Hammer’s penultimate and Christopher Lee’s last caped catastrophe. We’re all for bringing the Count into the 20th century, if only to get out of having to see the same old plaster of Paris castle walls over and over again, but here the erstwhile impaler does precious little apart from get some boardroom types to conduct a sub-Wheatley black mass, call upon a gang of sheepskinned biker heavies to knock off anyone who’s onto him and fiddle about with a phial of urine – sorry, bubonic plague. We can’t help thinking writer Don Houghton (best known for creating Take the High Road, coincidentally) hasn’t thought this one through. If he’s just going to carry on like your average Bond villain, what’s the point of him even being Dracula, apart from the still-extant pull of the brand name, and a convenient get-out-clause cause of demise when the time runs out (and this film’s Geoff Hamiltonesque vampire despatch is the most silly yet, beating even AD)? Still, Cushing gamely turns up as a nine-stone Van Helsing, here working for the Secret Service and armed with Joanna Lumley as a feisty daughter. Richard Vernon, William Franklyn and Freddie Jones try their best (well, OK, they turn up to the set on time and say the words on the board without smirking) and Alan ‘Dominick Hide’ Gibson tries to jazz up the dynamics with the occasional rakish camera angle, but really, in the year Hammer was also producing the far superior Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (and indeed the far superior Man About the House), this effort couldn’t look more irrelevant, sorry and bedraggled. Also, we’re especially annoyed for this billing because we had a dead funny line about the Setanta Rights of Dracula but the idiots went bust before we could type it out. Bloomin’ fly-by-night media conglomerates!Read More
Posts Tagged With 'William Franklyn'
Dick Emery does all his dodgy characters in this plotless (he has to look at some women’s arses, is the extent of the concept) Britromp with . The fact that the funniest bit is the caption over a picture of Rome that reads ‘Roma (Rome)’ should tell you something. Notable in a macabre way for being the film the BBC decided was suitable to be shown on the night of the Hungerford Massacre when it had felt compelled to pull Nevada Smith.Read More
BILL “GAFFER/FROGGIT” MAYNARD and WILLIAM FRANKLYN find themselves shipwrecked on a south sea island that looks suspiciously like a set. Laughs in a bottle.Read More
EARLY EVENING Cluedo-based antics with first EDWARD WOODWARD then JON P’TWEE as chairman. Two celeb teams would be shown clips introduced by WILLIAM FRANKLYN about a murder and the panels would have to guess, err, who did it. Best remembered for slightly jazzy flute music theme tune and the fact PATRICK MOWER used to be a guest every week until the producers had to take him off as he was always working out the murderer correctly. To compensate him they let him introduce the programme when P’twee quit.Read More
UPMARKET RIDDLE-ME-REE business doled out in weekly 45 minute doses. WILLIAM “SCHWEPPES” FRANKLYN hosted, with JENNY LEE-WRIGHT on hand as, ahem, “Miss Moneypacker”. Opened with famed Clouseau-esque animated japery as be-cloaked agent lit bomb fuse with cigar. Premise relied on three “agents” assigned a mission plus elaborate cover stories, then meeting requisite quota of special “guests” en route to target. Contestants awarded jumble of correspondence at the outset from “The Department Of Hazardous Projects” courtesy of one “R.J. Bingham-Sterndale”. KRYTPON FACTOR-lite sequence of rounds – logic, observation, manual etc. – mingled with appearances from Agent X (aka Very Special Guest), culminating in GENERATION GAME rip-off playlet with Franklyn prompting hapless contestants via walkie-talkies.Read More
POINTEDLY GIVEN the classification “FARCES” in Mark Lewisohn’s RT Comedy Guide, here were WILLIAM FRANKLYN, BARRY CRYER, BOB TODD, MADELINE SMITH and JIMMY MULVILLE in a brilliantly-written Marshall and Renwick spoofathon. Only six were ever made, presumably because nobody at Thames knew what to make of episodes like I Was Hitler’s Bookie, Amityville II – Luton Town 3 and, best of all, The Fall Of The House Of Franklyn. Superb all the same.Read More