countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more scflyout Home All-New Kindle Music Deals Store sports Tools Registry

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Going home to see your family is daunting enough, but in a Draculean castle with a werewolf, a dead transvestite, and a new will that makes you a walking target?

That's the basic plot behind "Haunted Honeymoon," an amusing and vaguely Mel Brooksian comedy movie about a man with a crumbling mind, a new fiancee, and a really abnormal family. The plot is pretty much a mess -- full of holes and dangling plot threads -- but the brilliant comic actors and hilarious scripting ("Oh, it's so COMPLICATED!") magically keep it from collapsing.

Larry Abbot (Gene Wilder) and Vickie Pearle (Gilda Radner) are actors in the hit show Manhattan Mystery Theater, and newly engaged. Unfortunately Larry's engagement has sparked off a psychological meltdown, and his uncle Dr. Paul Abbot decides there is only one way to cure him: scare him more. So he sends off Larry and Vickie to the old gothic estate where Larry grew up, to stay with his family.

Well, they're not quite the Addams Family. Actually, they're way worse -- most of them are broke, one is a transvestite, one is a creepy magician, and one is a creepier lawyer. One may also be a werewolf. The only decent one seems to be kindly, filthy-rich Aunt Kate (Dom Deluise).

And dear ol' Aunt Kate has left all her money to Larry (unless he expires before she does, in which case everyone else will get a share). And soon some very bizarre happenings are cropping up around the old mansion -- including a murdered werewolf, a cobra, and a dead body that pops up in Larry's bed. Is Larry going insane, or is a member of his family trying to make him that way... for filthy lucre?

I get the feeling that "Haunted Honeymoon" was made up on the fly -- it's basically a disintegrating mass of subplots that are introduced and then left to flap in the breeze. Sylvia, Monty's vaguely vampiric, glowy-eyed hypnosis, the dog's hatred of Susan, and other seemingly important plot elements turn out to be red herrings... and I'm not sure what's going on with the guy in the werewolf suit.

So basically the actual plot has more holes than a ripped-up sieve. Fortunately everything OTHER than the plot works. The presence of so many brilliant comic actors keeps it from completely falling apart -- there's plenty of funny dialogue ("Whoever you are, may God strike you DEAD! Now let's have coffee and dessert in the music room...") and humorous comic scenarios (the scene in which Larry sexily cuddles a dead body, mistaking it for Vicki). And it's one of my life's goals to greet a group of people with the line, "I know that one of you is a werewolf."

And those actors do a brilliant job -- though this was the last movie Gilda Radner ever did (and she looks painfully emaciated), she and Wilder are both hilarious and have plenty of loving chemistry. Dom Deluise has plenty of fun as the eccentric, dramatic and rotund Aunt Kate, and has plenty of great lines as well ("... and when the police dragged him out of the ladies' room at Saks Fifth Avenue, THAT was fun too!").

Admittedly not all the actors are great -- Jo Ross, Jim Carter and Eve Ferret give merely adequate performances. But there are some great lesser performances from Jonathan Pryce, Ann Way, and especially Bryan Pringle as a butler with a dual personality... or an evil twin ("I just found Cousin Francis in my bed!" "Was he wearing a dress?" "Yes, he was!" "Just ask him to leave, sir. Tell him you have a headache").

"Haunted Honeymoon" lacks something vital -- a plot that doesn't totally unravel. If it weren't filled with awe-inspiringly good comic actors and dialogue, it would be a disaster. As it is, it's an amusing fluff piece.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 9, 2003
Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner have made some excellent movies together. Gilda appeared in 'Blazing Saddles' as an extra. She made 'Hanky Panky' (which typically does not rate well, but which I like) and 'The Woman in Red' with Gene. Unfortunately this movie would be her last original movie. Unfortunate because it was her last, and it was far from her best.
The movie takes place in 1930 or 1940 something. Gene and Gilda have a hit radio program. They are about to get married, and as we watch the movie, the plot moves to Gene's family home, where there is a cast of characters as weird as any that have ever been in a comedy or horror movie. Gene's Aunt Kate (played in drag by Dom DeLuise) has changed her will to leave everything to Gene. Unfortunately, someone overhears Aunt Kate discussing the change in wills, and that someone decides it's time to take action.
As the movie proceeds there are a variety of slipups and bumbling police, several 'comedic' vignettes, ultimately leading to the unmasking of the killer and the end of the movie.
This movie has several problems. The first problem is that the comedic plot is unbelievable. We knew the plot of 'Young Frankenstein' was unbelievable, but the one-liners and periodic slapstick were funny because the characters tried hard to appear to play it straight. In 'Haunted Honeymoon' the characters are going for the laughs, and it's usually not funny. The plot is so thin that it makes tissue paper look thick, and the humor appears too forced.
The next problem is that the humor often isn't humorous. One of the best scenes in the movie is when Gene is sitting atop of the butler so that Gene is matched with the butler's legs. As the butler (knocked unconscious in a struggle with Gene) moves his legs while waking up, Gene does a variety of things that are funny. Don't get your hopes up because that scene is the funniest of the movie.
The dialogue is awful. There's nothing more I can say about the dialogue.
For all my negative criticism, the movie is slightly entertaining. The house is great; I wish I could live there. There are a few humorous moments (though too few). The atmosphere of the movie seems to try hard to recreate the atmosphere of 'Young Frankenstein', though some sets are used way too often. I'm glad I watched the movie, but I do not see me watching it again.
I absolutely do not recommend you buy this movie.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 22, 2003
I enjoy Gene Wilder, and certainly I'll be the first to say that he has done some wonderful work both on screen and behind the scenes in many films. But he is also the frothy sort of artist who is at his best when firmly grounded by the restraint of a hardnosed director--and for HAUNTED HONEYMOON he had no such restraints. He was writer, director, and star, and the result is way too much froth and not nearly enough substance.
The premise of the film is clever, a parody of the spooky-comedies of the 1940s and 1950s that were popularized by the likes of Red Skelton, Abbot and Costello, and Crosby and Hope. Two radio stars (Wilder and Radner) have become engaged and they rush off to the groom's ancestrial home for the wedding... and promptly encounter everything from cobras in the closet to werewolves in the winecellar. And the script and production values are often quite amusing, with repeated references to James Whale's 1930s classic THE OLD DARK HOUSE, and even the score borrows a few phrases from "I've Written A Letter To Daddy" from WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? But the plot goes no where, and not even the stars of the film can save it.
Which brings us to why the film is nonetheless worth watching. Wilder is excessive, to say the least, but his failings here are as director and writer; as a performer he manages quite well. And his co-star is the late and much missed Gilda Radner. Sadly, Radner never found her place on the big screen before her untimely death, and HAUNTED HONEYMOON is no exception; Wilder doesn't seem to know how best to display her talents. But even so, there are moments when she illuminates the film to a remarkable comic degree, giving the viewer a glimpse of what might have been if the role had been more carefully tailored to her talents. And then there is Dom DeLuise, who offers a hilarious throw-away performance in drag as Aunt Kate... And when Gilda and Dom join forces to perform the old Vaudeville song "Ballin' the Jack" the result is pure movie magic.
Unfortunately, though, it isn't enough. The story is just too weak, too many of the one-liners fall flat, too often cast members who might have given great comic performances are neglected. I'll give it three stars out of five... one each for Wilder, Radner, and DeLuise. But I'm erring on the generous side. Incidently, this film is not to be confused with a Robert Young-Constance Cummings effort of the 1930s, also entitled HAUNTED HONEYMOON and based on the play and novel by mystery author Dorothy Sayers--a very good film, by the way, which sad to say has never been released to the home market.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 4, 2002
Looking at the cast alone, you anticipate great things from this film. Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner playing opposite Dom DeLuise in drag. How can it miss? I'm a huge fan of spooky comedies, so I definitely had high hopes. While I didn't come away from the movie bitterly disappointed, I wasn't completely impressed either. The plot has a great set up, but doesn't really seem to go anywhere. Gene Wilder's character is a radio actor who goes to spend the weekend with his Great Aunt in his spooky childhood home. For some reason, there's a psychologist who is trying to scare Gene Wilder "to death" to help him confront his inner demons. Then there's a werewolf prowling around, and people getting killed, and a shadowy figure slipping through secret sounds great, doesn't it? But it's all played with pretty cheesy dialogue and a confusing plot. Then when we make it to the end, everything is wrapped up in a nice little bow when we find out it was all supposed to be a radio program and not actual events. Then they throw in the cliche, "or WAS it?" kind of twist just before the credits roll. Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy. The actors are great and there are some great jokes. There's even a cool musical number with Dom and Gilda. This movie really has the makings of a true hit, but it never quite makes it....
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 31, 2002
Ok this is by far one of the the overall worst movies of all time. In defense of Radner and Wilder she was suffereing health problems while the movie was filmed and I can understand this-- but gheesh the editing didn't make any sense- Dom DeLuise gives the audience a warning in his monologue when he says-(paraphrased) It gets worse than this-- and it does!!The script becomes a parody of itself- the acting was ok - but the story never evolved. There were one or two special effects that almost sparked an interest 3/4 of the way through the movie. Should have never been released-- The real horror in this film is the fact that one doesn't realize how bad it is until they sit through it-- A good cure for insomniacs...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 19, 2002
...i think it is one of the bset films made in recent years, the actors and plot are next to none, just the feel of the film being a spoof of chillers such as the spiral staircase is great, aunt kate plays the best part Dom does this part really well, also the set is wonderfully dramatic and liveing in england i have actually been to the mantion used in the film, Knebworth House, witch is in Hertfordshire, if ever you are in the UK you must go there
its good to know there are other haunted honeymoon fans out here...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 5, 2001
It's a rare event that I find someone who knows about this movie other than myself... but those who HAVE seen it absolutely adore it! Gene and Gilda together at their best, in love on film as in life... what more can you say? Funny, touching, memorable. You MUST see this movie. Dom deLouise in drag is worth it, if nothing else. ;)
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2003
Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder fans have to see this. Wilder directed this and star with his then wife Gilda Radner (R.I.P.). Dom Deluise gives a great comedic performance as well as Jonathan Pryce in the role of the heavy. Check it out if you're in any way a fan of Wilder's work and Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 29, 2001
This movie is totally and completely funny! For anyone who loved Young Frankenstein, you don't want to miss this! Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner are a riot!
Sometimes the best movies are the older ones!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 22, 2014
Bought this for my husband. He is a old time movie buff. We went to see this movie when we were dating and it is too funny. I consider this one to be a Comedy Classic.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse