and mix in the usual Sven shtick!
"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" runs tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central- and, if you're unsure of the channel or time of the broadcast where you are, please consult your local listings or www.metv.com . Remember to join the Tweeters who live-Tweet along with the show on Twitter- using the hashtag #svengoolie. Again, last week we were among the top trending topics- thanks to your Tweets! In Chicago, viewers get a second honeymoon with the "Bride of Frankenstein" at 11 am on WCIU, the U.
Big plans will soon be revealed regarding the 40 year anniversary of Sven- watch for details!
And, a personal note- many thanks to all of you who were kind enough to offer condolences on the passing of my mother. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated by my family and myself.
Join us tonight for chills and chuckles with the Monster, a furry fiend, a count craving corpuscles- and their two vacuous victims!