Daily Archives: December 7, 2012

Arnold (1973)

arnold 2

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 2 out of 10

4-Word Review: Dead body is lethal.

Arnold (Norman Stuart) is a dead corpse who at his funeral marries the ravishing Karen (Stella Stevens). She gets all of his wealth and to live in his mansion as long as she never leaves the side of his coffin and takes it everywhere she goes. His other greedy relatives aren’t happy with this arrangement, but they all end up being killed off in weird and mysterious ways, which makes Karen feel that Arnold may not actually be dead and that she may be his next victim.

Although this is an obscure film it has managed develop a small cult following, but I was not impressed with it. It has too much of the contrived old-fashioned horror movie elements without adding anything new to it. Even done in the spirit of parody it is too clichéd. The sets are unimaginative and cheap. All the outdoor scenes where clearly done inside on a soundstage, which is always annoying. The humor is sparse and relies mainly on corny one-liners. The story is devoid of any scares, gore, or special effects. The plot is cheesy and the whole thing looks like it would be better suited for a 70’s TV-sitcom than the movie screen. It was filmed simultaneously by the same director and writer as Terror in the Wax Museum and the whole thing has a very rushed and sloppy quality about it.

There are a plethora of B-actors making up the cast many of whom look to be phoning in their parts simply to collect a quick paycheck. Jamie Farr, in a heavy disguise, never even utters a word of dialogue, which is actually for the best. The only performance I liked was Bernard Fox as the incompetent police inspector. Some of his lines are amusing especially his last one and he is the one thing that saves this from being otherwise a complete waste of time.

I did like the theme song sung by Shani Wallis who also appears as Arnold’s widow Jocelyn. It has a certain toe-tapping quality to it and Shani gives it energy and verve. The complete rendition is sung over the closing credits.

My Rating: 2 out of 10

Released: November 16, 1973

Runtime: 1Hour 34Minutes

Rated PG

Director: Georg Fenady

Studio: Cinerama

Available: None