24 December 2004 | The_Void
A treat for the horror fan!
This delightful horror comedy romp stars horror legends Vincent Price and Peter Lorre as an undertaker and his assistant, who have problems paying the rent due to a lack of customers. However, the only reason work is slow is because people aren't dying. And that's a fact that our hero has no qualms about changing. The undertaker profession is ripe for making a black comedy out of, and this film makes the best use of that. It is true that the film isn't consistently funny, but most of the jokes in the film work; and some of them are downright hilarious. Aside from the two legends already mentioned, this film also features a performance from another of horrors greatest stars; Boris Karloff. This isn't the first time these three great stars have worked together, but seeing them on screen will always be a treat for the horror fan and it certainly proves to be in this movie, especially since it's done with a big smile on it's face and its obvious that all concerned had a good time making it.
Vincent Price isn't an actor that I would expect to blend well with straight comedy, as I'm used to seeing him in more macabre outings, but he is really good at it. His delivery of one-liners is faultless, and this performance shows his range as an actor. Peter Lorre has a fantastic screen presence and he's not an actor that you can see and then forget. There's nobody quite like Peter Lorre, and that's what makes him so great. His pathetic persona blends well on screen with Price's amoral and sarcastic one, and the two make an awesome comedy duo. As if this wasn't enough for you, Boris Karloff joins them as Price's father in-law. Karloff doesn't get to do a lot in the film, but he too bodes well with comedy and it's a treat to see him along with another two legends. Also of note is the fact that the film is directed by one of horror's true greats - Jacques Tourneur. This film isn't up there with his atmospheric masterpieces such as 'Cat People' or 'I Walked With a Zombie', but it's a solid film in his oeuvre and is highly recommended.