Carry On Screaming Reviews

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Director Gerald Thomas Starring: Harry H. Corbett, Charles Hawtrey
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    “Might I first get an appalling confession out the way...”


    written by raehippychick on 15/07/2005

    Might I first get an appalling confession out the way here? I have a crush on Jim Dale. There, now you know.

    I think Carry on Screaming is probably my favourite Carry On Film of all. Possibly. The problem is I like pretty much all of the Carry On films, except for the later ones; Emmanuelle and Columbus spring to mind as the direst of this collection. But on balance for sheer silly amusement Screaming is great

    A comedy that nods affectionately at the great cheesy Hammer Horror movies; the plot is, as with all Carry Ons, simple; young women are disappearing on a regular basis so the local police, Sergeant Bung and his bumbling assistant Constable Slobotham are investigating and chance upon an archetypal spooky mansion in which Dr Watt, and his sultry sister Valeria are looked after by the large lugubrious butler Sockett

    Most of the usual suspects star in their inimitable roles in this excellent example of a Carry On. Kenneth Williams vamps it up divinely as the mad scientist/doctor; the most famous line from this film being his camped up cry of "Frying tonight". As Dr Watt he has a pivotal role as he attempts to oversee the staff of two monsters Oddbod and Oddbod junior who are based on the traditional horror flick image of Frankenstein's monster. Harry H Corbett of Steptoe and Son fame gives a wry Sherlock Homes tribute in his portrayal of Sergeant Bung the long suffering detective coping with strange goings ons, a shrewish wife, incompetent assistant and the burning passion for a possible villainess. The enormous Bernard Bresslaw is perfect as doleful butler Sockett. He keeps a totally emotionless straight face throughout the entire proceedings, even when on answering the door wearing soft sole slippers; the clicking of his heels can be clearly heard. Peter Butterworth neatly underplays the bumbling sergeant, looking for the most part rather bemused. Jim Dale reprises his usual role of clumsy, slightly madcap handsome young man. In addition to being scrumptiously funny throughout he also, purportedly, sang the theme tune, although on the credits it is attributed to Anon

    Fenella Fielding vies in vampy campy attitudes with Kenneth Williams, but does have a very sultry appeal in her hourglass red velvet dress. I often wish I could look as sexy as that! In this outing Joan Sims has moved on from her earlier sex kitten roles in the team to her matronly ones. She plays a shrieking battleaxe wife to Bung with great effect. Her piercing voice rings out with a teeth gritting incessancy. The adorably cute Angela Douglas plays the young heroine abducted by the villains and she has a nice line in traditional ear piercing screams of the true horror heroine

    The two main Carry On stars not in this are the rumpled Sid James and cuddly Hattie Jacques, but the other actors and characters all play their roles so well that these two stalwarts are barely missed

    The costumes are surprisingly good for such a low budget production, better than the scenery some of which is a little Neighbours come early Doctor Who in its lack of stability and depth. The whole film captures the feeling of older cheap horror films very well and the constant humour is often black in keeping with this homage to horror.

    The humour rarely flags as visual gags, puns, and the traditional innuendo flow thick and fast. In-jokes abound such as when the policemen are seen travelling in their jalopy the Z Cars theme plays, or when Harry H Corbett is on screen the Steptoe and Son theme rings out. Jon Pertwee has a small part, and his well known role of Doctor Who is alluded to in a skit with Sergeant Bung and Dr Watt whose Uncle is called Who that's the level of the humour!

    This daft word play can be mainly blamed on Talbot Rothwell the scriptwriter of many Carry Ons. He allegedly decided to include the street name Avery Avenue purely to give the line "We must explore Avery Avenue" to the character of Bung. I am sure his death brought about the slow downfall of the Carry Ons as with the more permissive move society began to take the jokes became more crude and less funny

    All in all this Carry On is a classic. The humour is the established chortling schoolboy style, of the earlier movies without getting too near the knuckle. It's not big and it's not clever, but it is a very pleasant way to while away an hour or so on a quiet afternoon or evening without needing to use your brain too much. Just sit back and have a good old fashioned chortle and giggle.

    Cast List:
    Detective Sergeant Bung...Harry H Corbett
    Doctor Watt...Kenneth Williams
    Albert...Jim Dale
    Valeria...Fenella Fielding
    Emily Bung...Joan Sims
    Dan Dan...Charles Hawtrey
    Detective Constable Slobotham...Peter Butterworth
    Sockett...Bernard Bresslaw
    Doris Mann...Angela Douglas
    Doctor Fettle...Jon Pertwee
    Oddbod...Tom Clegg
    Oddbod Junior...Billy Cornelius
    Mr Jones...Frank Thornton
    Vivian...Michael Ward
    Cabby...Norman Mitchell
    Desk Sergeant...Frank Forsyth
    Policeman...Anthony Sagar

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    Bertie's Response to raehippychick's Review

    Written on: 28/07/2005 get better and better don't you. Absolutely gorgeous review - a model.
    <br>According to the IMDb, the anonymous singer is one Boz Burrell and as a certain orientation of his is descibed as "straight" in another place, I think you could safely transfer your allegience!

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