Saturday, October 13, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Haunted Honeymoon (1986) **½

PG, 82 min.
Director: Gene Wilder
Writers: Gene Wilder, Terence Marsh
Starring: Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Dom DeLuise, Jonathan Pryce, Bryan Pringle, Peter Vaughan, Eve Ferret, Paul L. Smith, Julann Griffin, Jim Carter, Jo Ross, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Billy J. Mitchell, R.J. Bell, Ann Way

“Haunted Honeymoon” is one of those cute horror comedies that I never paid any attention to until my wife made me. “Hocus Pocus”, “Transylvania 6-5000”, and this one are movies that my wife started introducing me to after our relationship began. They aren’t exactly up my ally, but they have a certain charm to them.

With “Haunted Honeymoon” the appeal is all in its stars, Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner. Made two years after the long time couple was married, the film is in some ways a love letter to Radner by Wilder. It was during the production of this movie that Radner first began to suffer the effects of the ovarian cancer that would take her life only three years later.  

Radner’s charm and Wilder’s irreverence fuel this film. The best bits are Radner’s song and dance number with Dom DeLuise in drag and Wilder’s scene with the cops when he is sitting on top of the legs of the passed out butler and uses them as if they’re his own. I’m also a sucker for a film that harkens back to the days of Radio Theater. I receive great pleasure in watching the Radio Theater scenes in the film and the entirety of the George Lucas’s Mystery Radio Theater film “Radioland Murders”.

Will this film please hardened cineastes? Hardly. The laughs are chuckles at best, but they’re pure. It makes for a good family friendly feature to show your kids for the Halloween season.

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