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Neighborhood kids playing baseball in the street in front of Louie's
sweetshop keep hitting baseballs through his storefront window. Sach
suggests they get permission for the kids to use a big, vacant lot
nearby. Slip telephones the lot owners, the Gravesend family-- Slip
wants permission to use the lot because he is a "bene-fracturer" of
humanity. They are invited to drive over, since mad scientists Dr.
Derek Gravesend and Anton Gravesend want brains-- to put into their
gorilla and robot! Derek needs a tiny brain; Anton notes: "A creature
with a brain that small wouldn't have sense enough to come in out of
the rain." Quick cut to Sach, standing in the rain. At the spooky
house, Slip and Sach meet Grissom, the butler, whom they call
"Gruesome" (kind of a prototype Lurch, 10 years before "The Addams
Family"). The Boys also meet a sexy female vampire Francine Gravesend
(a prototype Morticia); she wants them for their blood. Amelia
Gravesend wants to feed the Boys to her Agopanthus Carnivorous, her
man-eating tree (sort of like in "The Wizard of Oz"). There are old
jokes, such as the butler saying: "Walk this way" (this joke would be
20 years older in "Young Frankenstein"). Some jokes are pure Bowery
Boys-- the butler says, "This old manor house goes back to colonial
times; take this chair for instance: 1775." To which Slip retorts,
"17.75? Anybody that paid over 3 bucks for it got rooked!" Some skits
are recycled: Slip and Sach are locked in a closet; they use a saw to
cut a hole in the far wall, and crawl through-- it leads to a cage with
a gorilla in it. If this scene looks familiar, it's because it had been
used before with the Three Stooges short "Dizzy Detectives" (1943).
There's lots more fun and scary thrills. Just watch this movie and
Paul Wexler would appear in other horror movies, like "The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake." Laura Mason would appear in other films, as a Harem Girl, and then a Venus Girl in "Queen of Outer Space." Lloyd Corrigan had been in a previous Bowery Boys movie "Ghost Chasers" (1951). John Dehner would play occult characters in "The Twilight Zone" in the episodes: "Mr. Garrity and the Graves" & "The Jungle." Steve Calvert (Cosmos the gorilla) had played an ape in "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla"; his last movie was playing a gorilla in the Ed Wood 'classic': "The Bride and the Beast." Trivia: this is the only Bowery Boys movie with "Bowery Boys" in the title.
If you don't enjoy this Bowery Boys flick, forget the others! THE
BOWERY BOYS MEET THE MONSTERS is one of their best, and quite possibly
THE best. Slip and Sach leave Manhattan for Long Island to ask the
owners of a barren lot in their neighborhood if they might help turn it
into a baseball field where Bowery kids can play. What the boys
discover when they meet the eccentric owners at their eerie manor is
that they're a couple of looney bird mad scientists, who quickly plan
to use Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall as brain donors for their latest
This is not exactly ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, but it was doubtless influenced by that team's "meet the monsters" series of movies. The Bowery Boys wind up confronting a creepy butler who transforms into a monster, a quirky robot, a savage gorilla, a sexy vampiress and a creaky old lady with a man-eating plant for a pet. Fans of The Three Stooges may recognize actual sequences "borrowed" from some of their shorts, as this was scripted by Stooge writers Edward Bernds and Elwood Ullman (and Bernds directed). As a result, the pacing is quick and the jokes are quite good. Highly recommended as one of your first Bowery Boys experiences, or if you're a fan of monster movies of the period. *** out of ****
I'm one of the few people around who can still recall seeing first release Bowery Boy movies. I was eleven years old when this one hit the silver screen. I can recall laughing until I cried when the monsters began appearing. Any hard core Bowery boy enthusiast recalls the wonderful job done by Leo Gorcy, who played "Slip" Mahoney and Huntz Hall who played "Satch". They played off each other perfectly and their on screen characterization of a pair of gang members from the mid century Bowery made the comedy that much sweeter. I can't recall seeing a Bowery Boys movie that I didn't like. Some were better than others, but my buddies and I would have walked to the next town to see any of their movies. Oddly enough, Leo Gorcy died quite young without much money. He passed away in 1969 at about 52 years of age. Huntz Hall on the other hand lived to be about 80 years old and passed away in 1999. He apparently was quite well off, having owned a 10% interest in the Bowery Boys and having made some very profitable oil and gas investments. I owe a lot of happy hours to these two fine actors from the early years of movie comedy.
The title The Bowery Boys Meet The Monsters is somewhat a misnomer
since there are no real monsters in the film, just a weird family who'd
like to make one. A 'temporary' one does appear, but you'll have to see
the film to find out just exactly what I mean.
Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall ran into a few unworldly types in their various films. In this case what brings them to the house of the Gravesend family is they're representing the kids in the neighborhood who would like to use a vacant lot that the family owns for a baseball field.
What an interesting crew the Gravesends are, a kind of Vanderhof family from You Can't Take It With You on steroids. Three siblings, John Dehner, Ellen Corby, and Lloyd Corrigan all pursue their various scientific interests and their butler Grisson aka Gruesome played by Paul Wexler. Dehner and Corrigan have made tests on Huntz Hall and discover he's got the proper cranial capacity for a brain transplant. But they're fighting over whether it will be Dehner's gorilla or Corrigan's robot. Corby has a Venus Man-Trap plant that needs feeding and the black sheep of the family is Laura Mason who is a vampire who also needs feeding. With this family she gets leftovers.
The boys have their hands full with this crew and in one of their better films, the audience will have its laughs full.
In order to appreciate the slapstick comedy of the Bowery Boys, one must first be able to wholeheartedly laugh at the Three Stooges. Many of the comedy team films of the 40s and 50s centered around the same theme - haunted house, mad scientist, gorilla, brain transplant, etc. This one is like the rest. The most hilarious part of this film is how the Chief (Leo Gorcey) manages to mangle the English language, many times stumping Dr. Gravesend into trying to figure out what he's actually saying. Unlike The Three Stooges, the Bowery Boys are not really physical comedians. Huntz Hall's facial expressions are really not as funny as Curly's, Larry's or Moe's. Leo Gorcey tries to play it for laughs as best as he can by being bug-eyed, but it just doesn't come off. Perhaps his age was showing by this time and he just couldn't quite cut it anymore like in his earlier films. Still, the premise of the film is familiar, there are some good laughs from the entire cast, and it is worth a look, even if just for nostalgia's sake. Although I think the group's earlier films were much funnier, this is about the best one out of the series that were made in the 50s. Worth a peek.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Maybe if the Bowery Boys had crossed paths with Universal Pictures
along the way, they might have put together a meaningful monster flick
a la Abbott and Costello. The word 'Monster' in the title is a bit of a
misnomer, as all you get here is a man in an ape suit and a tin man
robot that's not all that scary. My two year old granddaughter was
watching the flick with me and she couldn't take her eyes off Gorog,
and she was smiling the whole time.
But as far as Bowery Boys flicks go, this is as entertaining as most, near the end of their run and down to only four members for this story, along with patron Louie (Bernard Gorcey). The story nominally involves the gang looking to pick up a ball field for the neighborhood kids, and wind up confounding the members of a pre-Addams Family assortment of mad scientists. In turn, Slip (Leo Gorcey) and Sach (Huntz Hall) become the target of Dr. Gravesend (John Dehner) and his brother Anton (Lyoyd Corrigan), who both need human brains for their respective scientific pursuits. I was a bit surprised to see Paul Wexler doing the 'Lurch' gimmick a full decade before Ted Cassidy gave it a whirl in the TV series a decade later.
For once, Slip's malapropisms are given their proper due by Dr. Gravesend, who figures that Slip is no mental giant the way he fractures the English language. For his part, Slip doesn't disappoint with any number of his stereo-optical delusions.
The entire escapade falls into a slap dash finale, not as well choreographed as say, the Marx Brothers, but still zany nonetheless. If you keep a sharp eye, you'll note it wasn't Sach under the goofy monster mask when he put the Gravesend's into those body slams and airplane spins. The stunt double they used was obviously broader in the chest and shoulders, even under the suit. In contrast, Sach did all of his own wrestling moves in the 1952 Bowery Boys film, "No Holds Barred".
The slapstick is so overdone in this Bowery Boys tribute to fright
flicks that there's something happening at slam bang speed in almost
every frame of THE BOWERY BOYS MEET THE MONSTERS.
The non-stop shenanigans gets the usual boost from LEO GORCEY and HUNTZ HALL, busy slapping each other around in the tradition of The Three Stooges as they encounter some spirited spooks in the care of Dr. Gravesend (JOHN DEHNER).
ELLEN CORBY (the grandma from The Daltons) is on hand as a feather-brained Mrs. Gravesend devoted to her man-eating plant with designs on getting its tree-like limbs around Huntz Hall or Leo Gorcey.
It's a broad farce, played for laughs by the entire cast, including JOHN DEHNER and LLOYD CORRIGAN as his fellow scientist, but all of the gags are recycled from either Abbot and Costello movies or The Three Stooges. The only new twist is that the monsters aren't the creatures you might expect them to be--and for that, you have to see the film.
Recommended mainly for those Bowery Boys fans who can't get enough of their silly hijinks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** The "Bowery Boys" headed by Slip & Sach go out of their
way to get the local kids a place to play stick-ball where they can't
cause any damage to the community. In the breaking windows of local
store owner especially those of Louie Dumbrowsky's Sweet Shop on the
Finding a sandlot that belongs to the Gravesend Family Slip & Sach, after making an appointment, drives out to the Gravesend Mansion in far off Long Island to get the families approval in letting the kids play in their lot. What the boys find instead is a bunch of mixed nuts who become obsessed in using them for their crazed brain transplant experiments as well as being used as food for their pet a man eating Venus Fly-trap plant. There's also the lovely Francine Gravesend an honest to goodness vampire who hasn't had a good meal or bite in years and finds both Slip & Sach's blood supply just what she needs to keep her from drying out.
Better then you would expect "Bowery Boys" flick with the boys being targeted from a number of crazed medical experiments by the both man of the house Dr.Derek Gravesend and his crazy brother Anton for their own separat and insane operations. Sach to have his peanut brain transplanted into Derek's pride and joy Cosmo a 400 pound lowland gorilla who had recently appeared in a movie with Bela Lugoi and a pair of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis wannabes. As for slip his brain is to be used by Anton as the thinking machine for his robot Gorog who by walking into things keeps losing his head in the movie. It's Aunte Ameila Gravesend who got even better and more useful plans fro the boys in having them fed to her flesh eating plant since she's run out of stray cats and dogs in the neighborhood that she keeps it alive with! And last but not least there's the Gravesend family butler Grissom, or as the boys pronounced it "Gruesome", who himself ends up as one of the Gravesend bothers experiments that went wrong. That happens when Grissom or Gruesome mistakingly gulps down what looked like a harmless glass of coke and turned into a modern version of the Neanderthal Man.
The usual slap sticks with Slip & Sach that keep the laughs flowing in the movie but by then you can see the "Bowery Boys", after 34 films, were starting to run out of ideas and that their antics on screen were starting to get a bit stale. It was in fact Cosmo the gorilla and Gorog the tin man as well as Amelia's cute and lovable flesh eating plant together with the Gravesend, for-runners of the Adams, Family who really made the movie "The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters" well worth watching.
After a baseball breaks the window of "Louie's Sweet Shop",
problem-solving leader Leo Gorcey (as Terrence "Slip" Mahoney) decides
he his fellow "Bowery Boys" - accomplice Huntz Hall (as Horace "Sach"
Jones), brother David "Condon" Gorcey (as Chuck), and Benny "Bennie"
Bartlett (as Butch) - should get the kids playing in the Bowery off the
streets and onto a safe vacant lot. Telephoning the lot-owning
"Gravesend Family" at home, Mr. Gorcey wrangles an invitation to their
Mad scientist John Dehner (as Derek Gravesend) tells brother Lloyd Corrigan (as Anton) that Gorcey must be dim-witted, due to his mangling of the English language. The pair decide "Bowery Boys" would be perfect for head and brain transplanting experiments involving both a robot and a gorilla. Family matriarch Ellen Corby (as Amelia) would rather feed them to her man-eating tree. And, sexy vampire Laura Mason (as Francine) is looking forward to the arrival of new blood at the old house.
As a film series, "The Bowery Boys" looked like it was (generally) in an insurmountable rut, after a string of unsatisfactory films (see especially those from 1952). The quality was never all that dependable, but the movies did successfully entertain a targeted audience. While seeming to be finished, the series became sporadically good again, before the crashing in 1956.
"The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters" was one of the a high points; it was followed by the bad "Jungle Gents" (1954), then the good "Bowery to Bagdad" (1955). The title "The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters" suggests some inspiration from "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948), but this situation is more clearly swiped from Charles Addams' witty "The Addams Family" (begun as a comic strip in 1938), which spawned the memorable 1960s television series and imitations like this film.
****** The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (6/6/54) Edward Bernds ~ Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bernard Gorcey, Paul Wexler
Growing up in new jersey i remember them showing the Bowery boys movies every Sunday,and being a monster fan this was my favorite Bowery boys movie,huntz hall and Leo gorcey want to turn a vacant lot into a baseball field for the Bowery kids so they will have a safer place to play baseball,actually called stick-ball in new jersey and new york. they find it is owned by some kooky Addams family types.there's a gorilla in a cage,a man eating plant,and a big clunky robot.its all slapstick hijinks when the Bowery boys show up,some people called this the poor mans Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein.though not as good its funny,especially Leo gorceys vocabulary.as a Bowery boys movie i would say its the best one.made by allied artists(earlier known as monogram pictures)the Bowery boys went through many name changes, the Clancy street boys,dead end kids,eastside kids,and later the Bowery boys.i give this vintage gem 7 out of 10.
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