Gonks Go Beat is a 1965 British science fiction / musical fantasy film, directed by Robert Hartford-Davis. It stars Kenneth Connor and Frank Thornton. Gonks Go Beat is loosely based on the Romeo and Juliet storyline and features 16 musical numbers performed by a variety of artists, including Lulu, The Nashville Teens and, somewhat incongruously, members of the Graham Bond Organisation including Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Dick Heckstall-Smith. Other musical contributors were – and remained – obscure, although a curiosity for viewers in the British Isles is an appearance by a young Derek Thompson (now known as Charlie Fairhead in the long-running BBC series Casualty) performing with his twin sister Elaine. The title highlights the fad for gonks in mid 1960s Great Britain.
The drummers in this clip are Ginger Baker, Bobby Graham, Alan Grinley, John Kearns, Robert Richards
Ronnie Verrell and Andy White.
Gonks Go Beat was widely ridiculed on its original release as being so ill-advised and botched in execution as to have no appeal to any cinema audience demographic, whether of the younger or older generation. British film historian I.Q. Hunter included Gonks Go Beat in his list of contenders for “”the worst British film ever made”. But in later years, it’s acquired a reputation as a cult film, particularly appreciated by connoisseurs of the “so-bad-it’s-good” genre. Its attractions include the absurdly silly storyline, cheap, cramped and wobbly cardboard sets, clunkily unfunny comic dialogue, a general air of amateurish ineptitude and the embarrassing spectacle of middle-aged actors such as Connor and Thornton obviously all-at-sea in this would-be “trendy” setting. The film was released on DVD in the UK in 2007 by Optimum Home Entertainment, who tipped the wink to its intended audience by describing it as “the Plan 9 from Outer Space of film musicals”, a description originally coined by the UK film critic Mark Kermode.