Friday, January 28, 2011

i Spy Eurospy: From the Orient With Fury

From the Orient With Fury
Director: Sergio Grieco
Year 1965

From the Orient With Fury is a tremendously entertaining Eurospy film that presents Ken Clark in his second foray as the super spy Dick Malloy. This time Agent 077 must recover a kidnapped scientist and his extraordinary invention, a ray gun that can disintegrate solid matter, from a madman named Goldwyn. Can he recover the stolen weapon and its creator or is the world doomed? Of course the film isn't as melodramatic as all that, mostly relying on the fun aspects of the spy trade; guns, girls, and beautiful exotic sceneries. This films got it all in almost excessive amounts, for you'll forget multiple times what Dick Malloy's ultimate mission really is. Not to worry though because in this Eurospy, style is definitely better then substance, especially when there is this much eye candy and adventure to get lost in.

I'm not just a handsome man, but I also play one on TV.
Why so blue?

Ken Clark does another outstanding job as the titular spy, whose as good at spying as he is with the ladies. And boy is there a helping handful of them in this film. Unlike Clark's first film in the series, Mission Bloody Mary, he's crooning for the affection of just one beautiful damsel in the form of Helga Line, but in From the Orient With Fury he is bombarded with one female starlet after another. It's interesting that they decided to go this route and just go hog wild with Agent 077's love interests. The change makes for a more hectic movie, thowing any kind of structure to the way side in favor of a more dynamic and diverse slew of romantic interactions for Clark's agent to tackle.

Who would have thought that this tender moment would turn into a slap-fest?
A little help here guys.

In Mission Bloody Mary, we had Helga Line's character to help build the tension with whether she was truly on 077's side or if she was working with another opposing organization. That tense uncertainty worked its way through the entire film, all the way up until the end of the movie. In From the Orient With Fury, that narrative bridge that held the previous film together so well is now absent, making for a more muddled mess that feels like a number of separate missions glued together.

Now I love both approaches that each film takes, but for some reason the hectic mess that is From the Orient With Fury, seems just that much more random and fun. I love the assorted nature of it and the uncontrollable and contrasting quality of each one of Dick Malloy's encounters. It's strange, but it just felt more enjoyable not knowing what crazy thing was going to happen next. Does it make for a more coherent story, hell no, but it does make for some insanely entertaining moments.

I oughta slap you, you kooky dame.
Stop in the name of love!

So many women, so little time. Well time doesn't appear to be a factor for old Dick Malloy. In this mission he's tackling three gorgeous women and he's doing it in style. Some are in league with him and some are against him, but all add a special and significant flavor to the film. Fabienne Dali plays the venomous and deadly Simone Degas who takes a slapping of a lifetime from a pissed off Malloy after her failed assassination attempt on the super spy. Spanish actress and singer Mikaela plays a short but memorable role as Dolores Lopez, who has her life turned upside down by Malloy after he wines and dines her and then splits. She performs a magnificent musical number in the small portion of the film that she appears in, but it's a spectacular moment and very meaningful. Then rounding out the ladies is one of Eurospy's most legendary female forces of the genre, Margaret Lee. She plays the character of Evelyn Stone who partners up with Agent 077 to take down the evil Goldwyn. She is absolutely stunning in this film and does a great job of rounding out the cast and complimenting Ken Clark's promiscuous spy.

Damn that Ken Clark is one smooth mother.. shut your mouth.
Thank god I took off my heels and put on my Himalayan walking shoes!

We get a nice array of locations in this film, from Madrid, Istanbul, and the familiar Paris locations that were present in Dick Malloy's first film. The different looks of each locale is equal to the impressive vistas that were featured in Mission Bloody Mary, so the tradition of the Malloy series sustains its exotic wonder and breathtaking views. This is nice, because you really can't have a Eurospy flick without the globe trotting aspect to go along with it. It's just a part of the overall Eurospy recipe.

Add this with the fact that we get a large assortment of exotic femme fatales and a bat shit crazy mad man named Goldwyn, played by Franco Ressel, and you have yourself a strangely satisfying little film. The fact that they kept Ken Clark as super agent Dick Malloy to continue the spies adventures, only solidifies the series as a consistent addition to the Eurospy genre and one that I always love revisiting. Plus the fact that this film has a freaking ray gun that disintegrates anything in its path. A ray gun! Just saying.

Weee! Ray guns are fun!
Shout! Shout! Get this spear out!

From the Orient With Fury is not as established as its predecessor, but what it lacks in cohesive story telling it more then makes up for it with its over the top sub plot and never ending stream of silver screen beauties. The randomness of the film is highly entertaining and some of the sequences that they come up with in the film is actually pretty effective and appealing.

You really can't go wrong with this movie or any of the Ken Clark spy films. They've got something for every Eurospy lover out there and if you're not tickled by at least something in these ridiculously amusing flicks, then maybe you're taking these movies too seriously. Remember it's all in good fun. I highly recommend this film to all Eurospy devotees and to anyone who wants a little adventure and fun in their lives, even if it's lived through the celluloid life of the one and only Dick Malloy.

4 out of 5 guns        A Great Eurospy Adventure With Beauty to Spare!

i Spy Eurospy: Mission Bloody Mary

Mission Bloody Mary
Director: Sergio Grieco
Year 1965

Mission Bloody Mary is a highly entertaining Eurospy flick that stars Ken Clark as an unstoppable and extremely charismatic CIA agent named Dick Malloy aka Agent 077. In true Bond fashion, 077 must find and recover an American nuclear device that has been stolen by the dubious secret organization called the Black Lilly, before they sell the powerful weapon to the Red Chinese or it ends up in other foreign hands. The film moves at a brisk pace, only stopping once in a while, but the overall enjoyment level of this film is right up there with some of the top Eurospy flicks.

This is my red turtleneck! There are many like it, but this one is mine!
Now where the hell did I park the car?

The casting of Ken Clark as super agent Dick Malloy is pure genius and he's one of the main reasons that this film is so enjoyable. His tough guy, suave routine, is spot on and the fact that he is built like a freight train doesn't take away from the overall appearance that this man can wreck some shop when put in a sticky situation. Like his agent counterpart James Bond, Dick Malloy can spout out some good one liners when the situation calls for it. In Agent 077's first mission, Mission Bloody Mary, he offers up a few choice gems, but nothing too over the top and cheesy. What helps Ken Clark's ability to sell his lines is his slick delivery, almost winking to the audience as if he's having as much fun as we are. He projects a confidence that absolutely had me sold during my first viewing of this film and quelled my fears on whether this guy could carry a Eurospy franchise and do it with style. He can and does.

That's right ladies and gentlemen. I'm going to do her by the end of the film.
Take that you son of a bitch!

Now it wouldn't be a Eurospy film without a few beautiful women to decorate it with and this one excels in that department by specializing in one particular German beauty, Helga Line, whose been in more genre films then I can keep track of. It seems she was the go to girl for most of these Eurospy films of the 60's and I've been hard at work trying to track down most of her roles, but still can't seem to find the end of her filmography in this genre. Two of my favorite horror films that she's appeared in are Horror Rises From the Tomb and The Loreley's Grasp. She was stunning in both films and in Mission Bloody Mary, she demands attention in every scene that she appears in. Her role in the film is essential in bringing about many of the intriguing moments in the film. Helga plays Dick Malloy's partner and love interest in the movie, but also provides Malloy's character with a great deal of trouble as he struggles to both bed her and figure out her allegiance. She does an amazing job as usual in both enticing and engaging the audience.

See something you like Helga? Cheeky pervert.
I think Ken Clark is starting to get the point.

Location. Location. Location. That's what Eurospy films are all about. Though they were limited by their small budgets, most Eurospy movies relied on the location of their stories to pump up the overall look of their films and in the process made them look much more expensive then they had any right to be. In Mission Bloody Mary, we are treated with a bevy of locales from Paris to Madrid, providing a lavish look to the film and packing the frame full of stunning landscapes, beautiful coastal towns, and posh casinos all in the dynamic style of Europe 1965. With this first entry in the Dick Malloy spy adventure series, we're introduced to a world that is both beautiful and deadly, but at the same time, so damn fun.

Ken Clark, man about town.
Hello mom, I think I'm in love.

If action is what you crave, then Ken Clark is your man. His portrayal of Dick Malloy is a physical one, throwing caution to the wind and karate chopping every last bad guy until they lay motionless at his feet. You have to commend Clark for his enthusiasm in many of these fight scenes, because you can see him throwing his whole self into it. Being a veteran of Peplum films, where the battles are fast and fierce among the italian sword and sandal epics, Clark employs that same animalistic nature in his fight scenes, lashing out at his attackers like a cornered animal. His athleticism in itself is entertaining to watch but it's  his overall enthusiasm that is infectious as hell.

Which one of you bastards put me in this white jump suit?

Music is another one of those elements that make Eurospy films so enjoyable and Mission Bloody Mary has one of the most wonderful opening songs created by the italian composer Ennio Morricone, entitled Bloody Mary. This haunting yet at the same time groovy track, blasts your eardrums with a tight reoccurring horn sequence that's accompanied by the dynamic vocals of Maurizio Graf. Morricone's musical works are legendary and provide the cinema with some of the most diverse soundtracks that have ever graced the ears of the filmgoing audience. Like his stupendous work on films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, Cinema Paradiso, and The Untouchables, Ennio Morricone brings the overall feel of Mission Bloody Mary up a notch in just the opening moments of the film from his expressive and lively main title theme.

The end.

Mission Bloody Mary is a great introduction to Eurospy for the uneducated and a perfect stepping stone for the rest of the series to spring off of. It introduces us to a charismatic new agent named Dick Malloy, who has the suave attitude and lethal moves to get the job done and save the day. The look of the film is spot on in that 60's Euro-style way and the various locations that we're presented to in this film is not short of amazing. If you're a fan of Eurospy or someone who just wants to get their feet dirty in the genre, I highly recommend it. It's a damn good fun time.

4 guns out of 5      A Great Addition to Any Eurospy Collection!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


It's time for another update on what I've been doing with my time outside of the blog-o-sphere and as of most recently, I've been working on another trailer for my trailer compilation project. This time it's a hybrid of french new wave cinema styles with a blood splattering of vampire and religious lore that I like to call, Soulless. This was initially going to be a short film and I'm basically 60% done with the filming of it, but for now I transformed it into a nice addition for my trailer compilation project. I still need to think of a name for this monstrosity of trailer goodness.

The trailer is all edited at the moment and all I need to do is create some catchy melodies to accompany the depressing visuals. Hopefully I'll be able to churn some stuff out this weekend and complete it. For now, here's a few stills from the trailer to give you an idea of what it looks like. Enjoy and stay tuned for the full trailer and a long list of overdue reviews.

Pretty sweet and classy looking production logo.
This place is dead!
This scene was a pain in the ass and very tiring.
Very cool shot and for some reason makes me think of Carnival of Souls.
Finally made it to the homestead.
Roll out the assortment of weapons. Vampires beware!
I really love this holy water shot with the cross in the background.
A pretty strange shot that is surprisingly ominous.
Shit there's someone behind me!
Getting ready to do some damage. 
A haunting shot from the basement of my cottage.
A weird shot but for some reason I'm digging it.
One of my favorite shots in the film. Looks so damn bad ass!
Back you demon!
Burn baby burn!
A simple but effective title.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Seeing that I just announced the new segment, i Spy Eurospy, I figured that I'd put some american spy flavor up onto the site from the same type of genre as those wacky Eurospy films. Here is the fabulously groovy title sequence from the 1966 flick, Our Man Flint. This outrageously fun and entertaining film is directed by Daniel Mann and stars the legendary James Coburn. It's an absolute blast to watch and I'll be reviewing it in the coming weeks, but until then feast your eyes on these retina burning images of spy spoof goodness and keep a look out for my review in the near future.