In this, their penultimate film (and last for Universal), Bud and Lou play…well, it’s a little tricky, as the end credits of the film list Bud as playing “Peter Patterson” and Lou as playing “Freddie Franklin,” but I never heard either of those names used during the entire film. Bud calls Lou “Lou,” and Lou calls Bud “Abbott.” This mystery is far more intriguing than ANYTHING that happens in the film.
The first time I saw this film, which, admittedly, was fourteen or fifteen years ago, I thought that it was pretty lightweight, but I enjoyed it. This go-round, though, I found it nearly intolerable. Maybe I’m just in a grumpy, curmudgeonly mood today, but I didn’t laugh once throughout the entire film, and I’m genetically predisposed to the comedy of Abbott and Costello. I actually had to stop the DVD player at one point to take a quick nap. Who needs pharmaceutical sleep aids when you’ve got this film? It KILLS me to not like one of Bud and Lou’s films, but this one was just torturous to endure.
So what’s wrong with this picture? For starters, it gives off the vibe that Abbott and Costello were just going through the motions to collect a paycheck; they don’t really appear to be giving it their all. There are three or four dance numbers that only add to the running time, not to the plot, and there’s a song in the middle that’s even less related to the goings-on than the dancing. And then there’re the sub-par mummy suits that are made out of what looks to be rubber. To me, the film, more than any other Abbott and Costello film, feels like “product” designed to make a quick buck with the 8-year-olds.
I really hate to end this six-film mini-marathon of Abbott and Costello films on a sour note, but I have to call ‘em like I see ‘em, and I don’t plan on seeing this one again for a LONG while.
In 2004, Papa John’s Pizza was having a promotion where when you bought a large pizza, you could get a free DVD. I got one with a “Munsters” episode and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy on it. Here’s what the front of the sleeve looks like:
And here’s the back:
I thought it was heresy, sheer heresy, that they were promoting it as a “Munsters” DVD and not an Abbott and Costello DVD. I still have it. Even though I’ve since bought another copy of Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy on DVD, I just can’t bring myself to throw this one out. If collecting stuff is a disease, then I’m terminal.
Want to watch Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy? If you’ve got Netflix streaming, you’re in luck, as they’ve got the film there. If not, you can watch most of it on YouTube–it’s broken into several parts, but the last part seems to be missing. If you’re not up for any of that, here’s the original theatrical trailer, courtesy of Turner Classic Movies: