Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
By far one of the best monster movies ever made, by far one of the best Abbot and Costello films ever made, and dare I say— the GREATEST CROSSOVER FILM ever made. It is brilliant, for it’s time.
Yes, by today’s standards, the monsters aren’t scary, and the comedy is rather tame. But the pacing and chemistry hold up well. It’s a children’s movie that rarely plays down the threat and all the actors involved give some of the best performances of their careers. And best of all, all the actors revise their famous roles.
That’s right, Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man, and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein’s Monster. Hell, Vincent Price does a cameo as the Invisible Man. All these guys are brought into a narrative that revolves around the hapless Abbott and Costello, as the film works its way to a climax with a giant monster brawl. This film is an unofficial sequel to the House of Dracula
, and is probably the best unofficial sequel, right after The Return of the Living Dead.
Most the time Abbott and Costello are just running around doing slapstick or practising their misunderstanding schtick, but if you like that you’ll love this film. Though, what impressed me most about this film is that after 50 years, no other crossover has come close to topping it.
Think about it, what are the crossover films we know get? Alien vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason
, um...soon we’ll get the Avenger’s
movie (God willing.) But so far, all the crossover movies in my lifetime suck. A lot of these franchises have great concepts, but the studios know that they’ll make money and just rush together some junk script and laugh as we see it. Even worse are the films they cancelled, where is the Superman/Batman that Warner Brother’s was planning in the late 90's? Where is my Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash film? I demand satisfaction!
In these tough economic times, what better way to get people back into theatres than combining their favourite heroes or villains into one giant movie. And I think Studios should now realize that with a great story, people are more willing to re-watch and eventually buy the film. So, get people who love the franchises, and get people that know what they’re doing, and all two goldmines together to create a platinum production.
If done right, who wouldn’t want to see Star Wars
vs. Star Trek
? Okay, I wouldn’t. But what if it was a comedy? That, I’d be more willing to see. What if we started crossing genres together? One movie I saw and hated, was Mamma Mia
; I wanted to see all the character’s die. Then I thought about it, what if you remade the movie, had the awful direction and singing, but introduced a knife wielding maniac into the mix? Now that, I’d pay to watch.
But let’s look at the Abbott and Costello idea, send them up against veteran monster actors and watch what happens. Now, I fear mentioning this, since someone at Universal Studios might be listening and decide that this would be a great idea for a Collin Ferrel movie. (Oh please, God no.) I’m talking about updating the concept for 21st century sensibilities. What if we had an R-Rated comedy with Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees and one of the guys who played Mike Myers to renew his role. Then at the end, there is a cameo by Bruce Campbell as Ash.
Hell ya, the movie not only writes itself, but guarantees a profit, as long as the word of mouth is good. Get Sam Raimi to direct, and you have an all-time classic. Well, only if you get the right actors to star in it. Please don’t throw in any ex-SNL stars. Let’s get a great team, like Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (Wooster and Jeeves, respectfully,) to run around yelling “fuck, fuck, fuck,” as the ax wielding maniacs come closer.
Of course Fry and Laurie are a bit old to be doing that sort of thing, plus Laurie is too busy playing House
. So, who else could yell “fuck” in such a frantic and hilarious fashion? Who else has such great onscreen chemistry that they could replace the roles of Abbot and Costello in this film? What Hollywood duo is a comedy team with a tall skinny guy, and a medium height fat one? Well, I pity you if you can’t think of them.
Of course, I was hinting at Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. You know, the guys who fought off the zombies in Shaun of the Dead
? Ya, throw them in a creepy area with all the famous slashers of the last two decades, let the brilliant dialogue flow out and usurp Bud and Lou Meet Frankenstein
as the ultimate crossover.
But hey, I’m not a big shot producer, so it doesn’t matter what I think. If they’re content to leave the classic 1954 comedy as the ultimate crossover, than good for them. If not, let’s get this film made, and give some lucky studio a hit.