DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Charles Lamont
Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marie Windsor
Writing Credits:
John Grant

Bud and Lou find themselves pursued by an Egyptian cult for a special medallion linked to a walking mummy.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 79 min.
Price: $9.98
Release Date: 9/12/17

• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy [Blu-Ray] (1955)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 7, 2018)

After the success of their 1948 horror/comedy hybrid Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, a second adventure seemed absolutely inevitable. People like to view the sequel as a fairly modern creation, but this is totally incorrect; movie studios have pushed further adventures of the same characters for almost as long as they’ve existed.

This decision becomes easier when the subject offers many easy opportunities, and the A&C/horror flicks created a match made in studio heaven. Universal owned the rights to all of their “Classic Monsters”, and with A&C under contract, they could exploit the two franchises for many years.

And that’s what they did. 1955’s Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy was the fourth - and final - exploration of the theme, as between Meet Frankenstein and Meet the Mummy they produced Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff in 1949 and Meet the Invisible Man in 1951.

I found Meet Frankenstein to provide a surprisingly witty and entertaining experience, one that worked well on many levels. I haven’t seen the two intermediate films, but I’d like to check them out to discern how they compare to the first flick. I expect that a decline occurred, but I’d be curious to observe how steady this was.

I relate these thoughts because I do know that Meet the Mummy operated from a position of almost-total creative bankruptcy. The drop-off between the funny and endearing Meet Frankenstein and the borderline-unwatchable Meet the Mummy seems astounding, however. It almost appears unthinkable that the same folks worked on both.

In Meet the Mummy, Bud and Lou play Freddie and Pete, respectively, the usual pair of bumblers who attempt to hook on to something better. In their stabs at success, they become involved in a plot that revolves around a mystical mummy named Klaris.

Two rival factions seek his sacred medallion: one wants to preserve it for the culture, while the other wants to use it to find a fortune. Pete and Freddie get caught in the middle and inevitably wind up played for fools.

When I watched Meet Frankenstein, I felt especially impressed by the talents of Costello, as he made even the lesser material work through his constantly evolving series of perfectly timed reactions and expressions. Granted, it helped that the piece was fairly well produced anyway, but Costello led it to be something particularly special.

By the time of Meet the Mummy, Abbott and Costello neared the end of their collaboration, and Costello would be dead within a few years. The difference in attitudes seems extreme, as neither man appears to feel much interest in the project.

Since he plays the straight man, Abbott could better fake his involvement, but Costello’s clear boredom and lack of enthusiasm takes a much more substantial toll. He plods through the piece as a mere shadow of his former self, and he doesn’t attempt to do much with the material.

Not that I think he could have saved it, for Meet the Mummy presents some of the crummiest jokes committed to film. Actually, it only has about four gags, but these are repeated ad infinitum.

We see the same pieces again and again, from puns on “mummy” to snake charmer bits. None are funny the first time, and repetition doesn’t make them more endearing.

The pair even make a pathetic attempt to resurrect their famous “who’s on first” routine. Instead, they muddle a discussion of shovels and picks. I always thought “who’s on first” was overrated, but I appreciated it much more after I witnessed this lame piece of self-plagiarism.

I really liked Meet Frankenstein, and I’d also be entertained by other A&C experiences like Africa Screams. However, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy shows the pair at their lowest.

The film has virtually nothing positive to offer, and its 80 minutes crawl by at a snail’s pace. At their best, Abbott and Costello could be a splendid comic team, but you’ll find no signs of that talent in this dud.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not as good as some of its peers, this was a pretty solid presentation.

Sharpness became the only occasional weak link, as a few shots looked oddly soft. Still, those remained in the minority, as most of the film offered appropriate clarity and delineation.

The image lacked jagged edges or moiré effects, and it came without signs of edge haloes. A nice layer of grain accompanied the movie, and I saw no signs of print flaws.

Blacks appeared dense and deep, while shadows feel natural and smooth. Contrast worked fine as well, and outside of the sporadic soft shots, this became a strong transfer.

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack seemed more than satisfactory given the movie’s age. Speech remained reasonably natural, with easily intelligible lines that lacked edginess.

Effects and music lacked much heft, but they seemed concise and showed appropriate clarity for their vintage. No source defects like hiss, hum or pops marred the audio. This felt like a perfectly acceptable mix for a film from 1955.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD version? Audio showed similar range but it fared better because it lacked the DVD’s minor noise concerns. Visuals also showed improvements, as the Blu-ray was cleaner, tighter and richer than the DVD.

While the DVD provided a 1.33:1 image, the Blu-ray delivered a 1.85:1 presentation. IMDB lists 1.85:1 as the original aspect ratio, and given what I saw on the Blu-ray, I accept that.

I no longer own the DVD to compare, but I thought the 1.85:1 frame seemed well-composed and didn’t see any signs that it cropped information that would be available in the 1.33:1 version. This seemed like an accurate representation of the source’s ratio.

Only one extra appears here: the film’s trailer.

After a few pleasant experiences with the classic comedy team, I finally found a piece that fell completely flat. Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy brings a tedious and aggressively unfunny film never finds a rhythm or produces anything creative or entertaining. The Blu-ray delivers largely good picture and audio but it lacks notable supplements. The inane Meet the Mummy disappoints.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main