30 September 2006 | JoeKarlosi
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) **1/2
Bud and Lou are two down and out adventurers in Egypt struggling to get some quick cash for a trip back home. They learn that a certain Dr. Zoomer has recently unearthed the mummy known as Klaris, "the Prince of Evil", and requires two good men to help him transport it back to the states. But before they can volunteer their services, Zoomer is murdered by two devoted followers of Klaris. Abbott and Costello then become absorbed in a three-way tug of war to secure the mummy and possess a sacred medallion which could lead to the discovery of the tomb of Princess Ara and her treasure in the bargain. Also competing for the prize is the dangerous Madame Rontru (played by sultry Marie Windsor) and her two henchmen (one played by Michael Ansara). But the Cult of Klaris (headed by Richard Deacon, who seems bland and awkward in this role) is determined to intervene and reclaim the mummy and the medallion of Princess Ara for themselves and preserve the legend.
This was the next-to-final film for the aging Abbott and Costello, but yet it works decently considering this late period. The crazy plot helps to create some humorous shenanigans including a classic routine where Lou accidentally eats the sacred medallion hidden inside his hamburger, and another where he gets frustrated telling Abbott to "take his pick", yet Bud keeps choosing to dig with a shovel. The murder of Dr. Zoomer and the attempt by the killers to hide the corpse allows Costello another chance to go through his "disappearing bodies" shtick, though it's better done here with less repetition than it was in ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER. Both comedians are in great form throughout this comedy, and they're given some funny lines steadily throughout the picture (BUD: "How stupid can you get?" LOU: "How stupid do you want me to be"?)
For monster movie fans, it's something of a letdown. The mummy Klaris (one wonders if this name was intentional or an error by the writers if they really meant him to be the same "Kharis" as in the 1940s mummy series) does not appear very often, and he's pretty poor looking; his bandaged carcass looks more like an over-sized pair of white pajamas, and his mushy face resembles a left-over egg roll. Klaris is played by Edwin Parker, a stuntman from back in the heyday of the classic Universal monster films who used to stand in as Frankenstein's monster, the Wolf Man and even "Kharis" himself.
**1/2 out of ****