Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shipment #15-6-1948

One of my all-time favorite films ever is Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948.) I suppose I could go into all the details of being a creepy monster kid and catching every repeat showing of this wonderfully silly (and scary) Universal classic on television here in the midwest in the 70's. But the movie still speaks for itself over half a century later, consistantly finding more rabid fans with each new generation... my own five year old is in fact OBSESSED with it now too and we watch it together constantly.

Seriously, what's not to like? You have Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, The Wolfman, and even The Invisible Man (in a brief cameo!) And while the comedy stylings of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello might feel a bit dated to a more impatient, modern audience, their slapsticky, comedy team magic never fails to deliver to one film lover in particular-- me!

"Shipment #15-6-1948" is essentially this: portion of a crate that once contained either the remains of Frankenstein's Monster or Dracula himself! Nailed to this priceless hunk of aged, splintery wood are artifacts pertaining to their diabolic delivery to McDougal's House of Horror in La Mirada, Florida. (Click any image to ENLARGE!)

(Unlike the previous three Arcanifacts that rest atop the mantle in my living room, "Shipment #15-6-1948" hangs beautifully, and ominously, on the wall in my office!)

Detail: Vintage newspaper advertisement from McDougal's House of Horrors

Detail: Cargo manifesto signed by Wilbur Gray and Chick Young when accepting the monsterous shipment on that fateful day in 1948! NOTE: burned business card from Dr. Sandra Mornay at the top! It is rumored that she was once Count Dracula's lab assistant!

Detail: Urgent telegram from Lawrence Talbot (aka The Wolfman) sent from London, warning US Customs and Mr. McDougal not to open the crates!

Detail: McDougal's House of Horrors shipping label still on the side of crate.

Detail: Destination origin stickers from Ingolstadt and Transylvania, do these really need further explaination? (NOTE: The Wolf Brand Oranges sticker is an inside joke to those of you who know this film well!)

Thanks again to Scot Ryersson for capturing the spirit of this comedy/horror film classic, and producing another amazing Arcanifact for me to enjoy!
--Stephen Banes, St Louis MO

For more info on the hilariously spooky misadventures concerning Wilbur Gray and Chick Young (aka Abbott and Costello) please click HERE!