S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini (Review)
S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini
aka S.O.S. Bikini Conspiracy
Written and directed by René Cardona Jr.
The best conspiracies don’t involve the government teaming up with aliens to stick things in your butt, but instead involve lots of women in bikinis. Mexico was hip to this fact long before the rest of the world, thus the 1967 cinematic entry S.O.S. Conspiración Bikini. Not only is there a dastardly conspiracy that requires lots of women to wander around in bikinis, but this film is the first appearance of a Mexican answer to James Bond, Alex Dinamo. The Alex Dinamo character would find footing in a comic book series and a sequel film released soon after (with an eye for international release), Peligro!…Mujeres en Acción (Danger! Women in Action). From what I can gather, that was the last appearance of Alex Dinamo onscreen, and he disappeared into the ether after the cancellation of his comic series at date unknown (aka I couldn’t find it), though there was a lucha wrestler named Abismo Negro who used the name Alex Dinamo for a time.
Most Alex Dinamo information online concerns the two film productions. Both S.O.S. Conspiración Bikini and Peligro!…Mujeres en Acción are Ecuadorian coproductions, directed by Mexican genre director extraordinaire, René Cardona Jr. The S.O.S. in the title is not a call for help because of bikini conspiracy complications, but is the name of the villainous organization, S.O.S. (Secret Organizational Service). Perhaps that was a threatening name in 1967, now it just sounds like a college club that needs an excuse to get drunk.
As you may have guessed, the main attraction of S.O.S. Conspiración Bikini is the bikini clad babes (featuring Peter Pan swimwear designed by Oleg Cassini), who are usually carrying weapons of deadly force. The S.O.S. is a global organization, but has a large number of women in prominent roles. This is juxtaposed by the raw masculinity of Alex Dinamo and his heroic organization, where both Alex and his boss Inspector spend much of their down time (and up time!) chasing after tail. One of the only heroic women spends much of the film annoyed that Alex Dinamo isn’t spending 100% of his attention on her tail, but not so annoyed that she drops the creep. The other becomes someone for Alex Dinamo to rescue, except for the point where he doesn’t and she dies.
As one of them newfangled spy movies, there is lots of gadgets and things going on. Guns are built into cameras, makeup containers, even high healed shoes. People speak in code and use matchbooks for symbols. At other times, characters openly state they are working for organizations and are about as covert as a bull in a china shop. The opening sequence with a fisherman taking photos leads to a ridiculously complicated method of sending intelligence information around the globe coded in microfilm disguised as a period at the end of typewritten sentence that was a coded message for arms dealers trade routes. This first encounter with S.O.S. takes place 12 years before the film proper, and there is no evidence the heroes even know they are dealing with a super secret conspiracy organization.
In addition, Isela Vega appears as one of the SOS women who is somewhat sympathetic to Dinamo. Liza Castro is also credited, but I’m not sure who she plays. She appears in the sequel in an expanded role.
S.O.S. is planning an attack on the good countries of Central America, to be coordinated by a braintrust of all the high leadership meeting together. The main thrust will happen under the cover of a bikini fashion show, which is only natural.
Alex Dinamo is one of those guys who comes into situations and always ends with a huge gun battle and lots of bodies. Even when sent on vacation at a hotel where suspicious things are going on (aka the Bikini Conspiracy!), eventually a heroine agent winds up dead and Alex Dinamo is on the case, as a legitimate investigator. His investigations results in the various villains handing him envelopes with all their business information in them just to get him to go away so he won’t spoil the real conspiracy.
This weirds out Alex Dinamo, but is also hilarious that the villains are burying him in paperwork. Of course, the villains are also putting on the bikini model show, which doesn’t seem to serve any purpose beyond letting Adriana make remarks about the designs while every guy gawks and gawks.
S.O.S. is a group that uses terrorism to control countries, and is looking to expand their reach, said meeting is their convention to organize the next phase. It’s also a way to centralize a huge amount of arms shipments among the members. Only Luigi realizes it’s sort of dumb for them all to meet up, and even he’s easily persuaded to relax. Everyone gets their assignments for what to do when they return to their own countries, which is helpfully explained to be specific to each country’s problems and politics, thus there’s no point to read all of them out loud.
The villains are well aware that Alex Dinamo is out to get him, but despite sending goons and even capturing him at one point, Alex Dinamo is a real dynamo and easily escapes. I do question S.O.S.’s naming convention for their goons, they have random guys assigned as Agent S.O.S. One and Agent S.O.S. Two instead of important people. But this is like getting into an argument about the order of the numbers in Red Squadron in Star Wars, so I’ll just lament that no character was as cool as Wedge, except maybe Lucrecia.
Everything ends with a huge action sequence involving boats and planes and machine guns, which relies on the fact that villains are the worst shots in the universe despite being on a much larger and stable boat, even worse than Imperial Stormtroopers. Luckily, Alex Dinamo could hit the ears off a flea at 2000 yards while on a moving speedboat in choppy water and only lazily thrusting the gun (and grenades!) in the general direction of the targets. Which he does, and is why Alex Dinamo is in the sequel and most of the rest of the cast is not. Uh, spoilers!
Overall, S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini was pretty fun for an early Eurospy-ish film with Mexican action cinema flare. The attempt to make S.O.S. into a huge conspiratorial villain actually hurt the film, as most of the evilness became discussing what wrongs the group was doing instead of showing them blowing away random presidents and schoolchildren in the name of whatever S.O.S.’s endgame was. Which was probably bikinis for all.
The female-lead S.O.S. being taken down by the overly male secret agent, who has little qualms about gunning down the women along with the men, does leave a bit of sour taste, and is the part of the film that ages the worst. As even the real James Bond has evolved into something beyond his 1960s character to the point where it’s teased at in Skyfall, the attitudes towards women is best left in the past. But before I can slam the door shut on the TARDIS, there is the little matter of the sequel to S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini, Peligro!…Mujeres en Acción. Which will be dealt with next!
Rated 6/10 (hidden gun, period power, art is bunk, mini spy camera from the comic books!, he’s surrendering, Yul Brynner?)
Please give feedback below!