2012 Film Challenge #17 - Carry-On Screaming!

Carry-On films aren't very good, but they're far from unwatchable. This one, though, it's notorious, isn't it? A parody of the horror films which succeeds in being every bit as – if not more so – disturbing as the films it so gleefully lampoons.

Nearly a decade ago (Christ), Channel 4 put out some fantastic Halloween related television. It all centred around one of their lists – ho, I miss their lists – The 100 Scariest Moments.

This appeared in it, and originally I thought it to be one of the more innocuous entries – the sort that's only included because those who compiled the list had memories of childhood trauma attached. Not really scary now, but it used to be.

However, I did find this quite scary. Hammer Horror films feature gruelling horror with occasional flashings of light relief. This was light relief with occasional forays into truly disquieting territory.

Dr. Watt has an evil money-making scheme which seems so flawed in its money-making potential that it has to have been devised based purely on deep-seated sadism: He's boiling women alive to turn them into wax mannequins to sell to shops.

I mean, how much must mannequins be if abduction, torture and murder represents a preferable alternative to just buying them? No, Dr. Watt must be doing this because he's enjoying it. Frying tonight!

But he's not enjoying it, is he? The whole thing wears him out to the point that he has to plug himself into the mains and literally recharge. He's compelled then. He does it because he has to.

That, combined with the fact that he's Kenneth Williams and so accompanies his horrific deeds with a slew of double entendres makes him even worse than the Jigsaw Killer, if you ask me.

There's nothing worse than a self-righteous serial killer. Seven, Saw and Phonebooth: They're sanctimonious, tedious hypocrites.

In aiming for gentle comedy, though, the Carry-On gang accidentally achieved horrifying gold.

Is that saying something? Perhaps it is.

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