Mondo Sadisto

Author: Clyde Allison
Real name: William Henley Knowles
Published: 1966 Leisure Books
Cover illustration: Robert Bonfils

WARNING: This review contains sexual and adult themes.

‘Once again, Hollywood, that Glamour Capital of the Free World, had come up with a smashing idea – A Secret Agent Semi-Documentary! And when they chose SADISTO as the subject for their MONDO-type flick, they were confident that they wouldn’t have to worry about any intense erotic atmosphere. From the little they could learn about SADISTO’s ultrasecret activities, they concluded that they organization merely killed, maimed, tortured and, whenever possible massacred the sinister enemies of the Free World.

Little did the California Dreamers realize what they were in for! How could they have known that the dread triple-zero agents were trained not only to kill, but to love – whenever possible!’

Mondo Sadisto is the twelfth title in Clyde Allison’s series of soft-core spy novels featuring Trevor Anderson, agent 0008 for a secret organisation called SADISTO. The name of the company alone should tell you about how they work – they use brutal and garish methods to liquidate the enemies of the Free World. It should also tell you that these novels are very black comedies. The series, because of its sexual content is often looked upon as porn, and there’s no denying that sexual themes are prevalent throughout the book. But by today’s standards it is all very tame. There are no swear words and the passages devoted to sex could more accurately be described as ‘smut’ rather than ‘erotica’.

‘She’s a big girl, with jutting, high, proud, ripely rounded breasts – twin cupolas of carnal temptation, paired peaks of passionate pleasure flesh…’ or ‘Her proud, pert young breast jutted upward and outward in quivering conical / spherical perfection – dual globes of glossy glee flesh.’

As I said, it is smut, but placed in the context of the wild spyjinx presented, it’s obvious that none of this is meant to be taken seriously.

In this 0008 adventure our hero, Trevor Anderson is to be the star in a Mondo-style documentary movie. It appears that SADISTO is cash strapped, and for ‘two million on the barrel-head plus twenty percent of the gross take’ they are prepared to allow an insider witness the ultra-secret world of SADISTO. The producer / director / cinematographer of this film is Cinamatia (Cin) Scopes, and she is to accompany 0008 on his next mission filming every second.

What is his mission? Glad you asked. Ultra evil organisation KRUNCH are holding the ‘Free World’ to ransom once again. This time they are threatening to destroy the waterways of North America. The mission briefing goes like this – page 73:

“What,” the General had asked dramatically (during our initial briefing), “is the most dreaded thing of the water – fresh water, that is?”

I considered this. “A voluptuous teen-age thrill-seeking girl at the wheel of a high-powered outboard?” I suggested, remembering numerous occasions when such joyous jills had almost cut me in two with their propellers.

“You’re right,” the General had conceded. “Well, what’s the second most dreaded thing in fresh water?”

“Why, the Piranha!” gasped Cin and I in unison.

“Keep out of this,” I snarled. “This is my briefing.”

“Sorry. I spoke up without thinking,” apologized Cin.

“Silence!” thundered the General. “As I was saying and you were agreeing, the South American fresh-water fish – loosely named the Piranha – is a fish to be dreaded.”

And later from page 76 and 77:

“It’s more serious, I take it,” I rasped.

“Exactly. With Piranhas as with any fish, it’s only a question of acclimation. Piranhas flourish only in very warm fresh waters. But…”

“But?” I interjected.

“But fish can adjust. Automatically or after careful selective breeding. Take the common guppy for an example. A fresh-water fish. But how many guppy fanciers know that if they should toss their guppies into an aquarium full of salt water – the guppies would continue to flourish and multiply.”

“I take it,” I frowned, “that not all fish are as adaptable as guppies?”

“You take it correctly,” said the General. “However, before this, nobody has made any attempt to acclimate Piranhas to cooler water. By slowly lowering the water temperature, selecting the fish that withstood the change best, cross-breeding them, repeating the process for generations – it might be done. And shudder, the indications are – it has been done! Yes, a cool, even cold-water Piranha is now a biological reality. You can imagine what this could mean.”

So KRUNCH’s evil plan is to release their cold water acclimated Piranhas into North American waterways during ‘Safe Swimming Week’. Diabolical. The woman behind this horrible scene is Serra S. Brandt, and 0008, with a little help from Cin Scopes has to track her down and eliminate her – which is not going to be an easy task.

An intriguing aspect of the 0008 novels is the violence. There is a fair amount of gratuitous cartoon violence, and as stated, because these books are black comedies, this violence is ‘sadistic’ and gory. After all 0008 works for SADISTO – of course he’s ‘sadistic’. But Allison seems to take delight in whipping his reading audience into a lather about the more extreme elements of his stories. As this note explains (from 0008’s point of view):

‘As most of my millions of readers know, SADISTO agents keep in fighting trim, maintain their professional skills and relax themselves by shooting at live human targets – usually captured enemy agents, condemned voluptuous teen-age girl criminals we ‘borrow’ from death-row on the pretense of studying their psychological reactions, and other alleged enemies of the Free World.

But although the advantages as well as the fun of this system should be obvious, some readers don’t seem to approve of it. Many send me angry letters about it, in fact (as if I were to blame! I’m only a cog in the system – albeit a pretty important cog) – letters frequently accompanied by time bombs, rattlesnakes and deadly cave scorpions. Gifts I always rewrap and mark Return to Sender.

To stop this irksome flow of missives and missiles, let me restate my oft stated position: What’s wrong with using live human beings as targets?’

Having said all that, Allison does have a tendency to have an each way bet. One of the recurring plot devices is to have 0008 kill an enemy in a particularly nasty and bloody fashion, only to later have it revealed that the target wasn’t actually killed. So you get the nasty ‘sadistic’ prose, and then at the end, he takes it all away. No one was really hurt after all.

As the 0008 adventures are plainly parodies of sixties spymania, the stories are littered with Bond, Flint and UNCLE references. Even KAOS from Get Smart is given a name check. In this book one of the highlights is when 0008 explains his choice to drive a fire-engine red Mercedes rather than an Aston Martin.

“I thought all secret agents drove Aston Martins,” Cin had objected when we’d started our trip.

“Most do,” I agreed. “The Aston Martin people have a special group rate for intelligence organizations. The car has certain drawbacks, however. Like so many secret agents, enemy, friendly and the neutral drive them. You see an Aston Martin on the road, you know right off the driver is most likely a secret agent.”

“I see,” said Cin.

“So for this particular case,” I concluded, “I’m not taking my Aston Martin. Also it needs a valve job. Better we travel inconspicuously.” “You call a fire-engine red Mercedes 540-K inconspicuous?” increduled Cin.

And Derek Flint cops a serve – from page 53:

“Are you going to your quarters to do yoga exercises to prepare yourself for your coming hazardous duties?” she asked as she trotted behind me.

“Bah!” I said. “Perhaps esthetes like Flint engage in such questionably masculine pre-caper activities, but we triple-zero SADISTO agents are made of lustier stuff.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Most readers would be familiar with the famous Page 69 Test. The theory is that page 69 should be a good reflection on the contents of the book. Well, with a piece of Clyde Allison erotica, I guess the 69 Test takes on a new meaning. But with a fair amount of trepidation submit Mondo Sadisto to the test to see how it stacks up.

Sweat poured from my brow as I writhed and twisted beneath the diabolical provocation of her lips, and tongue, and breasts, and straying fingers.
It was wild.

It was wanton.

It was wonderful.

It was too much.

She stopped.

“Don’t stop” I implored.

I guess, due to the novels erotic nature their are going to be pages with a measure of carnality. Page 69, to put it simply, is a page filled with foreplay — and by page 70, well it’s right into the action — you get the idea. This passage doesn’t really sum up the parody inherent in the novel, but the book is what it is — a piece of erotica — and I guess Page 69 reflects that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mondo Sadisto, like a few of the other Clyde Allison novels I have now sampled, is a little uneven, but there are passages which are brilliant parodies of a Bondian universe. I had a brief email conversation with Tanner from the Double O Section, and he made a very astute observation that the stories are in many ways similar to Mark Gatiss’ Lucifer Box trilogy. And he’s right. Obviously Allison’s stories are primarily soft core smut with passages of outrageous spy-type action and adventure, whereas Gatiss’ stories are outrageous spy-type action and adventure with passages of smut. But they are similar.

Thanks to Flapjack 111, I am happy to present Mondo Sadisto. As the Clyde Allison 0008 Sadisto novels are out of print, rare, and extremely expensive, we thought it only right that we should share the adventures of one of the more perverse Bondian imitators.

To download Mondo Sadisto in JPG format,
click here.

Mondo Sadisto

Mondo Sadisto

Written by Clyde Allison
Real name: William Henley Knowles
Published: 1966 Leisure Books
Cover illustration by Robert Bonfils

WARNING: This review contains sexual and adult themes.

‘Once again, Hollywood, that Glamour Capital of the Free World, had come up with a smashing idea – A Secret Agent Semi-Documentary! And when they chose SADISTO as the subject for their MONDO-type flick, they were confident that they wouldn’t have to worry about any intense erotic atmosphere. From the little they could learn about SADISTO’s ultrasecret activities, they concluded that they organization merely killed, maimed, tortured and, whenever possible massacred the sinister enemies of the Free World.

Little did the California Dreamers realize what they were in for! How could they have known that the dread triple-zero agents were trained not only to kill, but to love – whenever possible!’

Mondo Sadisto twelfth title in Clyde Allison’s series of soft-core spy novels featuring Trevor Anderson, agent 0008 for a secret organisation called SADISTO. The name of the company alone should tell you about how they work – they use brutal and garish methods to liquidate the enemies of the Free World. It should also tell you that these novels are very black comedies. The series, because of its sexual content is often looked upon as porn, and there’s no denying that sexual themes are prevalent throughout the book. But by today’s standards it is all very tame. There are no swear words and the passages devoted to sex could more accurately be described as ‘smut’ rather than ‘erotica’.

‘She’s a big girl, with jutting, high, proud, ripely rounded breasts – twin cupolas of carnal temptation, paired peaks of passionate pleasure flesh…’ or ‘Her proud, pert young breast jutted upward and outward in quivering conical / spherical perfection – dual globes of glossy glee flesh.’

As I said, it is smut, but placed in the context of the wild spyjinx presented, it’s obvious that none of this is meant to be taken seriously.

In this 0008 adventure our hero, Trevor Anderson is to be the star in a Mondo-style documentary movie. It appears that SADISTO is cash strapped, and for ‘two million on the barrel-head plus twenty percent of the gross take’ they are prepared to allow an insider witness the ultra-secret world of SADISTO. The producer / director / cinematographer of this film is Cinamatia (Cin) Scopes, and she is to accompany 0008 on his next mission filming every second.

What is his mission? Glad you asked. Ultra evil organisation KRUNCH are holding the ‘Free World’ to ransom once again. This time they are threatening to destroy the waterways of North America. The mission briefing goes like this – page 73:

“What,” the General had asked dramatically (during our initial briefing), “is the most dreaded thing of the water – fresh water, that is?”

I considered this. “A voluptuous teen-age thrill-seeking girl at the wheel of a high-powered outboard?” I suggested, remembering numerous occasions when such joyous jills had almost cut me in two with their propellers.

“You’re right,” the General had conceded. “Well, what’s the second most dreaded thing in fresh water?”

“Why, the Piranha!” gasped Cin and I in unison.

“Keep out of this,” I snarled. “This is my briefing.”

“Sorry. I spoke up without thinking,” apologized Cin.

“Silence!” thundered the General. “As I was saying and you were agreeing, the South American fresh-water fish – loosely named the Piranha – is a fish to be dreaded.”

And later from page 76 and 77:

“It’s more serious, I take it,” I rasped.

“Exactly. With Piranhas as with any fish, it’s only a question of acclimation. Piranhas flourish only in very warm fresh waters. But…”

“But?” I interjected.

“But fish can adjust. Automatically or after careful selective breeding. Take the common guppy for an example. A fresh-water fish. But how many guppy fanciers know that if they should toss their guppies into an aquarium full of salt water – the guppies would continue to flourish and multiply.”

“I take it,” I frowned, “that not all fish are as adaptable as guppies?”

“You take it correctly,” said the General. “However, before this, nobody has made any attempt to acclimate Piranhas to cooler water. By slowly lowering the water temperature, selecting the fish that withstood the change best, cross-breeding them, repeating the process for generations – it might be done. And shudder, the indications are – it has been done! Yes, a cool, even cold-water Piranha is now a biological reality. You can imagine what this could mean.”

So KRUNCH’s evil plan is to release their cold water acclimated Piranhas into North American waterways during ‘Safe Swimming Week’. Diabolical. The woman behind this horrible scene is Serra S. Brandt, and 0008, with a little help from Cin Scopes has to track her down and eliminate her – which is not going to be an easy task.

An intriguing aspect of the 0008 novels is the violence. There is a fair amount of gratuitous cartoon violence, and as stated, because these books are black comedies, this violence is ‘sadistic’ and gory. After all 0008 works for SADISTO – of course he’s ‘sadistic’. But Allison seems to take delight in whipping his reading audience into a lather about the more extreme elements of his stories. As this note explains (from 0008’s point of view):

‘As most of my millions of readers know, SADISTO agents keep in fighting trim, maintain their professional skills and relax themselves by shooting at live human targets – usually captured enemy agents, condemned voluptuous teen-age girl criminals we ‘borrow’ from death-row on the pretense of studying their psychological reactions, and other alleged enemies of the Free World.

But although the advantages as well as the fun of this system should be obvious, some readers don’t seem to approve of it. Many send me angry letters about it, in fact (as if I were to blame! I’m only a cog in the system – albeit a pretty important cog) – letters frequently accompanied by time bombs, rattlesnakes and deadly cave scorpions. Gifts I always rewrap and mark Return to Sender.

To stop this irksome flow of missives and missiles, let me restate my oft stated position: What’s wrong with using live human beings as targets?’

Having said all that, Allison does have a tendency to have an each way bet. One of the recurring plot devices is to have 0008 kill an enemy in a particularly nasty and bloody fashion, only to later have it revealed that the target wasn’t actually killed. So you get the nasty ‘sadistic’ prose, and then at the end, he takes it all away. No one was really hurt after all.

As the 0008 adventures are plainly parodies of sixties spymania, the stories are littered with Bond, Flint and UNCLE references. Even KAOS from Get Smart is given a name check. In this book one of the highlights is when 0008 explains his choice to drive a fire-engine red Mercedes rather than an Aston Martin.

“I thought all secret agents drove Aston Martins,” Cin had objected when we’d started our trip.

“Most do,” I agreed. “The Aston Martin people have a special group rate for intelligence organizations. The car has certain drawbacks, however. Like so many secret agents, enemy, friendly and the neutral drive them. You see an Aston Martin on the road, you know right off the driver is most likely a secret agent.”

“I see,” said Cin.

“So for this particular case,” I concluded, “I’m not taking my Aston Martin. Also it needs a valve job. Better we travel inconspicuously.” “You call a fire-engine red Mercedes 540-K inconspicuous?” increduled Cin.

And Derek Flint cops a serve – from page 53:

“Are you going to your quarters to do yoga exercises to prepare yourself for your coming hazardous duties?” she asked as she trotted behind me.

“Bah!” I said. “Perhaps esthetes like Flint engage in such questionably masculine pre-caper activities, but we triple-zero SADISTO agents are made of lustier stuff.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Most readers would be familiar with the famous Page 69 Test. The theory is that page 69 should be a good reflection on the contents of the book. Well, with a piece of Clyde Allison erotica, I guess the 69 Test takes on a new meaning. But with a fair amount of trepidation submit Mondo Sadisto to the test to see how it stacks up.

Sweat poured from my brow as I writhed and twisted beneath the diabolical provocation of her lips, and tongue, and breasts, and straying fingers.
It was wild.
It was wanton.
It was wonderful.
It was too much.
She stopped.
“Don’t stop” I implored.

I guess, due to the novels erotic nature their are going to be pages with a measure of carnality. Page 69, to put it simply, is a page filled with foreplay — and by page 70, well it’s right into the action — you get the idea. This passage doesn’t really sum up the parody inherent in the novel, but the book is what it is — a piece of erotica — and I guess Page 69 reflects that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mondo Sadisto, like a few of the other Clyde Allison novels I have now sampled, is a little uneven, but there are passages which are brilliant parodies of a Bondian universe. I had a brief email conversation with Tanner from the Double-O Section, and he made a very astute observation that the stories are in many ways similar to Mark Gatiss’ Lucifer Box trilogy. And he’s right. Obviously Allison’s stories are primarily soft core smut with passages of outrageous spy-type action and adventure, whereas Gatiss’ stories are outrageous spy-type action and adventure with passages of smut. But they are similar.

Thanks to Flapjack 111, I am happy to present Mondo Sadisto. As the Clyde Allison 0008 Sadisto novels are out of print, rare, and extremely expensive, we thought it only right that we should share the adventures of one of the more perverse Bondian imitators.

To download Mondo Sadisto in JPG format,
click here.

Mondo Sadisto

Interpol 009 (1967)

Original Title: Te jing 009
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Yang Shu-hsi (Kô Nakahira)
Starring: Margaret Tu Chuan, Tang Ching, Shen Yi, Chang Pei-shan
Music: Eddie Wang

Generally my incursions into Shaw Brothers spy films have been enjoyable. Films like The Golden Buddha, Angel with the Iron Fists and Angel Strikes Back are flawed, but they are fast paced and filled with outrageous action and fights, beautiful girls, goofy gadgets, and eyepopping sets and fashion – what’s not to like. These films are very accessible to anyone who likes big scale Bondian action (providing you don’t mind subtitles). Then along comes Interpol 009, which is quite a bit different. I’ll be honest, it took me four sittings to get through this film, which on the surface may imply that it is a bad film – but I don’t think it is. It simply has a very different tone to the other Shaw Brothers spy films.

There are two reasons why this film is quite different. The first is that it is directed by Yang Shu-hsi (the other films I mentioned at the top were all directed by Lo Wei). Yang Shu-hsi is an adopted name for Japanese director Kô Nakahira who, before arriving in Hong Kong, did a stint at Japan’s hard-boiled Nikkatsu studios. So Nakahira’s directing style is quite different. He prefers location work to working on the Shaw Brothers studio lots. The second reason that Interpol 009 has a different feel to the other Shaw Brothers spy output/ Bond imitators – is that it is a remake of an earlier film made by Nakahira in Japan. Now I haven’t been able to find out which film this is a remake of, but three of the four films (including Interpol 009) that Nakahira directed in Hong Kong were remakes of his earlier work. So whereas The Golden Buddha, Angel with the Iron Fists, et al, where made deliberately to ride on the coat-tails of Bond, Interpol 009’s script is older and possibly predates Bondmania. The Bondian accoutrements have been added just to give the film a more contemporary feel. So at times, this film feels more like a detective story than a fully fledged spy film.

The film opens in Manilla and secret agent, Long Ping is meeting with an informant named Fang. As the two men exchange information they are set upon by a band of thugs. These thugs mean business and Ping and Fang end up floating face down in a lake with knives in their backs. When Interpol HQ in London hears about the demise of its agent, Chen Tianhong (agent 009) is called in to take over. Currently though, he is on a beach in France with two beautiful girls by his side. But duty calls and soon he is whisked away to Manilla. Here he meets with the Police chief who informs him that Long Ping was investigating the Fudu Trading Company. Fudu have been transporting restored cars from Hong Kong to Manilla, and everytime a shipment arrives, the city is swamped with counterfeit US bank notes.

Having gleaned all the information he can from Manilla, Agent 009 heads to the source, Hong Kong. Posing as a gambling, womanising cad, Agent 009 is soon on the trail of the bad guys. Well, to be honest it doesn’t take too much investigation. It just so happens that two of the chief suspects in the case, just happen to be on the same flight to Hong Kong. It’s just one of the many co-incidences that this film lays on. Then, as soon as 009 gets off the plane he is followed by the bad guys from the airport. They sure make it easy.

As I mentioned earlier, this film is not like a Bond film. It doesn’t have an evil mastermind or a spectacular underground lair for our villains to operate out of. If the Fudu Trading Company has a head guy, who is the uber villain, then we don’t even meet him over the course of the film — and equally if a head man exists, then he is not caught at the end of the film either. Essentially Agent 009 goes after the small fish, but the weird thing is that by the forty-five minute mark of this film, Chen Tianhong and the Hong Kong police have enough evidence to put the bad guys away — but instead chose to watch them a little longer, hoping to catch the main players, which they never really do.

What Interpol 009 has got going for it is Tang Ching as Chen Tianhong, Agent 009. Ching, who had served as second banana to Lily Ho in the Angel with the Iron Fists, gets to carry the show here, and he does a great job as the hard-drinking, womanising gambler. Ching would also turn up in the Angel strikes back, once again teaming with Lily Ho – and if to cement this pair’s cinematic relationship, Lily Ho has a nifty cameo at the end of this film.

Interpol 009 is quite okay as a spy film, but it’s detective story origins do slow the story down. Rather than outrageous confrontations between good and evil, such as fights and car chases, which are the hallmark of a spy film, this film has a lot of characters just sneaking around. First the bad guys follow Chen. Then he follows them. Thankfully towards the end, the confrontation we have been waiting for, finally happens, and the last twenty or so minutes of this film are pretty good, and would appease most spy film aficionados.

Interpol 009 (1967)

Interpol 009 (1967)

Original Title: Te jing 009
Country: Hong Kong
Director: Yang Shu-hsi (Kô Nakahira)
Starring: Margaret Tu Chuan, Tang Ching, Shen Yi, Chang Pei-shan
Music: Eddie Wang

Generally my incursions into Shaw Brothers spy films have been enjoyable. Films like The Golden Buddha, Angel with the Iron Fists and Angel Strikes Back are flawed, but they are fast paced and filled with outrageous action and fights, beautiful girls, goofy gadgets, and eyepopping sets and fashion – what’s not to like. These films are very accessible to anyone who likes big scale Bondian action (providing you don’t mind subtitles). Then along comes Interpol 009, which is quite a bit different. I’ll be honest, it took me four sittings to get through this film, which on the surface may imply that it is a bad film – but I don’t think it is. It simply has a very different tone to the other Shaw Brothers spy films.

There are two reasons why this film is quite different. The first is that it is directed by Yang Shu-hsi (the other films I mentioned at the top were all directed by Lo Wei). Yang Shu-hsi is an adopted name for Japanese director Kô Nakahira who, before arriving in Hong Kong, did a stint at Japan’s hard-boiled Nikkatsu studios. So Nakahira’s directing style is quite different. He prefers location work to working on the Shaw Brothers studio lots. The second reason that Interpol 009 has a different feel to the other Shaw Brothers spy output/ Bond imitators – is that it is a remake of an earlier film made by Nakahira in Japan. Now I haven’t been able to find out which film this is a remake of, but three of the four films (including Interpol 009) that Nakahira directed in Hong Kong were remakes of his earlier work. So whereas The Golden Buddha, Angel with the Iron Fists, et al, where made deliberately to ride on the coat-tails of Bond, Interpol 009’s script is older and possibly predates Bondmania. The Bondian accoutrements have been added just to give the film a more contemporary feel. So at times, this film feels more like a detective story than a fully fledged spy film.

The film opens in Manilla and secret agent, Long Ping is meeting with an informant named Fang. As the two men exchange information they are set upon by a band of thugs. These thugs mean business and Ping and Fang end up floating face down in a lake with knives in their backs. When Interpol HQ in London hears about the demise of its agent, Chen Tianhong (agent 009) is called in to take over. Currently though, he is on a beach in France with two beautiful girls by his side. But duty calls and soon he is whisked away to Manilla. Here he meets with the Police chief who informs him that Long Ping was investigating the Fudu Trading Company. Fudu have been transporting restored cars from Hong Kong to Manilla, and everytime a shipment arrives, the city is swamped with counterfeit US bank notes.

Having gleaned all the information he can from Manilla, Agent 009 heads to the source, Hong Kong. Posing as a gambling, womanising cad, Agent 009 is soon on the trail of the bad guys. Well, to be honest it doesn’t take too much investigation. It just so happens that two of the chief suspects in the case, just happen to be on the same flight to Hong Kong. It’s just one of the many co-incidences that this film lays on. Then, as soon as 009 gets off the plane he is followed by the bad guys from the airport. They sure make it easy.

As I mentioned earlier, this film is not like a Bond film. It doesn’t have an evil mastermind or a spectacular underground lair for our villains to operate out of. If the Fudu Trading Company has a head guy, who is the uber villain, then we don’t even meet him over the course of the film — and equally if a head man exists, then he is not caught at the end of the film either. Essentially Agent 009 goes after the small fish, but the weird thing is that by the forty-five minute mark of this film, Chen Tianhong and the Hong Kong police have enough evidence to put the bad guys away — but instead chose to watch them a little longer, hoping to catch the main players, which they never really do.

What Interpol 009 has got going for it is Tang Ching as Chen Tianhong, Agent 009. Ching, who had served as second banana to Lily Ho in the Angel with the Iron Fists, gets to carry the show here, and he does a great job as the hard-drinking, womanising gambler. Ching would also turn up in the Angel strikes back, once again teaming with Lily Ho – and if to cement this pair’s cinematic relationship, Lily Ho has a nifty cameo at the end of this film.

Interpol 009 is quite okay as a spy film, but it’s detective story origins do slow the story down. Rather than outrageous confrontations between good and evil, such as fights and car chases, which are the hallmark of a spy film, this film has a lot of characters just sneaking around. First the bad guys follow Chen. Then he follows them. Thankfully towards the end, the confrontation we have been waiting for, finally happens, and the last twenty or so minutes of this film are pretty good, and would appease most spy film aficionados.

Interpol 009 (1967)

The Ravishing Idiot (1963)

More from my wish list. Below are some posters from the Brigitte Bardot Eurospy film, The Ravishing Idiot. All reports indicate it isn’t a very good film at all, but I’m afraid if there is a spy film with Brigitte Bardot in it, I am the type of guy who has to track it down. I tried to order it from Amazon France a few years ago, but they politely told me it was no longer available. I may have to search Ebay or even check out some of the Grey Market sellers. But until then – enjoy the posters.


The Ravishing Idiot (1963)

The Order of the Black Eagle (1987)

Country: United States
Director: Worth Keeter
Starring: Ian Hunter, C.K Bibby, William Hicks, Jill Donnellan, Stephan Krayk, Anna Rapagna, Flo Hyman
Music: Dee Barton

I know it’s a cliche, but some movies are so bad that they are good, and The Order of the Black Eagle is one of them. It’s like four people with too much money got together and said, ‘Hey, let’s make a film!’ Each of these four people contributed a style of film that they wanted made – one said ‘James Bond’, another said a ‘Spaghetti Western’, the third said ‘like Raiders of the Lost Ark‘, and the fourth person in the room said, ‘I liked those Clint Eastwood movies with the Oran Utan’. So armed with that information scriptwriter Phil Behrens came up with a story that appeased these would be movie moguls…and the result is one of the most stupid but riotously entertaining movies ever made.

The merriment begins with vintage newsreel footage of Adolph Hitler ranting and raving — all the things we expect from Hitler. The footage fades to black and the words ‘THEY SAID IT COULDN’T HAPPEN AGAIN’ flash on the screen. Hmmm. Ominous. Then the film jumps to Geneva in Switzerland..today (today being 1987 in this instance). An awards ceremony is taking place and the recipient of the ‘International Science Award’ for his work in the field of lasers is Dr. George Brinkman (Stephan Krayk). Before Brinkman can finish his acceptance speech, a band of black clad Neo-Nazis smash through the windows and spray the room with machine gun fire. Everyone ducks for cover, and Brinkman is kidnapped and spirited outside. Next he is tied to a cable and winched up to a chopper waiting overhead.

Meanwhile, the world’s coolest secret agent, Duncan Jax (Ian Hunter) — even if his hair is thinning — is retrieving some diamonds that have been stolen from the Smithsonian Museum. These diamonds are in a sealed vault that has invisible laser beams criss-crossing the room. Despite these hi-tech precautions, there is still a bloody big air vent in the room, and wearing a pair of infra-red glasses, Jax enters the room via the vent and makes his way to the diamonds. However, as Jax tucks away the diamonds and prepares to exit, he is a trifle clumsy and drops the glasses. This sets of the alarm and the guards come en masse. Jax now has to fight his way out, which he does with relative ease. And thankfully he also has an accomplice to help him on the roof. The accomplice is named ‘Boon’ and he happens to be a baboon. Boon is waiting in Jax’s Ultralight plane, and when Jax gives the signal, Boon starts the engine. Naturally Jax and Boon fly off to safety.

Now after that teaser, the real story begins. It seems that a Neo-Nazi organisation called the Order of the Black Eagle are behind the kidnapping of Dr. Brinkman. The Black Eagle are run by a millionaire called Baron Ernst Von Teppisch (William Hicks). Their top secret headquarters is located in an ancient temple ruins in the jungles of South America – and their aim is to rule the world with a supreme white race. We know all this because Jax is being briefed for his mission — which is to rescue Dr. Brinkman and destroy the Nazi base — by a man named Star (C.K. Bibby). Star is your ‘M’ type. The reason that Jax has been selected for this mission (apart from the fact that he’s the best) is that he is the dead ringer for an American member of the Order called Bladen. Bladen has been captured and Jax is to take his place during a meeting of all the Neo-Nazi leaders at the jungle headquarters.

As Bladen has an assistant, so too must Jax (no, no — Boon has to stay home), and assigned to partner him on the mission is Miss Tiffany Youngblood (Jill Donnellan). Before you know it Jax and Youngblood are inside the Nazi compound and they find out what the Baron von Teppisch is up to. You’ll be pleased to know that he is developing a proton beam that can shoot down telecommunications satellites. By controlling space, he figures he can control the world. But this is only half of it — von Teppisch also has Adolph Hitler’s cyrogenically frozen body, and he intends to unfreeze the Fuhrer, to once again wreak his special kind of madness on the world.

I won’t outline too much more of the plot as it is rather nonsensical, but halfway through the story adds another layer of contrivance. Here Jax picks up a band of mercenaries to help him with the destruction of the Nazi compound. The first is Maxie Ryder (Anna Rapagna) — who is pretty hot. Ryder has given up life in the big city for a life in the jungle. Then there’s Hammer (Joe Coltrane), Juice (James Eric), Cowboy (Bill Gribbel), S.D. Terry Loughlin), Spike (Flo Hyman) and Bolt (Dean Whitworth). With a team with names like that you can expect a reasonable amount of mayhem, and they deliver. The film has motorcycle, boat and hovercraft chases and a generous amount of explosions — you know the kind, the big Hollywood orange fireball type ones. Many Nazis die – most seem to hit a hidden trampoline just after the explosion and fly through the air onto a pile of oil drums.

There is one strange bit (one, who am I kidding!) in the film where it seems like the characters got bored with just playing out spy film cliches and decided to turn the film into a western for a while, complete with a gang of unshaven banditos encircling the cantina where our heroes are holed up.

The Order of the Black Eagle is a film that has many lowlight highlights, but the one that will stick in my mind till the end of my days happens as the good guys storm the Nazi compound. As each of the mercenaries goes about their business killing Nazis, Boon enters the picture once again, which is good, because I was kind of missing the little fella. Well, you may be thinking ‘What can a baboon do?’ In this instance he can drive a tank.

And it’s not just any tank — it’s one that looks to be ripped off from the dragon in Dr. No.

So, what we have is a baboon driving around an army tank, firing missiles, with pin-point accuracy at the buildings in the Nazi compound. I am afraid my feeble words cannot do justice to the absurdity of the scene. Needless to say, to me this was so funny, it almost hurt to watch. Forget Clyde, or Lancelot Link — if you want a real simian hero, look no further than Boon!

I know The Order of the Black Eagle is crap (and the film-makers know it too and just have fun with it), but for the jaded spy film fan, this is just the tonic — a film so stupid that it is brilliant. It has all the spy cliches, girls, gadgets, an evil villain with a plan for world domination, a frozen Hitler, and heaps of explosions. It, in its way, is possibly the greatest film of its kind and succeeds where many parodies have failed. Enjoy!

The Order of the Black Eagle (1987)