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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Bowery Boys Meet The Monsters (1954)

Starring Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bernard Gorcey, Lloyd Corrigan, John Dehner
Directed by Edward Bernds
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

The Bowery Boys visit the Gravesends, who own a vacant lot the boys want to ask permission for the local kids to use, but find out too late they're mad scientists who have designs on the boys' brains.

Although the exploits of the Bowery Boys were likely aimed at children, there were likely a number of kids in the audience who grew up with them into adulthood, after first watching their adventures in earlier film series as the Dead End Kids, The Little Tough Guys, and the East Side Kids.  So even though the plots of their films didn't become any more complex, there was likely an appreciative audience that kept coming back for more of their adventures, and this film should have been more familiar comfort food for them, with Gorcey's "Slip" Mahoney again "mangling the English language" as one character remarks, and Huntz Hall's "Sach" continuing to show his smarts, or rather lack of them.  I enjoyed it, and the boys tap into the same success Abbott & Costello did when they met their own monsters in this film, playing off a pair of mad scientists, a vampire, a savage gorilla, a man-eating plant, and a werewolf-like butler.  It's not as polished or good-looking as Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein but they probably had only a fraction of that budget, and for the kids in the audience, I'm sure it was good enough.

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