The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

DailyView: Day 86, Movie 149

Boy, do we have a wild one for the DailyView today.

The Comedy of Terrors is a horror/comedy featuring the iconic Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. Vincent Price plays Waldo Trumbull who is an undertaker whose business has been failing. Trumbull was blackmailing former thief Felix Gillie, played by Peter Lorre, to be his assistant. Since the funeral business has ben slow, Trumbull and Gillie go out at night and kill old men to increase business.

Trumbull is a mean-spirited, drunken, cruel man, unhappily married to a wannabe opera singer who lacked any ability to sing Amaryllis (Joyce Jameson). Her father (Boris Karloff) lives there too, barely competent and nearly senile. Trumbull is always unsuccessfully trying to give the old man his “medicine” which is actually poison.

Major problems occur for Trumbull and Gillie when they go to try to kill their landlord John F. Black (Basil Rathbone). Chaos then ensued.

I don’t think I would have ever believed that Vincent Price and Peter Lorre would turn out to be a perfect slapstick comedic pairing, but that is exactly what has happened here. They both exhibit a tremendous amount of comedic timing and there were a few times where they reminded me of a dark Abbott and Costello. Price and Lorre were really great here.

Basil Rathbone is as over-the-top as I think I have seen in a long time. His performance has to be seen to be believed.

I loved the ending of the movie too. It is such an ironic twist to the end of the film that is really satisfying and works extremely well.

Joyce Jameson’s “singing” is unbelievably funny and about as hard to listen to as possible.

This is a dark movie with some sarcastic and evil people that is really funny.

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