The Green Man is a mini-series from 1990 which was produced by the BBC. It stars Albert Finney and is an adaptation of a 1969 novel of the same name by Kingsley Amis, adapted for the screen by prolific TV screenwriter Malcolm Bradbury.
When this DVD fell through my letterbox I had no idea what to expect: This was not a green man I’d heard of before. To my great surprise, this mini-series is bizarre, irreverent, and oddly appealing. It plays like a curious mix between Fawlty Towers with ghosts and one of those ‘Carry On’ films.
Maurice Allington (Albert Finney) is a roistering pervert and proprietor of The Green Man country inn. Between attempting to seduce his guests, Maurice takes great pleasure in regaling them with tales of ghosts wandering the halls of his inn. Lo and behold, it soon turns out that there really are ghosts roaming the corridors of The Green Man inn.
The guests must now bandy together to fight or figure out just what is going on here. Without spoiling anything, the measures taken grow ridiculous and The Green Man exhibits delightful strains of irony in the way everybody reacts to elusive sounds of footsteps and the like.
The tone of The Green Man is uniquely strange. It looks incredibly dated nowadays and in a sense this adds to its camp absurdity. I can see why the BBC and Simply Media have chosen to reissue this mini-series; I think there are many out there who would enjoy it.
The performance from Finney is memorable – he plays a lech with evident glee, but he also knows how to balance this side of his persona with that of the startled weakling.
There’s also a decent sense of the unknown: Are the ghosts a figment of the drunkard’s imagination, or are these ghouls the real deal? With Halloween just around the corner, I would heartily recommend that fans of the camp horror (the British sort in particular) genre give this reissue a chance.
No trailer but you can win The Green Man on DVD right HERE