Haunted Honeymoon (1986)
User ReviewsReview this title
It's tragic to think that this was Gilda Rander's before she tragically lost her life, but she gives a sparkling performance and bounced of husband Gene Wilder beautifully.
It's a great little tail of Werewolves, deception, Transvestism and jealousy.
I have never been able to decide who's the funniest, whether it's Aunt Kate or Rachel, both are so much fun, Rachel, played by Ann Way is a joy, especially when she's bashing poor Pfister about, she's a diminutive terror.
The music is really nice the whole way through, it's so dramatic, it fits in great with the film, real 80's Chiller feel to it.
I am stunned by the bad reviews that surround this film, to me it's just a bundle of fun. Take Dom LeLuise's performance for what it is, hugely over the top, but truly funny.
Best scene has to be Eagle Rock, which is a show stopper, I love it, Gilda had gorgeous legs. You can't help but smile watching it.
What happens to Larry's old girlfriend Susan, where does she go?? Was the Werewolf talking to Susan in the Wine Cellar, don't know.
I grew up on this film and I still love it, sure it's daft, but it doesn't try to be anything else.
Gene Wilder is, admittedly, an acquired taste. His humor is expressive and intelligent and not for everyone. But who can not love sweet little Gilda Radner? This is one of the few collaborations between the husband & wife team of Wilder and Radner, and one of Wilder's best attempts, in this critic's opinion.
While there are a few plot holes here, this movie was not meant to be an Oscar contender, nor was it made to be thought-inspiring. This is pure entertainment which hits dead on the mark.
Gilda is sweet, competent, and assertive here as Vickie Pearle, fiancé to Larry Abbott (Wilder). The couple work as radio stars for a weekly horror broadcast, but Larry is having some anxiety problems, and it's up to Vickie to help keep him glued together. Just as their show is starting to top the charts, Larry begins to show serious signs of wear, and now his uncle, Paul Abbott, steps in and takes Larry's reins.
It seems Dr. Abbott knows how to cure Larry's problem, but with murder, treachery, and intrigue all around him, will Larry ever be cured of his anxiety?
This is a wonderfully fun movie with an all-star cast, which bears a definite Agatha Christie feel about it, even with Dom DeLuise in drag!
I adore this movie, and watch it often.
It rates an 8.4/10 from...
the Fiend :.
At first, the plot line is terribly hard to fathom and I had to watch it several times to catch all the straggling ends. However, once you understand what's really happening, the story within the story within the story, then you can really begin to enjoy the subtle jokes, the attention to detail in the sets and costumes, the excellent performances by one and all. Of course, Gene and Gilda are enchanting together and she shines in her role as only she could do. Dom DeLuise played the Great-Aunt perfectly, but my favorite in the movie was Jonathan Pryce whose performance was exceptional. My grand-daughter's favorite part of the movie is Gilda and Dom's singing and dancing to "Ball in the Jack". We have to play that part over and over for her so she can dance with them.
Haunted Honeymoon is worth watching several times and worth returning to, often.
Larry Abbot (Gene Wilder) and Vickie Pearle (Gilda Radner) are on top of the world as the stars of the hit radio program Manhattan Mystery Theater. The pair is also engaged to be married, adding to their overall joy about life. As the nuptials loom, Larry takes Vicki back to his Aunt Kate's (Dom DeLuise) castle that he grew up in. As his eccentric family members descend upon the castle, his Uncle decides Larry needs to be cured of his frequent bursts of fear. Larry's Uncle, Dr. Paul Abbot (Paul L. Smith) decides that the only way to cure Larry of his disposition is by scaring him to death. The family bands together by forming tricks and scares to spook Larry, all the while Aunt Kate is convinced that one of her family members has turned into a werewolf. Excusing her belief as thoughts from a senile woman, many nefarious instances are ignored and overlooked due to the family's scheme. Are all the instances the result of the lighthearted attempts of his family to cure Larry's fear, or is something more devious going on?
The opening scene at the castle is a great precursor to what the audience is in for at the castle. This great scene, full of wonderful establishing shots of the exterior of the castle is followed by an equally great scene in which Larry and Vicki are seen performing their radio show and answering questions from reporters. The chemistry between Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner was as apparent as it was genuine as the real-life married couple played a doting couple that was to be wed. One of the things this film did the best was the sounds. Both the sound effects for the radio show seen on- screen and the sounds of horror reminiscent of the earliest days in the genre were extraordinary. The comedic writing was exceptional in this film and toned down enough to appreciate it, opposite of Wilder's earlier directorial efforts. There were some great gags in the film, my favorite being Wilder acting out the upper body while his butler acted the lower body in the basement scene being questioned by the police. Dom DeLuise was brilliant in this film as Aunt Kate and remains beautifully in character, playing a woman, through the entire film. This was the first time I had noticed him in a film before and was not disappointed. I wish there had been a bit more substance to the part of Gilda Radner, as I would have enjoyed more from her, but the film in all of its parts was wonderful.
I am so thrilled that Wilder calmed down in the director's chair, as I believed he had potential in the role but was deeply disappointed by his previous attempts. The ensemble of friends was perfect for such a fun film. You really get the idea that the principles spent a lot of time together off-camera, which only added to the greatness we saw on-camera. It was also pretty magical to see Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner acting together as husband and wife to be. Their marriage, ending in the untimely death of Radner, was short so this memento of the film is a treasure for fans of both. Haunted Honeymoon would be the last film Wilder would direct, so, as the saying goes, he saved the best for last.
Staring, co-written & directed by Gene Wilder this is one tragic mess of a film, just about a complete failure on almost every level. The script by Wilder & Terence Marsh is supposed to pay homage to the old dark haunted house mysteries from the 30's like The Cat and the Canary (1939) among others. Unfortunately it also tries to mix other genres as well, comedy, musical & horror, quite simply it doesn't work in the slightest. The comedy elements are so unfunny I couldn't believe it, I did not laugh once during this film. It tries far too hard with all out slapstick, comedy sound effects & sequences which probably looked OK on paper but ended up being far from OK in the finished product. Scenes of Wilder trying to pass a dead body off as a living person by dancing with it in front of two idiotic cops (Billy J. Mitchell & R. J. Bell) is embarrassing to watch, or a scene in which Wilder is sitting on top of a stuffed moose head hiding from a snake is just dumb & Dom Deluise in drag as Aunt Kate is a truly hideous & laugh free image. Not one single moment of supposed comedy in Haunted Honeymoon worked for me, the jokes are far too drawn out & predictable. The mystery elements are better but are all but lost amongst the lame attempts at humour & nothing is explained, the killer is revealed but how he achieved certain things are unclear like them walking down a wall & those crazy mirror effects. There is even a brief musical interlude as Vickie & Aunt Kate perform a little number, once again it just comes across as embarrassing to watch. I also hated the ending, it makes a mockery of everything that precedes it & is just lazy & clichéd. One area in which Haunted Honeymoon does succeed is with it's good atmosphere, the period production design & sets are excellent & really capture the feel of those old horror mysteries. The cinematography & special effects are good & generally speaking Haunted Honeymoon is very well made with that Hollywood polish about it. The acting is pretty bad by all involved including Wilder whom I usually like, perhaps he was more concerned about behind-the-camera activities as director rather than acting in front of it, Dom Deluise is highly annoying & irritating as Aunt Kate. As far as I'm concerned Haunted Honeymoon is a complete failure as either a horror mystery or a comedy & I just can't see what sort of film goer this would appeal too & enjoy it. Haunted Honeymoon was Wilder's last directorial effort to date which says it all really, you have been forewarned!
While de Luise won awards for "Worst Actress", he's actually very funny, performing amusing version of "Balling the Jack" with Gilda who never got that one film role to rise above standard comedy. Radner is likable, perky and untraditionally attractive. Why Mel Brooks or Woody Allen never grabbed her up is a mystery in itself. Add on Jonathan Pryce as a sinister members of the family and other looking eccentrics, and you've got the recipe for old fashioned popcorn movie. No modern classic, but not the disaster that it's been labeled as.
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 ancestral 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... one each for Wilder, Radner, and DeLuise. But I'm erring on the generous side. Incidentally, 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.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
The film does have a few scattered laughs (Wilder's version of the song "Get Happy"), and Gilda Radner has a wonderful presence, but nothing can really redeem this confusing and convoluted mess.
It's obvious that Gene Wilder wanted to make a Mel Brooks kind of movie. The movie definitely has the same atmosphere and ideas as "Young Frankenstein". Unfortunately its not as good and it shows how much quality Mel Brooks actually has, to have the skill to have simple, predictable and silly humor and still make an hilarious and classic movie with it.
The humor in this movie is just as absurd and predictable and unfortunately it just doesn't always work out.
The story is totally uninteresting and just serves as an excuse to put as many crazy characters as possible into the movie. It's a weird looking bunch with Dom DeLuise playing a woman! Could be me but I thought the sight of him was pretty darn hilarious! Halve of the time I didn't even bother to wanted to know what the story was all about, it was that absurd really!
The movie of course also features Gene Wilder but unfortunately he hasn't given himself better material and dialog to work with. So it's hardly his best or most comical role. The movie further more also features Jonathan Pryce, in one of his earlier movie roles.
Quite frankly I don't understand who the movie has such a bad reputation. I mean the movie is not all that bad. Yes, you have to like these sort of movies (Mel Brooks-type of humor movies) but I've seen far worse genre movies receiving far better criticism. It just doesn't seem really fair.
The special effects are definitely acceptable for its genre and year it was made in. So was its make-up and its entire professional visual look.
If you like these type of movies its very well worth seeing, though it's definitely not the best movie in its genre that is around.