The Comedy of Terrors (1964)

Genres - Comedy, Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Horror Comedy, Parody/Spoof  |   Release Date - Jan 22, 1964 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Find a horror fan in a titanically silly mood and you have found the perfect audience for The Comedy of Terrors, an over-the-top and often overwrought but amusing and enjoyable little "horroromp." In Comedy, the emphasis is indeed on the comedy and not on the terrors; this is all played for laughs, and sometimes that playing gets mighty broad. But it's a delight to see horrormeisters Vincent Price, Pete Lorre and Boris Karloff, as well as Basil Rathbone, letting their down -- way, way down -- and having a fun time. Karloff's role is tiny, but it's a pleasure to see him tackling a non-scary part. Price and Lorre have the most screen time, and they make the most of it. Price is delicious, and doing basically what he does when playing it straight but giving it just enough of a twist to make it hilarious. Lorre is a perverse little delight, utilizing his unique face and manner to create humor, and Rathbone displays a flair for physical comedy. Jacques Tourneur directs with barely a nod in the direction of subtlety, and that works fine with this material. Richard Matheson's screenplay is broad but quite amusing.