By Phil Hall | May 7, 2004

BOOTLEG FILES 030: “Down Among the Z Men” (1952 comedy with the stars of BBC Radio’s “Goon Show”).

LAST SEEN: One-time screening in New York in 2002.


REASON FOR DISAPPEARANCE: Too obscure and burdened with a bad reputation.

CHANCES OF SEEING A HOME VIDEO/DVD RELEASE: Nil. No perceived U.S. commercial value.

BOOTLEG OPPORTUNITIES: Easy to find, with fair-to-okay visual quality.

Get the bootleg in part two of THE BOOTLEG FILES: “DOWN AMONG THE Z-MEN”>>>

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  1. Muswell says:

    My guess is that US readers will be completely unaware of the Goon Show and probably wouldn’t get it even if they heard it due to the array of English accents and period flavor of much of the material. However it is still being repeated in the UK and CD collections are available of nearly all of the surviving episodes.
    The team got together for the “Last Goon Show of all” in 1972 which was televised and there is a DVD.
    “Z Men” was made when the show was in its first flush and was not a box office flop as described as a B film its revenue was assured just by being distributed as it was rentals and a tax break called the Eady Levy that funded it. “The case of the Muckinese Battle Horn” and “The Running Jumping Standing Still Film” were shorts that more successfully conveyed the Goon humor if you can track those down. Another curiosity is a the “Tellygoons” a series of films with the goons represented by puppets which awaits rediscovery on DVD.
    NB;The Goon name was taken from characters in the Popeye cartoons. Bentine had a goonish TV series called “Its a Square World” .

  2. Mike Watt says:

    Actually, I do remember seeing this on a VHS at a store I worked at in the ’90s. I’m sure it was a “legitimate” release, though it was definitely a Kinescope. Though now that I think about it, it may have been a “Goodtimes” release, so its officiality is questionable.

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