Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Honourable Mention: Carry on Christmas (1969)

I love the Carry On films (or at least most of them, some of them were risible, Carry on Emmanuel I’m looking at you). Their saucy seaside postcard humour, particularly the use of the double entendre, and the wonderful recurring cast make them a joy to watch.

It is still sad that a Carry on Dracula/Vampire was never made and, indeed, I wish that Carry on Screaming could grace the pages of this blog… it’s a pity that there wasn’t a vampire character in the film, just a vamp.

Sid James as Scrooge
The cast made a few Christmas specials for British TV and this was the 1969 special. Less a story than a series of sketches featuring many of the favourite cast members; including Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Bernard Bresslaw (Vampira & Blood of the Vampire), Hattie Jacques (My Son the Vampire) and Barbara Windsor, as well as a special guest in the form of Frankie Howerd. The loose wraparound had Sid James as Scrooge and it is the sketch summoned by the ghost of Christmas past (Charles Hawtrey) that interests us.

Peter Butterworth as Dracula
Scrooge refused to give a loan, the year before, to Dr. Frank N. Stein (Terry Scott) that would have allowed the doctor to complete his experiment. He had already built a female monster, Fannie (Barbara Windsor), but she was somewhat frisky, one might say insatiable, and so he was making a man monster (Bernard Bresslaw) for her. “Where’s the vampire?” you might ask. Well, in a moment that was somewhat lore confusing, the doctor’s assistant was not Igor but Dracula (Peter Butterworth). Other than him mentioning having a friend for a drink and putting some false fangs in he didn’t do anything too vampiric but he was there none the less… and it is the only time I can think of where Frankenstein and Dracula are together and Dracula calls the doctor, “Master”.

The imdb page is here.

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