I Saw A Film!
Neil Connery, actual brother of famous Sean, plays a gifted plastic surgeon with a devotion to mystical East Asian arts and, as if that weren’t enough hypnotism and archery. This eclectic bunch of skills –hilarious too– well places Neil (who plays a fictional version of himself) to assist the agents in a remarkable case involving both Daniela Bianchi, who was in From Russian With Love, and Aldolfi Celi (Blofeld from a few old Bond films) some radioactive/electromagnetic disruptive trouble.
First of all the film is a total hoot, while the film-makers do not feel it necessary to throw jokes at us, the straight up way the film is played does the job well enough. Sometimes perfect sincerity is the funniest thing, far better than pies in the face, or mugging the camera with monkey faces.
Miss Moneypenny is also here, and is given lots of gun slinging type stuff to do.
They really do a good job giving Neil plenty to do, though he never gets to bed any of the lovely ladies he interacts with, he does show off his lip-reading skills, his olympic level archery, his silly hypnotism . . . and plenty of cowboy punching and cowboy judo. At one point, a fellow is killed by his technique. Neil drably explains he was forced to use “sublime atemi”. I love it. Sublime attacking of vulnerable areas of the body.
There’s a lot of this sort of hokum. But I wonder, am I getting Neil’s actual voice? Since Italian films rarely use actual set sound (always dubbed, and this means actors never have silence on set. If you watch the documentary on Italian exploitation films, you’ll get a great discussion from John Saxon to Henry Silva about trying to work on the noisy sets), and Neil sounds nothing like the Scottish accented Sean. I wonder. Neil also spends a lot of the movie in an unflattering bulky sheepskin. Very strange choice.
As Mystery Science Theater 3000 lampooned this film 20 years ago, in one of the original Joel episodes, many of the sequences of the Celi character were hilarious spoofed. At one point in the opening of the film Celi is watching a film on the back of a naked woman while getting a massage, such decadence!
This is running freebies on Prime (usa) and should not be missed for it’s sweet sixties kitsch.