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|Index||15 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having failed dismally with their driving school, Sid Noggett ( Tony
Booth ) and Timmy Lea ( Robin Askwith ) head off to Funfrall Holiday
Camp, a paradise where the possibilities for sex are limitless. The
only thing missing is the weather. But then their fun is stymied by the
arrival of new manager Whitemonk ( John Junkin ), a former prison
governor. He wants to impose militaristic discipline on the staff.
Noggett proposes a beauty contest.
The Lea family turn up en masse and begin causing trouble, in particular Dad ( Bill Maynard ) who gets involved in an ongoing dispute with the father of a cheeky kid ( Nicholas Owen, 'Tristan' from 'George & Mildred' ).
Timmy's numerous sexual exploits become increasingly public, leading the manager to conclude there is a mad streaker on the loose.
Against Sid's wishes, Rosie enters the beauty contest. But when the kid chucks a cream pie at a contestant, all hell breaks loose...
I used to work in a holiday camp ( as a chef ) so know how accurate a lot of this film is. Some of the things I saw would make even Timmy blush! It is the usual slap and tickle, enlivened by guest appearances from John Junkin, Colin Crompton ( from 'The Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club' ) and Lance Percival ( whose role of 'Lionel' seems to have been written for Kenneth Williams! ).
The formula was looking a bit tired by this time; this entry closely resembles 'Holiday On The Buses', while the finale was obviously inspired by that of 'Carry On Girls' ( both 1973 ).
Liz Fraser and Linda Hayden, both of whom featured in earlier 'Confessions' pictures, return as different characters. Sue Upton ( later to be one of Benny Hill's 'Angels' ) and Caroline Ellis are particularly good as a pair of giggling Brummie girls called 'Glad' and 'Reen'. Shame about Timmy's racist remarks to 'Blackbird' ( Nicola Blackman ) though.
Top marks to the cast for throwing themselves into the piece with abandon. It could not have been easy being filmed in bikinis and swimming trunks in March.
Funniest moment? Whitemonk complaining to Sid about the streaker, while behind him a naked Timmy thrashes about in a pool.
'Confessions Of A Plumber's Mate' was planned next, but Columbia unexpectedly shut down film production in the U.K., and it went unmade, though Stanley A. Long cheekily put into production the not-dissimilar sounding 'Adventures Of A Plumber's Mate'. That too was the last of its line. British audiences were beginning to be more interested by American comedies such as 'National Lampoon's Animal House' and '10'.
I hope no-one tries to revive 'Confessions'; like the 'Carry On' films, they were of their time. Naughty but nice!
Confessions From a Holiday Camp, the fourth and final film to star
Robin Askwith as working class lothario Timmy Lea, fails spectacularly
as a comedy, the unsophisticated script resorting to embarrassing
racist remarks, crass homophobic jokes, and childish slapstick in a
desperate attempt to illicit giggles from its audience.
'So, if it's not all that funny, then why have you rated it so highly?' I hear you ask. The answer: the endless quality British crumpet, of course. The plot, which sees Timmy organising a beauty contest at Camp Funfrall, allows for plenty of bare breasts, some shapely female derrieres, and more bush than Hampton Court Maze. Not only does the lovely Linda Hayden, star of the first Confessions film, return to play foxy French holiday host Brigitte, but we also get sexy brunette Caroline Ellis as yummy Brummie Gladys, Kim Hardy as the camp's tasty announcer, Nicola Blackman as Blackbird, the camp's curvacous Caribbean queen (and, sadly, the brunt of the racist jokes), and busty Janet Edis as a horny MILF.
Unfortunately, there's also rather a lot of Robin Askwith's hairy ass on display, but you can't win 'em all I suppose.
The last of the four Confessions films is about Timmy and Sid running a holiday camp, basically a summer camp for the whole family. If you've seen any or all of the previous films in this series, you'll get just what you expect: General silliness, dumb gags and nudity at the drop of a hat. There was a British show called Hi-De-Hi which was also set in a holiday camp, but that show had polish and well developed characters, while this film is just an excuse for sexual antics. That in and of itself is not bad, but the film doesn't try very hard to be anything but a sex comedy. I'm sure the film maker wasn't looking to make a masterpiece but I just found this so-so at best. Mostly for lovers of the sex comedy genre and for anyone who feels nostalgic about the film.
"Timmy Lea" (Robin Askwith) and his philandering brother-in-law
(Anthony Booth) from "Confessions of a Window Cleaner" (and two other
"Confessions" movies I haven't seen) are working together once again,
this time running a holiday camp called "Camp Funfrall". Their jobs are
on the line, however, when the camp gets a new uptight owner. The
brother-in-law tries to redeem them by sponsoring a beauty contest for
the unusually large amount of nubile lovelies that patronize the camp,
but his efforts are jeopardized by Timmy's customary habit of falling
into various madcap sexual situations, which always seems to result in
him running naked around the camp (to the point where he is dubbed "the
Camp Streaker"). And to make matters even worse, Timmy's goofy parents
and sister also show up to add to the zaniness.
Compared to "Confessions of a Window Cleaner" this British sex comedy has a little less emphasis on sex and a little more on comedy. Unfortunately, the comedy isn't nearly as funny as in the earlier entry, mostly because Timmy's hilarious parents don't have nearly as large of role. The lovely Linda Hayden (who played his fiancée in the first movie) returns as a different character, a French co-worker. Hayden's French accent is none-too-convincing, but she's never clad more than scantily, and often not at all. The same is true of the other women at the camp, including a black girl (to whom Timmy makes some very politically incorrect comments that nevertheless don't dissuade her from going to bed with him), an older married woman (Penny Meredith), and two giggly teenage friends (Carol Ellis and Sue Upton) . As usual, however, Askwith himself spends more time in the buff than any of the women. (I sometimes suspect that this series, with pretty-boy, Mick Jagger-lookalike Askwith, was aimed more at a 70's British version of a "bi-curious" audience as opposed to an entirely straight one).
If you liked the first movie (like I kind of did), this is not as good, but it's not necessarily bad. If you didn't like the first one though, you'll probably find this one even worse.
The fourth and final entry in the sleazy 'Confessions' series sees
charmless slut Robin Askwith working in the dreariest holiday camp you
ever saw and getting up to all the usual antics with various guests.
This isn't so much saucy seaside postcard humour as it is 'Razzle' letters page, with typically demeaning roles for the girls and a barrage of unfunny, occasionally homophobic gags adding to the 'fun'. Askwith mugs as if his career depends on it while director Norman Cohen provides a masterclass in how to make attractive women appear completely devoid of sex appeal.
The rather off-putting shags aside, the movie is a succession of scenes that set up punchlines but never deliver.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To be fair there are funny moments, namely that we watch this in the
knowledge that Sid is Cherie Blair's Dad and that Askwith and Co would
have frozen their parts off as it was filmed in the winter (a fact that
Askwith acknowledges in the voice over).
It's like some surreal time frame now, everyone smokes fags, Askwith is unintentionally racist with "Blackbird" (their listing's not mine!) but still has time for some interracial bonding later, proving that lust conquers all. Probably quite risqué back then.
Also it's weird to watch this and realise none of the ladies are surgically enhanced! Thats quite refreshing and earn's it a an extra point.
I saw this film in 1977, aged 21, stoned, sitting up the back of the Odeon High Street Kensington, with some friends, smoking. And we laughed. We laughed a lot actually. Seeing it on DVD, in my lounge at home, aged 52, on a cold Friday night, by myself - well, surprise, surprise, it wasn't funny anymore. Not only is it of it's time but also of it's place in history. It's cheap, written without much imagination, with no real laughs and with some (by 2008 standards) cringe inducing racism and sexism. But for all that, like Carry On and Doctor films, it is remarkably easy to watch and has a fascinating British charm all of it's own. I suppose the appeal, at it's basic level - is simple. It says that even if you're ignorant, thick and ugly, you only have to smile and sexy women will fall all over you, even to the extent of lining up, five at a time, to hide in your wardrobe. If only real life were like that.
I admit a certain affection for the CONFESSIONS... series of '70s sex
comedy, which perfectly captured working class attitudes during that
decade, much as the later CARRY ONs did. CONFESSIONS OF A WINDOW
CLEANER and CONFESSIONS OF A DRIVING INSTRUCTOR are my favourites, with
Askwith's professions lending themselves perfectly to a series of
The last of the quartet is CONFESSIONS FROM A HOLIDAY CAMP, and it really is a last-ditch attempt to wring more money out of audiences. This time around, Askwith and Booth end up working at a dodgy sub-Butlins type place, where girls parade around in the bikinis a lot and end up getting into saucy encounters with a permanently befuddled Askwith.
There are some funny moments here - like the bit with Askwith in the swimming pool - but a lot of it is cringeworthy rather than amusing and the slapstick scenes are very childish. Lance Percival's portrayal of a gay guy is really awful, as are Askwith's off-colour jokes at the expense of a black woman. It's a pity the script is so poor, because there's some top totty here in the form of Liz Fraser and Penny Meredith, but they would have been better served in one of the other, better, instalments.
Back in 1977 I informed my equally horny schoolmates that I was going to bus from our small town to the Big City of Christchurch to see a 'Confessions' movie. When I got back, I couldn't even remember what the women looked like to describe to the guys. That is because the movie was about as funny and/or arousing as afternoon tea with your maiden auntie. Your elderly, extremely unattractive maiden auntie, that is. The 'Confessions' movies were never top-of-the-line entertainment, but this (thankfully) final entry in the notoriously cheap, nasty smut-smeared franchise manages to be genuinely appalling, even when compared to the others. It was actually boring to me as a fourteen-year-old, and with so many naked bodies on screen, that took some doing. Nowadays 'Holiday Camp' makes a far better sociological artifact than it does a cinematic experience, and then only if you're prepared to plumb the depths.
This is a wonderful film and it deserves full marks and I'll tell you
In the early moments there is a blonde girl in a blue bikini who is smearing what appears to be Vaseline onto Anthony Booth's chest. In the cast list she is noted as Julia Bond, but I know better (not that I'm going to give her real name here, of course). That young woman is a childhood friend of my wife's and, in 1974, we shared a flat with her and her then husband. She made a couple of other films, but I think this was the highest profile one. So a big "Hi!" to her if she happens to read this!
There are some excellent British actors of the time in this film - Sheila White (Here we go round the Mulberry Bush, I Claudius), John Junkin (A Hard Day's Night) and it's a bit depressing to think that they had to rely on sniggering nonsense like this to pay their mortgages.
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