Abbott and Costello meet the mummy

mummy

1955

Who’s in this?
Well Bud Abbott and Lou Costello of course in their last film together. This is one of several “meet the monsters” type films that the classic comic duo did.

Some familiar faces are in this one including the late Michael Ansara (the Klingon Kang from Star Trek’s The day of the dove as well as appearances in Lost in space, Buck Rogers and tons of other stuff) plus Richard Deacon (Mel from the Dick Van Dyke show and Lumpy’s dad on Leave it to Beaver).

What’s this about? At this point in their career Bud and Lou had been in every fix and setting known and this film just falls into that same pattern. Our pair end up getting mixed up with the murder of a scientist and a group of crooks and the followers of an ancient ruler are both after a medallion that Lou ends up swallowing! What a maroon, what a card uh… give me some other 1950’s Bugs Bunny type names. Well anyways Bud and Lou, the crooks lead by a black wig wearing sour woman and the ancient mummy worshippers all end up in a tomb that looks rather tidy for it’s age. They must have had some great ancient Egyptian tomb cleaners. Anyways Bud dresses up as a mummy as does one of the crooks as they both hope to scare off the others. However the real mummy pops up with a grrr, a growl, an arrr and a errr. He lumbers about in his rather floppy mummy suit but each group thinks it’s their mummy. I want my mummy, I want my mummy oh sorry. After some tomb chasing around, ensuing hilarity and an unexplained appearance by a giant lizard and a cheap looking skeleton the real mummy gets blown up kabloooooie. The baddies are captured and Bud and Lou turn the tombs into a club which was somehow supposed to show tribute to the mummy (?!). Yes nothing says class like a horn section dressed as mummies. Roll the credits and so long Bud and Lou.

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The negatives- Almost all the gags are rather typical for the team which is good for consistency but unspectacular if you have watched all of their films over and over. As with many of their films A and C have some dancers and singers throw in which always seemed like filler to me and this film is no exception. Our duo have character names here yet not far into the movie they just seem to give up and call each other by their real names instead for much of the film.

The positives-It’s a great comedy duo and a mummy so hey that’s some big points in the plus category. Even though many of the gags are familiar I still chuckled a bit. Lou’s whack a mole with the mummy scene was a hoot and the medallion in the burger gag had me fixed even though I’ve seen this film like 50 times. The pacing was generally good too as they keep it going. Some great comedy teams like Laurel and Hardy and the Three Stooges had some groaners at the end of their careers, but Bud and Lou ended with a decent outing.

I probably first saw this film when I like seven because a local UHF channel showed a Bud and Lou film every Saturday. This one isn’t the classic that meet Frankenstein was but it’s a likable enough little film.

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Day the world ended

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1956

Who’s in this?
Well, the main reason I wanted to see this film was because it stars I am a big Creature from the black lagoon fan and this one has the male star of the first film Richard Denning and the female star of the second Creature film-Lori Nelson. Mike Connors (listed as Touch Connors) is in here too over a decade before becoming a household name as Mannix.

What’s this about? So this film says it begins with the end oh so a minute in and lets roll the cred…oh, wait there’s more to this film (or so they say). When you were a kid did you ever go visit relatives and for whatever reason you had to sit for what seemed liked forever listening to adults talk about something you had no interest in? Yeah, well this film has a lot of that sitting around and blabbering on so take a seat sonny and missy and prepare for not much. So a nuclear war takes place and a few people survive. Eventually they end up at this one isolated house hosted by a guy named Jim who has not only been planning for the end of the world but seems excited about it because he is a ruler now with his gun and his key to the pantry. Yacka Yacka as people drone on, they fear radioactive rain and have to eat less. Then we get some soap opera stuff if your eyes are still open. An old guy geezer and his mule take a drink of some sour stuff and everyone else sits around growling. One guy in the house sneaks out at times, but he’s starting to change as his face looks bumpy like he stuck his chin in a beehive. The main guy Jim refers to the greaser Tony as “I know his kind, spawned in bilge water”. The middle aged woman gets drunk and starts dancing while telling of her glory days-ho,hum. Jim fell asleep which means he must have been watching what I was watching. A couple of the group go wandering off look for the bumpy chin guy who ends up changing even more before getting killed and his look is actually called “atomic skin” here. No, really they said that. Anyways the movie crawls on, the old scruffy guy goes after where he thinks gold is. Then we get rain, one of the woman Louise takes a swim while something in the shadows watches her. Later she is sleeping and feels the need to get up and stroll out into a woods where she meets a bumpy beastie and she promptly fates. Way to handle the situation. Rick goes after Louise because there isn’t anything else to do. Tony the bad old slickster gets a gun from Jim. Meanwhile outside Rick goes after the monster who up close has three eyes and looks like a rotten turd with plastic spikes on it’s head. The rain comes, the monster flees yet the pain lingers as the film goes on. Eventually the creature starts smoking and falls over. Louise feels sorry for the dead monster and I feel sorry for myself for having to watch this whole thing. Tony plans to kill Rick and Louise as they approach the house. Jim shoots Tony to stop him and apparently once a nuclear war happens bullets don’t cause holes or blood as Tony just falls over with no apparent damage from what should have been three point blank shots. Jim tells Louise and Rick there is a future for them and then he dies-lucky dog. Roll the credits.

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You all come back now, you here.

The negatives- It’s like they had 12 minutes of ideas and they stretched it into 82 minutes. Slow doesn’t begin to describe the painful pace this film went through. Even the monster doesn’t help a lot because they don’t use it very much. Maybe it was made of such cheap material that they were afraid it would fall apart if it was in a fake fight.

The positives-The only reason to see this film might be for the cast. Quite honestly everyone tries fairly hard with the parts they have. With a lesser cast (and no Black Lagoon alumni) I would have turned this off around the 25 minute mark.

I had high hopes for this, but it was tough to make it through the whole thing.

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Tony’s toxic taco gas will get us all!

Revenge of the creature

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1955

Who’s in this?
John Agar as Professor Clete Ferguson, studier of fish, hot female scientist and gillmen. Agar was once married to Shirley Temple, did a few films with John Wayne and eventually (much to his dismay) ended up in monsters films like this one, Tarantula, The mole people, Daughter of Dr, Jekyll, Attack of the puppet people and more.

Lori Nelson as Helen Dobson. Attracts Clete and the gillman/creature. She got into show business of sorts two doing dancing. She was in Hollywood by her late teens and worked fairly steady in tv and film for almost two decades.

*Both Nelson and Agar reprised theire roles from this film in the spoof The Naked Monster which was done almost fifty years later.

John Bromfield as Joe Hayes a worker at the marine place. Also Clete thinks he’ll try to scoop up Lori but you not literally. Bromfield worked in a lot of westerns from the late 40’s and onto the 1960’s.

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How was I supposed to know the waterbed was going to burst?

What’s this about? Holy Toledo I think the gillman is still alive! For the sake of having a sequel I hope he is. Well, he’s captured and this time he’s carted back to the mainland where he’s stuck in a marineland type place to be dealt with and for a bunch of tourists to come and see old fish face. Eventually he breaks loose, kills Joe, chases a bunch of people,flips a car and heads to the ocean. So it’s kind of like a typical spring break only he’s scaly dude instead of just a dumb college guy. Anyways he goes around for awhile. With the creature on the loose Clete and Lori decide it’s a good time to go dancing. Hey, the creature has good taste he grabs Lori and takes off with her. Some dunderheads get tossed around by old gilly, but eventually the coppers and the eggheads show up to end the fun for the creature. Oh, well roll the credits.

The negatives-This first sequel to the Creature from the black lagoon gets ripped a lot for not being as good as the original. The creature sure looked dead in the first film, but sequels always find a way around that.The plot is far more basic as it eventually becomes the old creature on the loose. John Agar annoys the crap out of me, but part of that me be due to when I saw him give an interview back before his death griping some about doing this type of film.

The positives-If you have read much here before you know that I am a big creature fan. This may be the weakest of the three, but it’s still one of the best creature on the loose films of the 50’s. The settings are good, the action is solid enough as is the pacing. I love the part where the gillman flips the car and throwing the guy into the tree is pretty cool too. Lori Nelson looks great. Really a good monster films that gets far more negative vibes than it deserves.

As everyone else who has ever reviewed this film mentions-yes, that is a young Clint Eastwood as a lab assistant.

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I’ll have that one with a side fries and some tartar sauce.