Debra Burton plays an evil genius trying to put economic rains on the world. Martin Potter and David Gullium are two spies are on a mission to save the world.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Debra Burton ...
Coffee Carradine
Stephen Crane ...
Boddington
Anthony Crewe ...
Scuba diver
Alan Fontaine ...
The Cream Twins
Brian Fontaine ...
The Cream Twins
Bobby Gervis
...
Gunn (as David Gillum)
Joyce Grundy ...
Housekeeper
Bill Hargreaves
...
Sir Anthony Phelps
Rachel Laurence ...
Miss Bolt
Steve McArdle
David Miller ...
Dr. Vache
Patrick Nyland ...
Gatekeeper
Sean O'Brian ...
Martin Oldfield
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Storyline

Debra Burton plays an evil genius trying to put economic rains on the world. Martin Potter and David Gullium are two spies are on a mission to save the world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEIR MISSION: Save the world from economic ruin. THEIR METHOD: Explosive

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

26 November 1986 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Epiheirisi Hrysos  »

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Connections

Referenced in Zeg 'ns Aaa: Goudeerlijk (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

'Stilton, Lancashire, Edam, Edam, Edam'
19 July 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

SPOILERS INCLUDED

Espionage, gold, and dairy products are the chief ingredients in this cheap and cheerful 1985 actioner from horror man Norman J. Warren. Gunpowder concerns a mysterious organisation's attempt to throw the world's currency into chaos by flooding the market with home made gold blocks. Trading on his role in The Professionals, Gordon Jackson does a 'special guest star' bit as the head of Interpol. In a permanently irate state ('hell and damnation') Jackson gets some good one liners here, waving one of the offending blocks around and yelling how it was once worth millions but 'now you couldn't get a Mexican Scumpet to scratch your back with it'. After the bad guys shoot up a medical research centre and kidnap a female scientist, Jackson enlists the help of two of Interpol's best agents Mr. Gunn and Mr. Powder. A miss-matched team Gunn is a tough guy American while Powder is the sort of suave and sophisticated English gent who beats up thugs with Kung-Fu moves then remarks 'I do beg your pardon'. As played by Satan's Slave bad boy Martin Potter, Powder is also the most incredibly camp agent on Interpol's books.

Gunn and Powder's only lead is milk business heir Coffee Carradine ('your father was a milkman but they named you Coffee' quips a puzzled Gunn), whose factory is being used as a front by the bad guys to smuggle melted gold in milk cartons! Naturally Coffee becomes a temporarily love interest of the macho Mr. Gunn who Powder bitches doesn't do much other than 'swan about looking butch'. Somewhat less naturally is the way Gunn and Coffee chat each other up by purring the names of cheeses at each other ('Stilton, Lancashire, Edam,Edam, Edam'). Unfortunately the creamy Miss Coffee is working undercover for the bad guys and soon gets shot in the back for her troubles, leaving Gunn and Powder to get back to business and track down her killers in France. Due to being double crossed by one of their own the chalk and cheese duo meet the enemy sooner than expected, and discover that the man behind the kidnapping and the gold bars is an English scientist called Dr Vache. Having been scoffed at by his fellow scientists back in London, Vache has naturally gone mad, moved to France and started his own private army who don't seem to mind running around in silly costumes with 'V' written on their chests. With his white coat, frizzy dyed gold hair, large bowtie and eyeball rolling theatrics Vache is a villain straight out of a children's TV programme. Not surprisingly Vache wants Gunn and Powder out of the picture. Of course just shooting them dead would be too obvious, so Gunn is left to fight two martial arts expert twins ('The Cream Brothers') while Vache slowly lowers Powder into a vat of melted gold. Will Gunn be able to fight his way through Vache's men and save the world? And more importantly will he be in time to save Powder's really high price suit from a trip to the dry-cleaners? You couldn't make a plot like this up if you tried, as one character slyly remarks early on 'it sounds like a B-picture to me'.

Alongside the horror opus Bloody New Year, Gunpowder was part of Warren's mid-80's 'comeback' after several silent years following his big 1978 hit Terror. The end results, both of which went straight to video, are a mixed bag to say the least. Most of the two films' failings appear to rest on the shoulders of producer Maxine Julius. Despite a promising exploitation pedigree (she was an editor on Corruption and the Mike Raven vehicle Crucible of Terror), Julius appeared to care little for films and her penny saving ways stunned even low-budget practitioner Warren. Chiefly among the farcically cost cutting ideas Warren claimed Julius imposed on the project was that in the 'big' battle finale the actors playing an army of invading British soldiers ('tally ho') could also double as their bad guy adversaries, resulting in a 'peculiar' scene in which a bunch of actors engage in a gun fight only to get shot back at by themselves! While in a moment even more worthy of Eskimo Nell, Julius suggested to the director that a scene involving a submarine could be achieved by a diver holding a drainpipe above water! Julius also cast the film from actors who lived in the local area, purely because she didn't want to pay to put them up in hotels. Interestingly among the supporting cast are a few familiar faces from the Mancunian action films of Cliff Twemlow; Anthony Shaeffer ('Murray the nightclub owner' in G.B.H) enjoys a large role as the double-crosser, while Twemlow heavy Steve Powell plays one of Dr Vache's right hand men. Powell was also the film's fight co-ordinator.

At times Gunpowder resembles one of Lindsay Shonteff's self-financed actioners but without the overbearing spoofery. Unfortunately as with many a Shonteff spy effort, Gunpowder digs itself into a bit of a hole by trying to emulate a James Bond adventure, which thrive on big-budget spectacle, on funds that can't afford much by way of spectacle. It's perhaps a testament to Warren's perseverance while working on a pitiful budget that Gunpowder's fight scenes, car chases (mostly around desolate country lanes) and the occasional explosion manage to generate a passable amount of excitement.

There are quite a few amusing touches along the way as well, the bad guys pose as milkmen in order to pull off the opening kidnapping (a milk float being the ideal choice for an escape vehicle!), a French location is indicated by a man wearing a beret falling off a bicycle, and the end credits bear the legend 'special thanks to Heald's Dairies for their generosity and goodwill in supplying their facilities, locations and milk floats'.

Despite a poor reputation Gunpowder has surprising charm, but can hardly be considered one of Warren's best, still no use crying over err..spilt milk.


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