Friday, April 29, 2011

Bottle Boys Season 1, episode 3 “Danger, Woman at Work” 15 September 1984

The same wonderful person who sent me last week’s offering also sent me the 9 episodes of “Bottle Boys” he had. I’ve been looking for this show forever!!!! Although unfavorable reviews here and there on the web had me a little leary. Was it really “the worst British sitcom ever”??? Now that I’ve seen these 9 episodes I can say no. They’re actually very cute and funny. Originally I had had the notion that they’d be a continuation of the “Confessions” movies. Something about a milkman servicing every need of each housewife on his route. But, no, nothing like that. It’s all very innocent and light-hearted. Robin has said of the show that by the ‘80s comedy in the UK was getting more restrictive, and they were unable to do the kinds of humor popular in the ‘70s. Nevertheless, this was a good, solid comedy that shouldn’t be dismissed as it seems to be. It should be released on DVD. I promise to buy it, as there are a few episodes I still need to see! Who over there has something against Robin Askwith, I’d like to know!! It’s like pulling teeth to get all his series officially released!!!! And yet, our American PBS carries at least a million of truly the MOST god-awful things that have ever come out of Britian. Ugh, it frustrates me to no end. Our local PBS station, Oregon’s OPB, is a wasteland of BAD British comedy on Saturday nights. Something called “My Hero”? I think? I’m not even going to put energy into looking it up. About a woman whose boyfriend is a superhero? OOOOH is it bad. And some other thing, don’t know the name ‘cuz I don’t watch it but it stars Geofferey Palmer (who is a good actor, he’s in lots of other things) as the husband of a middle-aged woman (no not “Butterflies” I didn’t mind that one) but OOOOH is it mind-numbingly DULL! Britian must have some deal with PBS that says, “Okaaayyyy, if you want our Dr. Who you need to ALSO take these 10 OTHER shows…..!”

Whew. OK, long-winded rant over. But nothing makes me more furious than Robin’s stuff stuck somewhere on a back shelf in storage and absolute JUNK thrust at us instead!

Finally, on to the review of the first episode I have of “Bottle Boys”:

An elderly milkman is retiring, so he needs to be replaced with someone new. This is a time when things are getting more “PC” so the job placement office has renamed the position “Milkperson” and sends along a woman to fill the job. Of course, for the laugh factor, it has to be a stuffy-snooty type of woman that gets right to work fancy-ing up the breakroom with flowered sofas and a feminine tea set. Also rips down all the pornography on the walls. The guys don’t appreciate any of this and set up a plan to force her to quit. The boss doesn’t allow husbands and wives to work together so Robin’s “Dave Deacon” is nominated to ask her to marry him – much to his dismay. Some funny moments as he akwardly attempts this feat – and discovers she is desperately attracted to him!

Good glimpse of Robin’s arms in one of the scenes…wearing a skintight bright pink sleeveless top!

The first two episodes, which I still need to see are:

1. "Fools Rush In" 1 September 1984: "Dave Deacon finds an elderly customer on a sixth floor windowsill, threatening suicide."

2. "God Save Our Dairy" 8 September 1984: "Dawson Dairy is on the rocks and the staff rally to fight for their jobs."

Friday, April 22, 2011

Evil Calls: The Raven – 2007

Guess what? I finally got to see this elusive film! The nicest person I’ve ever come across on the internet was reading my blog and offered to make copies of quite a few things I needed that he had! So….first up: The Raven!

He warned me it was pretty bad. Well, yes. Not even in the “so bad it’s good” kinda way that I like. Actually, the story has potential. A group of computer-savvy 20-somethings go on a murder investigation a year, broadcasting their adventures live on the web. This year it’s off to a remote wooded area where, two years prior, a family had gone missing: writer George Carney, his wife, two kids, and his brother Vincent….Robin! One girl is psychic and through her the story of the family is shown to us in sepia-toned flashbacks. We find out Vincent had been having a long-standing affair with his brother’s wife… and George, upon the realization of this, descends into madness.

Now…that’s the part I understood. Amidst this story, there’s a lot of convoluted, dreamy, confusing sequences that I just could not decipher. Plus, a lot of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” being read. I guess you can sorta make a couple comparisons between this poem and the movie (guy descending into madness, reference to a woman named “Lenore” who had cursed this wooded area centuries ago) but otherwise, I don’t really see why this movie was called “The Raven”. Maybe if I watched it a few more times I’d get it.

When this film wasn’t being confusing, it was being boring with long, drawn out scenes of the computer kids poking around the woods and the cabin, just asking to be killed off. You know, though, these parts make it fit right in with “Flesh and Blood Show” and “Tower of Evil”!

Anyway, my fave part was the glimpse of Robin making out with the wife. Ah, the way she ran her hands through his long hair…’s like the ‘70s never left us….

June 1, 2011 update!

I just stumbled across this site:

It looks like they've re-titled this as "The Legend of Harrow Woods" and are re-releasing it in July of 2011! You're in luck! There's also a trailer for it on YouTube:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bless This House - 1972 – Season 2, Episode 12, “A Touch of the Unknown”

This is the TV series from which the movie of the same name (which Robin starred in as son Mike) was spun off. It was easy to buy an official release of just season 2 from Amazon UK for not too much. It’s not that great of a show, I found the movie lots funnier. The parents are fine as actors but the “teenaged” kids are just horrible. The guy who plays son Mike is good-enough looking with his long dark hair, but I couldn’t help but being mad at him for being in a role that should have been Robin’s! hehe. The show is full of tired old jokes about “the older generation just doesn’t understand! blah blah blah” by the kids.

However, the last episode of season 2 is the one Robin is in, and it is by far the funniest episode. And not just because of him, either, his role wasn’t very big. It was just a really good one, and I laughed out loud at times. The family decide to have some fun with a Ouija board and later on think they have brought a ghost into the house because of some weird noises in the night. Those noises, though, are due to Mike’s friend Sam (Robin!) sneaking around in the house and clumsily bumping into things. The reason Sam has to sneak around is because the dad didn’t like him and didn’t want him around, but Mike was letting him stay the night. Robin was cute but you just don’t see enough of him as he dashes through the hallways!

In Robin’s book he mentions that while filming this episode he understood why the producers didn’t want to use the same Mike for the movie, as he kept showing up late for work every day and making up silly excuses. Lucky for our Robin! Who, in the movie, makes a much better Mike!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Confessions from a Holiday Camp – 1977

Been holding off on watching this as….sob…I’m at the end of my “Confessions” movies! I kept this one unwatched so I could always have that last one to look forward to, but alas, the time has come.

As for quality, I’d put it down as a little better than “Pop Performer” but not as good as the other two.

Robin is again Timmy Lea, and for some reason has now found himself, along with brother-in-law Sid, working for some kind of English vacation club. It is still March, and mentioned that the weather is quite chilly…but there are still a lot of people there, not worrying about it and quite willing to lounge around in their bathing suits. Brrr! Robin, in his book, mentions that it really WAS March while they filmed it and he wound up in bed with a fever after filming the water-skiing scene!

The story is predictable. Timmy and Sid of course get into trouble with their boss. Sid comes up with an idea of having a beauty contest (um, didn’t this already happen in “Carry On, Girls”?) and then he and Timmy find themselves getting a lot of “favors” from the contestants! The sex does seem to be toned way down in this one…especially if you compare it to “Pop Performer”. But, like “Pop Performer” Timmy again doesn’t have much depth to his character. He goes through a lot of motions without the insight or thought he had in “Window Cleaner”. He also doesn’t have a love interest in this one. His real-life girlfriend at the time, Lynda Hayden, (who played the love-interest in “Window Cleaner”) is back but as a completely different character, “Brigette” with a bad French accent. Robin looks like he’s bored with the sex scenes and doesn’t seem to make too much of an effort in trying to feign enjoyment. And oh! Did I cringe when they introduced the “Black” girl along with all the very UN-pc racial jokes!

The humor is all slapstick, culminating in a huge pie-fight in the end. There are some laugh-worthy moments, but generally it’s just silly. There is a suggestion at the end that another movie may be coming along, about them going into the plumbing business, but I guess that fell through. And that’s probably a good thing.

On a side note…on Netflix I sometimes rent non-Robin early 70s British shows just for fun. Recently I watched a few early ‘70s “Til Death Do Us Part” which is what the American “All in the Family” is based on. But I noticed how the “Confessions” series may have been based on it as well. The family’s mom is played by the same Dandy Nichols. The lazy live-in son-in-law is played by Anthony Booth. There is an adult daughter (who looks familiar – she may have been in some other Robin things) and they have a baby boy. The dad is different, though, very obnoxious, and there’s no Timmy Lea type character, nor any sex in it. It’s not very good at all, really, but it’s interesting to think that this COULD have inspired “Confessions”.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Alfred the Great – 1969

Very hard to find on VHS…and it’s not on DVD. Luckily, I came across someone who had a copy and posted it in segments on YouTube! Gold mine!! I am so thankful I didn’t again have to shell out money for something Robin was in for 5 minutes. Thankful also that he was in the FIRST five minutes of this film and then gets killed off, so I know he wouldn’t pop up again somewhere later. So I only downloaded and watched the first 10-minute segment.

In 9th century England, it tells us, the country was not yet unified, but consisted of several independent kingdoms. Alfred was a young prince who dreamed of uniting the country. When the movie opens, the savage Danes are beginning to invade. Robin is a young shepherd with nothing more on his mind than making out with his girlfriend. In his biography he mentions that she was played by Phil Collins’ girlfriend at the time. So….in the midst of making out he hears the invaders come ashore and, despite her trying to hold him back, runs out to…what, defend his country? One lone boy against an army? Well, he tries. And gets speared. And they carry off his girl. And that’s the end of that.

As always, he makes the most of his role, getting in practice for what he’ll go on to do a lot more of!

Anyway, sorry I’m too lazy to watch the whole movie and offer you a decent review. I’m sure it’s very interesting and informative but I’m just not in the mood for a complex history lesson right now.