Starring: Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Barbara Windsor
Director: Gerald Thomas
Running Time: 88 mins
Carry On Camping is a British film about two men who decide to go on a camping trip to a nudist camp they saw in a movie. However, when they turn up at the wrong place with their wives, a normal old campsite, they encounter a far more bizarre series of personalities and mishaps.
What else do you really expect from a Carry On film? Full of ridiculous innuendo at every single second, and featuring a story that makes absolutely no sense apart from getting the characters into the most preposterous situations, it’s a mad and stupid film from start to finish. However, with a collection of entertaining performances, and the willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to double entendres, Carry On Camping does provide an often entertaining and ludicrously silly watch.
As much of a national institution it is in Britain, the Carry On series have never proved massively entertaining for me. Apart from the fact that all of them are effectively identical, featuring the same cast and premise every single time, they can get very boring after a short while, with the same repeated jokes again and again and again.
And that’s part of the issue with Carry On Camping. Although I was delighted that I quite enjoyed the opening half, as the film goes all out with some of the most unbelievable innuendo, and some of the most ridiculous scenarios imaginable, it all gets very repetitive after about 45 minutes, and the film descends into a collection of silly noises and accidents that don’t do all that much to make you really laugh.
Yes, this film is quite a bit better than most of the Carry On saga, and the performances from Kenneth Williams and Barbara Windsor in particular here are a lot of fun to watch, but there was no moment in the film where I was really in a fit of laughter, rather chuckling or being simply bewildered at some of the craziest moments.
And when it comes to the story, everything breaks down. Of course, these films aren’t intended to have any sort of coherent plot, and rather use the ‘story’ to set up the characters in various embarrassing or silly situations. However, when you have a film that works on the premise of one running joke that gets a little dull halfway through, not having a story makes things even less enjoyable in the run to the finish.
Overall, I didn’t think Carry On Camping was all that bad, but just a bit over the top when it comes to repeating the typical Carry On joke. It’s an issue that plagues every single film in the series, and is a symptom of their premise, but with a couple of enjoyable performances and some of the most ridiculous double entendres ever written, there’s some joy to be had with this film in the end, which is why I’m giving it a 6.9.