Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bloofer Lady: Fenella Fielding

Valeria Watt entrances Sergeant Bung
2013's Bloofer Lady is the sultry star of Carry On Screaming, Fenella Fielding. Throughout her career Fielding has preferred to focus on stage acting, which means she's far less well-known than her beauty and talent merit. That said, she's managed a few appearances in cult telly programmes, including occasional appearances in The Avengers and being the PA announcer in The Prisoner.


However, it is for her role as Valeria Watt in the 1966 film Carry on Screaming that she's this year's Bloofer Lady. I really like Carry on Screaming; it's less smutty than many films in the series, and is a lovely pastiche of Hammer films. It's set in the Edwardian age, and Constable Slobotham and henpecked Sergeant Bung are investigating the mysterious disappearances of young women from a local wood. Dr Orlando Watt, with some help from his sister Valeria and a hairy creature named Oddbod, have been petrifying the girls and selling them as mannequins.

Needless to say, when he meets the lady of the manor, Bung falls in love. And who can blame him? Valeria Watt's slinky dress and long black hair are classic Bloofer Lady style (Vampira and Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams had already carried the look off with aplomb.) However, Valeria wasn't just slinky, she was scarlet. Films brought colour to horror in the 1960s, and Carry on Screaming gave the classic Bloofer Lady look a stunning blood red velvet variant. Watt's evil deeds are stopped – though not before he petrifies Mrs Bung, leaving Valeria and the Sergeant to live happily ever after.

Beautiful Bloofer Lady, we salute you!

2011's Bloofer Lady was Yvonne de Carlo
2012's Bloofer Lady was Elsa Lanchester

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