A & C Meet Franky (Blu-ray)

As part of Universal’s 100th anniversary, the studio is releasing several significant titles on the HD Blu-ray platform. Reviewed here is one of my favorite films Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). I like the packaging of these Universal Blu-ray discs. The familiar transparent blue plastic case slips into an outer gate fold sleeve secured with a small Velcro-style patch. There’s a bit of trivia written about the film and other productions from 1948. Some people throw these outer jackets in the garbage -not this cat! I even kept the marketing strips or Obi found on Japanese laserdiscs (rest in peace). I’m a pathological hoarder and keep it all. As a result, I am running out of space and need to erect a warehouse dedicated to storage of plastic media! Anyway, I got on a tangent. Nice packaging Universal!

The disc comes with some supplements. I like David Skal’s documentary Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters (2000), and the running film commentary by film historian Gregory Mank. He’s informative and packs considerable trivia into his discourse. By the way, the opening animation titles were likely rendered by Walter Lance (creator of Woody Woodpecker). I wonder if Lance also worked on Bela’s transformation to bat sequences? There’s a possibility I think that Lance didn’t perform the animation work in AC Meet Franky. Various internet sources suggest that Lance and Universal-International’s new management were on shakey ground in the late 1940’s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Lantz

So, how does the film look? It looks terrific down to the tiniest yak hair fiber on Lon Chaney’s face. However, I don’t see a whole lot of improvement from older DVD prints. By comparison, the new Jaws Blu-ray is really special with a full-boat restoration. Folks looking to upgrade an old VHS copy might want to consider the Blu-ray disc, and for around $15 it’s a no-brainer for genre buffs.


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