Monday, 12 November 2012

Beasts: The Dummy

‘The Dummy’ is the only rubber beast of Nigel Kneale's series, a character in a popular and endless series of  low budget horror films. Inside the grotesque costume is a man (Bernard Horsfall) who has come to identify more with the monstrous Dummy than the people around him, most of whom use him ruthlessly for their own ends.

Alcoholic, tired, hot, trapped, the actor’s life is falling messily apart and the final kick in the teeth comes when his wife (sexy Patricia Maynard) leaves him for his co-star, an absolute grade one twatpot played with aplomb by smooth, supercillious, infuriatingly smug Simon Oates. Faced with this latest humiliation, he does what any drunk and disintergrating bloke in a monster suit would do and goes on a kill crazy rampage…

Well written (of course), well acted, ‘The Dummy’ is a very talky piece of drama, but that’s not a bad thing: the characters have a lot to say. Kneale may very well be having a pop at Hammer in the basic elements of the set up, but the bulk of the drama isn’t really about horror, or at, least, not the supernatural – all the nasty things here are painfully human, the most horrible horror of all.  

1 comment:

  1. "Have you ever heard of the Dummy films?"

    "My god! What have you got in there?!"

    This is probably my fave episode of the entire series. Pretty nasty and surprisingly violent, but really well written and acted.