The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters
Ben Schwalb for Allied Artists
directed by Edward Bernds
starring the Bowery Boys (= Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, David Condon (= David Gorcey), Benny Bartlett), Bernard Gorcey, Lloyd Corrigan, Ellen Corby, John Dehner, Laura Mason, Paul Wexler, Jack Diamond, Paul Bryar, Pat Flaherty, Rudy Lee, and as gorilla: Steve Calvert, as robot: Norman Bishop
written by Elwood Ullman, Edward Bernds, music by Marlin Skiles
Bowery Boys, formerly Dead End Kids, East Side Kids
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Because neighbourhood kids playing baseball in the streets constantly
breaking the storefront windows of Louie's (Bernard Gorcey) Sweet Shop,
Slip (Leo Gorcey) and Sach (Huntz Hall) have taken it upon themselves to
find the kids a new playground, and eventually they come up with the
barren land next to Gravesend Manor. Slip calls the Gravesends, a recluse
family not wanting to have to do anything with anyone, but from Slip's
(trademark) brutalization of the English language, they figure he must be
of a rather primitive mind, which would fit their experiments perfectly.
Because you see, the Gravesends are all creatures right out of a horror
movie, brother Anton (Lloyd Corrigan) needs a brain for his robot Gorog
(Norman Bishop), brother Derek (John Dehner) needs one for his gorilla
(Steve Calvert), then there's sister Amelia (Ellen Corby), who grows a
flesh-eating tree in the hall, and niece Francine (Laura Mason), who's a
vampire. And even the butler Grisson (Paul Wexler) is creepy as can be.
And once Slip and Sach arrive at the mansion, they're invited to stay for
the night - which leads to many wacky chases, with both the gorilla and
the robot running wild eventually, and things only made worse when Louie
arrives with Slip and Sach's friends Chuck (David Condon) and Butch
(Bennie Bartlett), but of course, in the end all end happily, with the
boys not only getting their new baseball training grounds but also a new
pitcher with the Gravesends' robot ...
With the Bowery
Boys movies, especially the later ones (and The Bowery Boys
Meet the Monsters is a film near the tail end of the series), you know
what you get, and that's Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall pretty much doing their
shtick, with the situations changing but their humour, while adapting to
whatever they're thrown in, essentially unchanged - so whether you like
this film is largely dependent on how much you like the duo, because
basically everything that's happening around them is basically just a wild
collection of horror clichés that sure has its certain charm because of
its relative incoherency and that to a point actually anticipates TV's The
Munsters from roughly a decade later, but at the same time it
doesn't show much in terms of actual insight, things just seem thrown
together, making this not a good genre parody, rather an amusing mess -
but amusing at least.