Friday, March 25, 2011

Britannia Hospital - 1982

This is the third in the “If…” series. The second movie (which Robin was NOT in) was “O Lucky Man!” (1971) where Malcolm McDowall reprises his role of Mick Travis. I’d seen it before, but decided to watch it again before I went on to Britannia Hospital. When you first see Mick in it, he is an ambitious coffee salesman touring the north of England trying to make sales. He seems like a completely different person than his “angry at authority” self in “If…”. He travels around, meeting up with one unfortunate incident after another. At the end, he stumbles into an audition for some movie directed by Lindsey Anderson. He is told to hold a machine gun, as he did in “If…” You see another guy who played a schoolboy from “If…” sitting there waiting to audition. Ahhhh! So is this actually a PREQUEL? Everything that led up to “Mick Travis” playing a role as an anti-authority schoolboy? Interesting…

So…on to the third installment in this trilogy…In Britannia Hospital we catch up with Mick Travis again 10 years later. He’s some kind of reporter now. He’s been to America and has brought back a couple of guys (including Mark Hamill!) to help him uncover what’s going on with a crazy doctor at Britannia Hospital – who is harvesting body parts in order to sew together a Frankenstein monster sort of creature. I am thinking this may be the same crazy doctor he ran into in “O Lucky Man” who was trying to do similar experiments? Which would make sense for Mick to be interested in going back to pursue that as a reporter. Unfortunately, Mick gets caught by the doctor and killed. Head taken off and used as the creature’s head. Rather gruesome moments there.

Meanwhile, the rest of the staff is getting ready to celebrate the hospital’s anniversary which will be highlighted by a visit from the queen. Except, there’s social unrest outside, by the masses who are upset that the hospital gives private-paying patients preferential treatment.

Robin reprises his role of “Ben Keating” from “If…”. He’s now a union leader, head of the striking hospital kitchen staff, angry because they have to cook “special request” meals for the private-paying patients. He has quite a few good scenes of being outraged. This is now a good ten years after “Horror Hospital” but his hairstyle is right back where he had it in that, which is a good thing. My fave part is when he is wearing a suit and primping in front of a mirror in preparation to meet the queen. Definitely has an “older Brian Jones” look in this scene. I took a little videoclip of this so I’ll post it to YouTube and share it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

TV AM Good Morning Britain – 1984

According to Wikipedia “Good Morning Britain was TV-am's flagship breakfast television show, which broadcast from 7am until 9am five days a week between 1983 and 1992.” Robin appeared on this during a segment called “Star Turn” where they had a celebrity jokingly read some silly made-up news. Thankfully, someone somewhere recorded this and it’s all over YouTube now! Robin’s adorable as he fakes being serious about the news he’s reading and at the end reveals he’s wearing no pants! Hehe. But why bother with my review….go head on over and watch it for yourself!

Update for today: Just after I posted this I was perusing other blogs I subscribe to and found out that Michael Gough of "Horror Hospital" has died at the age of 94. Details: BHF Blog - Here's to the best mad doctor ever!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Father, Dear Father – “The Life of the Party” Season 5, episode 2 – 1971

Some nice person who was selling bootlegs of the entire series agreed to sell me just the season I needed, season 5. So glad! I didn’t want to get trapped into watching another million episodes of some show (like with Please Sir!) again! Because, I’m just like that…if I pay money for something I feel obligated to get my money’s worth.

Father, Dear Father is a fun, silly, half-hour sitcom. Not something I’d seek out, but amusing enough to keep me entertained. The story revolves around a wealthy divorced writer and his two grown daughters who live with him. The older one is so gorgeous! Has such a unique look and mannerisms. Palest blond hair you’ll ever see on an adult. The humor is very classicly British. Lots of those kinds of “saying-one-thing-and-people-thinking-you’re-talking-about-something-completely-and-hilariously-different” situations.

In “The Life of the Party” the girls decide to throw a party because their father is going out of town. Only at the last minute he doesn’t go after all, so they switch the party location to their mother’s house across town. But the party-goers don’t get the message and all show up at the father’s house. Robin is “Monty”, the leader of the group, who takes the frantic phone call from the girls and rounds up the kids. Hilarity ensues as he herds the group back and forth from house to house as the father gets wise and starts following them around to see what the girls are up to. It’s a good-sized role for a guest appearance, and you get to enjoy seeing him in super-tight ‘70s clothing and a hippie-headband around his hair. He brings a lot of energy into the role and was the perfect choice for it! And so cute at the end when he gets talked into playing children’s party games by the father!

Friday, March 4, 2011

No Sex Please, We’re British - 1973

Aaargh, this is another one of those “Why did I bother?” films. Robin is in it for about 5 seconds, and his face is covered in cake. He plays a delivery man for a bakery. When a jogger comes alongside his truck and pushes the door aside to squeeze through, it crashes into poor Robin, who winds up with cake all over himself. His only line, a sarcastic: “Thank you very much.”

This was a pointless and ridiculous comedy. Some things were so absurd you can’t help laughing here and there but on the whole it’s not worth wasting your time on. Here’s the story: A young banker and his wife, only just married, move into an apartment above the bank where he works. Before long, they start receiving packages full of pornographic photos, books, and films due to an address error. I guess such stuff is illegal at the time in early ‘70s England? Because a big fuss is made to try and dispose of it before the law finds out. Lots of gags involving the mother-in-law coming to visit, bank officials stopping by, etc.

Now the question is, why did Robin bother taking this role? Why did they bother getting a “big name” star (this was right after Horror Hospital!”) to play a character that was unrecognizable unless you’re specifically watching for him? I might be able to see the humor of “The Confessions Star” doing a cameo in a “No Sex” movie….BUT this came out a year before the first Confessions movie! So…very odd.

So....for any hardcore Robin fan who doesn't want to waste energy tracking this one down, here is his only scene: