Abbott and Costello Meet Jason! by Primo Cardinalli
painted in the style of the classic Abbott and Costello theater one-sheets
Check him out at a future Monster Mania Con!
Check him out at a future Monster Mania Con!
1948's Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is my earliest and most memorable experience watching a horror comedy. In many ways, this film was an economical choice for me to watch as a young horror-loving kid because it combined the classic band of Universal Monsters (save for Gill-Man) and a comedy team who I watched in other exploits with my Dad who introduced me to them.
In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, the legendary comedy duo from New Jersey found themselves face to face with Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein, in what is considered the last hurrah for Universal's Monsters. It was silly and spine tingling at the same time. It's been a wish of mine for many years that Abbott and Costello could come alive in some way and run into some of my favorite modern horror icons. As you can see in the painting above, it's not just a pipe dream of mine, but also of artist Primo Cardinalli who envisioned Abbott and Costello Meeting Jason at Camp Crystal Lake. With the original Camp Crystal Lake located in NJ, this would be the ultimate Garden State horror mash-up and it desperately NEEDS to be made! But how is it possible? It IS...read on!
In reading more about the film on its Wikipedia page, I never realized that this film was considered the culmination of a long run of monster movies for Universal. Fortunately though, popularity of the film revived the public's interest in monster movies and prompted Universal to produce a new wave of monster films throughout the '50s. Abbott and Costello's meeting with Frankenstein collected $3.2 million dollars at the box office in 1948. You better believe that this kind of box office magic would still work today.
The idea of seeing Abbott and Costello trapped in today's horror landscape excites me to no end.
It's obvious that Hollywood just can't seem to get horror comedies right and it's a shame because there's a place for them as long as they're respectful to the genre. There's been a slew of films that have incorporated classic movie monsters in a comedic way that have worked like Monster Squad and Hotel Transylvania amongst others.
Instead of poking fun at the Universal Monsters, Abbott and Costello's adventures always paid them the ultimate tribute by presenting them properly and without compromising the monster's scare factor. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein wasn't exactly chilling, but the monsters maintain their imposing nature. Interestingly, Boris Karloff supposedly refused to be a part of the production because he felt it would be insulting to mix slapstick and horror.
As the Scary Movie franchise and this year's A Haunted House have proven, poking fun at horror isn't making any friends in the horror community, nor does the formula produce hit movies which is why it's time for to get a little retro. A Haunted House 2 is coming next year, but what for? Nobody wants that and it's time to go back to the basics. At first, old fashioned spooky fun may seem far fetched, but I believe that there's still hope left to one day experience this type of throwback.
art by Nickelodeon storyboard artist Scott Cooper
I always thought it would be such an awesome idea to pit Abbott and Costello vs. Jason Voorhees. You may be thinking that I'm totally off my rocker for trying to cast two dead comedians to appear in a new movie, but bear with me. If I had it my way, this movie wouldn't be some weird CGI movie where real footage from other Abbott and Costello films was culled together to create a whole new one because that's silly Hollywood crap reserved for Super Bowl commercials. My thinking is that the best presentation of a film like this would be in a lush, 1940's style 2-D animation. The voices can be provided by Abbott and Costello impersonators or any number of the best voice over guys in the business could do it. Bud and Lou would have to be skewed a little but younger, but I can totally see the duo being revived in cartoon form for a modern kids audience. Just take a look at Scott Cooper's art above and you'll see what I mean.
Who would Abbott and Costello run into in this movie? Jason Voorhees is easily my top choice for his own feature, but if there were an ensemble cast of monsters like in Meets Frankenstein, I'd love to see them have run-ins with Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Chucky, and maybe even an appearance by Jigsaw and Billy the Puppet? You can use your imagination, because with 2-D animation the sky is the limit. We already know who's going to paint the poster and the bluray box, thanks Mr. Cardinalli!