Sunday, 13 June 2010
Spie Vengono dal Semifreddo (Aka Dr.Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs) (Bava, 1966)
What ive read about this film (and that ry little by the way) is that Bava only did this due to money and contract obligations. And judging by the film, i would have to agree. After seeing the vast majority of Bava's filmography, all his creativity and aesthetic trademarks are not present in this slapstick parody of the James Bond sereis. From what i gather there are two versions of this film, the Italian and the English speaking. Now, being i watched the Italian and have not seen the English speaking (and at present not able to find) i can only judge on that. The main difference apparently is that the Italian version concentrates more on the 'Chuckle Brothers/ Laural & Hardy'-esq duo Franco and Ciccio, while the English is more on Vincent Price. So with that in mind i'll move on to the plot.
Dr.Goldfoot, played by Vincent Price, is an evil scientific genius, who attempts to destroy the heads of various nations military by using robotic clones of female's he knows the generals who attempt to pull. After a couple of successful blow ups, SIC (an MI6 type secret agent agency) decides to do something about it and so they hire 2 agents Franco and Ciccio (who got into the agency by accident and were previously hotel doormen). So with the help of another agent played by singer Fabien, who's been suspended for being too attractive to the female of the species, Franco and Ciccio set out to stop Dr.Goldfoot complete his main goal of destroying the Kremlin.
Now obviously this is a Bond parody. But i found at times it was amusing, particuarly Franco and his weirdness. But because it was the Italian verison, Prices apparent performance is lost in the Italian dubbing. It is very 1960s European humour and very Benny Hill (particuarly the chase scene at the end, but a nice refelction of the period. The best i can compare it to in Bava terms is Danger:Diabloik (Bava, 1968), but only in terms of period placement and not aesthetic and innovition. I did enjoy the spaghetti western style soundtrack though.
Finding this difficult to express in Bava terms, because this film could have been made by anyone. So the term 'for completists only' seems to be the best opinion i can give it. Amazingly though it is influential, particuarly with the idea of the girl bombs which was ripped off by the Austin Powers films. It is watchable and not at all a bad film, and i would be interested in seeing the alternate English version. But overall its not a film i would fully express as a Bava incarnate.
And here's the trailer if interested.