The East Side Kids meet Bela Lugosi again!
James McDonald | Southern California | 03/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The East Side Kids (Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Sammy Morrison, Bobby Stone, Billy Benedict, Stanley Clements) meet Bela Lugosi (Dracula ) again! They met him before as "Nardo" in SPOOKS RUN WILD" (1941). This is the second East Side Kids film William Beaudine has directed since CLANCY STREET BOYS (1943). William Beaudine believes in one takes only if it can be done. It was not rare for an East Side Kid film to be done in six days. Boy did he keep a "one-take" this time! Bela thought he would have some fun. The scene where Bela Lugosi is inside the painting and sneezes the offensive word, "s***", was the first take. So Beaudine left it in the film. The plot this time: Jack (Rick Vallin) is going to marry Betty (Ava Gardner) and they have bought a huge house two miles out in the country from the subway. Later, the agent tells him, the house next door is haunted. Mugg's (Leo Gorcey) gets word that the Katzman's mob (an in-joke to producer, Stan Katzman) will crash the wedding. Bela Lugosi as "Emil" is in town. He doesn't want Jack to have that house on Elm Street. Even Emil's assistant tells him the house next door is haunted. The assistant gives him some cash and a business card to call to close the deal. Of course, he will not. Later, the boys find the card on the floor. The boys decide to decorate Jack's new house , but they go by the number on the card and go to the haunted house instead. They don't know the mistake they made. Watch the fun begin with the boys and Bela Lugosi. This is Bobby Jordan's last appearance with the East Side Kids until BOWERY CHAMPS (1944). Then re-joined them for the Bowery Boys films. The next films in the series: Mr. Muggs Steps Out (1943), MILLION DOLLAR KID (1944)."
Good comedy entry in Dead End Kids series
Ned | USA | 12/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"But the only problem as I see it is there is hardly any even bogus supernatural elwment (despite Dracula--Bela Lugosi--being in it). All the boys do while in the house is hear a few noises and see someone stand in a picture frame. Their first entry with Lugosi (Spooks Run Wild) was a much better entry for the horror-comedy genre. This is a great, entertaining film but it has little to do with horror. Ghost and Mr. Chcken it ain't!"
Have to love em!
K. Napier | Loyall, Kentucky USA | 07/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The East Side Kids/Dead End Kids/Bowery Boys did it again. All your favorite guys are back again for some more fun. If you like Abbott & Costello...The Three Stooges....or The Little Rascals/Our Gang then your going to like these guys. Its fun for the whole family, good viewing you can trust with the kids. Add Bela Lugosi and a little old time spooky fun. Its good to finally see an almost forgotten piece of film history restored thanks to our friend Loyd Kaufman at Troma Studios."
A two-star for non-Lugosi folks
Patrick W. Crabtree | Lucasville, OH USA | 10/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The black and white Monogram picture was also known as, "The East Side Kids Meet Bela Lugosi," a cumbersome title at best! It's the 1943 follow-up to "Spooks Run Wild," another Bowery Boys/Lugosi romp which was popular two years earlier.
East Side Kids - Spooks Run Wild
This one begins a little slow but gets much better as it moves along. Leo Gorcey's sister, (played by Ava Gardner!), is getting married to a guy who has bought a fixer-upper home for the two to live in. Leo's gang goes over to decorate but they stumble into the wrong house, next door, which is bulging with Nazis ("The New Order"), who are, of course, up to no good. From there on, there's a lot of spooky peeping through wall picture eye-holes, shouting, and other buffoonery, but it's all great fun.
While not nearly as good as "Spooks," this is still a great Lugosi entry. If you're not a Lugosiite, you probably ought to pass on this one. However, fans should consider it as the five star flick that I dubbed it."