Saturday 28 July 2018

28 - adventure, Euro bar Baby Love, Flight Disappeared, Boy and Pirates, Dealing, 27 exc. Last Mercenary - Great Race possibly included, 29

Colpo grosso alla napoletana (1968) - Vittorio De Sica, Raquel Welch, Edward G. Robinson, Robert Wagner, Godfrey Cambridge and Davy Kaye. Lots of hostage situations, dance sequences per these sort of films, a sequence where De Sica leads a train unto a tank. Part of Victor Spinetti's weird alternate career in the mother country (not Wales). Doesn't start until too late. There's a reason why it is forgotten. Until the final minutes, it is literally forgettable.

Shout Loud, Louder (1966) - Incomprehensible Welch comedy from Italy.

Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (1965) - Two hours of posh blokes flying silly planes. No comedy should ever have an intermission. A lot of these films work best in second unit, i.e. they are too grandiose.

Monte Carlo or Bust (1969) - It is the sequel to the above, but with the involvement of Dino De Laurentiis, so now we have the Italian side. Tony Curtis plays a sort of anachronistic beatnik.  The thing is it is not funny, but there is lots of back projection, and inventive Italian production techniques. Tony Curtis seems to be here to also tie it  to the equally inpenetrable The Great Race (1965). Needless to say, this thing worked better when Hanna-Barbera did it in twenty minutes. Hattie Jacques' brief role is so good, you wonder why isn't she the female lead instead of Susan Hampshire. It may be better than the above, or at least nicer looking.

Baby Love (1968) - Sleazy and voyeuristic sex farce with Linda Hayden bedding Keith Barron and flirting with Dick Emery.

Dr. Wai in the Scripture with No Words (1996) - Incomprehensible, characterless Jet Li vehicle a la Indiana Jones. Turns out to be a Walter Mitty-ish daydream. Feels a bit Hallmark miniseries.

Sigpress Contre Scotland Yard (1968) - Colourless London-set Fantomas knockoff. Klaus Kinski appears.

Ragan (1968) - Dreadful Italian actioner in the desert, with Ty Hardin.

les grandes vacances (1967) - Moddish schoolboys on the run comedy with Louis De Funes as the schoolmaster. Slightly too fast for its own good. The end is the highlight, a runaround about Scotland with Ferdy Mayne and a plane, then Mayne and De Funes riding oil cans. Mayne plays a Scottish whiskeymaker named MacFarrell.

Seven Golden Men (1965) - Italian heist, amiable if not very exciting nonsense with Gastone Moschin, Italy's answer to Colin Welland.

Il Grande Colpo dei sette uomini d'oro (1967) - Begins with our hero in drag posing as the heroine,  more exciting than the original, features a musical number on an underground railway.  The Italian heist team films seem to have more excitement than the Eurospy stuff, or maybe as there are more characters, there is less focus on the singular bland sexist hero, or maybe there is so much going on that it doesn't feel so smug. This turns into a jungle caper.  There is an ambition to some of the Italian heist movies that the more American films never even aim to.  This has ships, submarines, jet packs, underground railways, cannons hidden in gold bullion, divers, and may be that rarest of things - a decent Italian exploitation film. A discovery.

7 donne d'oro contro due 07 (1966) - The crap version of the latter. Nice London locations, and lots of insultingly stupid blonde women in skimpy costumes. Plus proto-Arnie Mickey Hargitay.

002 Agenti Segretissimi (1964) - Franco and Ciccio in a rubbishy Italian spy comedy, similar  to Morecambe and Wise's espionage capers.

Due mafiosi contro Goldginger (1965) - Another interminable Franco and Ciccio Bond spoof, which has Shonteff-esque un-action scenes in factories and shoddy, cramped hotel sets, blackface, and Fernando Rey as "Goldginger" (weird that Rey never was a proper Bond villain - he's exactly the sort of prominent foreigner you'd expect). George Hilton appears in a copyright-baiting cameo as "007". Yes, really.

Luana The Jungle Girl (1969) - Italian jungle nonsense, just some roaming in a cramped set. Novelisation by Alan Dean Foster. 

Samoa - Queen of the Jungle (1968) - Similar to the above, but more action, with one time Return of the Saint guest/Argoman Roger Browne, who looks like a young and heroic Charles Gray. Actual locations, some distasteful rape. Mondo-ish stock footage, browned-up extras and the same old cliches.

The Flight that Disappeared (1961 - B/W) - Preachy, forgettable sub-Twilight Zone airport suspenser later poached for the 1986 musical flop Time, by Dave Clark. Stiff air disaster talk and some stiff space-time trial stuff.

The Boy and the Pirates (1960) - Stagey, bland sub-Disney  family timewaster with Bert I. Gordon directing.  Seemingly filmed on two sets.

Avenger of the Seven Seas (1962) - A more impressively visual but rather bland Italian pirate fare - with Richard Harrison.

The Chinese in Paris (1974) - Bland French satire by Jean Yanne, about a Maoist invasion. One extraordinary sequence with Chinese soldiers passing the parcel.

Dealing (1972) - Obnoxious, painful Paul Williams-directed, Michael Crichton-written early John Lithgow vehicle. Lithgow looks like an acromegalic Pauline Quirke and clearly shows talent, even then. All about ver drugs.

The Last Mercenary (1968) - Started, but couldn't bother with this South American set vehicle for Ray Danton, directed by Corman associate Mel Welles. The worst type of Italian actioner, and the most common.

Future Schlock (1984) - Aptly named Aussie attempt to do an Aussie Rocky Horror-type underground thing, by Mary-Anne Fahey (of Ozcom The Comedy Company and faux-British Hoskins nonsense Dunera Boys)

Sons of Steel (1988) - More Aussie sci-fi rubbish, music video-style interludes ahoy. From Virgin, tellingly.

The Master and Margarita (1972) - Mimsy Farmer in stale, old-fashioned adaptation.

Il Disco Volante (1964 - B/W) - De Laurentiis-Tinto Brass bobbins with Alberto Sordi chasing a UFO. Some interesting vox pops with seemingly real folk start the film, which feels like a newsreel. There's an impressive UFO, but the film is a mess.

12 +1 (1969) - Vittorio Gassman, Sharon Tate in her last role, Orson Welles, Lionel Jeffries AND Tim Brooke-Taylor, plus the inevitable Terry-Thomas appear in this nonsensical Denis Norden-written farce based on the Russian folk tale. Gassman is miscast, Tate is annoying, Welles does well in his bit as a cabaret grand guignol entertainer a la Ron Moody in Flight of the Doves, but it is one of these Europudding comedies that doesn't hold together.

A Man Could Get Killed (1966) - Like a Morecambe and Wise film (Cliff Owen co-directs) but with James Garner. Not as interesting as that sounds. Bland Eurospy theatrics.

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