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Eric Jeffrey Haims
Terrible attempt at "swinging '60s" action movie spoof
Alberto Cavallone is a prime example of what's wrong with the current pantheon of "cult" filmmakers. Since everybody knows about the usual suspects, say John Waters or David Lynch, or top-ranked pornographers like Joe Sarno or Joe D'Amato, a generation of young-ish fans has to search for more outré figures. From South America we have Marins and from Italy comes Cavallone, an unsuccessful director whose crudely made films are guaranteed never to become household names.
Known for the grotesque gore and sex content of his later films (just what today's buffs thrive on), I find it instructive to examine his earlier work before he discovered how to gross out the viewer.
With QUICKLY we find Cavallone, lacking budget or talent, trying to create a cute comic-strip styled action film. Elements as hoary as the mid-'60s hit TV series "Batman" are inspiration, but he fails to create the desired romp of a MODESTY BLAISE, CANDY, DANGER DIABOLIK, DEATH LAID AN EGG, or DEADLY SWEET.
Resulting film is all over the place, only moderately diverting thanks to its overacting cast. It begins with one of many typically (for Cavallone) anti-American references as bikers rob a bank in Kansas City, jokingly staged on a cheapo Western Movie town set. Then lovely Magda Konopka and motley pals steal some diamonds from a courier (the old hand-cuffed to a briefcase bit), and smuggle them in Marlboro cigarette packs.
Punctuated by stock footage, especially of plane takeoffs for transitions, film picks up some steam with a ludicrous parody of Cuban-style plane hijackers, leading to our heroes & heroines as prisoners in some banana republic in the midst of a revolution. Cavallone's action scenes are staged on the level of a Benny Hill skit, with apologies to the talented directors of Hill's beloved TV shows.
Amidst the revolutionaries, guest star Beryl Cunningham has her mighty nipples put into action through a diaphanous gown, to briefly wake up the viewer, just as she was used memorably in BLACK DECAMERON a year later. Magda gets rescued and we almost get to see her topless.
Cartoonish effects abound but are executed on the level of a nine-year-old making a short film (or today a video, I guess). Balloons for dialog are inserted as in a comic strip, and the credits are crudely etched directly on film, to show Cavallone's allegiance to experimental/underground cinema. The silliest example of this nonsense is when a hand-scratched character pops up out of a guy's coat pocket to speak to us.
The women are quite attractive, notably Cavallone regular Jane Avril, though they're given almost as much unappealing eye makeup as favored by current starlet Eva Green. Male cast is a pack of hams, including one of the heroes who looks like Joe Bologna in the '80s wearing his worst puddin' bowl hairpiece.
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