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Ups and Downs of a Handyman, The - Odeon Entertainment - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 1
Written by Jay Creepy   
Monday, 24 October 2016


AKA: Confessions of a Handyman, The Happy Housewives, Confessions of an Odd-Job Man, Erastis amesou draseos, O Homen dos Biscates.

Directed by: John Sealey
Written by: Derrick Slater, John Sealey
Produced by: Kenneth F Rowles, Doug Hill, Danny Lawrence
Cinematography by: Doug Hill
Editing by: Jim Atkinson
Music by: Vic Elms
Cast: Barry Stokes, Gay Soper, Bob Todd, Chic Murray, Valerie Leon, Ava Cadell, Julia Bond.
Year: 1975
Country: UK
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 26min

Distributor: Odeon Entertainment

If there's a few things that the Golden age of British films can be remembered for, one of such will probably be the cheeky smutty sex romps. From the Carry On series to the Confessions movies, and a few hundred more throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, the world couldn't get enough of them. Laughs and soft core accompanied by really over-the-top music and characters. This genre made stars, and ruined established ones equally but were quite harmless as works of art are hanging in a gallery.

One which has fallen into the forgotten vaults when surrounded by behemoths as the above mentioned Confessions of... and the Adventures of... was the 1975 raunchy chuckle fest, The Ups and Downs of a Handyman. Starring Barry Stokes, who wasn't very comfy in a lot of scenes (he apparently fancied himself as more of a James Bond or serious actor) and mainly TV actress, Gay Soper, this fun gem isn't dull and fulfils everything it promises to the viewer. It's not shy in coming forwards with loads of full frontal nude women either.

So welcome to a world of red buses, and bicycle clips in the mid-‘70s UK. As the credits swoops about busy city roads, we hear a phone ring. “Blast! Who could that be?” We cut to a moaning panting male voice under the bedclothes obviously in the middle of doing something rude. It's his wife's mum. She takes the phone. Her mum is very stern. “You're breathing very heavily. Have you got a cold?”

Bob and Maisie have been married recently and is constantly bothered by her mother. Bob happily gnaws into her body parts as she tries to hold a conversation. It transpires that they've inherited a tidy cottage from her deceased aunty. However, once there, they realise a job is needed to keep them eating so she develops a plan for Bob to become the village handyman. Cheers, Barry Stokes, for voicing the common as muck theme song. “Up ‘n down all ova town, I can make you smile I can make you frown!” It certainly isn't Percy's soundtrack which had The Kinks on top form. “Wouldn't y' like ta be me?”

Ahh, the days when all young girls and mature women wore miniskirts and talked smutty to all new arrivals. Seems every female in this village is in heat. He places his advert in the local newsagents after a chat with the young girl. My Horror Soulmate pointed out the rows and rows of porno mags on show. Then, as a car pulls up, she's: “Cameraman! Hello crew!” to the reflections. Next up, comes the introduction to the village's local copper, who's moving in fast motion! WTF??? Comedy value, oh I love this film!

One month later he isn't doing too well with his barrow filled with handyman gear. Thus we follow his day. Calling around at Mrs. Wain's home. The large breasted girl who works at the newsagents answers his knock, leaning over him. It's Mrs. Wain's daughter. “I hope you're going to be good.” she says, rather sinister. He says, “You've had a lot of handymen?” She's shocked; “I beg your pardon?!” it turns out the faults in the bathroom. “When you get in there, you should pull it out!” she says. “What??!!” he blurts out. She smiles, “The plug!” The script doesn't get beyond jokes and innuendos like these. Next thing happens, he trips and pulls Mrs. Wain into the bath. She starts kissing him. The daughter strips off and dives in. Many arms and legs tangled together. Exhausted, he treks home to find his wife naked in the bath. He groans.

“Where do you find these films?” asked my Horror Soulmate. Aha, in the amazing hardback (ho ho) guide to United Kingdom rudeness, Keeping the British End Up.

Back to our moralistic local copper, Fred, who dislikes Bob, and pornographic magazines. He always seems to know where Bob is, which is weird. It doesn't help that the area is filled with scantily clad or naked women. Bob comes across (ho ho pt. 2) a nude sunbather on his next job. Fred is prowling. Bob is given the task of cleaning the barn whilst the girl dresses. Then she dances ‘60s style for him and strips. Then her mum arrives, thus the film speeds up and it's like a zombie chow down as Fred the copper sneaks up. He's quite amusing, obviously a character symbolising the old guard of morals and values. No matter what he does he ends up falling or getting hurt.

Moving onwards and we meet perhaps the movie's most insane character, which is played by British legend, Bob (The Benny Hill Show, Superman III, Scars of Dracula) Todd as Squire Bullworthy. He discusses his day with his wife whilst naked (apart from his bowler hat) in the shower spanking her bare bottom. If any scene could capture the stiff upper lip of UK tastes in the unusual, at that time, it's an old man in a bowler hat spanking a younger girl.

“The Squire loves spanking girl's bare bottoms.” Bob is told. Bullworthy hunts schoolgirls in the woods, he hires maids, he has a prostitute in his office. All spankings whilst he laughs like a maniac. Meanwhile, Bob's work load is heavy as word spreads to the women and they “Work him very hard!” Crikey! At least the actor is better looking than most of the retarded looking 'everyday men' in these kinds of roles. Bob romps from one nude scene to another, followed by accident magnet Fred, whilst mad music plays and pubic bushes flash around. (Look out for the world's most watery paint spill.)

Tired of her hubby's exhaustion, she hires Gasper, who's an old man, to take some of his chores. The women are mad and turn on Bob. Luckily he finds a friend who can help him, a friend who knows a lot of things about the villagers.

Every joke will make you chuckle or roll your eyes but not fall flat. The Ups and Downs of a Handyman is all rude and crude harmless fun. The locations are fantastic. It's an idealistic village in the centre of nowhere and makes you wish you lived there (for many reasons). The cast play their parts well. Most are known faces from that nostalgic era of UK films and TV shows. Names like the above mentioned Bob Todd, Robert (Confessions of a Pop Performer, Emmerdale, Carry on Emmannuelle) Dorning, Ava (Commando, The Hound of the Baskervilles) Cadell, Harold (Dad's Army, Are You Being Served, Doomwatch) Bennett, Valerie (Blood From the Mummy's Tomb, Zeta One) Leon, and so many more.

The Ups and Downs of a Handyman is dated -- truly dated. And that's an addition to the entertainment value. It's like a comedy sketch show which was a product of a bygone moment in time. Odeon Entertainment has released it uncut, cleaned up picture quality and with a booklet with some interesting facts, plus a load of trailers, including wild oddity, Spaced-Out, and Devils of Darkness.

Wait ‘til you see what the butcher gets up to! Blimey!!





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 Aspect Ratio: Full Frame 4:3
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital Mono

 – Trailer
 – Booklet


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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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