|Index||10 reviews in total|
For those who like their pasta cheesy: a 60s French-Italian-German pulp thriller filmed at the tail end of the Euro spy craze (1964-1968), and loaded with warped camera angles and great bongo-driven muzak that kicks in at totally inappropriate moments. Top agent OSS117 `Angel Face" (Kerwin Matthews) is assigned to protect a Eurasian monarch from a ruthless assassin, a glassy-eyed ex-Gestapo officer who leaves a candy wrapper at the scene of every hit. Damn, these spaghetti merchants keep finding novel settings for their genre punchups - this time round a karate fight at a meatworks (one guy gets covered in a bucket of pig's blood!) and ending in a shootout amidst a truckload of crumbling skeletons in the Rome catacombs.
This Italian/French/West German co-production could just as easily have
a cop thriller but for the element of Mark Stone (Kerwin Matthews) being
U.S. government agent. Locations in Venice and Rome keep things visually
interesting, the cast is filled with recognizable faces, and the score by
Gianni Marchetti is appropriately jazzy.
Stone's assignment is to guard the life of a king so we can have his oil. Sound familiar? By the way, at the beginning of the film, the killer uses an ice bullet in his first attempt to kill the king. This little trick was used two years earlier in the Ernesto Gastaldi-scripted Ring Around the World. The plot may be simple but Matthews makes for a good hero and The Killer Likes Candy has enough going for it to make it worth seeking out.
This shoddy Italian crime film perfectly captures the feel of a five cent
pulp novel: some detectives with a cool names (James Steele? I can't
remember...) protects a middle east king from being murdered by political
opponents. The evil doers have hired the world's number one hit man for
job, a perfectionist loner who for some reason eats candy all the time.
ingredients for the film are the following: 1) a lot of fighting 2) a lot
badly written "tough" dialouge 3) a little bit of conspiracy 4) a little
of sex, and 5) an awesome easy listening soundtrack complete with
The running gag is that the happy-go-lucky/comical relief detective time
after time tries to get it on with a cute nurse, but always gets
by the I'm-a-serious-motherf**ker detective.
The Killer Likes Candy is OK pulp, I guess, but I must admit I was getting
little bit bored near the end. Never the less, I can think of far worse
to have spent 90 minutes of my life.
5/10 - for the soundtrack, dear...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Killer Loves Candy" ranks as an average European crime melodrama
about an assassin paid to kill a head of state. Washington, D.C.
troubleshooter Mark Stone is assigned to protect the King of Kafiristan
while he is visiting Rome and catch the elusive assassin. During a
visit to a foreign country, a king's life is jeopardized when a hit-man
tries to shoot him but winds up killing the monarch's head of security.
Co-directors Federico Chentrens of the Italian-French western "Judge
Roy Bean" and Maurice Cloche of "FX 18, Secret Agent," working from a
screenplay by Cloche, John Haggarty of "Murder in Eden" and Adam Saint
Moore, have concocted an entertaining, colorful, but juvenile adventure
epic that relies on the tenacity of the characters rather than any
technological gadgets at their disposal. Kerwin Mathews of the "O.S.S."
movies is appropriately energetic and agile as the heroic protagonist
who gets quite a workout not only from protecting a foreign diplomat
but also surviving attacks on himself by other bad guys. The scenery in
this Italian-French-German production is suitably exotic and the
never-say-die villain gives the authorities plenty of headaches as they
try to track him down.
Oscar Snell (Bruno Cremer of "The French Conspiracy") is a craftsman when it comes to killing, but he is having a difficult time trying to eliminate Kafiristan's monarch. Mark Stone, known to his associates by the rather unusual name 'Angel Face' is sent in to keep the king alive, but his majesty resents Stone's intrusions. When Stone and his sidekick Costa (Venantino Venantini of "Make Them Die Slowly") are summoned, they are posing as fashion photographers. Anybody who loves the Matt Helm spy franchise will know that in the Donald Hamilton novels, Matt Helm masqueraded as a photographer when he wasn't on a mission. Immediately, Stone steps in and wants to micro-manage the king's affairs. The King and his retinue, particularly his closest minister (Sieghardt Rupp of "Fistful of Dollars") don't like the pushy way that Stone takes his duties.
Nevertheless, Stone proves that there is an assassin who is not going to stop trying to ice the king. Like the title indicates, the assassin loves to eat candy and leave the wrappings wherever he goes. Washington wants Stone to keep the dignitary alive because he presides over a fortune in oil in his kingdom. The familiar face of the villain, Guardino, who hired Snell is none other than Werner Peters of "The Battle of the Bulge." After Snell muffs a murder attempt on Stone, the people behind Guardino insist that Snell confine himself to the King and let others take out Stone. Toni (Gordon Mitchell of "Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops")and several hoodlums try to kill Stone. A scene in an abandoned building where Stone tricks Toni and his killers by knocking down a bunch of barrels at them is clever. By the time that they figure out that Stone is not in any of the barrels but the one rolling away, they are too late to stop him and start shooting. Trouble is that he has gotten out of that barrel, too.
Eventually, Stone learns that his majesty suffers from a heart condition and Snell takes the mother of one of the doctors, anesthesiologist Sylva (Marilù Tolo of " Juliet of the Spirits") hostage and threatens to kill mom if Sylva doesn't see to it that the monarch dies in surgery. Of course, she cannot bring herself to murder the king. Later, Stone and the Rome police force plunge into the catacombs to catch Snell. The grand finale occurs over a marble quarry as Stone and Snell slug it out in a gigantic crane and Snell falls to his death. Meanwhile, Stone's sidekick Costa provides the comic relief as he is constantly being told to leave the king alone by his closest advisers. Every time that Stone walks in on Costa, Costa is with a woman or trying to physically build himself up to appear attractive.
The orchestral score by Gianni Marchetti with its incessant vocals where a chorus warbles "dabba, dabba,dabba" is clearly out of place and doesn't underline the dramatic tension in any of the scenes, but it is a relic of the swinging sixties and probably reflects the inoffensive nature of this feature.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Shrewd and evasive ex-Nazi and top assassin Oscar Snell (nicely played suavely sinister aplomb by Bruno Cremer) is determined to rub out King Faoud (a suitably arrogant Lukas Ammann). Snell's sole weakness is his sweet tooth; he leaves candy wrappers at the scene of his every crime. It's up to no-nonsense CIA agent Mark Stone (a smooth and solid performance by Kerwin Matthews) to find Snell and stop him before it's too late. Directors Federico Chenkens and Maurice Clothe (the latter also co-wrote the compact and eventful script) keep the movie humming along at a snappy pace and stage the plentiful rousing shoot-outs and down'n'dirty fisticuffs with a reasonable amount of skill and brio. The Rome, Italy locations add a pleasing extra exotic flavor to the lively proceedings. Moreover, there's also a welcome smattering of tasty peek-a-boo almost nudity from a bevy of beautiful ladies (King Faoud's dancing harem girls are especially luscious). Popping up in neat parts are Marilu Tolo as fetching physician Sylva, Venantino Venantini as Stone's jolly partner Costa, Werner Peters as slippery underground crime kingpin Guardino, and the ever-imposing Gordon Mitchell as Guardino's brutish henchman Toni. Fausto Zuccoli's cinematography makes inspired occasional use of a hand-held camera. Gianni Marchetti's groovy, dreamy, get-down hip and playful swinging jazz score may be inappropriate, but it still sounds insanely cool just the same. A really fun and diverting romp.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you've seen enough of these 1960s European thriller co-productions, you'll know that "The Killer Likes Candy" is put together more professionally and coherently than many of them (the one or two cases of choppy editing seem to be more the fault of the fullscreen DVD prints - the movie was obviously meant to be seen in widescreen). Kerwin Mathews is a pretty solid business-first-pleasure-later lead, but although I liked Marilu Tolo as his love interest, to be honest I would have preferred one of the other two women in the film, Ann Smyrner or Fabienne Dali, to have the main female role. Oh well, that's a matter of personal taste. The Rome locations are great and Gianni Marchetti's music score is simply superb - pure 60s! The one major problem of the film is that the killer of the title, supposedly "a perfectionist" and "the best in the business", is actually extremely incompetent and ineffectual. **1/2 out of 4.
I watched a full-screen dubbed version of "The Killer Likes Candy"
(1968) with washed out colors. If done properly in widescreen with good
color, this movie will come across much better. The location shooting
is good and in widescreen would be even better. This includes an action
sequence staged at the Park of Monsters and another in Catacombs. There
are several other action scenes in more industrial locations.
I have a list of hit-man movies, which is why I checked this out, not to mention that the hit-man in this one is Bruno Cremer, a very fine actor. Although he only has a few lines, he is excellent in every scene in which he appears. Strange to say, he's a competent and highly-regarded hit-man who doesn't make a clear shot at the movie's opening. So, after that, he tries other means to kill an Arab monarch. Cremer has been hired by Werner Peters, another reliable actor with charisma. He runs a meat-packing plant, scene of a fight. He also had the same job three years later in "Angels of Terror" (1971).
Cremer eats candy when he works, but this clue doesn't enable our hero, Kerwin Matthews, to catch him. Instead, the straight-arrow, energetic and very firm security man Matthews, out to guard the king from mishap, follows this lead and that all over the place. More often than not, a team of bad guys led by the impressive Gordon Mitchell is attempting to kill Matthews and his comical sidekick, Venantino Venantini. But they too are incompetent and/or the fighting skills and wiles of Matthews so terrific that he escapes death.
The logic of the plot, why Matthews does anything except pick up his paycheck, and the fights are more or less absent. There are some females floating around as befits such a story. The music score doesn't underscore the action, adding too much lightness to the proceedings.
The cast is superior to the overall result. Really, they are wasted. I'd rate it one point higher if it were widescreen and charmed me that way, but it would still be sub-par for this kind of movie.
Really bland James Bond-lite European piece about an American government agent assigned to be the head of security for the king of Kafiristan after one of his comrades takes an assassin's bullet meant for the king. Sensitivites arise as the U.S. is looking to sign a lucrative contract with the oil rich country which needs him alive at least until the the deal is signed. Thankfully this was made forty years before Hollywood decided to make Americans the bad guy in all energy concerns but I digress. Enter "Angel Face" Mark Stone who spends his free-time pretending to be a fashion photographer which is funny because I do the very same thing when I go to the mall. Mark is the strictly business CIA agent that is tasked with hunting down a hit-man with a sweet tooth. At least this is what the film chooses to focus on as the candy thing is more of a quirk than a calling card to anyone who stumbles upon one of his victims. The killer is Oscar Snell, a former Nazi, who really makes a lot of mistakes for a professional assassin. His numerous attempts on the king's life all fail which spoils the confrontation between Stone and himself. Numerous fights scenes are clumsily spliced together as Stone must outsmart a small army sent to dispatch him and his partner Costa who does a decent job as the girl-crazy comic relief. Not a whole lot of beauties to ogle either as this is a skin-free film that offers very little titillation which is rare for these kind of movies. The late sixties lounge musak score is so inappropriate in the shootout scenes that it's almost comedic when watching it. Complete with "bada-dada-da's" it's the kind of music which should accompany Mark prancing through a field of lilies. On the positive side "Killer" makes great use of the unique landscape like a shootout in a park lined with large ancient sculptures and a battle in the catacombs of a church. I really started to get bored towards the end as I struggled to focus on how Mark was going to capture Snell which ends anticlimactically as well mind you. If you're looking to be satisfied eat a Snickers instead and skip this candy.
"The Killer Likes Candy" is an Italian suspense film dubbed into
English. It stars the American actor Kerwin Mathews as well as a lot of
Italian folks. Dubbing films into English as well as having American
stars (often 2nd and 3rd tier stars) was quite common in the 1950s, 60s
and 70s. Not surprisingly, as a film snob I prefer subtitled films--but
this wasn't possible with these movies as most of the time, the foreign
star delivered their lines in English while the rest of the cast spoke
This film is about an assassin. He's killed quite a few folks and has the odd habit of eating candy and leaving the wrappers when he's making a kill. Hopefully this can be used to catch him. Much of the films is from the standpoint of a guy whose assignment is to protect the dictatorial king of a fictional nation. Some of it's pretty exciting and might offend the squeamish (such as the gasoline scene) but some of it also is pretty cheesy (such as the body at the end of the film that falls to its death--it's VERY obviously a dummy). Overall, it's mildly interesting but no more. Bad edits and some HORRIBLE 1960s music make this one a bit hard to take.
This is the most stupid movie I have seen. Is's about a hired murderer who eats candy while killing people, and always leaves a piece of the candy-paper behind. And the music.... Well, you have to see and hear it to believe it. I can't put words on it. The name of the movie says it all: The Killer likes candy!!! See it if you have the chance.
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