Lost Caverns Hotel bellhop Freddie Phillips is suspected of murder. Swami Talpur tries to hypnotize Freddie into confessing, but Freddie is too stupid for the plot to work. Inspector Wellman uses Freddie to get the killer (and it isn't the Swami). Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The role eventually played by Boris Karloff was originally a female character named Madame Switzer in the final shooting script which was then titled, 'Abbott and Costello Meet the Killers'. Five days before shooting, Karloff was hired and the character was changed to a swami. See more »
Mr. Strickland turns over a bit when Freddy finds him after the murder. See more »
The film begins animated versions of Abbott & Costello on a scaffold painting their names on a wall. (The bucket is labeled "BLOOD")Then there is the sound of a car screeching to a stop, and machine gun fire. "Meet the Killer" is written in bullet holes. "Costello" yells "Yoohoo! You didn't dot the "I"!" Then a dagger flies in and "Dots the 'I'", while the bucket of "Blood" is spilled. Then the frame drops, following the "Blood" as it spells out "Boris Karloff", and then the rest of the credits. See more »
A nice little comedy with a murder mystery background
There is a comment about the title of this addition to the Abbott & Costello films that is a little unfair - but only a little. Entitled ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF, some purists sniff that as Karloff is not the killer in the film, the title is as misleading as the later ABBOTT & COSTELLO GO TO MARS (wherein they actually go to Venus). But the difference is that Karloff is a killer. Not only does he attempt to hypnotize Lou into committing suicide (which would enable the police to drop an investigation at a hotel where Karloff is stuck in), but he is also a former homicide case defendant who was acquitted thanks to his lawyer Amos Strickland (Nicholas Joy). No, Karloff is not the murderer of Joy, but he is a suspected murderer (the police feel that Karloff's acquittal was due to his lawyer, not to his not being the murderer). So the title is actually not a cheat.
Like WHO DONE IT? it is a murder mystery comedy, but here the suspicion against Lou (an incompetent bellhop) is more realistic than in the earlier film. Lou and Bud work at a resort hotel. Bud is the house detective. Lou is involved in an incident where he bungles badly while handling the luggage of lawyer Joy. The latter complains vociferously to the hotel manager (Alan Mowbray), who fires Costello. Lou, realizing what has caused his dismissal, actually makes a threatening statement to Joy. So when the latter is murdered, Lou is the leading suspect.
But it seems that Joy was on the verge of writing his memoirs, in which he might set the record straight about those acquittals he won. This would not be what Karloff, Roland Winters, and a few others would like
they are beginning to live down their murder trials. All of them
happen to be at the resort too, so they are also suspects.
The film has some nice set pieces in it, mostly handled adroitly by Costello - such as a drag sequence where he attracts an admirer, and has to play cards with a corpse. He also, towards the conclusion, gives Abbott an unexpected scare suggesting Bud is the killer. But my two favorite pieces are when Karloff tries to hypnotize Lou, and almost gets knifed in the process, and when Lou discovers the benefits of being the chief suspect - being under house arrest in a luxury hotel has unexpected benefits through room service. After all, the state pays the bill!
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