Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (1954)

I'm wondering if the producers of this film sued the Addams Family people since there are way too many similarities to be pure coincidence...

When Louie grows tired of having to replace the windows that are being broken by the kids playing baseball in the street, Slip decides to contact the Gravesend family which owns a nearby vacant lot. The family lives out on Long Island so Slip and Sach head out on a dark and stormy night to try and arrange a deal. Arriving at the house they find a family best described as a more homicidal Addams family. As the boys try to arrange a play field, the Gravesend family try to separate their heads from their bodies.

Creaky, but damn funny send up of the haunted house genre complete with vampire, killer ape, deranged robot, werewolf and man eating plant. It’s everything you come to expect from the genre but skewed with the typical Bowery Boys nonsense. For the first half of the film it’s just Sach and Slip running scared, but for the second things get amped up to great effect when Louie and two of the gang go to rescue the boys.

As you can tell by this week of films I’ve been once again watching the films for the first time in decades. The trip through the titles has been a mixed bag. It’s been nostalgic since I used to watch them (or the second half of them) when they were run on Sunday mornings in New York ages ago. They ran on channel 5 and were counter programming to channel 11’s running of the Abbott and Costello films. I tended to prefer the Abbott and Costello films, but I never really understood why. Watching the films now I do understand, they had better films than the Bowery Boys. This isn’t to say I hated the Bowery Boys, I didn’t, I just tended to like the better Bowery Boys films, such as this one.

This is a fun film. Its a good film even if you don’t know the Bowery Boys. Granted it does help if you know the haunted house tropes, but you really don’t. This is just a great low brow throw everything at you comedy.

Definitely worth searching out.

The films are currently in a weird limbo. Apparently they are in the processed of being restored so they are not available on home video except for old VHS tapes of some episodes or from collectors. Some are running on Turner Classics but I’m not sure if this film is one of them. I know this was, part of a syndicated package that ran a few years back and was hosted by John Byner, but I don't know the current status. My advice keep an eye out for it, its fun.

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