Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Buggery On The Buses

ITV were at it again last week - trying to ruin Christmas and New Year by continuously showing those three bloody On The Buses films back-to-back on ITV3. Sadly, they didn't screen the lesser known fourth film: Buggery On The Buses. You know the one - Inspector Blake gets sacked and is replaced by a new, disciplinarian ex-Sergeant Major who takes Stan roughly from behind every time he runs his bus late. "I'm going to have you Butler!" he roars, and he does. Right up the chutney. Stan's appeals to the Union for help fall on deaf ears, after his conductor Jack consults his rulebook and declares that stopping the new Inspector from bumming drivers would be contrary to the Union's policy on sexual discrimination. Consequently, Stan and Jack are forced to come up with a scheme to get Blakey his job back. Much hilarity, and buggery, ensues. Sadly, after receiving an X-certificate, this entry in the series was barely distributed, and has only turned up on TV once, in a late night slot on ITV in March 1979.

Not surprisingly, it nearly did for the franchise. Nevertheless, Hammer managed to knock out one more - Cannibalism On The Buses. Considered too dark for general release - the plot features Stan and Jack's bus, with Inspector Blake and twelve passengers on board, crashing and ending up marooned on a traffic island in a busy junction; unable to reach safety, they're forced into desperate measures in order to survive - this one went out on a double bill with gay vampire flick Bite Me While I'm Naked. Not surprisingly, it has never been shown on TV or released on video or DVD. A sad end for a once great TV spin off film series. I say 'great', but what I mean is 'profitable' - in quality terms they were crap with no artistic merit. However, the first movie was the most successful British film of its year, even beating Diamonds Are Forever at the UK box office. By contrast, the fifth one had total receipts of thirty seven pounds and twenty six pence during its two week engagement at Soho's Golden Shower cinema.

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