Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Bowery Boys Meet The Monsters

The only Bowery Boys movie with the phrase “Bowery Boys” in the title. 1954's THE BOWERY BOYS MEET THE MONSTERS is a funny little cheapie that’s great fun to pull out around Halloween. Director Edward Bernds and writer Elwood Ullman worked frequently with the Three Stooges, and MEET THE MONSTERS feels like it’s recycling old bits from the Stooges’ reels and Abbott & Costello (even the title is an homage to Bud and Lou’s Universal series of comic horror films). Of course, energetic old pros Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall can spin almost any material into laughs.

Usually the Boys’ supernatural opponents turn out to be fake, but MEET THE MONSTERS actually has a Hyde-like monsters, a man-eating plant, and a sexy female vampire to go along with a gorilla, a Lurch-like butler with a meat cleaver, an awesomely clunky robot named Gorog, and a pair of mad scientists as part of an eccentric family probably based on Charles Addams’ cartoons.

Mad doctor Anton (Lloyd Corrigan) wants to transplant Sach’s (Hall) head onto a gorilla (which echoes the plot of MASTER MINDS). Brother Derek (John Dehner) wants to plop Slip’s (Leo Gorcey) noggin onto Gorog to give it the ability to think (though it’s probably smarter with wires and tubes). Butch (Benny Bartlett) and Chuck (David Gorcey) are little more than extras that hang around Louie (Bernard Gorcey) and watch Slip and Sach have all the fun.

The Bowery Boys (and their earlier incarnation, the East Side Kids) spent a lot of time fumbling around haunted houses (GHOST CHASERS, SPOOK CHASERS, SPOOK BUSTERS, GHOSTS ON THE LOOSE…), and MEET THE MONSTERS is one of their better genre outings. Bernds keeps the story and jokes bouncing along quickly, backed by a gag-filled script by Bernds and Ullman. The 34th Bowery Boys flick runs just 65 minutes and was probably shot in five days, maybe six. I love this robot.

1 comment:

Jay Amabile said...

I learned about the Bowery Boys from my dad, I tried watching their movies because he's got a few of them on DVD. They were pretty entertaining, but I'm all about the The Monster Squad instead!