Clyde Boyd (Bernard Horsfall) is a horror movie actor who, after six films, is primarily known for playing one part.  His character is a monster called The Dummy.  The Dummy is basically a guy in a rubber suit, but a special suit.  The suit was created just for Clyde’s frame.  The hands of the suit have claws and hydraulics that make them powerful.  Clyde’s interpretation of the character is distinct.  With Clyde in the suit the character comes alive.  After two years he is back in the suit for the seventh Dummy film “Revenge of the Dummy”.     

While Clyde is in the middle of shooting a scene he sees his nemesis, Peter Wager (Simon Oates).  Unbeknownst to Clyde, Peter was hired for a small part in the film.  Clyde complains to the director, Sidney Stewart (Glyn Houston).  Clyde refuses to go on with the scene.  Sidney calls in the producer of the film, “Bunny” Nettleton (Clive Swift).  When Bunny gets to the dressing area, he finds Clyde swigging back a few drinks.  Clyde explains to Sidney and Bunny that his wife, Sheila (Patricia Haines), left him for Peter and took their daughter with them.  Now Peter is here basically taunting Clyde.

Bunny tries to talk Peter into leaving the production so that Clyde can pull himself together and go on with the film.  Peter refuses.  He threatens to sue Bunny and the film company if they try to replace him.  He is intent on harassing Clyde.  Clyde is at the point of having a nervous breakdown.  Bunny needs to do something quickly to bring him back from the precipice.  Bunny begins drinking with Clyde and pumping up his ego as the best horror movie monster ever.  He prides Clyde as being the Dummy.

Whether Bunny’s encouragement worked too well, or Clyde was already too far gone is debatable, but the effect was more than expected.  Clyde, now back in the Dummy suit, believes he is actually the Dummy.  During the filming of a scene Clyde strangles a fellow actor to death.  He then goes on a rampage destroying the set and trying to murder anyone he can as they flee in terror.  Clyde’s guttural screams follow everyone on set as they run for their lives.

This and all the other episodes of “Beasts” were written by Nigel Kneale.  Apparently, “The Dummy” was his favorite episode.  It is said he meant it as a satire of the Hammer films he wrote.  It is a decent psychological film with a variation of the “bully” theme.  This time the bully is Peter, who doesn’t have to do much except just be there for Clyde to be intimidated.

Altogether “Beasts” was an interesting mix of low budget psychological horror done in a stage play format.  There is basically no graphic violence in any of the stories.  Some stories were stronger than others but all together they were not bad.               

The recording order for the series was: "During Barty's Party", "Buddyboy", "The Dummy", "Special Offer", "What Big Eyes" and "Baby".

No comments

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User