Follow TV Tropes


Film / Up the Chastity Belt

Go To

Up the Chastity Belt (also released as Naughty Knights and The Chastity Belt in the United States) is a 1972 British film directed by Bob Kellett and starring Frankie Howerd, Graham Crowden, Bill Fraser, Roy Hudd, Hugh Paddick, Anna Quayle, and Anne Aston, with special appearances by Fred Emney, Dave King, Lance Percival, Nora Swinburn, and Godfrey Winn. It was the second film spin-off from the TV series Up Pompeii.

The Queen of England gives birth to twins. In order to protect the blood line one is kept and the other hidden in a pig sty and is raised to think its mother is the pig. Lurkalot is the one raised by pigs who doesn't know his past. He makes a good living as a servant, selling chastity belts on the side. When his master's castle is lost to Sir Braggart de Bombast, Lurkalot must fight to protect his daughter, eventually travelling to the Crusades to bring back his master. While there, he discovers that his twin is Richard the Lionheart, and he is of Royal stock. He must therefore bring back both his master and King Richard.

Tropes used in Up the Chastity Belt include:

  • Accidental Discovery: While attempting to cure Sir Coward's intoxication, Lurkalot mixes a medicine consisting of sulphur and charcoal, which then has saltpeter knocked into when he is not looking. When he tosses the resulting concoction on to the brazier, it explodes. Realising he has invented something significant, he names it 'gone powder' because it makes things 'gone'.
  • All Cloth Unravels: Lurkalot gets the threads of Lady Ashfodel's tapestry hooked on his belt and unravels it when he storms out of the room.
  • Anachronism Stew: From the comparatively minor (e.g. Lurkalot's horseshoe magnet) to the downright ludicrous (e.g. Saladin running a go-go club for crusading knights). All Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: When Sir Braggart lays claim to Sir Coward's castle:
    Lady Ashfodel: And now I suppose you're going to embark on pillaging and rape of helpless women.
    Sir Braggart: I hadn't planned on it.
    Lady Ashfodel: What a pity.
  • Artistic License – History: It is doubtful anyone was expecting historical accuracy from this film but suffice it to say that Richard the Lionheart did not have a twin brother named Lurkalot, nor did he ever marry a woman named Lobelia.
  • Ash Face: Lurkalot and Sir Coward end up like this following Lurkalot's Accidental Discovery of gunpowder.
  • Bad Habits: Lurkalot disguises himself as a friar in order to to smuggle Sir Coward into the castle. King Richard disguises himself as a nun to avoid being caught in the bedroom of the wife of a German knight.
  • Battering Ram: Sir Braggart's men use a battering ram in an attempt to break into Lurkalot's workshop, but he defeats them with Door Judo.
  • Bedlah Babe: The Crusaders Club is filled with them, although many are wearing outfits more suited to a 70s go-go club.
  • Bindle Stick: Lurkalot carries a bindle stick when he sets off to walk (and swim) from England to the Holy Land.
  • Born Unlucky: The marketplace scene features a pedlar selling lucky charms who suffers an unending Trauma Conga Line of bad luck that almost cripples him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Lurkalot is constantly turning to the camera to make asides directly to the audience.
  • Burn the Witch!: Lurkalot is accused of being a witch after having been seen flying (It Makes Sense in Context). First he is dunked in the well till he confesses to being a witch, and then is placed on a pyre to be burned. The villagers have trouble lighting him because he is so waterlogged.
  • Camp Gay: Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Will Scarlet qualifies as Macho Camp. Also a Stealth Pun as they live in a 'camp' in Sherwood Forest.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Lurkalot during his brief turn as jester. He tells an extremely unfunny joke then, when it fails to garner any laughs, he kills it entirely by overexplaining it.
  • Chandelier Swing: Lurkalot attempts to escape from Sir Braggart by leaping on to the chandelier and swinging away. However, he immediately loses control of the swing and winds up falling off.
  • Clothing Combat: Will Scarlet uses his cloak like a matador's cape to cause Braggart's men to charge past him and collide with an anvil.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Richard and Winnie continue having sex despite Lurkalot and Braggart having a running sword fight through the room.
  • Disguised in Drag: Lurkalot and Sir Coward disguise themselves as women in order to unionise the Bedlah Babes and encourage them to stage a Lysistrata Gambit.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Eartha Kitt, who plays Scheherazade, also sings the theme song "A Knight for My Nights".
  • Door Judo: When Sir Sir Braggart de Bombast's men attempt to break down the door of Lurkalot's workshop with a battering ram, he opens the door so they crash into the wall opposite. Before doing so Frankie Howerd breaks the fourth wall to say there is no way such an old joke can work.
  • Emergency Impersonation: King Richard decides to stay behind in Germany with his latest piece of fluff, Lurkalot adopts Richard's identity and returns to England in an attempt to sort out the mess there. This does not go in any way according to plan.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Sir Braggart cuts down the chandelier so it falls on Sir Coward as he charges back into the great hall during the final battle.
  • The Ghost: Prince John is mentioned frequently, but never actually appears; despite him taking over the country in Richard's absence.
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: Lurkalot wears one as part of his motley when he is forced to act as jester at Sir Coward's feast.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Scheherazade is looking at an illustration in the Kama Sutra:
    Scheherazade: "That's impossible!" (tilts head) Or is it?"
  • Hollywood Magnetism: Lurkalot uses a giant horseshoe magnet to strip Sir Grumbel of his weapons and armour during their trial by combat.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: Nick the Pick is called in to unlock Lobelia's chastity belt. However, all of his tools are in his toolbox, which is locked. And he can't find the key. The rest of film shows his increasingly desperate attempts to open the toolbox.
  • Kavorka Man: King Richard is drowning in attractive women despite being played by Frankie Howerd in a bad blond wig. Being king must count for a lot, because his twin brother Lurkalot (Frankie Howerd without the wig) has much less luck with the ladies.
  • Love Potion: Lurkalot has a sideline in making and selling aphrodisiacs. It is not known if these are effective or just a scam.
  • Lysistrata Gambit: Lurkalot and Sir Coward disguise themselves as women and persuade Saladin's Bedlah Babes to withhold sex from the crusaders, so that King Richard will become despondent, call off the Crusade, and return to England.
  • Macho Camp: Will Scarlet is this among Robin Hood's band of Merry Men (all of whom are gay). Will is a Walking Shirtless Scene who is usually posing. However, the final fight shows that he is one of the best combatants in the film.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: Lurkalot asks the Voice who he really is, only for her reply to be drowned out by the dramatic thunder happening outside.
  • Raised by Wolves: Lurkalot was raised by pigs.
  • Smoldering Shoes: Happens to Nick the Pick when the bomb he is using to open his toolbox goes off.
  • Stock Punishment: There is a man in stocks in village square being pelted with vegetables. Sir Coward later sneaks around collecting the vegetables for dinner.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: While getting Lady Lobelia away from Sir Braggart, Lurkalot takes her into his workshop and tells her to take off her clothes. She starts to obey and then says "But we haven't got time!". However, he actually wants to fit her with a chastity belt.
  • The Tourney: Sir Braggart challenges Sir Coward to a duel, with Lady Lobelia as the prize. Lurkalot, although not a knight, takes up the challenge as the "Man with no name" and defeats Sir Braggart's champion, Sir Grumbell de Grunt, with the aid of a giant magnet. Realising that the rules of chivalry have not been met, Sir Braggart declares the duel void and declares war.
  • The Unintelligible: On the way to the Holy Land, Lurkalot stops to as a yokel directions. The yokel speaks with an incomprehensible Mummerset accent, which results in Lurkalot making several false starts.
  • Vine Swing: Robin Hood swings in on a vine and lands in front of Lurkalot as he is making his way through Sherwood Forest.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Macho Camp outlaw Will Scarlet is shirtless in every scene, and usually posing.
  • Weird Trade Union: Lurkalot and Sir Coward organise Saladin's harem girls into a union as part of plan to cut off King Richard's supply of nookie and force him to return to England.
  • Ye Goode Olde Days: Despite being a comedy, Up the Chastity Belt plays the environmental aspects of chivalric romances remarkably straight, with no one ever being besmirched by their physicals exertions, whether it is in sodden England or the scorching heat of the Holy Land. The Dung Ages is only invoked when needed for a particular joke.