Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Peter Patterson (Bud Abbott) and Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello) are good friends, but Peter sometimes wonders about the brainpower of Freddie, to be sure. The two soon find themselves in scenic Egypt, where they manage to overhear a conversation, one that has some very unusual information within. The two eavesdrop and learn that Dr. Zoomer plans to move an ancient mummy to America, where it will be studied and draw large crowds, without a doubt. But when the friends sign up to be chaperones and report to assist, they discover all is not well with the planned operation. It seems Dr. Zoomer has been murdered, the priceless mummy has vanished, and all that remains is a strange medallion, which the two take with them. They soon learn that the medallion is cursed and Pete tries to get rid of it, but Freddie ends up keeping it, though not in the fashion you might expect. Can these two manage to keep the medallion safe and in the right hands, so that the wrong people won’t be able to use the medallion, to access mounds of hidden treasure? And also, where did the mummy go and of course, will it ever find Freddie & Peter again?

I’ve never been of a fan of Abbott & Costello, but out of their resume, I think their monster encounter pictures rank as their finest work. I know many of you will disagree, as the two have a massive fanbase, but their films never struck much of a chord with me. I admit their antics are sometimes humorous, but I prefer The Three Stooges over these two, as the Stooges are more consistent with the laughs. As such, I didn’t care much for Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy, which is one of their more formula driven films, even within their monster encounters. It has some funny bits and all, but this is a minor comedy and when coming from such a legendary duo, I guess I just expected more. This is pretty much a by the numbers Abbott & Costello flick, with Costello seeing all sorts of strange sights and of course, Abbott won’t believe a word of it. It supplies some humor toward the start, but quickly becomes tiresome and redundant, as the theme never changes or even varies a touch. I recommend this release as a rental, but even then only to fans of Abbott & Costello, who will still be let down here, I think.

Video: How does it look?

Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. Universal has done some terrific work here, as this 1955 film looks almost brand new at times, which is impressive. I saw some slight grain and marks on the print, but not much at all and in the end, much less than I had expected. This black & white image looks razor sharp most of the time, with well balanced contrast and no real softness to speak of. I am very pleased with this visual effort and of course, I hope Universal continues this level of excellence on future releases.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included mono option is as good as can be expected, given the age of the materials involved. I heard minimal hiss present, which is good news and as far as distortion, there’s not much at all. I was able to notice a few small instances, but nothing too serious and as such, I won’t complain too much. This is pretty basic material in terms of audio, so it never suffers within the limits of mono, I don’t think. The sound effects and music come off well, while dialogue is clean and always easy to understand. This disc also contains audio options in Spanish and French, as well as English subtitles, should you need those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some talent files, production notes, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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