Time again for a favorite treat that we get requests for constantly- we fill your TV bag with a variety pack of Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Frankenstein Monster- and add nuts- specifically, Bud and Lou- for the creepy confection some call the best classic horror/ comedy hybrid in moviedom- it’s “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” tonight on MeTV!
Chick and Wilbur are two railroad baggage clerks, busy unloading their latest shipments, when the gorgeous Sandra, whose interest in Wilbur Chick can’t believe, drops by to visit her pudgy heartthrob. A phone call from London interrupts the boys’ work- a gentleman named Larry Talbot is on the line with a dire warning, but- the rising of a full moon results in the termination of the call- and who knows what-or who-else!
A crabby customer,Mr. McDougal, gets on the boys’ case, demanding that they deliver a couple boxes from the shipment to his “house of horrors” exhibition- what he intends to be his latest attraction -the supposedly authentic actual coffin of Count Dracula, and -the actual Frankenstein Monster! In spite of a storm that night, the boys make the delivery- but the already spooked Wilbur is shocked to learn that the display pieces are indeed authentic-while Chick dismisses any thoughts in that direction as silly superstition on his partner’s behalf! The risen Dracula revives the Monster enough to take their leave of the house of horrors- but new horror awaits Chick and Wilbur when McDougal arrives to find his new attractions gone- and puts the blame on the two hapless baggage handlers- charging them with theft and getting them put in jail!
Dracula and the Monster go to the island castle sanctuary of a renowned surgeon who has the original Dr.Frankenstein’s notes- who just happens to be the sultry Sandra whose interest in Wilbur is finally explained-she has plans to use his easily-influenced brain and transplant it into the Monster, so he will be a willing pawn of Dracula.
Meanwhile, Wilbur and Chick are finally bailed out of jail by a woman- they assume Sandra- but it’s actually a pretty stranger named Joan- working undercover for the insurance company investigating McDougal’s theft claim, in hopes of recovering his missing items. The boys run into Larry Talbot , just arriving from England, and anxious to have the boys join him in finding the two evil creatures of legend, to prevent Dracula using the Monster to wreck havoc on the civilized world!
Lovesick Wilbur thinks it’d be double the fun to have Joan join him and Sandra for a big masquerade ball, while Chick tries in vain to gain at least one of the ladies as his date. They head to the castle to pick up Sandra- and are dumbfounded when Talbot happens to call there, urging them to search the castle for the Monster and the Count. Taking Talbot’s warning seriously ( and , in Wilbur’s case, reluctantly), the boys’ search leads them to a hidden basement area where Wilbur again encounters the monsters- and , again, can’t convince Chick that he’s actually found them! Back upstairs,Sandra introduces them to her learned associate, Dr. Leighos- who bears a remarkable resemblance to Count Dracula- and encourages his visitors and co-workers to go have a good time at the masquerade ball.
It seems like the ball is a place that everybody wants to be-and that includes the nasty Mr. McDougal, Doctor Leighos dressed in an amazingly accurate Dracula “costume”, and the less than festive Larry Talbot. The party becomes a frantic catastrophe that puts Chick and Wilbur in even more trouble- and leads the group back to the island castle, with Wilbur at risk to get his “mind changed” – via a brain transplant- with the restoration of the Frankenstein Monster to full power being a part of the process- but the intervention of a full moon throws a monkey wrench (actually, a WOLF wrench) into the mix, with the werewolf Talbot facing off against the Count- and the Monster on the hunt for Wilbur and Chick!
This classic Universal picture, which revived both the careers of Bud and Lou AND the studio’s monster roster, is a beloved mix of horror and hilarity. We’ll give you some background on the production and the cast- and treat you to some Sven fun to give you an early start to your Halloween!
“Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” runs tonight on MeTV at 10 pm eastern/pacific, 9 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 . In Chicago, viewers get a second date with “Dracula’s Daughter” at 11 am on our sister station, WCIU, the U- the same station that, on Halloween night, for our Chicago audience, will be presenting the game locally between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings- and, since it IS Halloween- I’ve been enlisted to kick off our pre-game show at 6:30 pm with a special “Trick-or-Treat Touchdown” segment!
If you’re in the area, and reading this early enough, today you can come visit with me while enjoying the classic , TV , and movie cars, along with the haunted train rides and several buildings of antiques and collectibles at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, IL! You’ll find full details on our site here under “appearances”- as well as when you can see me Halloween morning on WCIU’s “You and Me” show, and hear me with Bill and Wendy on WGN radio!
So sorry to hear of the passing of the great John Zacherle at the age of 98- one of the original 1950s horror show hosts who continued on for many years, from regular shows to specials and appearances at conventions. Though I never got ot meet him, we had been in contact occasionally, and he was very warm and complimentary when speaking about me. A fine man and an old school professional- John will be missed.
Enjoy Universal’s Terrible Trio of Terror- and Dunderhead Duo- with us tonight on MeTV!