Danger!! Death Ray (1967)

Danger!!_Death_Ray_(1967)‘No, I just like running around on roofs. It relaxes me.’

Enemy agents gatecrash the secret demonstration of a lethal death ray and kidnap the scientist responsible. Special agent Bart Fargo is assigned to bring him back but runs headlong into bullets, babes and bother as he tries to complete his mission.

Lame Spanish-Italian Eurospy snoozefest with ex-Tarzan Gordon Scott as this week’s cheap James Bond wannabe. All the usual clichés are present and correct: the deadly thingy which can’t be allowed to fall into the wrong hands, the overworked agent getting another mission when he’s supposed to be going on holiday, the tired sexist innuendo that gets everything in a skirt to get out of it and straight into bed, the rounds of poorly-staged fisticuffs, the unconvincing chase that ends up with an empty car plunging 20 feet off the road into a ball of flame. Yes, we’ve seen it all before and delivered with far more energy and style than this.

Danger!!_Death_Ray_(1967)

‘Yes, I have a brand new sports car as well. Just what are you trying to say?’

It’s impossible to convey just how deadly proceedings are; the formula of guns, gadgets and girls trotted out in such a dull, arbitrary way that keeping awake becomes a real challenge to even the most hardened lover of bad movies. Scott is a good looking lead, but coasts through the insipid script without even the knowing smirk of Tony Kendall, Mike Connors, or any one of the other dozens of hunks who ran around Europe in the 1960s doing Bond on a budget.

Actually, this was Scott’s penultimate film but whether he simply retired or the offers stopped coming is unrecorded. Certainly this film can’t have done his career any good, but perhaps he simply got bored with the whole business; I wouldn’t have blamed him after this.

Director Gianfranco Baldanello hid behind a pseudonym, as did most of the cast when the film was released in the U.S. The only really memorable thing here is an early sequence involving a toy helicopter landing on a plastic submarine in  someone’s bath. It’s possibly the worst miniature work ever seen on film. Looks closely and you can see the sub being pulled along by a piece of string!

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