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Harry and Willie buy the Edison Movie Studio in the year 1912 from Joseph Gorman, a confidence man. They follow Gorman to Hollywood where, as stunt men, they find him directing movies as Sergei Trumanoff and stealing the studio payroll.
The world of freight handlers Wilbur Grey and Chick Young is turned upside down when the remains of Frankenstein's monster and Dracula arrive from Europe to be used in a house of horrors. Dracula awakens and escapes with the weakened monster, who he plans to re-energize with a new brain. Larry Talbot (the Wolfman) arrives from London in an attempt to thwart Dracula. Dracula's reluctant aide is the beautiful Dr. Sandra Mornay. Her reluctance is dispatched by Dracula's bite. Dracula and Sandra abduct Wilbur for his brain and recharge the monster in preparation for the operation. Chick and Talbot attempt to find and free Wilbur, but when the full moon rises all hell breaks loose with the Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein all running rampant. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Perennially snakebit, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney) can't even make a dire phone-call to clueless Wilbur Gray (Lou Costello) without that pesky full moon getting in the way. Of course, this opening scene is all just a nice excuse for the new Universal makeup wizard, Bud Westmore, to show off his new, streamlined Wolf Man transformations. It looks good enough, though it seems whatever Lon Chaney may have gained in comfort from Bud's less time-consuming makeup, he had to trade-off any facial mobility as his face looks fixed in the same expression throughout the film.
Bud and Lou's misadventures unloading McDougal's crates is a great mix of laughs & chills where we get to see a variation of the "moving candle" bit, Dracula reviving the monster, and for the first time in any Universal picture the camera doesn't move or cut away as the vampire exits from his coffin. And Glenn Strange, looking rather gruesome in Westmore's best makeup work, seems creakier than ever before as the monster.
I have to mention one of my personal favorite Bud/Lou moments when they make their first trip to the island with Joan Raymond: Lou tells Bud in reference to Joan "she's mine too" then proceeds to dab his mouth with Bud's necktie.
While the mere presence of Abbott and Costello in this picture may turn the stomachs of many "horror purists", it's obvious that great care was taken by the filmmakers not to ridicule the monsters. Without the two comics, you would still have a standard Universal horror film. With them, it remains a movie that shows more skill & thought was put into it than the last "serious" monster film "House of Dracula" and I am personally glad that Universal didn't let the monsters die with that misfire.
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