In this guest post, Jim Brymer takes a look back at two Vincent Price cult classics. But are these sexy spoofs worth your time?
The essence of American International’s Dr. Goldfoot movies is parody. The hit movie series of the 60’s was the James Bond franchise starring Sean Connery. The most recent of these at the time 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 III between the Russians and the American — with 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, Annette Funicello makes a cameo in Bikini Machine).
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 pursuing 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. Yet neither of the Goldfoot entries are anywhere close to comedy classics. And there are some definite 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 Ingrrassiaas 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…
Jim Brymer, AKA Quiggy, runs the movie blog The Midnite Drive-In, check it out for more insights on other classic films.