Sid and Bernies plans to take their girlfriends to a nudest camp come acropper when they end up in Paradise Holiday Camp populated by a very strange bunch indeed. Although, the naughty, not-to-say over-sized schoolgirls certainly improve the view.
Whatever your take on the Carry On series there is no doubting their cultural impact, they have never been forgotten, a sprawl of impish, cheeky comedies fixated both with British repression and British randiness.
Camping, a later entry so-to-speak, is possibly the least ambitious, all but free of plot merely a series of vignettes barely held together by the overarching idea of a camping holiday. Yet, here, with the heady pursuit of recreation its target, is the Carry On formula at its essence — that ribald mix of eccentricity and sexual failure. Camping, with its overt double meaning, is like soft porn draped in the companionable cloth of sitcom, another voyage through British small-mindedness.
So, what do we get for our 90 minutes spent with the team of such familiar faces — and this is the A-list on show: James, Windsor, Hawtrey, Sims, Williams and Jacques? The answer is a scattershot of both slapstick — Windsor’s bikini top ba-dooinggging through the air has become an iconic image of a sort — and Talbot Rothwell’s trademark double entendres (he scored well on names: Fussey, Haggard, Boggle) as Sid tries to work his way in to those matching bottoms of the giggly blonde (Windsor, starting to look a bit stretched as a schoolgirl). Interestingly, given the title, Hawtrey plays it straight fumbling around in a tent with Valerie Leon, although Williams keeps to his neurotic, pinched face distaste for all things biological.
Overall it’s a sloppy entry into the cannon, including that comedy staple of undercranking the film for sped-up antics, a little closer to the bone sex-wise with the odd knee trembler, but still with a wry, easy familiarity that keeps us returning to tick off the regulation gags ad infintum.
A little less slickly-produced than some of the others and quite high on the cringy smutty joke scale, with that famous Babs' baps scene.