When fishermen find the body of a dead man in their nets, secret agent Antoine Donadieu starts investigating the murder. He soon learns that a Chriscraft that might have something to do with the murder has been spotted by a witness. It leads Donadieu to a luxurious villa, where some strange characters are living, including a violent valet called Hamlet, a painter with some resemblance with Salvator Dali and a gorgeous Senta Berger-like vamp with tempting lips, played by Austrian belle Marisa Mell (1939-1992). (After a terrible car crash in 1963, two years before this movie was made, she underwent heavy plastic surgery in the face)
Donadieu is an unconvincing answer to James Bond,unraveling a plot that might have endangered world peace. But except for an American car with a telephone, Donadieu's impressive knowledge of judo and karate and a laser gun, there are no exotic weapons nor fancy gadgets in the movie. The plot is only moderately enjoyable, and nor the beautiful locations, nor some nice cars (watch out for the superb silver Alfa Romeo sports-car) nor Mell can save this movie.
With his 52 years, Jean Marais was already an aging actor, and it really shows. Frankly, I don't get it, why his presence is supposed to be a plus for this movie. Furthermore, this film somehow hesitates too much between a serious spy flick à la "Spy who came in..." and a funny parody. It definitely is rather the latter, but it misses the humor and wild exaggerations which make Bond fans enthusiastic. As such, Train d'Enfer might be a disappointment for both Le Carré-fans and Bond-aficionados. Cameo role for reporter-radio star-actor and "Grosse Tête" Leon Zitrone (1914-1995)
I'd rate it something between 5 and 6/10. Based on the French video issued by Video Paradiso (VHS 508886)
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