ANDREW GARVEY reviews Charlie Boy, the sixth episode in Hammer House of Horror TV  Series

Title:  Charlie Boy
First televised:
18 October 1980
Director:
Robert Young
Screenplay: Bernie Cooper and Francis Megahy
Starring: Leigh Lawson, Angela Bruce, Marius Goring, Frances Cuka and Michael Culver.

Plot of Charlie Boy

Graham and Sarah take possession of an African fetish after the sudden death of Graham’s uncle. 

But Graham soon realises ‘Charlie Boy’ is much more than just a fantastically ugly ornament.

Where Have I Seen Them Before?  

Actor, writer and director Leigh Lawson may be best known for his 1988 marriage to 1960s British fashion icon Twiggy.  He starred in short-lived TV dramas Travelling Man and Kinsey. 

Angela Bruce appeared in cheesy women’s prison drama series Bad Girls and as the female version of Lister in the classic sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf episode Parallel Universe. 

A highly respected English actor who specialised in playing foreigners, Marius Goring starred in BBC crime drama the Expert from 1968-76 and as the Scarlet Pimpernel in a 1956 TV adaptation. 

Frances Cuka appeared in 1980 Disney family horror film the Watcher in the Woods, had a recurring role in TV medical drama Casualty and currently plays Gran in award-winning Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner.

Michael Culver starred in 1988 TV spy drama series Game, Set and Match, 1977-79 wartime drama Secret Army, early-70s family adventure series the Adventures of Black Beauty and had a small role in the Empire Strikes Back as one of the poor unfortunates whose admissions of failure displeased Darth Vader.

Best line

“Come on, you saw the fellow, dirty great scar down his face.  He’s obviously some kind of villain.”

Review of Charlie Boy

Oh dear.  Where to start? 

Perhaps with main characters Graham and Sarah. 

Monumentally irritating, the pair of them. 

Graham’s a whiny, petulant middle-class advertising drone while Sarah, whose accent lurches about all over the country, appears to be a self-absorbed model or actress of some kind. 

Sharing little onscreen chemistry and not even vaguely believable as a couple, neither of them are as entertainingly vile as Graham’s brother, Mark (Culver). 

A nastily arrogant twerp, Mark at least gets a richly deserved death and, for his short screen time, is the best thing about the episode. 

With a crashingly intrusive, overactive score and a shoddy, repetitive script crammed full of inconsistencies and boneheaded behaviour, this is one to skip.

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