ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY (director: Charles Lamont; screenwriters: John Grant/based on a story by Lee Loeb; cinematographer: George Robinson; editor: Russell Schoengarth; music: Joseph E. Gershenson; cast: Bud Abbott (Peter), Lou Costello (Freddie), Marie Windsor (Mme. Rontru), Michael Ansara (Charlie), Richard Deacon (Semu), Edwin Packer (Klaris), Kurt Katch (Dr. Zoomer), Peggy King (Vocalist); Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Howard Christie; Universal-International; 1955)
“Probably no worse than the usual Abbott and Costello comedies in the long running series, it just seems worse.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Probably no worse than the usual Abbott and Costello comedies in the long running series, it just seems worse. It has the same tired gags and bumblings antics of the boys, but the story seems to be gasping for oxygen it’s so wheezy. In this childishly humored episode, the boys are stranded in Egypt and while in a café overhear European archaeologist Dr. Zoomer (Kurt Katch) speak of hiring escorts for the trip to the States for the 4,000-year-old mummy Klaris, the Prince of Evil, whose sarcophagus contains a sacred medallion that offers clues in its hieroglyphics to the long-lost tomb of the Princess Ara. But the Doc’s killed with a poison dart by evil followers of the cult of Klaris, who are led by high priest Semu (Richard Deacon). The baddie did not want the infidel to remove the mummy from his burial place. Also hunting Klaris and the medallion down are evil fortune hunter Mme. Rontru (Marie Windsor) and her henchmen. But the sacred medallion can’t be found by either Semu’s cult group or the mercenary Rontru’s group. It turns up eventually in the stomach of nitwit Lou Costello, who accidentally swallowed it while munching on a hamburger. All the further horseplay involves the rival groups trying to get the medallion from the boys.
There’s not much material for a half hour TV show, never mind a full-length feature film. None of their formulaic gags work, the studio set is laughable in how cheesy it looks, the plot line is tedious and the action lacks any vigor. The only good news is that this is the last of those films the boys made with the Universal monsters created from the 1930s. It was also their next to last picture together and their final picture with Universal, ending a 28-film and 15-year affiliation. Costello died of a heart attack in 1959.
REVIEWED ON 6/21/2006 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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