Has AUSTIN POWERS created a demand for obscure 1960s secret-agent movies? I hope so, because OPERATION JAMAICA is one of the best, most enjoyable films in the genre. Larry Pennell (who had been in the RIPCORD tv series, but is best known for playing "Dash Riprock" on the Beverly Hillbillies), who vaguely resembles Elvis, is perfectly cast as the super-cool, self-absorbed/male chauvinist secret agent, quick with his fists and with a gun, and hitting on any female within his reach. The film is well-paced with enough fistfights, gun battles, double-crosses, and spy gadgetry to keep any action fan hooked. It also features a wonderfully loud and booming faux-Bond score by the multi-talented Marcello Giombini, who did hundreds of other film scores in the 60s and 70s (my favorite being the Yardbirds-ish psychedlic score to the German Stewart Granger spy film "Target For Killing"). The cast also includes American Brad Harris, best-known for the peplum films he did before this and the westerns and Kommissar X spy films he did after this. If that's not enough, the location shooting in Jamaica is gorgeous. OPERATION JAMAICA has everything a fan of 60s European spy films could want. If I had my own cable network, I'd show it during prime time this coming Friday night!
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