“I wouldn’t assault you with a barge pole.”
When a number of young girls go missing within a relatively short period of time, Detective Sgt. Bung (Harry H. Corbett) and his loyal assistant Constable Slobotham (Peter Butterworth) investigate the crime. The most recent girl to disappear is Doris Mann (Angela Douglas) who vanishes during a night out with her boyfriend, Albert (Jim Dale) in the woods. The police follow a trail of clues (including a hairy finger) to the sinister and remote Bide-a-Wee mansion.
Carry on Screaming, a spoof of the horror film genre, is one of the best films in the Carry On series. The plot manages to cover Frankenstein, Dracula, an Egyptian Mummy, and Jekyll and Hyde with lowbrow, campy style. This good-natured costume drama is packed with great characters–including villains Dr. Watt (Kenneth Williams) and his sultry vampish sister, Valeria (Fenella Fielding). Bernard Bresslaw appears as the butler, Socket, and Jon Pertwee (one of the versions of Doctor Who) appears in a tiny role as Dr. Fettle. Sgt. Bung’s wife, Emily Bung (Joan Sims) has an ongoing role as the repulsive, nagging wife who waits for her husband to come home so she can launch into another verbal assault. Charles Hawtrey appears as a toilet attendant (“I live in a man’s world”). Sid James is missing from the cast, and so the film almost doesn’t seem like one of the Carry On series, but Harry H. Corbett as Sgt. Bung does an excellent job as the beleaguered policeman. Corbett, perhaps better know for his role in the wonderful comedy series, Steptoe and Son, is a one-of-a-kind comedian, and he makes the film.
Carry On films were immensely popular comedy films that showcased the best British comedy talent, and the films created millions of fans for decades. British television fans will catch allusions to Steptoe and Son and also the highly popular British television series Z Cars. Faithful to the Carry On tenet, the humour isn’t exactly subtle, but in this instance, it isn’t very bawdy, and the humour is mainly mild double entendre (“I’ve been up all night looking for a woman.”). If you enjoy Carry On films, then don’t miss this one–it’s one of the best.