Monday, October 22, 2012


Studio: Universal Studios

Producer: Robert Arthur

Director: Charles Barton

Music: Frank Skinner

Release Date: June 15th, 1948

Awards: In 2001 it was entered into the National Film Registry.

Origination: With the earlier success of Abbott & Costello's Hold That Ghost (1941), Universal hoped to use the same concept while also paying homage to their retired Horror monsters.

Interesting Fact: Boris Karloff was invited to play his part as Frankenstein in the film, but turned it down. Though he helped promote the film, he found it unlikely that horror and comedy could co-exist in a film. With the success of the film, he joined the duo in their next horror film Abbott & Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949).

Chick Young: "I know there's no such person as Dracula. You know there's no such person as Dracula."
Wilbur Grey: "But does Dracula know it?"

I must have watched this film a hundred times as a kid, yet it still has the same magic year after year. In honor of the upcoming holiday, I watched it with my wife and two kids. I had forgotten how scary it was and at one point my son hid in his room until I convinced him to sit next to me for the rest of the film. After the film, he was jumping and clawing around the room like the Wolf Man and later admitted that he liked the movie. I wonder if that's what I did after I watched it for the first time.

Who could have conceived that the comical skits of Abbott & Costello could fit inside such a film? Maybe it wasn't just the genre itself that made it possible, but because their talents were so versatile they could perform under any setting. As performers, with Vaudeville roots, they preferred a responsive audience over a silent camera and often found it a struggle to keep up their energy. To solve this problem, they would throw pies at each other in between takes. This humor was not appreciated by all though, especially Bela Lugosi. So the duo made sure never to hit the other leads in their battles.

One last thing that I would like to explain is why this film is, and always will be, my favorite Halloween movie. In those days the large amount of work done was put into the script and it characters. In our day films are filled with gallons of blood and gore, trumping all other emotions you feel while watching a Horror movie. The art of a good story has been covered up by the supposed demand that audiences want something fresh and different. Though it may be true that the public has moved on, I prefer to remain in my old fashioned ways and watch the classics over and over again.

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