Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Movie review - "The Horror of it All" (1963) ** (warning: spoilers)

Poor old Pat Boone was considered one of 20th Century Fox's main assets in the late 50s and early 60s but when Darryl F Zanuck took the studio back over he parcelled him off to Robert Lippert for two cheapies - The Yellow Canary and this one.

This is an old dark house mystery horror comedy in the vein of The Cat and the Canary and The Old Dark House with Boone as a young man who wants to marry a young Englishwoman and meets her crazy relatives. They include an Elvira-type sexy dame right out of Mark of the Vampire, a doddery old inventor right out of You Can't Take It With You and a bed ridden grandpa and vicious relative locked up right out of The Old Dark House.

I enjoyed this for the most part - it was unpretentious and cheerful, with Pat Boone looking at home as an amiable straight man surrounded by character actors. Derivative to be sure, but a decent cast - including Dennis Price (the Brits always do dodderying eccentrics well). It's in black and white, the director was Terence Fisher.

The film did drag towards the end - I think it ran out of charm for me (it's barely over 70 minutes). You realise there aren't many jokes. And the actions of Boone's fiance - pretending to be the baddy to help Boone - don't really make sense.

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