Carry On Screaming (1966)

Rating:

UK. 1966.

Crew

Director – Gerald Thomas, Screenplay – Talbot Rothwell, Producer – Peter Rogers, Photography – Alan Hume, Music – Eric Rogers, Makeup – Geoff Rodway, Art Direction – Bert Davey. Production Company – Anglo-Amalgamated

Cast

Harry H. Corbett (Detective-Sergeant Sidney Bung), Kenneth Williams (Dr Orlando Watt), Fenella Fielding (Valeria Watt), Jim Dale (Albert Potter), Peter Butterworth (Detective-Constable Slobotham), Joan Sims (Emily Bung), Tom Clegg (Oddbod), Billy Cornelius (Oddbod Jr), Angela Douglas (Doris Mann)


Plot

Albert Potter is necking in Hocombe Woods with his girlfriend Doris Mann when she is abducted by a monster. Detective-Sergeant Sidney Bung investigates. The trail leads him to the Bide-A-Wee Rest Home. Bide-A-Wee’s owner, Dr Orlando Watt, is dead but his sister Valeria revives him with electricity. Unknown to the police, Watt and his sister have created a monster that they call Oddbod and are using it to abduct women, which they then petrify to resell as mannequins. Valeria attempts to thwart Bung’s investigation by spiking his drink with some Dr Jekyll formula.


This was the twelfth of the Carry On films, a long-running British comedy series that began with Carry On Sergeant (1958) and would go on for a total of 31 films. (The only other entry of genre interest is Carry On Spying (1964), which parodies the James Bond films). During their three decades, the Carry On team skewered everything from WWII and the colonial military film to the Western and the softcore Emmanuelle movies.

Carry On Screaming seems to set out to be a much-needed parody of the Hammer film, which was at the height of its popularity when this was made. However, the Carry On films were never sophisticated enough to be parodies – they were merely farces that swiped other entire genres as backdrops for their puns and leering innuendoes. Kenneth Williams it seems is named ‘Watt’ for the sole reason of running a series of “”Dr Watt” “Dr What?” jokes. All the performances bring out a hideously campy excess – these are the sort of films that could justifiably lead to the impression that every member of the British acting profession is in the closet. Jim Dale is particularly wretched, never more wet seeming than when he is turned into a Mr Hyde werewolf. Series regular Kenneth Williams is relatively restrained for once in fairly much a supporting role – it is interesting to see how the greasepaint makeup makes the campy contortions of his face seem decidedly sinister.



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