May 28, 2014
One of the great curios of the Frankenstein films list is the 1953 Egyptian-made HARAM ALEK, sometimes spelled HRAAM ALEEK and otherwise known as ISMAIL YASSIN MEETS FRANKENSTEIN. The film is notorious as a straight up, nearly scene-for-scene remake of the classic ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948).
The A&C classic was massively influencial — not to mention, box-office gold — inspiring several knock-offs, many of them from Mexico, with local comics stepping in and squaring off with the famous monsters, complete with key gags lifted from the original. The formula had also re-ignited Abbott and Costello’s movie career and spurred them to a series of “Meet the Monsters” films of their own.
Long unseen in the West, copies of HARAM ALEK have popped up on YouTube, mostly as low quality video, sometimes sporting an annoying TV logo. The cleanest, sharpest copy is here, in its original language. Worth a peek, with its devilish, pointy-beard Dracula, a downscale Wolf Man and the curious, Herman Munster-like Frankenstein Monster. It’s required viewing if you’re a serious fan of the Abbott & Costello original.