The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn Case Itchy dingle dangle dongle dangle dingle doo. Going once, going twice, sold to Fu Manchu. Or alternatively, please check out the following 29 minute movie made in 1956. It was Directed by: Joseph Sterling; and Starred: Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, with Dick Emery.

Now it's been brought to my attention that both you and Sergeant Brown (Spike Milligan) have been going around town, searching for a stolen Mukkinese Battle-Horn.

Well, if you are doing such a thing, Superintendent Quilt (Peter Sellers)! Hurry up, will you? After all, we at Scotland Yard can't have our top two investigators acting so slowly. And deep down inside I'm sure you can do a lot better than you actually are. Especially since exposition, exposition, exposition, blah-blah-blah, superfluous plot-point! 

So this is what I want you to do next. I want the both of you to stop questioning idiots, museum curators (Dick Emery), silent film stars, as well as that blonde lady with the massive... ahum... hands. And then when you've got some time to spare please pop on over to the local musical shop, and see if they have any stolen Mukkinese Battle-Horn's for sale.

You got that? Good. Although that's most probably why what next transpires comes crashing through your window with a brick attached to it. As Minnie and Henry hear a knock at their door - a useless suspect falls down on the floor - please don't read this sentence as it doesn't make sense - and at the end of the day, is it just me, or are those two policemen rather dense?

Now I'm afraid to say I'm having a spot of difficulty writing this review on 'The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn'. And the main reason I say this, dear reader, is because it is fairly difficult to explain to you how much I actually loved watching this comedy.

The Goons: Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, and Harry Secombe
Why? Well, originally I was going to start off my review by comparing this piece to the first 'Airplane' film. Stating how much I loved watching them both because they managed to satirise an era -- plus a genre of movie -- by telling some really stellar gags. But then it struck me! Boing! How can I compare 'Airplane' to 'Mukkinese' when tonally they're vastly different? 'Airplane' satirised all those disaster movies developed in the seventies, and it did it with a cast of eighties filmic players! Where as 'Mukkinese' on the other hand satirised the film-noirs of the forties and the fifties, and it did it with a cast of British comedians from the radio!

So do you see why I faltered with my review, movie mates? I faltered because from that point onwards all I could think of was how this flick was similar to other more recent comedies. Like the Python films for instance -- mainly because the same team of actors played multiple roles in each case. Plus to some degree the 'Carry On' films as well -- what with the way the humour on offer was more daring and witty than the overall sequence of events.

Well, let's face it. From a narrative point of view this tale was about two investigators looking for a stolen musical instrument. And they go about doing this by questioning a number of suspects who are more jovial by nature than informative by plot.

The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn Starring Spike Milligan

Not that this is a bad thing of course. If anything this is a really good thing. Because it gave Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan -- as well as Dick Emery -- a chance to show the world an illustration of 'The Goon Show' if it were ever transposed onto the silver screen. What's more, it also allowed them the opportunity to play about with the medium -- as seen in the silent movie segment -- as well as the nature of words -- specially, witty word play.   

Peter Sellers In The Goons
Anyway. I'm sure by now you've got the basic gist of what I thought about this amazing adventure. I'm so sorry about all of my comparisons. Yet maybe I can make it up to you with the following filmic-facts? (1) 'Marlborough Pictures' first released this four thousand pound production in London, England, on the exact same month Elvis Presley recorded his rock and roll classic, 'Heartbreak Hotel'. It was on the month of January, 1956. (2) The majority of this movie was shot at 'Merton Park Studios', situated within the English city of London. (3) Harry Booth co-wrote the screenplay for this adventure with Spike Milligan, Jon Penington, Peter Sellers, and Larry Stephens, and his claim to fame was to direct such TV shows as 'Man of the World', 'Sir Francis Drake', 'River Rivals', plus the 'On The Buses' series of films. (4) This comedy was loosely based on an episode of 'The Goon Show' first aired on 'BBC Radio', and featured Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, and Harry Secombe. (5) Now if you took any notice of my previous fact, you might like to know that one of the main reasons Harry Secombe was replaced by Dick Emery, was because Harry was too expensive to star in this low-budget film. (6) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, was, 'Filmed in the wonder of Schizophrenoscope... the new Split Screen'. (7) This was Dick Emery's feature film debut. Later on he would become a regular player on both TV and cinema, eventually cementing his name in the public consciousness with his plethora of mad-cap characters. (8) Joseph Sterling directed this movie, and he's best known for editing such made for television documentaries as 'The Death Penalty', 'Barbara Hepworth', and 'A Potter's World.

The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn Starring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan

Overall I'd say 'The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn' was an extremely funny film. The comedy on offer has to be seen to be believed. The story-line wasn't that bad considering it was an early Goon attempt at perverting cinema. And all in all -- yeah -- good job -- I just wished that it was a bit longer in length. 

Nuff said.


THE CASE OF THE MUKKINESE BATTLE-HORN (1956) THE CASE OF THE MUKKINESE BATTLE-HORN (1956) Reviewed by David Andrews on February 05, 2015 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.