Dead Man's Shoes
The Last Horror Movie
Shaun Of The Dead
The Weekend Murders
Kiss Of The Vampire
The Devil's Men
Three Cases Of Murder
Darklands
O Lucky Man

Barry Mackenzie Holds His Own
1974

Relax - I know it sounds like the title of some dodgy early 70s sex comedy (Can You Keep It Up For A Week springs to mind - dunno why), but Barry Mackenzie is a very different kettle of kangaroos indeed.
Elbowing its way onto this site because of the inclusion of a vampire baddie (played by Brit horror stalwart Donald Pleasance), Barry Mackenzie is actually an enjoyable knock-about comedy which paved the way for all those "gross out" films we've been subjected to in the past few years.
Puking, getting pissed and shagging Sheilas are the orders of the day (mainly, it has to be said, getting pissed) - yes, it's a film about our Antipodean cousins. And if you want any further recommendations of its horror credentials, then react in terror to this - you get to find out exactly why Edna Everage is a Dame.
Leave your brain in neutral, because you won't get much enjoyment from Barry Mackenzie if you're looking for sub-plots. It's definitely a film watched in the "Think Australian, Drink Australian" frame of mind. And speaking of the amber nectar, it's also an hour-and-a-half long advert for Fosters.
The film opens with the Australian Minister For Culture, Senator Douglas Mason, giving a piece to camera about the "Australian cultural renaissance". "The film you're about to see makes me proud to be an Australian," he says, a poster of a huge can of Fosters filling the wall behind him.
Our hero, the perpetually puzzled Barry, is travelling to France with his aunt Edna (via Frogair - yes, that's about the level of the comedy here) when she's spotted by a couple of shady foreign types who think she's the Queen. They report back to their boss, Count Plasma (Pleasance), the ruler of Transylvania - who reckons a royal visit is just what his country needs to revive their flagging tourist trade. He orders them to kidnap her - "but if you harm so much as a hair of her legs, you will suffer the consequences!" he orders, mugging like mad. Well, that's the plot over with, let's get on with the jokes.
In Paris, Barry meets up with a whole load of his mates from the old country (anyone who's ever met an Australian will know this is exactly what always happens), and the amount of cans he's carrying on his person causes the metal detector at the airport to explode. The French police immediately take action and machine gun the offending articles in slow motion ("poor bastards").
Later, on the Eiffel Tower, Barry "cries Ruth" over the edge after eating some poisoned food, and scores a direct hit on his aunt's would-be kidnappers. He then attempts to rescue a "clean living Australian lass" from her job at a strip club, and narrowly avoids getting blown up. He also refuses to have sex with a topless prostitute, over fears that his nose might fall off (Barry has already confided in his doc that he has a "romantic problem", but he's also convinced that sex with anyone less than pure will result in the loss of this particular part of his anatomy).
The group then go to a lecture entitled "Christ And The Orgasm", where we meet Barry's twin brother, Kevin - a priest who's giving one of the talks. Kevin is slightly more high brow than his brother ("I'll see-est thou drongos later"), but his similarity to Barry (they're both played by Barry Crocker) leads to him being attacked by the kidnappers, with Barry having to fill in (cue fantastically entertaining song about "Ratbags").
Finally, the kidnappers succeed and take Aunt Edna to London, with Barry in hot pursuit (after pausing for a big punch-up with his brother). Of course, with Barry being Australian and us Brits being a bit uptight, he has to be smuggled back into the UK as an illegal immigrant along with a bunch of Indians.
"I'm studying Kant," says an obviously educated immigrant girl.
"So am I," replies Barry, "but I keep failing the practical." (think about it…)
However, Barry gets caught and ends up in prison ("Let me outta here, you ungrateful Pommie bastards!" he shouts after giving them a lecture on how Aussies helped win World War II), but is helped to escape by the ghost of his great, great uncle.
Barry discovers that Aunt Edna has been spirited away to Transylvania, and assembles a crack troop of his mates (with the old "Anzac spirit") to help get her back, and so we head towards the predictably stupid ending.
You have to look pretty hard for the horror in Barry Mackenzie, but it is there (luckily, the film is hugely entertaining from start to finish so it's worth watching anyway). Plasma's butler has a tap in his neck (just like in Vault Of Horror), there's an incredibly strange segment where a film is shown featuring swimmers being attacked by flesh-eating octopi, and the end has plenty of stakings and an enormous machine which sucks all the blood out of a body (a scruffy-looking Clive James - yes, the Clive James - is plugged into it and produces nothing but lager).
It may be right on the fringes of what constitutes a horror film, but Barry Mackenzie Holds His Own is well worth tracking down. Who would have thought that the simple act of opening a can of lager could be so funny?

Barry Mackenzie Holds His Own 1974

Barry Mackenzie Holds His Own 1974

Barry Mackenzie Holds His Own 1974