Movie: Carry On Screaming (1966)

Despite being a self-professed anglophile, it has taken me an unusually long time to become acquainted with the Carry On series of films.  This British comedy institution appears to be simultaneously widely loved and derided, with each entry parodying a different subject.

My introduction to the series is 1966’s Carry On Screaming, a horror parody in general and more specifically that of the output of Hammer Studios.  I am a huge Hammer fan, and this proved to be a good point to dip a severed toe into the series.

There is a plot, though it exists for little more than a framework for the endless puns, wordplay and innuendos.  Women are being abducted by a sinister sibling duo, who then dip the damsels into wax and sell them to local shops as mannequins.  A hybrid of Frankenstein’s monster and the wolfman is used to procure the young women.

The humor is all over the place, yet I laughed a lot.  And I was embarrassed at some of the things I had laughed at.  Then again, I probably rolled my eyes, or had no reaction at all, to as many or even more moments.  The humor is largely pitched somewhere between the less tawdry Benny Hill sketches and the better UK sitcoms of the 60’s and 70’s.

For those who are interested in this film, or already fans of it, I recommend checking out a brief series Steve Coogan once did called Dr. Terrible’s House of Horrible.  It is an even more spot-on Hammer parody/tribute, complete with some surprising cameos.

Dir: Gerald Thomas

Starring Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Harry H. Corbett, Fenella Fielding

Watched on StudioCanal UK blu-ray (region B)