Friday, February 28, 2014

Werewolf of London, Calling

From England poor Larry is calling
Hands wringing, his hairy skin crawling
He's dropping a dime
But he'll stop any time,
Turned thingy that's feral and mauling.

“You don’t understand. Every night when the moon is full, I turn into a wolf.” -Larry Talbot
“You and twenty million other guys.” -Wilbur Grey

My favorite lines from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). Lon Chaney Jr is Larry and Lou Costello is Wilbur.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


This bull is like horror deluxe
Chock-full of deplorable schmucks
Though of scares there's a dearth,
With this pair making mirth
It pulled in a fortune in bucks.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948): Pairing the comedy team with the Universal Monsters proved to be big box office. The Monster is Glenn Strange, Dracula is Béla Lugosi, and the Wolf Man is Lon Chaney Jr.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fang Mail

Here's a second-class vamp first-class mailed
The old wreck bought a stamp and then sailed
We'd say "Handle with Care"
He's a scandalous scare
Save your neck and have grampa impaled.

 David Cairns

Baggage-clerk Wilbur Grey (Lou Costello) finds more than he bargained for in the shipping crate of Dracula (Béla Lugosi, returning to the role) in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Crate Expectations

Once uncanny, unruly, inspired,
Now sub-standard, a ghoul near-expired
Silly comedy teams
Will embalm future screams
And his franchise is duly retired.

The Monster (Glenn Strange) is on his last legs in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948).

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wan Voyage

In a coma, he's nailed in a crate
Shipped the lowest available rate
With no overnight charges,
Things move slowly on barges,
So this woebegone mail arrives late.

Dracula ships himself and the Monster to America, blood bank of the new world: Béla Lugosi and Glenn Strange in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948). Title by wanderful David Cairns.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Lurking Vacation

To America Drac has been shipped
And her varicose snacks he has sipped
The old bat made the schlep
'Cause the cats here ain't hep
To this carrion jack-in-the-crypt.

Count Dracula makes a transatlantic trip in his coffin in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948).

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Triumph of the Wilbur

What's contained 'neath his pate isn't grand
But his brain's in the greatest demand
With a will unreliable,
Little Wilbur is pliable,
Can be trained to obey your command.

Wilbur Grey is hypnotized by Dracula, who plans to put his submissive brain into the Monster: Béla Lugosi and Lou Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948).

Friday, February 21, 2014

Save the Lap Dance For Me

Set aflame, later frozen, then thawed
He was game, still arose to maraud
Now confronted, he's shaken
By this runt, godforsaken
For no foe he's opposed works so broad.

Lou Costello sits on Glenn Strange in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Debasement of Doom

Ghouls were fuming, mad crackpots erupted
Used to gloomy, Count Drac felt corrupted
For in musty rooms laughter
Shook loose dust from each rafter
When this humorous act interrupted.

Abbott and Costello stumble into the cellar of chills in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948). With Béla Lugosi as Dracula, and Glenn Strange as the Monster.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Now with vaudeville clowns they cavort
In a comedy chiller for sport
Chaney's anguished and wild
Bela's vicious, reviled
Though Glenn's monster stands still just like Gort.

David Cairns

On this poster the film's title is Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948).There's no Frankenstein in the story, but Lon Chaney Jr plays the Wolf Man, Bela Lugosi Dracula, and Glenn Strange is the mostly immobile Monster. Gort is the robot in The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Clown Among the Dead Men

When there's boos and bad jokes juxtaposed,
Many viewers watch shows predisposed
To a chortle or jeer
Not to mortal, stark fear
At the gruesome ghouls overexposed.

David Cairns

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948), or rather Frankenstein's Monster (Glenn Strange).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two For the Low Road


With their bagful of comedy shticks
They'll prove gags and dark drama will mix
With high hopes you'll applaud 
These two dopes will work broad
And won't flag till, like vomit, one sticks.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948).

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Double Act of Violence

On Costello and buddy a pox
These two fellows wield cudgels on yoks
Bits too silly, unsubtle
Comic thrillers could scuttle
All their bellowing bludgeons the shocks.

A lobby card for Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948), with Glenn Strange as the Monster Title by double-barreled David Cairns.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Spoof Over Their Heads

Once renowned for their comic cross-talking
Now they're hounded by ominous stalking
But Costello and Abbott
Are two fellows of habit
So they clown when the zombies start walking.

David Cairns

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948), with Glenn Strange as the Monster.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bruise On first?

Poor Costello is chained to a brute
Should we welcome his pain as a "hoot"?
Though Lou might be a clod
Bud's a frightful De Sade
Call this swell entertainment "beat cute".

Although we'll be referring to the film as simply Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, its poster title is Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, and the onscreen title is Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein. Whatever it's actual title, this horror comedy was directed by Charles Barton in 1948.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Many monsters meant boffo B.O.
Histrionics filled coffers with dough
They defined Universal
Though their final dispersal
With moronic jokes "offs" the whole show.

David Cairns

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton; 1948) featured the big trio of Universal Monsters: The Monster (Glenn Strange), Dracula (Bela Lugosi), and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This Property is Con-Damned

We have come to the end of the line
For these mummers stupendous, divine
In the cast there's just Lon
He's the last, all are gone
Save that bum 'round the bend, Carradine.

David Cairns

In the House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton; 1945), Lon Chaney Jr as the Wolf Man and John Carradine as Dracula are the only actors left providing continuity with the previous films in the series. (Relative newcomer Glenn Strange as the Monster doesn't count.)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Walking Off Into the Moonrise

So the lad's unmolested at last
Shed his shadowy, bestial, were-past
With the lunar phase full
Still the moon has no pull
But too bad for the rest of the cast.

In remission from lycanthropy, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) shares a moment with Milizia (Martha O'Driscoll) at the end of House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton; 1945). Title offered by David Cairns.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Glowering Inferno

His creator would spurn his creation
So his fate was eternal damnation
But his construct's awry
And this monster can't die
Though he hates that old burning sensation.

The Monster (Glenn Strange) burns at the climax of House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton; 1945). Title by the infernal David Cairns.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Mending

Though his friends in the cast decompose,
Larry's mended at last at the close
No more death scenes contrived,
One last breath, then revived
No more ends with half-assed, faux death throes.

In  House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton; 1945), instead of "dying" just to be revived in a sequel, Wolf Man Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) finally has a happy ending. Ttle by snappy David Cairns.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

No More Mr. Lice Guy

Many hassles this chap has endured,
Drafty castles and crapholes he's toured
His misfortune, hirsute,
Was sheer torture en route
But at last the poor sap has been cured!

As House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton; 1945)  ends, the operation to cure Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) of his lycanthropy appears to be successful. Now, instead of turning into a wolf and biting his foes, he shoots them. With Martha O'Driscoll as Milizia.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Monster Mishmash

All these horrors were meant to impress
Three or four's an event--call the press!
But this seedy film feature
Only needed one creature
Many more is, lamentably, less.

House of Dracula (1945): Watching the many off-screen monsters are Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr), Milizia (Martha O'Driscoll) and two gendarmes. Title by monster masher David Cairns.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Plot Sickens

By Count Drac he's engaged, then uprooted
By that blackguard's contagion polluted
Doc was mild, now he's changed
He's grown wild, acts deranged
And for quack-work and rages is suited.

Siegfried, the gardener (Ludwig Stossel) isn't happy to see the new Dr. Edelmann (Onslow Stevens): House of Dracula (1945).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rooming House of Dracula

Doctor Edelmann's paying the bills
On this ready-made chamber of chills
One more horrible fiend
And the floor should be cleaned
When the dead come to stay expect spills.

Dr. Edelmann (Onslow Stevens) finds it isn't easy running a hostel for horrors in House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton; 1945). With Lon Chaney Jr, as the Wolf Man.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hostel Takeover

Monsters flock to this shack by the sea
It's the Doc's, but Count Drac's a lessee
When he welcomes the ghoul
Is the fellow a fool?
Or just stock schlock film crackpot, Plot B?

Dr. Edelmann (Onslow Stevens) tries to survive a visit from the count (John Carradine) in House of Dracula (Erle C. Kenton; 1945).