A company specializing in international espionage turns a young man into a super hero and offers his services to the United Nations. For a hefty fee, the creation will supposedly become an ...
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A company specializing in international espionage turns a young man into a super hero and offers his services to the United Nations. For a hefty fee, the creation will supposedly become an international policeman who will fight crime and make the world safe from the machination of evil.
I had never heard of this one (or director Spina, for that matter) before its screening on late-night Italian TV last year; in view of a favorable write-up on the indispensable "Stracult" book, I decided to record the film but only now did I manage to fit it in my schedule (since I am currently going through a "Euro-Cult" marathon). Anyway, while certainly interesting – both visually (being laden with pop-art references) and thematically (a sci-fi tale about the creation of supermen) – the whole proved somewhat tiresome, especially after a hard day's work, given a decidedly cerebral approach (albeit not unexpected considering its year of release)! Incidentally, the original Italian title translates to WOMAN, SEX AND SUPERMAN – indicating that the sexual revolution, again typical of the era, was as much at its core as the science (not that it was particularly explicit). The cast is led by Richard Harrison (usually seen in peplums or Spaghetti Westerns, he seems a bit overwhelmed by the material and not a bit silly when taking to the skies – though his woodenness is, ironically, ideal for projecting the character's eventual robotic nature!) and Adolfo Celi as the megalomaniac villain (tapping into his earlier stint as a larger-than-life James Bond nemesis) who, as one more sign of the times, is an industrialist owning the titular company; leading lady Dorothy West, while also unknown to me, makes an appealing doe-eyed heroine – and just as much involved is Celi's obligatory mad scientist assistant who adopts a unique terminology throughout. The anything-goes mood suggests the film was conceived as a satire (anticipaing in this regard William Klein's similarly spotty MR. FREEDOM ) but, alas, this very ostentation is what dates it above all; mind you, FANTABULOUS is undeniably colorful and entertaining on the surface, and yet not exactly memorable
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