Boo was re-released by Universal in 2004 on DVD as part of the extras of "Frankenstein (The Restored Version)". Other extra's are: The Files of Frankenstein, The Archives of Frankenstein, Original Cinema Trailer of Frankenstein and you can watch Frankenstein with movie-commentary by Rudy Behlmer. See more »
He'd better get away from the casket or he'll be coffin.
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As time passes, it is easy to forget that films of the past were often accompanied by co-features, newsreels, cartoons and film shorts that added to the value of an evening out. Even if the main feature was a desultory effort, entertainment could be found within the accompanying program.
Dating from 1932, Boo was a short film produced by Universal that used footage from their own Frankenstein adaption, as well as The Cat Creeps and the 1922 German version of Dracula entitled Nosferatu. With minimal new footage but clever editing, a modest yet enjoyable short was produced. Given that the film incorporates only around three minutes of new footage, production was likely limited to a single day.
Clearly a product of its time (with brisk narration bemoaning the depression and Congress' failure to deal with it), this film was likely a tolerable indulgence for film goers of the time but has become an intriguing relic of its time for the modern viewer.
On a side note, Nosferatu was ordered destroyed by Bram Stoker's widow shortly after its unauthorised production. Several prints survived and it is intriguing that a relatively clear one was available for the producers of Boo as early as 1932.
With so much of film history prior to 1950 now lost to us, the survival of Boo and its public distribution with the Frankenstein DVD provide us with an item of historical and social interest. It provides an indication of how modest resources could be used to pad out a cinema program and perhaps more importantly shows the cultural impact of Frankenstein at that time. The monster was an easily recognisable figure already and would not have been included in the short had the public not been able to instantly identify him.
Seeing a film like Boo is like opening a door to the past. Even after the door has closed the memories remain and new insight is gained by the viewer.
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