Matt Helm, Derek Flint, Napoleon Solo – Hollywood tried but there was no one to touch 007 in the 1960s cloak-and-dagger stakes and this bumbling spy spoof was a particularly auspicious failure.
US double act Marty Allen and Steve Rossi bungle their bid to be the new Abbott and Costello (or Martin and Lewis) as two American ex-pats looking for work in Europe.
They soon discover that they’ve been unwittingly used as couriers for international art thieves who are part of an evil organization known as THEM.
They are subsequently recruited by the GGI (Good Guys Inc.) and help concoct a plan to put an end to the criminal activities of THEM.
Theo Marcuse has fun as Zoltan Schubach, the head of evil empire THEM, possessor of the lost arms of the Venus de Milo statue and desperate to bag the rest of her, but writer/director Norman Abbott – of Get Smart and The Munsters TV fame – offers us mere crumbs of comedy amid an otherwise stale series of slapstick routines.
The great British actor John Williams lends a nice sense of gravitas to the proceedings and the very funny Harvey Korman even shows up in a brief but memorable bit as an actor playing a frazzled German Colonel. Fashion icon Carmen Dell’Orefice is really wonderful as the wicked Baby May Zoftig and she vamps it up on the set as much as possible.
The film co-stars Nancy Sinatra who, in a memorable sequence, catches her waitress outfit on a doorknob to reveal a sexy black Frederick’s of Hollywood ensemble underneath. It’s the highlight of the film.
J Frederick Duval
Baby May Zoftig