What a Carve Up! (1961) Sidney James, Kenneth Connor, Shirley Eaton, Donald Pleasence Movie Review

What a Carve Up! (1961)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Kenneth Connor and Sidney James in What a Carve Up! (1961)

House on Humorous Hill

When his uncle passes away Ernie (Kenneth Connorr) along with an array of other relatives are summoned to the uncle's creepy house to hear the reading of the will where they must stay the night. Ernie a writer of fiction stories suffers from an over active imagination and so takes best friend Syd (Sidney James) with him for support. But it seems the creepy house is full of secrets and it appears a killer as the relatives are picked off one by one leaving Ernie and his fellow survivors to work out what is going on.

Take the classic horror story of a creepy old house with a bunch of individuals having to last the night with some of the guests ending up murdered but give it the 1960's British comedy treatment and the result is "What a Carve Up!". And "What a Carve Up!" is a fun little movie with plenty of recognizable faces such as Kenneth Connor and Sidney James who do what they do best, be it Sidney James playing the wheeler dealer sort to Kenneth Connor playing his slightly nervous friend.

In truth there isn't a great deal wrong with "What a Carve Up!" as it is fun, it is nicely shot on a reasonable budget and features a good cast and some truly funny lines but it is a movie which ends up working mostly because of who is in it. A prime example of this is when Ernie and Syd get off the train and see the station is empty he says he wouldn't have brought a ticket if he had known, it is that ducking and diving attitude which Sidney James brings which is humorous. It is the same with Kenneth Connor as it is his ability to play nervous which is amusing rather than the jokes such as being hit in the face with a door which is funny. And it is not Just Connor and James who make the movie as all the cast which includes Shirley Eaton and Donald Pleasence play their parts well.

As to the story well as I said we have a creepy house, people dying and are survivors trying to work out what is going on whilst surviving the night. The good thing is that what is going on ends up a little surprising and unsurprisingly daft which is what you want. Yet somehow I just feel it could have been better and less reliant on the actors.

What this all boils down to is that "What a Carve Up!" is a fun British comedy from the 1960s and an enjoyable spoof of the haunted house storyline. But it is a movie which relies on the cast more than the story to make it work.