Monday, 15 August 2011

Espionage in Tangiers (1965)

Espionage in Tangiers (Marc Mato, agente S. 077) is a 1965 eurospy movie and if you’re familiar with the genre you’ll know what to expect.

These movies weren’t just cheap knock-offs of the James Bond formula; they were ultra-cheap knockoffs. If you approach them expecting the quality of special effects and stunts that the 1960s Bond movies provided you’ll be disappointed. But they have their own charm, and despite what you might read in some online reviews this is actually a pretty decent example of the breed.

There is of course a death ray that has been developed by an idealistic scientist. In these types of movies idealistic and kindly scientists were always working on things like death rays. Of course their dream was always that their invention would bring about world peace. Needless to say the death ray is stolen by certain unspecified bad guys.

Secret Agent S 077 (played by Argentinian actor Luis Dávila) is assigned to recover the dearly device. The assignment will of course bring him into contact with numerous beautiful glamorous women, but he’s a professional and he knows that’s the price you pay for being a secret agent.

There are naturally a series of double-crosses. This film has more than its share. In the opening sequence we’ve already gone beyond mere double-crosses or triple-crosses and we’ve reached the level of quadruple-crosses.

Trying to describe the plot in any detail would be futile. The plot exists purely to provide an excuse for lots of action, and in that area the movie delivers pretty strongly.

The tone is definitely tongue-in-cheek, which is how it should be.

The acting is B-movie standard although social mention should be made of Alberto Dalbés who is great fun as the twisted sadistic criminal genius Rigo Orel.

There’s some nifty location footage of Tangiers which adds to the atmosphere.

Dark Sky have released this one as part of a two-movie drive-in pack complete with vintage drive-in ads. The movie is letterboxed and the picture quality is acceptable. Given that most eurospy movies are only available in pan-and-scanned grey market versions we should be grateful that this one looks as good as it does.

This Spanish-Italian co-production should please eurospy fans.

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