off-the-wall entry in German "Superbug" kiddie film series
SUPERBUG--SECRET AGENT is, I believe, the second of five films in this German SUPERBUG series, which is a takeoff on the HERBIE films of Disney, but which foreshadows KNIGHT RIDER in many ways. The English-dubbed version of this film is what I saw, and it is dubbed in a cartoon-like way that is in keeping with the cartoon-like feel of the film. In fact, on the level of being a "spy" film, this plays out a lot like a Scooby-Doo cartoon, but with live actors and real locations (Portugal, quite lovely and well-filmed!). There is much Stooges/Bowery Boys-style slapstick, and even the usually suave Joachim Fuchsberger (star of many fine Edgar Wallace thrillers in the 60s) finds himself mugging as if he's in an Edgar Kennedy comedy short. Superbug's owner, Jimmy Bondi (played by Robert Mark, who also directed and wrote the film under his real name), is a laid-back unshaven fellow with a cowboy hat, making him a relatively "safe" hero for a children's film. As another comment stated, this film is also quite reminiscent of the Terence Hill-Bud Spencer comedies of the 70s and 80s, with sound effects in the fight scenes and quirky semi-lounge music that immediately cries "foreign" to an American audience. Overall, I found this film quite entertaining as an adult...if you like lowbrow comedy and nice Portuguese locations. Think "a live action Scooby-Doo made in Germany, entertainingly dubbed in English" and you should have a good idea what SUPERBUG--SECRET AGENT has to offer.
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