Tag Archives: Joyce Jameson

“In the parlour, Mr Gillie!” – The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

Macabre terror has been a staple of cinema since at least the Fifties. Hammer Films practically invented it after the initial horror successes at Universal Pictures in the 1930’s and 40’s. Macabre comedy, however, is still something of a rare breed. While people mistake it for black comedy, macabre comedy involves the process in which a horror story unfolds with moments of levity and sick humour. American International Pictures decided to follow up their horror title Tales of Terror with a comedy film titled Comedy of Terrors in 1963. A dark piece of comedy, it managed to attract a decent director, a then up and coming writer who was redefining TV with the Twilight Zone and a cast of classic horror actors to make, if not an out and out farce then at least, a quirky comedy that has more in common with Carry On Screaming! and Young Frankenstein than its more contemporary fellow examples in the genre.

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