REVIEW: The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
Film Review 38
Title: The Comedy Of Terrors
Release Year: 1963
Genre: Comedy & Horror
Cast: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone & Boris Karloff
Plot: An undertaker can no longer pay his rent because of the lack of dead people, so he decides to kill people himself to gain clients.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️＿ ＿
I was extremely happy to find a film that had four horror film legends; Karloff, Price, Rathbone and Lorre. The four had great chemistry, I felt as though they were long time friends having a great laugh on camera.
I feel I had seen this film as a child because as soon as I understood where the story was heading, I instantly felt it wasn't something new to me. It is something I could've watched with my father. Definitely his sense of humour 😅. It reminds me a lot of old British comedy, very slapstick but done in a clever way with perfect comedic timing.
Vincent Price plays Mr. Trumbull, who had taken over a funeral service belonging to his father-in-law, Karloff (Mr. Hinchley). Trumbull is conniving, selfish and evil as a boss and despises everyone, including his family. After watching the film, I cannot imagine someone playing the role more devilishly than Price.
Peter Lorre plays Mr. Gillie, Trumbull's pathetic assistant with a criminal past. Gillie is secretly in love with Trumbull's wife, he can't resist the sound of her singing voice. Lorre is one of the very few actors where his mere presence makes the film that more entertaining to watch. I think the role of a pushover suits him best, that's why I loved him in this film.
Boris Karloff plays Mr. Hinchley, an ill father-in-law to Price. Throughout the film, he sits around saying nonsense and attempting to take his medicine but never gets to it. I was rather shocked that Karloff had such a small role but later learned that he was supposed to play Mr. Black but as he was ill at the time and couldn't handle too many scenes, Rathbone was brought in to play the role instead. Still he did a perfect performance for such a little part.
Although I think Karloff would've been perfect for the role, I'm still satisfied with Rathbone taking on. Mr. Black, is a landlord who demands Trumbull to pay his year overdue rent. This made him a victim of Trumbull's but you'll have to watch to know if he succeeded.
Whilst watching the film, I felt that some jokes were kind of unfunny but when I remembered them hours later, I couldn't stop laughing. Only watch it if you're in a silly mood 😂
NOTE: There was supposed to be a sequel film called 'Sweethearts and Horrors', which was intended to star Price, Lorre, Karloff and Tallulah Bankhead. However 'Comedy of Terrors' was a flop so they didn't go through with it. I wish they had, I'm sure it would've been so entertaining to see Bankhead with the gang.