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That's Your Funeral
Ein Begräbnis 1. Klasse

UK 1972
produced by
Michael Carreras for Hammer/The Rank Organisation
directed by John Robins
starring Bill Fraser, Raymond Huntley, David Battley, Dennis Price, John Ronane, Richard Wattis, Roy Kinnear, Sue Lloyd, Dudley Foster, Frank Thornton, Michael Ripper, Geoffrey Sumner, Bob Todd, John Sharp, Hugh Paddick, Peter Copley, Eric Barker, Michael Robbins, Ken Parry, George Howe, Clifford Mollison, Anthony Sagar, Tommy Mann, Michael Segal, George Roderick, John J. Carney, Michael Sharvell-Martin, Claire Ruane, Harry Brunning, Geraldine Burnett, Stacy Davies, Michael Knowles, Verne Morgan, James Ware
written by Peter Lewis, based on his BBC TV-series, music by David Whitaker, musical supervisor: Philip Martell

That's Your Funeral

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Basil Bulstrode (Bill Fraser) runs a funeral parlor in a small British village with his loyal helpers Holroyd (Raymond Huntley) and Percy (David Battley), and after his main competitor Grimthorpe (Dudley Foster) dies in an accident (at a funeral no less), he's basically the only undertaker in town - until Roland Smallbody (John Ronane) moves into Grimthorpe's old shop, and together with his helpers Eugene (Dennis Price), Miss Peach (Sue Lloyd) and Simmonds (Richard Wattis) he takes the whole funeral concept to a whole other level, so it's not long before he has funnelled all business off Bulstrode and company. Thing is, Smallbody and company use their business only as front for a drug running operation, and only this afternoon is a shipment of marihuana to arrive, in a casket of course - at around the same time a casket for Bulstrode is to arrive, containing the body of a rich local - and of course, the caskets are switched, and thus it's panic with Bulstrode as they need a body for the wake ... and it's pure luck that they stumble upon Purvis (Roy Kinnear), who is to create a lifesize wax figure of the deceased, and who can provide them with his head for the wake. However, Smallbody and company arrive at the wake as well with the actual corpse, which is then snatched by Bulstrode and friends, and ultimately there are three caskets in the race, one with the real stiff, one with the waxwork, and one full of marihuana - and in the finale, the waxwork gets burned, marihuana cigarets are handed out to the funeral attendees instead of regular cigarets, Smallbody and company are arrested, and suddenly Bulstrode finds himself with an extra corpse, and Purvis without a waxwork which he was to turn into a bronze statue that very day ...

 

One of Hammer's attempts to branch out into adapting popular sitcoms for the big screen (other series adapted by the studio were On the Buses and A Man About the House) after the gothics they've become associated with faded in popularity, this is actually a wickedly funny movie, with much of the humour on the macabre side, and the cast, many of them brought on from the series, giving their A-game and enjoying themselves. What doesn't work quite as well though compared to the series is that the story is a bit too big in scope, the whole drug running aspect of the plot doesn't really fit with the rest of the film, and its resolution is a bit on the disappointing side. That said, the film still delivers a fun time for sure and should please both fans of as well as newcomers to the series.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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Out now from
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