Sunday, August 18, 2013

1964 - THE COMEDY OF TERRORS, horror comedy from American International Pictures

The Comedy of Terrors is the writer Richard Matheson's idea of mixing horror and comedy together in one film.  The veteran director Jacques Tourneur did an excellent job directing this film.  The four iconic actors Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff are fun to watch.  The problem is that this film is more amusing than funny.

Vincent Price is a down on his luck undertaker who has Peter Lorre as an assistant coffin maker who's coffins fall apart.  Price is really pretty good at spinning Matheson's dialog to make it seem funnier than it is.  Price is married to a big breasted blonde who happens to be the daughter of Boris Karloff.  Price has no sexual interest in her a joke that kind of misfires for the film. 

Anyway, Price gets the idea to speed up the deaths of some of the citizens of the town to make some money but meets his match in Basil Rathbone.  Rathbone suffers from some sort of condition that makes it look like he is dead when he actually isn't. 

Richard Matheson was a good writer but even he had some misfires in his career.  It's depressing to see a great director like Jacques Tourneur getting assignments like this towards the end of his career.   

Comedy of Terrors is a pretty good looking production for a cheap AIP picture that was shot in about 10 days.

84 minutes.

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