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The Goons in Down Among The Z-Men [DVD] 
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The one and only film outing for the stars of the groundbreaking 1950's radio comedy series 'The Goon Show'. During World War II a gang of dodgy criminals arrive in a small town with the aim to poach a professor's secret atomic formula. Zany antics and madcap tomfoolery ensue as the troupe attempt to pull off their heist - of a Bicarbonate of Soda bomb!
Although they made their name in the medium of radio, the legendary Goons also made brief forays into the world of television and, with Down Among the Z Men, film. It captures the team at a very early stage in their career, with Michael Bentine still in the fold, and with their unique, anarchic brand of humour still in its infancy. Sadly, the style and feel of the film does little to suit their comedy style. While radio offered an opportunity for their imaginations to run riot, here the four find themselves tied to a few stock characters, most of whom would make a more animated appearances later in their career. The plot--with its tale of eccentric professors and evil spies--sees a series of musical numbers and a variety performance crow barred into the proceedings. Those who wish to add to an already existing Goons collection may want to consider this, but anyone wondering what all the fuss is about should head straight for the many radio collections available and hear the sound of true genius at work.
On The DVD: Down Among the Z Men offers little to recommend, with the DVD lacking in any extras whatsoever. Being taken from an original fifties print, the black and white picture is of reasonable quality yet cannot help but look extremely dated. At best it is the sort of curio that would pass time on a Sunday afternoon but it is hard to consider this a particularly essential DVD release. -Phil UdellSee all Product description
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As a Goon Show fan for over 50 years it was good to see the Goons in action. By today's standards the comedy might seem a bit far fetched but when you compare it the current American tripe that's forced on us on TV the dated movie comes out a winner. Recommend this movie to those who want something different.
It is not very long. (Only 1 hour 7 minutes.) It is quite dated. A paper-thin plot padded out with non-Goon dance numbers and songs. There is a stage show whos only point seems to be to show off Peter Sellers and the dancing girls.
It does have a few interesting bits. Peter Sellers has a monologue with multiple characters in the stage review at the end. There are a few laughs off and on. (Mostly off.)
The Goons humor works better on radio. This movie shows just why.
But I am not sorry I got it. It is a very odd movie that does have a few worthwhile bits and is worth seeing once.
The z-grade plot looks like a leftover National Service comedy that has had the Goons clumsily grafted on and scores maximum marks on the cringe factor - it has songs too. So cheap that it makes Hammer's pre-horror comedies look like A-pictures, this makes for a very long 68 minutes that stands along with Revolution, She’ll Be Wearing Pink Pajamas and What’s Up, Nurse? as one of those films that makes the death of the indigenous British film industry seem like not such a bad idea after all.
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