Tuesday, February 19, 2019

sweet charity.

No idea who's been sending stuff to my local charity shop recently but it's suddenly become an Aladdin's cave of tat filled delights.

Boxes of He-Man and Turtles toys, first editions of the American Pinnacle Doctor Who novelizations for a quid and huge piles of 'top quality' DVD's starting at 25p each.

Just yesterday I picked up a sealed copy of the Singing Ringing Tree, the crazily entitled Vanessa Hudgens CD 'V', anther copy of the Bud Spence and Terrence Hill classic All The Way Boys (this time on the fine South African Impact DVD label - gotta catch 'em all), the French Doctor Who series 1 boxset and a bag of 70's/80's British comedy DVD's in cardboard sleeves that you usually find in Sunday papers.

Hudgens: with her cash you'd think she
could afford a matching bra and pants.

Sorting thru' the expected episodes of On The Buses, Hi-De-Hi and the like (which incidentally only cost a small donation seeing as they can't be resold) I was surprised (and a little aroused if I'm honest) to find not only a copy of the fantastic (and terribly underrated) Carry On Emmannuelle but also the Barry (cats face) Stokes starrer The Ups and Downs of a Handyman, a film I'd not seen since I sneakily watched it at a school chums house about 35 years ago and whose reputation seemed to be based more on the fact that Bob Todd had an on screen nervous breakdown whilst filming more than anything else.

So, would it live up to those hazy, Thunderbird fueled memories of spankings, huge bristols and hairy man-ass?

The movie I mean, not what happened when my mates parents came home.

Anyway, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure.....

Ups and Downs of a Handyman (AKA Confessions of a Handyman, Confessions of an Odd-Job Man and The Happy Housewives. 1975)
Dir: John Sealey.
Cast: Barry Stokes, Penny Meredith, Valerie Leon, Sue Lloyd, Chic Murray, Bob Todd, Ava Cadell and the brilliantly named Gay Soper.

Helmet haired, horse cocked newlywed Bob (Stokes) and his buxom blonde bird Margaretta (ex Hills Angel and star of the Pete Walker classic The Flesh and Blood Show Meredith) have decided to start their married life in the quietly quaint little haven that is Chipping Sodbury.

Enjoying a wee bit of do it yourself (shelf building and the like, not furious masturbation obviously) our hero sets up shop as the local handyman.

Cue loads of hilarious gags about the size of his tool - meaning his penis - whilst being asked by various 70's dollybirds to 'check their plumbing' - as in touch their vaginas.

Yup, welcome to the Hell that was 1970's British cinema, where behind every door there was a frustrated and bored housewife in a nylon babydoll nightie and furry heeled slippers (usually played by Liz Fraser, or in this case ex Hammer hottie Valerie Leon), a sexy schoolgirl with pigtails and NHS specs (Ava Cadell, former page 3 poppet, Hollywood star and currently a leading authority on Tantric sex), maybe an uptight twinset and pearls wearing school teacher (usually played by mole lipped Crossroads legend Sue Lloyd) or even the bored daughter of the local magistrate with an IQ of a housebrick but the body of a strip queen.

Oh, and the fashion sense of a clap ridden whore.

She might be enjoying the eggy chest now
but just wait till the mooth shite-in begins.

And if that wasn't entertainment enough, it seems that poor Bob is a bit fick himself, seeing as he never catches on to the fact that the small job that needs doing isn't, in fact putting up a spice-rack but ultimately involves his sticking his cock into the customer in question.

You have to feel for a guy who turns up to fix a broken tap, only to find the lady of the house stark bollock naked (apart from a huge rainforest like 70's bush), clutching a dry Martini in one hand and one of her ample breasts in the other lying on a bed winking at him whilst he mistakenly sees this as she's got something in her eye.

Yes, the script is that funny.

Luckily for us writer/director John Sealey and his partner in crime Derrick Slater (who later gave up writing in order to thrill us with his performance as an unnamed security guard in the classic Tom Baker Doctor Who story, The Seeds of Doom) had realized that it takes more than Barry Stokes bouncing arse to make a movie great, so decided to add a few eccentric British stereotypes to the fold in order to up the comedy ante.

"Why what a lovely shiny helmet you have".

Enter top Scots funnyman (not literally mind, he's been dead for years) Chic Murray as the clumsy PC Nick 'Nick' Knowles and balding bumbler Bob Todd as the spank happy Squire Bullsworthy.

Rumour has it that Todd - of whom it was widely known enjoyed the pleasures of corporal punishment in private - was so close to the edge as far as his mental state was concerned, that every day the director would send a car to pick him up from the local hospital where he was being treated just pop him in on set with a nude young actress and let him slap her arse until they had enough footage for that scene.

Which, frankly is nice work if you can get it.

But it's stuff like this that effectively sounded the death knell for the British film industry, whereas our American cousins had the likes of John Holmes and Ginger Lynn Allen strutting their stuff in grindhouse sexploitation epics we had to put up with bald manbreasted old men appearing all naked and pink like big wobbly perverted jellies and in some cases, like in many of the Dave Sullivan produced sex comedies burst into song and dance routines at the most inopportune moments.

A bit like having your Granddad walk in on you just as you're about to shoot your load over a picture of Caroline Munro when you were 11.


Your dad and your girlfriend last night.

To add insult to an already mentally scarred audience the film was later re-released as Confessions of a Handyman (and later still as Confessions of an Odd-Job Man), in an attempt to con poor viewers into thinking that it was an entry in the fantastic "Confessions Of ..." series starring Lord Robin of Askwith and written by Roger Moore Bond scribe Christopher Wood under the pen name Timothy Lea.

Avoid like a dose of crabs, unless the thought of Gay Soper (who voiced the classic kids teevee show The Flumps) getting taken from behind by the guy from Prey tickles your fancy.

Hmmm, just me then.

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