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on 4 July 2008
Like the previous reviewer, I've given this five stars. The film, I agree, is quite astoundingly atrocious: however, it is one of my most prized possessions, due to the appearance (in Beatland) of none other than the Graham Bond Organization.

For me, it's worth owning this title just for that short segment, in which they give a typically mind-blowing rendition of "Harmonica" (unfortunately, and presumably under duress, whilst miming, but that's in keeping with the film of course). Graham is his usual larger-than-life self; the irrepressible Dick Heckstall-Smith (whom I knew as a friend and much admired) is looking cool in his shades; Jack Bruce is hilarious during the following scene where the teacher berates them for their playing style (he also tells Graham he isn't "beaty enough"); and Ginger Baker just looks totally bemused by the tackiness of the whole thing.

For those who know and love the GBO, this scene is a priceless treasure!
11 comment15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Gonks Go Beat can't even be considered as a cult classic - it is a truly awful film! But, even so, ironically it is still well worth a watch. Gonks were small furry soft toys, created by Robert Benson and Sheila Stanton in the sixties when they were extremely popular. Gonks feature in about 0.1% of this film and had they had a bigger role the film would have been considerably better!

Never mind the plot, such as it is, or the fact that it "stars" Kenneth Connor - there are some unexpected delights to be found in the hour and a half spent cringing through this forgotten gem. The main reason for buying this DVD is, as other reviews mention, the fact that it features the Graham Bond Organisation - Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker et al. This alone is worth the price of the film, but you also get Lulu turning in a pretty good performance in an X Factor-like duel with the Nashville Teens, who also stand up quite well.

Elaine and Derek, a brother and sister duo, turn in a cheesy ballad -and Derek turns out to be none other than Charlie from Casualty! There is also a sports-car sequence which could almost be an early pop video, and an amazing drumming scene led by Ginger Baker Add Terry Scott and Arthur Mullard, and even Capt Peacock from are you being served, and you will get a vague idea of what is in store.

How to rate a film like this? So bad it's good? No, it is bad! But for just the footage of Graham Bond and Ginger Baker alone I will give five stars - unmissable!
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VINE VOICEon 17 November 2007
'Beatland' And 'Balladisle' are at war with each other over the Golden Guitar competition which 'Mr A&R'- who possibly lives inside a record sleeve- holds every year. This has so 'disturbed the fabric of the universe' that 'The Galactic Federation' sends down a 'Space Diplomat' - Carry On second banana Kenneth Connor - to sort it all out on pain of being exiled to 'The Planet Of The Gonks' - a terrible place where half a dozen badly-made soft toys jump around to dixieland jazz all day.

Meanwhile, back on in Balladisle - like it's rival, seemingly only about a hundred yards square, with buildings and pavements quite patently made of painted cardboard - the female police force - who patrol dressed in their underwear with sunglasses glued onto old ARP wardens helmets, for some reason, have arrested a Beatland spy. Can the love of the King of Balladisles daughter save him?

Teensploitation Z-movie of quite stunning stupidity, vulgarity and ineptitude. Essential.
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on 11 December 2014
I’m a bit puzzled as to why I actually wanted to watch this but I suspect it had something to do with gonks – I still miss my little fella who mysteriously disappeared many moons ago. Said gonks are actually the highlight of this woeful science fiction pop musical extravaganza, which is ever so loosely based on the plot of Romeo and Juliet. Other highlights include the Gonks Go Beat t-shirts worn by the “dancers” as well as The Graham Bond Organisation and The Nashville Teens performing Harmonica and Poor Boy respectively.

The storyline features a musical war between Beatland and Ballad Isle and Kenneth Connor as Wilco Roger is sent to earth to sort the whole mess out, failure in his mission will mean exile to Planet Gonk. It is hard to tell what age group or demographic this film was aimed at but I imagine it came on the back of the Beatles phenomenon and the other numerous pop musicals made at the time. Despite its woefulness I would still love to hear the soundtrack album which was released as a CD in 2009 and also features the songs from a movie called I’ve Gotta Horse starring Billy Fury.

I’m pleased that I saw this film, although if I find myself accidentally settling down to Spice World then I guess it is time to finally admit that I need help. Now I remember – another reason for watching Gonks Go Beat is that I was intrigued by the clips of it featured in the excellent documentary Beware of Mr Baker, well that’s as good an excuse as any.
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on 8 April 2010
Couldn't resist buying this film, one of those "so bad it's good" movies. The DVD cover billed itself as the "Plan 9 From Outer Space" of film musicals. There's some truth in this.
As a film it's shockingly bad, but there are a few good musical moments, including The Graham Bond Organisation, featuring Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, and the Nashville Teens. Also, one gets to see an early Lulu trying to be raunchy.
The best moment, however, is when a collection of Britain's drummers including Ginger Baker , and session drummers Bobby Graham, etc, do a terrific drum number. It's one of the best musical moments I've ever seen in a film. As for the soppy ballads crooned by the two "love interest " leads, the less said the better! Bad!
The film features actor Frank Thornton in a role he'd rather forget I'm sure.
As for the film's tropical island sets, they are about as realistic as the sets on Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space.
So bad - it's a relic that gives one pleasure , with a few musical moments that are in its favor. I can't be bothered giving a detailed plot synoposis, not worth the bother!
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on 1 August 2013
This film is a classic and a must see if you are fan of the era. The drumming scene alone is worth it. However, this is not a good movie by any stretch on the imagination. It's great for the novelty though.
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on 12 March 2013
Better than expected from reviews I read.
A real 60's treat with great drumming feature including a certain G. Baker. Sublime!
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on 3 October 2015
Worth the money just for The Grahame Bond ORGANisation's song Harmonica :- the best bit.
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on 9 December 2015
old fashion beat, out of tune but far out
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on 26 April 2014
The film is a disappointment to me personally, the main reason being the subject matter which is not the Beat Generation but English Beat with Kenneth Connor reaching corn platinum with every smirk and raised eyebrow - the set pieces are ludicrous and unfunny - laughable appearance by Lulu - for all the wrong reasons - she looks bloated and amateurish - no wonder that her name doesn't appear on the closing credits - she would have wanted to distance herself from this mess.
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