31 Weeks to Halloween: Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
You'll shiver... you'll shudder... you'll shout with laughter!
The countdown is really on now as we inch closer and closer to the best holiday of the entire year, Halloween. And since it's Saturday, that means we're checking out yet another Universal Monsters movie as a part of our 31 Weeks to Halloween countdown - and today's hilariously terrifying feature reunites us with the epic comedy duo in Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man! Last week, as a part of our countdown, we laughed as they encountered a handful of creatures in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and that is one of the biggest differences between these two films; in the last film, the duo cross paths with Dracula, The Wolf Man, and Frankenstein's Monster as they get sucked into a world of supernatural fun, and in this film, they befriend not the Invisible Man Jack Griffin but a man who goes invisible and uses Abbott and Costello to help solve a murder he's involved in. And while this movie's Invisible Man may not be the Invisible Man, the film plays out exactly as an original Universal Monsters movie filled with all of the amazing practical effects that brought the character to life in the previous movies. While the Invisible Man movies were always loosely comedic and full of lighthearted humor, the introduction of Abbott and Costello into the equation is just destined for greatness. For a movie that is a crossover of two different series, the movie is remarkably well done, tells a creative story that ties the two series together and absolutely works even as a standalone production. Just as with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, I honestly cannot recommend this movie enough if you're a fan of the Invisible Man series - you'll fall in love with the classic special effects all over again!
Lou Francis (Lou Costello) and Bud Alexander (Bud Abbott) are fresh out of detective school when they are approached by a man trying to hire them for an incredibly suspicious case. As the man closes the blonds to the office and asks for the duo's help, a radio announcer warns listeners about a boxer named Tommy who had just been accused of murdering his manager and who has escaped from jail. You guessed it - the man who's hired Lou and Bud is Tommy Nelson (Arthur Franz), and he's come to the detectives in an attempt to prove his innocence and clear his name. He has the duo bring him to Dr. Philip Gray (Gavin Muir) to have himself injected with an invisibility serum so that he can escape the police and find a way to prove that he did not murder his manager. Long story short, Tommy ends up taking the serum and goes invisible, and from there, things only escalate for Lou and Bud as they sneak around with Tommy and get into some pretty juicy drama with a professional boxer and his sketchy gang. Will Bud and Lou be able to prove Tommy's innocence without looking like mad men, or will the two end up in a nuthouse for talking about a man who nobody can see?! Find out in... ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN!
All of Abbott and Costello's classic family-friendly humor aside, this movie is a legitimate Invisible Man movie. It's got all of the story, effects, and elements that all of the previous films in the series have. The addition of the two comedians only makes it that much better, and their interactions with the Invisible Man really seals the deal for how hilarious and genius this movie is. Along with last week's movie, what really makes these movies special is that interaction that the monsters have with the comedians, and the really creative ways that the two groups cross paths and interact with each other. Unfortunately for Bud and Lou, they find themselves knee deep in trouble yet again in this movie as they must avoid a gang and prove the innocence of a man that nobody can even see. So with all of the Invisible Man movies in the series, the real highlight of the movies are the way that the creators can work with an empty screen; what can they make appear on screen, move around and really give the impression that there is an invisible man in the room with you? Universal again knocked it out of the park with this movie and I honestly feel that this movie has some of the best practical effects in the series; from moving cups and eating bread to tearing up a boxing bag and knocking out a professional boxer, the film gives the monster plenty of on screen - well I guess it's off screen - time and Lou and Bud have one hell of a week with the guy. The film's got everything that makes an Invisible Man movie awesome and having the comedy duo there to stir up some trouble with him makes Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man honestly one of the best horror comedies ever, alongside their previous monster movie clash. Words cannot convey the enjoyment this movie brings, so stop wasting your time and go check it out!!!