Sunday, 15 August 2010

Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill (1966)

Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill (Kommissar X - Jagd auf Unbekannt) is an Italo-German eurospy romp that sums up everything that fans of the eurospy genre love.

It has a completely mad plot. It has robot girls. It has kidnapped atomic physicists. It has a diabolical criminal mastermind. It has a secret island headquarters with plenty of silly gadgetry and a vault containing more gold than Fort Knox. And did I mention it has robot girls?

Joe Walker (Tony Kendall) is a suave private eye who spends a very large amount of his time chasing women. His pal Tom Rowland works for Interpol. He’s a guy who takes his police work seriously and he disapproves of Walker’s womanising, but they’re still buddies.

Now they find themselves working together on a puzzling case that involves a series of assassinations of very wealthy industrialists and the disappearance of nuclear physicists. When a third industrialist is murdered suspicion naturally rests on the lone survivor of a four-man cartel who had made a deal that, having no families, all their wealth would pass to whichever of them survived longest. But while the third tycoon certainly appeared to have been killed, his body was never found. Perhaps things are not quite as they seem.

From this point onwards the already confusing plot becomes more confusing, but bizarre and confusing plots are all part of the joy of eurospy movies. The important thing is that the trail leads Joe Walker to a secret island where he confronts the diabolical criminal mastermind, who has hatched a scheme to control the entire world economy. His island is packed with gold bullion, ingeniously protected by atomic radiation. To guard his hoard he has an army of beautiful women who have been turned into living robots. They look more like go-go dancers, but they mean business.

None if it makes much sense, but in the finest tradition of European cult cinema it’s all executed with a good deal of style and with a very definite sense of fun. Director Gianfranco Parolini made numerous similar movies as well as a string of spaghetti westerns. He may not have been a great director but despite an obviously limited budget he keeps the action moving along quickly enough that you don’t notice how silly the plot is. Well actually you do notice how silly the plot is, but you don’t really care.

The movie has lots of silly gadgetry like giant electro-magnets. The island headquarters of the villain was clearly done on a shoestring but still looks nifty enough. There are more than enough action sequences, and there are lots of beautiful women. A combination that was pretty much a guarantee of success in the 1960s.

Tony Kendall plays his role with tongue planted firmly in cheek so a character that could have been tiresome becomes fairly likeable. Brad Harris as Tom Rowland provides the necessary strait-laced play-it-by-the-book foil for the hero.

Retromedia have released this one as part of a three-movie one-disc set including all three Kommissar X movies. The transfer is pretty awful. It’s fullframe, the colours are wonky and washed-out, an it’s grainy and there’s lots of print damage. On the other hand you do get three movies at a fairly cheap price and if you’re a eurospy fan you know how difficult it is to find these sorts of movies so you’re not going to complain.

It’s silly goofy fun, it’s highly entertaining, and despite my reservations about the DVD quality it’s still highly recommended to eurospy fans. If you’re not a eurospy fan this is a pretty reasonable introduction to a very enjoyable genre.

Plus it has robot girls with 60s bouffant hairstyles. You can’t ask for more.

1 comment:

Martin Sauter said...

Hi,

sorry to be contacting through a comment, but I couldn't find an email link anywhere on your blog.

My name's Martin, I live in the UK, and I've long been a follower and admirer of your blog, Cult Movie Reviews. As I have my own blog, which is also about film, I wanted to ask if you'd mind adding a link to my blog to yours, please? Needless to say, I've had a link to your blog on my own for some time.

The URL to my blog is as follows: http://www.film-daily.com

Looking forward to hearing from you (you'll find my email address on my blog) and thanks a lot in advance for your help,

Best,

Martin