HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky’s II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff Suspicious CharactersBuy this film here.
Year: 1949
Director: Charles Barton
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Boris Karloff, Lenore Aubert, Gar Moore, Donna Martell, Alan Mowbray, James Flavin, Roland Winters, Nicholas Joy, Mikel Conrad, Morgan Farley, Victoria Horne, Percy Helton, Claire Du Brey, Harry Hayden, Vincent Renno
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: A successful lawyer, Strickland (Nicholas Joy), has arrived at this swanky hotel and the press are around to greet him, although the resident detective Casey Edwards (Bud Abbott) wonders what the fuss is all about. When Strickland goes up to the front desk to check in, the bellboy, Freddy Phillips (Lou Costello) accidentally hits him with his golfing bag, drops it on his foot and allows the clubs to fall out. The lawyer is outraged and demands to see the manager, with the result that Freddy is sacked; incensed, the bellboy gives him a piece of his mind and tells him he will get his own back, which doesn't sound too helpful after Strickland is found murdered...

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was such a huge hit for Universal that a similar thrill comedy was ordered, and this was the hastily assembled result. Apparently they gave away the ending in the title by collaring co-star Boris Karloff as the killer, but either this was an example of misdirection or they were simply being sensational with an attention-grabbing name as it's not a big revelation to say that he does not play that role, and really only has one setpiece where he could possibly live up to it. This is the scene that many find to be the best in the picture, where Karloff's Swami tries to hypnotise Freddy into committing suicide.

"You're going to commit suicide if it's the last thing you do!" is the memorable line from that bit of business, but apart from that Karloff is in this for about five minutes, if that, which is a letdown for his fans who may have been expecting more. Not that there is not an abundance of shifty characters who the culprit could really have been, and the only thing we're certain of is that Abbott and Costello (and the actors playing the police, I suppose) are not the guilty party. Not that the cops think that way, and the script contrives to put Freddy especially into sticky situations that may be perfectly innocent to him, but to everyone else makes him look deeply suspicious.

All in the name of getting that next laugh, of course, and if there was one team adept at the comedy thriller it was this duo. It would be nice for someone to update their style of crosstalk banter and slapstick to the descendants of such movies, as this kind of thing died out too soon: imagine a slasher movie that employed the conventions of a forties humorous suspense flick. It might be way to refresh the genre, as not even the comedy horror of the eighties could have been said to owe that much to efforts like this. As it is, Meet the Killer is borderline horror at best, and there is much mileage gained from the old missing body routine, so much so that there seems to be quite a few missing bodies for our heroes to contend with.

Nevertheless, the formula is pretty much as you would expect, so much so that this was judged a misfire after the genuinely well made Meet Frankenstein (the leading lady of that, Lenore Aubert, makes a return here as one of the suspects). But time has been kinder to this, as where your expectations are lowered Bud and Lou can surprise you with a witty line or item of silliness that generates a laugh or two. It is a little laboured in other respects, but seeing as how about a billion of these types of movies were made in this decade, which was drawing to a close anyway, Meet the Killer could be viewed as one of the last gasps of a venerable comic tradition. One odd thing, though, seasoned character actor Alan Mowbray appears in this as someone called Melton, which makes one wonder if the scriptwriters were fans of pork pies? Music by Milton Schwarzwald.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3876 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: