Saturday, 27 October 2018



Terrible cheapo British comedy from the early 1950s in which Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine and Spike Milligan arse about to surprisingly little effect, with the end result being 70 minutes of sludge that's on a comedic and cinematic par with Old Mother Riley. Who knows whether it would have anywhere near half watchable if more than three and sixpence ha'penny had been spent on it, if they'd taken more than a fortnight to shoot it, or if Milligan and other Goon writers had been involved in the script?

Insofar as anything Goon-related is plot-driven, Down Among The Z Men has Secombe as an imbecile shop assistant who accidentally gets hold of mad scientist Bentine's secret formula for something or other: they both end up at an army barracks run by Sellers with Milligan as idiot Private Eccles. A couple of crooks and a glamorous MI5 agent are on the trail of the formula. Every so often a shapely dance troupe show up and do a routine, and Sellers and Bentine both do comedy skits at a barracks concert (because....?).

In case it wasn't clear, it's not very good. Secombe and, strangely, Sellers are mostly playing straight while Milligan and wild-wigged Bentine go the other way with silly walks and silly voices, and the musical interludes don't get in the way only because there's nothing for them to get in the way of. The comic highlight is probably Secombe throwing a dead badger at a sentry.


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