Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Abbott & Costello "Horror:" The Better Halloween Alternative, #4

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This Abbott & Costello vehicle was originally planned as a Bob Hope comedy titled Easy Does It. The Hope role is fairly evenly divided between Bud Abbott, as hotel house detective Casey Edwards, and Lou Costello, as bumbling bellhop Lou Costello. When a much-hated criminal attorney (Nicholas Joy) is murdered at a resort hotel, there's no shortage of suspects: in fact, practically every guest had an excellent motive for killing the victim. The suspects conspire to pin the killing on poor Freddie, but when he comes in possession of a valuable piece of evidence, he is slated for extermination himself. The more Freddie and his pal Casey try to stay out of trouble, the more trouble comes their way--especially when two more murders occur. The climax takes place in an underground cavern, where Freddie is nearly drowned by the hooded mystery killer. The film's title is one of the most misleading in movie history. Cast as a red-herring swami, Boris Karloff is not the killer (whose true identity is obvious from the outset, especially to veteran moviegoers). Though his footage is extremely limited, Karloff shares the film's funniest scene, in which he tries to hypnotize Costello into committing suicide ("You'll kill yourself if it's the last thing you do!)

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