Frankestein el Vampiro y Compañía (1962)

Fifteen years after being made in America, Mexican director Benito Alazraki (Muñecos InfernalesSanto conta Los Zombis) and writer Alfredo Salazar (who would go on to write La Isla de los DinosauriosLas Luchadoras Conta el Robot Asesino and La Mujer Murcielago, amongst many, many other movies) made pretty much an exact copy of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

The difference is in the casting. Wilbur Grey (Lou Costello) is now the taller and funnier of the two, Paco (Manuel “Loco” Valdés). The straight man is no longer Chick Young (Bud Abbott), but now the shorter Agapito (José Jasso). That said, both of these comedy teams work at a package station where crates arrive. Except in Mexico, those crates say The Vampire and The Frankenstein Monster. Not to be a total geek, but this is a major pet peeve, as it’s always Frankenstein’s Monster.

Nonetheless, both of these creatures are real and in both movies, an attractive evil female doctor takes them away. In America, we had Dr. Sandra Mornay (Lenora Aubert). In Mexico, it’s Dr. Sofia (Nora Veryán).

There’s also a werewolf in both movies, as well as a plan for one of our heroes to have their brain get inserted into the skull of Frankenstein’s Monster and for the Vampire to take over the world — or at least the United States.

There may have been an English dubbed version of this at one point, but it’s been lost. Regardless of the film’s cheap budget and less than Universal level monsters, it’s still worth a look. The most interesting thing to me is that Dracula is super skinny, just like John Carradine usually was in Mexican vampire films, which has me wondering in the early morning hours whether or not that was a cultural thing South of the Border. I’d like to think that skinny Draculas are totally a Mexican cultural staple. Viva Draculas flacos!

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