Carry On Screaming! – UK, 1966


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Carry On Screaming! is a 1966 British comedy film. Of the regular Carry On team, it features Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey and Joan Sims. It also features Harry H. Corbett (Cover Girl Killer) in his only Carry On film and Fenella Fielding making her second and final appearance.

Edwardian London: A young couple are courting in the woods. Doris Mann (Angela Douglas) is insistent that there is a peeping tom watching them. Her boyfriend, Albert Potter (Jim Dale), reluctantly leaves to scout the area, leaving Doris on her own. Suddenly, a hideous creature appears from behind a tree and abducts her. When Albert returns he is horrified to find Doris gone, and a hairy, clawed finger in her place. Terrified, he runs to the police.

The bungling Constable Slobotham (Peter Butterworth) takes the details of the case and phones his superior, the henpecked Sergeant Sidney Bung (Harry H. Corbett). Bung gets an earful from his nagging wife, Emily (Joan Sims). Slobotham reports the disappearance of Doris Mann, and Bung notes that she is the sixth woman to have vanished in Hocombe Woods within a year.

After interviewing Albert and seeing the strange finger the monster left behind, Bung, Slobotham, and Albert search the woods. The creature is searching for his finger but is disturbed by the arrival of Bung and Albert; Slobotham is guarding the sergeant’s car. Albert and Bung notice a horrible stench in the air, and Slobotham faints with horror at the monster’s appearance. As he lies unconscious, the creature tears the car apart then leaves. Bung and Albert find Slobotham and drive to an eerie manor house named Bide-A-Wee Rest Home

Reviews:

“Without doubt this is one of the series’ finest, awash with delightfully bad jokes, stunning performances of manic horror and demonstrating the finest directorial display in Thomas’ career.” Robert Ross, The Carry On Companion 

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“Gerald Thomas’ direction is effective, following shot for shot the standard conventions of the horror genre, complete with swirling fog, dark woods and creepy sound effects. The visual effects are impressive too, such as when Kenneth Williams’ head fades away, leaving his clothing still visible, or the finger that grows into a life-size monster…” Mark Campbell, Pocket Essential Film: Carry On Films

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“Puts the skids under horror pix. Snag is that most horror films themselves teeter on the edge of parody and it is rather tough trying to burlesque a parody.” Variety

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“A lifeless compendium of old jokes that manages to be neither funny nor horrifying.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook

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Cast and characters:

  • Harry H. Corbett – Detective Sergeant Sidney Bung
  • Kenneth Williams – Dr. Orlando Watt
  • Jim Dale – Albert Potter
  • Charles Hawtrey – Dan Dann
  • Fenella Fielding – Valeria Watt – The Old Dark House (1962)
  • Joan Sims – Emily Bung
  • Angela Douglas – Doris Mann
  • Bernard Bresslaw – Sockett
  • Peter Butterworth – Detective Constable Slobotham
  • Jon Pertwee – Doctor Fettle
  • Michael Ward – Mr Vivian
  • Tom Clegg – Oddbod
  • Billy Cornelius – Oddbod Junior
  • Norman Mitchell – Cabby
  • Frank Thornton – Mr Jones
  • Frank Forsyth – Desk Sergeant
  • Anthony Sagar – Policeman
  • Sally Douglas – Girl
  • Marianne Stone – Mrs Parker
  • Denis Blake – Rubbatiti

In 2008, the Royal Mail issued a set of postage stamps featuring classic British cinema that included this film and three Hammer horror films.

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“Frying tonight!”

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The Old Dark House – UK, 1962

 

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