If You’re Going to Watch THE MUMMY, Watch ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN First
This past week Universal’s 2017 introduction to their proposed Dark Universe made it’s way to Blu-ray and as much as I love the idea of bringing the Universal Monsters I love and adore to a new audience, I can’t wholeheartedly bring myself to revisiting Alex Kurtzman‘s movie any time soon. When I saw The Mummy back in June I was left with a very middle of the road feeling about it. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. There were some interesting ideas in there, some of which have me still remain hopeful for Bill Condon’s take on Bride of Frankenstein, but that’s neither here nor there. Instead of focusing my energy on discussing The Mummy, which I don’t have many passionate things to say about, I thought it would be fun to recommend a movie that captures the spirit of the classic monsters some of us have grown up to love and a personal favorite near and dear to my heart.
When I was a little whipper-snapper, no more than eight or nine, my movie-obsessed uncle gave me my very first VHS tape and that was Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. I quickly became so obsessed with watching this timeless gem that I literally wore the tape out. I once read that this movie is what introduced Quentin Tarantino to the concept of mixing movie genres at an early age and in retrospect I’m pretty sure that it made me fall in love with movies as well. Nothing is better to a kid than discovering that movies can be really funny and spooky at the same time. This was the last Universal movie to feature the original cycle of Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster (Boris Karloff wasn’t even considered at the time but joined the comedic duo the following year with the same director in Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, which was believe it or not, started out as a vehicle for Bob Hope originally titled Easy Does It, which later became The Brain of Frankenstein before marketing settled on it’s current title). This movie originally was supposed to feature the character of The Mummy as well, but he didn’t make the cut. The Mummy however is the main attraction in Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, the 28th and final Abbott and Costello film to be produced by Universal-International. My introduction to this movie opened up all kinds of doors for me as far as developing a taste for movies and before I became acquainted with the classic monster films of the thirties and forties, I rented The Monster Squad at my local video store because I wanted nothing more than to see these awesome creatures team up again and in another horror comedy nonetheless. That of course became another VHS I probably wore out just from renting it so much and I’m surprised the video store didn’t make my parents buy it for me.
There’s something about this great comedic duo as freight handlers Wilbur Grey and Chick Young that still strike a chord with me and their exploits that unfold after unluckily receiving the cargo that contains the remains of Frankenstein’s Monster and none other than Dracula himself to be delivered to a haunted attraction just never gets old. There’s also a really awesome cameo from an uncredited Vincent Price as The Invisible Man. The welcome return of Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Glenn Strange made this film a dream come true for any Universal monster movie fan, and this is a perfect choice to introduce your young ones to the wonderful world of horror. You can own this wonderful movie on Blu-ray included with many of Universal’s legacy collections and it’s a must own for any fan of these characters. Hopefully we get a new film from Universal in the near future that makes people fall in love with these monsters the way this one did for me.