The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

The Comedy of Terrors
Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Written by Richard Matheson and Elsie Lee
Alta Vista Productions
First viewing/Amazon Instant

Felix Gillie: [stuck on a roof] Why did I ever escape from prison? It was so peaceful there.

With this cast and director you can’t help having fun.

The deaf and ancient Amos Hinchley (Boris Karloff) and Waldo Trumbull (Vincent Price) are partners in a mortuary firm.  Waldo came into the business via a marriage to Hinchley’s daughter Amaryllis, whom he despises more every time she opens her mouth.  Hinchley’s assistant Felix Gille admires Amaryllis from a far.

The business is far from prospering.  Understandable since they reuse the same coffin for each burial, Amos can’t deliver a eulogy to save his life, and Amaryllis insists on singing over the body.  Finally. landlord John Black (Basil Rathbone) demands the rent money or else.  Waldo decides that doing away with Jack will kill two birds with one stone.  But Black’s catalepsy throws a spanner in the works.

This isn’t exactly laugh out loud hilarious but it is fun to see all these folks do their stuff.  My favorite was Karloff as a thoroughly befuddled old man.  I hadn’t seen him like that before and he has nice comic timing.


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