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From Jacques Tourneur, comes The Comedy of Terrors a gleefully macabre tale which brings together genre greats Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. Price plays Waldo Trumbull, a perpetually inebriated, down-on-his-luck undertaker who has struck on an interesting way to boost business by hastening the deaths of those whom he buries. When landlord Mr. Black (Basil Rathbone) threatens to put him out on the street for falling behind with the rent, Trumbull, together with his reluctant and bumbling assistant Felix Gillie (Lorre), hatches an ill-advised plan to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak...

 Comedy of Terrors, The
Whereas many a Price picture have glimmers of comedy to them, The Comedy of Terrors goes full on caper comedy (with a Gothic edge of course) and has Price playing at being mean with joyous effect. The bumbling chance taker drags all those around him into his scheme and this amusing and sometimes chucklesome affair, that’s very much of its time makes for a delightful change of pace.

 Comedy of Terrors, The

Video


Beyond the pretty heavy flecking dirt and damage lies a transfer that’s boosted in all the right ways. Skin tones immediately glow out of the foggy blue style of the opening of the film and edges are immediately solid. As the film opens up, colours really do pop. From ginger tom cats, to the bright red dress of Price's super cleavaged verbally abused bride. Additionally to that. black levels are always great and counter well against darker blues throughout, even in the darkest of scenes.

The town at the centre of the film is obviously on a set and the strong lighting gives it a great HD look with strong colours and a nice sense of depth at times.  Genuine exterior scenes are a tad softer and obviously more real world looking, with an increase in grain at times and much heavier dirt and damage on show. The print damage seems to resides as the film goes on and overall this is great looking, Gothic cartoon styled caper that fits the comedy tone well and makes for a fun, colourful affair.

 Comedy of Terrors, The

Audio


The irritating caperesq score that sometimes seems to change mood faster than the film wants to move is technically very good. Obviously very central, the track is crisp, layered and odd things like wood blocks tapping sound almost like someone is playing one in the room. Dialogue is consistently clear, sound effects well placed and solid and the mix is well balanced and strong despite its minimal range. The track barely feels aged at all with it clear and precise elements and other than the obviously older style of score, its actual presentation sounds as fresh as a great restoration should.

 Comedy of Terrors, The

Extras


The commentary with David Del Valle and David DeCoteau is two fans returning to the film after a long time away from it. It’s full of expansions of what we’re seeing in the film, from the actors to the set designs and is full of genuine warmth for the films history.
‘Vincent Price: My life And Crimes’ (1987 51:40 SD) is one of the best overviews I’ve seen of the actor over the previous Vincent Price discs and having Price being interviewed and going through his films makes it all the more special.

‘Whispering In Distant Chambers’ (16:57 HD ) has David Cairns looking at the recurrent themes in director Jacques Tourneurs work.
‘Richard Matheson: Storyteller’ (09:37 HD) has the legendary writer discuss the film, all of its elements and how a horror comedy was a struggle at the time.

As always the ‘Original Theatrical Trailer’ (02:34 SD) is well worth a watch, if only to see the miracles Arrow have carried out with their audio and visual overhaul.

 Comedy of Terrors, The

Overall


The Comedy of Terrors is an absolute blast. Price on full scheming devil mode is a delight and some of his theatrical dialogue and utterly cruel snaps at times are fantastic. The disc itself has a bit of a dirt and damage issue but even at its worse it’s hard to take anything away from this otherwise great overhaul. Both in audio and visual departments this is a great presentation of a bright and wacky comedy horror and with the bonus features, which includes one of the best Vincent Price career overviews I’ve seen so far, this slice of horror comedy deserves a place in everyone’s Vincent Price Blu-ray collection.

 Comedy of Terrors, The
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.


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