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Films: A is for...

Adventures… films, The

With Robin Askwith’s red-arsed Confessions ruling cinemas nationwide for no readily explained reason, sleaze kingpin Stanley Long got onto the cinematic equivalent of a Banda duplicator to produce the short-lived Adventures series. Adventures Of A Taxi Driver, set Barry ‘Mind Your Language’ Evans up as the hapless hero, but keeping the coarser Long tone and trademarks – the film starts with a mockumentary montage of location footage as a voiceover pays sarcastic tribute to the Great London Cabbie, before we’re launched into the Adventures proper with a truly unpleasant “gag” involving a pet snake. Evans was replaced by Christopher Neil for the follow- ups …private Eye and …plumber’s Mate (which rather sneakily nicked its premise of the never-made fifth Confessions film). They’re all much of a muchness really, although two points stand out. They truly are the seediest-looking films you’ll ever see, mainly because they’re not trying for it – Evans’ bedsit is surely the grottiest ever seen in the cinema, but you can bet it was only chosen because it belonged to a cast or crew member. The other strange thing is the sheer unabashed tokenism of the cameos. Willie Rushton spends many a scene talking to other characters on a telephone in a box-room, having clearly been bussed in for the day, put in a couple of hours, collected his cheque, and gone home. …Plumber’s Mate featured Stephen ‘Blakey’ Lewis and Elaine Paige. Jon P’Twee, playing a bent copper who absconds to Rio (a location signified by having P’Twee in his pants on a sunlounger surrounded by rubber plants), provides a delightful punchline by having his penis shredded by a toppling electric fan. Best of all, Shaw Taylor’s cameo in …Private Eye consists of him merely walking up to the camera and giving the lens a quizzical mugging stare, thus allowing the audience to go “It’s Shaw Taylor!”

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  1. Layton Percy Jones

    October 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Both the Confession and Adventure films killed of the great Carry On franchise – I think the Confession were a tiny bit superior to the adventure films

  2. Lee James Turnock

    April 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Stanley Long later founded the Alpha Video label, responsible for the pants-shittingly scary synth doodle logo and for giving the good patrons of video libraries everywhere some solid gold classics like Creepshow, the Exterminator, Dawn of the Dead and Shivers.

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