This is a modern reworking of Carry On Camping (1968), with all the usual stereotypes in place and a more near-the-knuckle treatment of sex and nudity.
Carry On Behind boasts a fine cast of regulars – less than usual certainly (Sid James could not appear as he was working in Australia so Windsor Davies took his part) but still enough to keep it firmly in the familiar pattern.
Kenneth Williams, grabbing centre stage, minces and whines throughout the piece as Professor Crump, giving a performance full of outrageous comments with touches of his youthful ‘snide’ vocals.
Bernard Bresslaw crops up as the ultimate hen-pecked, put-upon husband who falls foul of several comic situations and displeases his wife, Patsy Rowlands, while his mother-in-law, a menacing supporting turn from Joan Sims, joins them on holiday and disrupts the fun.
Kenneth Connor, popping up throughout the film as the randy old major who owns the caravan site and Peter Butterworth as the shuffling odd job man give stunning performances – maintaining the continuity of the series with two memorable and battling lead roles.
Jack Douglas gives an excellent star performance as his usual jittering self but has a lot more screen time, while newcomer Windsor Davies takes on the impossible task of being the film’s chief sexist.
Meanwhile, the real revelation of Behind is a fascinating leading performance from Hollywood star Elke Sommer, who brilliantly wanders into the film as visiting archaeologist Professor Vushka, tossing fractured English comments into the usual concoction of farce and innuendo.
Unfortunately, the caravan site is riddled with old mining tunnels, and the weather is persisting down – and when the campers start to get that sinking feeling, they know they’re in the pits!
Meanwhile, a saucy Mynah bird causes chaos and confusion, the cabaret act turns out to be a stripper and the odd-job man turns out to be one of the campers long-lost husband who just won close to £20,000 on the football pools.
In the end, of course, everybody goes home happy – the split asunder married couples get back together again, the bickering married couples find renewed happiness, Kenneth Connor makes a successful play for the hired stripper (Jenny Cox) and Kenneth Williams finds himself in the enviable position of camping about in a pit with Elke Sommer.
The dialogue is corny, it’s true, and the essence of simpleminded, no-nonsense fun and games is beginning to pale, but Behind, following a film that saw the farewell of so many important contributors, does stand up very well.
Prof Roland Crump
Professor Anna Vooshka
Linda Upmore (‘Mummy’)