Spanish/Italian made European James Bond style spy thriller. When a professor's powerful invention, a molecular disintegration weapon is stolen, it's up to super cool agent 077 Mike Murphy to retrieve the dangerous tool and take care of the potential evildoers. Filled with fights, car chases, gadgetry and beautiful women, this spy adventure helped create an action/spy mini-genre craze in Europe in the mid 1960's along with the first three James Bond films. Written by
The uncut version of Espionage In Tangiers is now available as part of Dark Sky Films' Drive-In Double Feature series. Coupled with Assassination In Rome, which stars Cyd Charisse (!) and Hugh O' Brien, these two unpretentious, old-fashioned flicks make for an entertaining double bill of 60s kitsch. Espionage is a Bond-influenced, convoluted, low-rent Euro-spy pot boiler, while Asassination is more in the spirit of Charade, although it's more of a mystery/thriller than a caper.
Espionage is surprisingly violent; the producers clearly embraced the amorality, casual sadism and misogyny of the early Connery Bonds but failed to grasp the wit of the 007 movies (Mark Murphy, "Agent 077," our "hero," thinks it's funny to throw a knife into the throat of a would-be assassin, for example). The film has its slow moments but there's a constant flow of fights involving groin kicking, throat chopping, and even a torture scene Jack Bauer would approve of, all set to a groovy jazz soundtrack. All in all, not a bad way to spend 90 minutes -- especially as the two-film disc comes with drive-in material including concession ads for hot dogs and pizza and two sets of trailers of coming attractions.
Assassination In Rome is a much slower film, but is superbly shot.
Thanks to Dark Sky, who are consistently delivering when it comes to restored, remastered editions of old B movies (e.g. their recent release of Slaughter of the Vampires), both films look and sound better than a pair of obscure 42 year-old flicks deserve.
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