Saturday, April 18, 2020
This is my first entry in the Vincent Price Blogathon hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews and Cinematic Catharsis
From the TV cartoon series Pinky and the Brain:
Pinky: "What are we going to do tonight, Brain?"
The Brain: "Same thing we do every night, Pinky...try to take over the world!"
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965)
Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966):
The essence of American International's Dr. Goldfoot movies is parody. The hit movie series of the 60's was Sean Connery and his James Bond films. The most recent one of these had been Goldfinger (1964). Dr. Goldfoot was an evil scientist, who like many of Bond's nemeses, had a goal to try to take over the world.
In the first outlet for the series, Dr. Goldfoot's nefarious plan is creating girl robots who entice rich men, marry them and then drain them dry financially, to the benefit, of course, of Dr. Goldfoot.
In the second entry, Dr. Goldfoot, in cahoots with the Chinese, endeavors to start World War II between the Russians and the Americans, the ultimate goal being to destroy the two superpowers and divide the spoils between the Chinese and our "hero", Dr. Goldfoot. To enable this, first Dr. Goldfoot sends his newly developed girl robots, accompanied with bombs, to blow up the NATO generals. Then he hijacks an American plane with a hydrogen bomb, to blow up Moscow.
The agent, if you can call him that, is from Security Intelligence Command (S.I.C., which is pronounced "sick", leading to a couple of snickering moments when the agent says he is a "S.I.C. agent"). In the first film, the agent is played by Frankie Avalon and in the second the agent is played by Fabian, both heralding back to American International's popular "beach movies". (In fact, in one scene in Bikini Machine, Annette Funicello makes a guest cameo.)
Both movies are highlighted by an elaborate slapstick chase. In the first movie it is Dr. Goldfoot chasing the agents and in the second it is the agents chasing Dr. Goldfoot and his cohorts. In both the chase is just a ploy to extend the length of the movie with numerous sight gags, regardless of the plausibility. (i.e. a streetcar that leaves its rails and rolls down the highway or a hot air balloon that manages to keep pace with a jet airliner.)
In between you get Vincent Price at his campy best. Sure, Price made a great evil villain, but he could pull off comedy pretty damn decently, too. Neither of the Goldfoot entries are anywhere close to classics in the comedy realm. And there are some flaws in the second entry. For one thing the Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs film serves not only as a sequel to the first movie, but it was also made as a sequel to a favorite Italian series. Hence the appearance of Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrrassia as a pair of Italian dolts who help our secret agent in his quest to stop Goldfoot.
For those Mario Bava fans in the crowd, it may disconcert you to know that Bava was the director of the second feature. Definitely not up to the standards of Black Sabbath or Kill, Baby, Kill, and maybe Bava fans have a right to be disappointed. It would be the only time that classic horror actor Price teamed up with classic horror director Bava and that's a shame.
These movies are fun, but I highly doubt they are re-watchable, even for Price fans. But since you are probably qurantined at least for part of the day right now, it can make for a somewhat enjoyable break from all that housekeeping or whatever it is you are doing to keep active.
Drive safely, folks.