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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Hound Of The Baskervilles (1978)

A country doctor (Terry-Thomas) asks Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cook) and Dr. Watson (Dudley Moore) to look into the strange death of Sir Charles Baskerville, who was apparently killed (according to a family curse) by a spectral hound. He fears the new heir (Kenneth Williams) to Baskerville Hall will be the hound's next victim. This zany comedy, for some reason, is almost universally despised. I found it hilarious and laughed out loud several times. It's quite silly and wacky and not all of it works, Dudley Moore's one legged runner for example but I found its slapdash "anything for a laugh" style worked for me. The movie has some wonderfully awful puns. When a psychic medium dies, someone says "I've lost a medium rare in a world of high stakes!". Yes, it's that kind of movie. There are some parodies of famous films like THE EXORCIST and THE SEVENTH SEAL but the humor tends to be pretty lowbrow (chihuahuas peeing in your face) but it has the feel of a good Abbott and Costello movie. Directed by Paul Morrisey, the director of such Andy Warhol productions as TRASH and HEAT. The large cast, all game, includes Joan Greenwood, Denholm Elliott, Hugh Griffith, Jessie Matthews, Roy Kinnear, Spike Mulligan and Irene Handl.

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