This is a kind of a silly spy spoof like the ones that were big in Europe at the time. Jess Franco did any number of them ("Kiss Me Monster", "The Girl from Rio"). It also might by be loose adaptation of an Edgar Wallace mystery, which were really big in Germany where the film was produced (although more likely it's based on a work of his much less talented son, Bryan Edgar Wallace). The story involves a bunch of characters all chasing after this mineral a murdered professor has discovered that can apparently do everything from waking up patients in narcoleptic comas to turning worthless metals into gold. The mineral is really a "McGuffin" though, in fact, the whole plot is pretty much a McGuffin. The real fun to be had is watching all these bizarre characters crossing and double-crossing each other.
Franco regulars Paul Muller and Howard Vernon are on hand, the latter playing a pretty unconvincing hired assassin. Ewa "Vampyros Lesbos" Stromberg also has a small role, but she keeps her clothes on this time. My favorites though are the lead villains--a husband who is apparently confined to a wheelchair and his prim, matronly wife who wields a mean sword cane! The real reason to watch this movie though can be summed up in two words: Soledad Miranda. Soledad Miranda had what the French (and a a lot non-French pseudointellectual types)called "je ne sais qoi" (basically "I don't know what"). She was very beautiful, standing out even among the many beautiful actresses Franco worked with. She was also talented having made many movies before she started working with Franco. She was always willing to take her clothes off and display her beautiful body, but she was classier and much less unabashedly exhibitionistic than her successor Lina Romay (who probably should have been more "abashed" about doing hardcore porn or letting Franco practically explore her colon with his zoom lens). Maybe it was because she died tragically young. She was always a sexy but ethereal actress whose erotic presence haunted even silly, nonsense movies like this.
As his fans know, Franco himself as director had a certain "je ne sais qoi" with some of his films. (With others though it was more like "je ne sais why the hell I am watching this crap!"). He's especially zoom-happy in this movie, but it actually works pretty well with the frenetic, pop-art style plot. It's not a great movie by a long shot, but the movies Franco did with Soledad Miranda are all pretty special, even the slightest ones like this.
13 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this