Posts tagged "Mexico"

Cazadores de Espías (Review)

Cazadores de Espías

aka Spy Hunter
Cazadores de Espías
1969
Story by Adolfo Torres Portillo
Screenplay by Rafael Baledón
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Still more exciting than whenever Mantaur wrestled!

In 1969, Mexico had noticed the whole secret agents thing has gotten a little ridiculous and thus ripe for parody. Enter Cazadores de Espías, a comedic film filled with secret agents, double crosses, identical twins, a carnivorous plant, a masked villain, a seductive villainess, a luchador, a mad scientist, and even a robot. There is plenty of goofy action across the board, lending Cazadores de Espías the power to potentially be something bigger than it is. Unfortunately, there is no subtitled version at all, and the first half of the film leans heavily on verbal jokes, leaving people like me to be forced to lean on their rusty Spanish. At TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles, but they probably would have come in handy here! Despite the lack of clear understanding of a few plot points, the general gist was easy to get, and no one needs subtitles when a robot is running around! Cazadores de Espías is fun, but thanks to the language veil it isn’t as fun as it should have been.
Cazadores de Espías
Cazadores de Espías was filmed around the same time as Muñecas Peligrosas and Con Licencia Para Matar, which is pretty obvious. It features familiar sets and cast members, and all are directed by Rafael Baledón (though this time the original story is by Adolfo Torres Portillo). The sets usually used at the villain’s lair is now a hotel, a control room is now a villain lair, and the familiar nightclub returns, though there is now a big wrestling ring in part of it. The goons of the mysterious Mr. X were big X’s on their uniforms (instead of G’s or K’s!) Mexican villains are all sponsored by the same letters that sponsor Sesame Street!

As the film is rather obscure, please enjoy the longer film synopsis review. But as the film is hard to follow at parts, please forgive any errors that creep in due to confusion or language barriers. As usual, I blame those nefarious Spider Gnomes of Jupiter, who cause me no end of troubles. I will defeat you one day, Spider Gnomes of Jupiter! Fans of random Mexican song interludes will enjoy the performances by Los Rockyn Devil’s, The Shadow of the Beast, Manolo Muñoz, Rubin “Penjamo” Mendez, and Jose Antonio Zevala. Non-fans will find a convenient time to go to the bathroom. Now on with the show!
Cazadores de Espías

Ricardo (Carlos East) – Ricardo’s twin brother Ramiro is murdered right in front of him, and Ricardo goes on a quest for revenge, which puts him in the middle of two rival criminal espionage groups and some innocent people. Part of his cover is disguising as the luchador Rayo De Oro, because that’s how you go undercover in Mexico, dress as a flamboyant wrestler.
Chelelo Ochoa (Eleazar García “Chelelo”) – A relative of the dead Mr. X who inherits part of the property that becomes the center of espionage conflicts. Wants to promote wrestling matches for money. At one point has to disguise himself as Rayo De Oro when Ricardo goes missing. Is either Leonor’s husband or distant cousin with the same last name (I was unable to figure this out). Eleazar García has a nickname, so we know from experience to prepare for comedic pain. Though, really, Chelelo isn’t that unfunny. He might be the most entertaining nicknamed Mexican comedian I’ve seen in a film. And I’ve seen quite a few! So many nicknamed Mexican comedians…
Leonorilda “Leonor” Ochoa (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Leonor is one of the not really deceased Mr. X’s long lost relatives who gain ownership of a property he controls, thus everyone tries to kill her and Chelelo. They keep failing at it. She wants to turn the property into a gogo dancing hall. Leonorilda Ochoa also appears in Muñecas Peligrosas and Con Licencia Para Matar.
Sylvana (Maura Monti) – Leader of a villainous faction that is trying to gain possession of the property everyone wants. Owns a Carnivorous Plant and a bunch of goons. Maura Monti also appears in Muñecas Peligrosas, Con Licencia Para Matar, La Mujer Murciélago, S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, and Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos.
Mr. X (Héctor Andremar) – The mysterious Mr. X is very mysterious. Most mysterious of all is his plan, which makes no real sense. Hides out under the property in question all day and gives his men branded uniforms. He also has a twin brother, but he kills him to fake his own death. I’m pretty sure this is Héctor Andremar.
Carnivorous Plant (itself) – A very hungry plant that is eager to eat anything and anyone it can get its vines on! Used by Sylvana to threaten her enemies.
Robot (???) – A remote controlled robot that looks like a modified diving suit with a stove grill in the front of it. Controlled by the Mad Scientist Guy using a remote in his cane. Uses it to kill the enemies of his group, and also as a wrestling opponent in a bid to kill off Ricardo.
Mad Scientist Guy (???) – One of Sylvana’s goons who controls the Robot that kills people and wrestles. Takes great joy in seeing his creating destroy the living both inside and outside the ring. Forgot to use circuit breakers, proving he really is mad. Meets a shocking end. I am not sure who played him.

Cazadores de Espías
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

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Con Licencia Para Matar (Review)

Con Licencia Para Matar

aka With License to Kill aka Las Tigresas
Con Licencia Para Matar
1969
Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Con Licencia Para Matar
When danger rears it’s head, and the police are helpless, they call in Las Tigresas! A trio of fighting femmes donning black catsuits with leopard print collars who bust in and kick serious butt, then collect fat paychecks to live exciting jet-setting lives.

There are two Las Tigresas films, Con Licencia Para Matar (With License to Kill) is the second, following Muñecas Peligrosas (Dangerous Dolls), though according to some material I read, this one may have been filmed first. That’s not surprising, as both films appear to be filmed one after the other (they even share sets and actors, and Cazadores de Espias also shares sets and actors and was filmed at almost the same time in 1967!)
Con Licencia Para Matar
Las Tigresas are a mercenary group that contracts out to the IUS to do special missions (at a price!) Their liaison/mission boss is “Jefe”, Jim Morrison (who is now dating Emily, the leaders of Las Tigresas) They have a comic relief maid named Leonor who occasionally joins them for adventures, and in this film also get a comic relief butler named Hector who is sort of dating Leonor.

Las Tigresas are independent warrior women who don’t wait around for men to save them. Despite calling Morrison their boss, he barely does anything except give them assignments and take Emily out on dates (In a clear HR violation!) The ladies are independent role models, not only does Leonor spend both films wanting to be one of them, in this film Hector even tries to join their ranks.
Con Licencia Para Matar
Unlike the other Las Tigresas film, there are no English subtitles for Con Licencia Para Matar, but a TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! Con Licencia Para Matar is the much more enjoyable Las Tigresas film, and the lack of accessibility means it still lingers in the realm of obscurity despite the best efforts of world cinema fanatics. As this film is rather rare, enjoy the far too detailed plot synopsis review below. Or else!

Emily (Emily Cranz) – Code designation: T001. Leader of Las Tigresas. Emily is now dating Jim Morrison and gets a musical number in the club. Specializes in using the gun to kill enemies, though that’s not really a specialization because everyone uses guns. But she uses her gun and nothing else.
Diana (Maura Monti) – Code designation: T009. Diana returns with much more sensible hair, and also has a fiance and is planning to retire. But he disappears so no retirement just yet! Diana uses the bow and arrows.
Barbara (Barbara Angely) – Code designation: T002. Barbara spends much of her time not having much going on in this film, though she occasionally will show up to kill villains. Barbara uses her sword to dispatch her enemies.
Leonor (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Emily’s maid, who still wants to be a Tigress and is still actively involved in their missions. Gets a robot duplicate at one point.
Jim Morrison (Fernando Casanova) – Nicknamed Jefe. The boss of the Tigresas in that he is their liaison with IUS and assigns them missions. Gets a robot duplicate at one point.
Dr. Klux (Noé Murayama) – Evil villain who build invincible robots to do his bidding and to do awful stuff in the name of showing how awesome Dr. Klux is. This guy’s name is a little too close for comfort to a certain awful hate organization, which may or may not have been intentional. Who knows at this point?
Dr. Klux’s Robots (various) – Invincible super robots controlled by remote control and made out of green plastic. They feature huge Ks on their chests because Dr. Klux is sort of an arrogant jerk. Their only weakness is heat and destroying their control panel.

Con Licencia Para Matar
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 15, 2014 at 8:34 am

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Muñecas Peligrosas (Review)

Muñecas Peligrosas

aka Danger Dolls aka Operación Contraespionaje aka Operation Counter
Muñecas Peligrosas
1969
Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Muñecas Peligrosas
Muñecas Peligrosas is the first of the two Las Tigresas films, featuring a trio of fighting femmes in black catsuits and leopard collars who fight evil (for a fee!) It fits right in with the established world of 1960s Mexican spy cinema, which borrows chunks from James Bond and Eurospy while keeping its own distinct flavor. There is a secret international spy agency, and all-powerful unknown villains who retain their mystery despite having advanced branding tactics. Muñecas Peligrosas is a more subtle affair then the sequel, which features the ladies battling green robots controlled by a mad scientist. Here, they battle an industrialist determined to steal a catalyst for solid fuel production by luring the maker to Mexico via sabotage. But the plot is just background distraction, the real draw of Muñecas Peligrosas is the female characters, the three fighting women and their comic relief maid.

The lead Tigresa is Emily (code designation: T001), played by Emily Cranz. She was born Emma Cranz Cantillano in Arizona to a German mother and Mexican father. She had a string of film appearances in the 1960s, along with several albums (occasionally with a group called Los Black Jeans) and appearances on television variety shows. She eventually married and disappeared from public view in 1970.
Muñecas Peligrosas
Tigresa Diana (code designation: T009) is played by actress Maura Monti. She’s best known to genre fans as the star of the Mexican Batwoman movie, La Mujer Murciélago, as well as appearances in films such as S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, and Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos. Maura Monti has gigantic hair in this movie.

The final Tigresas is Barbara (code designation: T002), played by Bárbara Angely. Her character sort of gets the shaft in both of the films, often supporting one of the other two characters. Bárbara Angely was born Barbara Mueller in Austria, both her and her twin sister Angelika became models in Italy and eventually moved to Mexico. Now being billed as Bárbara Angely, she appeared in films through the last 1960s, only to retire by 1970 (it was said she tired of the lifestyle.) She earned a Ph.D. and eventually became a triathlon athlete along with her sister. It was while competing in one such event that she suffered the injuries that claimed her life in 2008.
Muñecas Peligrosas
Despite Barbara being a real Tigresa, Emily’s maid Leonor (played by comedic actress Leonorilda Ochoa) gets much more screen time and plot development. Unlike the three import actresses above, Leonorilda Ochoa did not marry and vanish from public view in 1970 as the Mexican film industry depressed. She moved to television, gaining fame in Los Beverly de Peralvillo, a satire on life of rich Mexican City residents (and named in reverence to the US program Beverly Hillbillies). She has been absent in the public eye in recent years due to Alzheimer’s.

Villain Garrick is one of those villains who needs people to know who he is, so he has his big G logo plastered all over his hideout and on his troops. The design of the big G kept making me thing of Gizmonic Institute from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Maybe the Institute militarized and that’s why Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank moved to Deep 13. Makes you think…
Muñecas Peligrosas
There is also a very unfunny running gag involving a karate instructor (played by Alejandro Suárez in yellowface) who speaks gibberish back and forth with Leonor while she hits on him. These scenes go on for far too long and are just awful.

The copy I have came complete with some fan subtitles. Some of the names might not match right up with other names you’ve seen, and I’ve compromised by what names sound correct. And as this is relatively obscure, please enjoy the more detailed than usual review. Or else!

Emily (Emily Cranz) – Codename: T001. Emily owns the headquarters and is the leader of Las Tigresas. She is dating Waldo, who turns out to be working for the enemy. So there is guilt and stuff going on.
Diana (Maura Monti) – Codename: T009. Diana is skilled in the bow and arrows. I don’t know if her number jumping from two to nine means there six inactive or deceased Las Tigresas out there. The film just doesn’t answer that pressing question. How dare you, film!
Barbara (Bárbara Angely) – Codename: T002. Barbara is mentioned as knowing Jim Morrison from her time in New York City, and returns there at one point for vacation, where she convinces the boss to less Jim pay their higher fee. She specializes in the swords. That’s also about all she does for both films.
Leonor (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Emily’s loyal maid. Her greatest wish is to be one of the Tigresas. She’s the comic relief, and there is a lot of relief. She’s almost the most seen character in the film!
Jim Morrison (Fernando Casanova) – The new boss, nicknamed “Jefe” by the Tigresses before he’s even officially their boss. Then he becomes their boss when IUS hires the ladies at the high fees. Is the only IUS agent in Mexico who doesn’t get killed easily by Garrick.
Garrick (Armando Silvestre) – Egotistical jerk who is trying to steal the K20 because of reasons not known, all you need to know is he is evil. That’s what the secretive international spy agency that assassinates hundreds off the books says, so it must be legitimate. Likes to put the letter “G” everywhere.

Muñecas Peligrosas
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 14, 2014 at 8:17 am

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Conquistador de la Luna (Review)

Conquistador de la Luna

aka Conqueror of the Moon
Conquistador de la Luna
1960
Story by José María Fernández Unsáin
Adapted by Alfredo Varela
Directed by Rogelio A. González


Conquistador de la Luna (Conqueror of the Moon) is a Mexican science fiction comedy that deals with a bumbling genius and his adventure after accidentally getting blasted to the moon and meeting the evil moon aliens. Who are totally not where they got the ideas for Sleestaks from! These Moon Sleestaks clearly have four arms, thank you very much!

Despite being a cornball comedy featuring a Mexican comedian with a one-word nickname (we’ve all learned from FourDK that one-word nicknames on Mexican comedians are a warning signal that only brings pain!), there are some inventive elements that borrow from classic American and British alien and space travel films. The Martians found on the Moon have four arms and appear to be green in appearance in what I can only believe is a reference to the John Carter of Mars stories from Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Conquistador de la Luna
The Great Brain of Mars is a complete non-humanoid creature with an all-seeing eye on a stalk and a big box that the brain is housed in. Like all movie monsters, he can’t resist Mexican women, and when one practically lands in his doorstep, he’s hot to trot to mate with her. Since he’s a brain in a box with an eye tentacle that oozes bubbly liquid, exactly how this mating will occur gets grosser and grosser the more you think about it. And he doesn’t care about consent, because the Great Brain is just going to hypnotize Estela to get the job done. Never fear, there is a man around to rescue her, even if he’s not much of a man.

If Conquistador de la Luna is strongest in one effect, it is in the alien costumes and design. The Sleestaks are just human enough to have recognizable emotions, but just alien enough to be menacing. The Great Brain’s entire setup is impressive, and calls back to the fun era of 1950s science fiction drive-in films with it’s creatively weird design straight out of Roger Corman.
Conquistador de la Luna
Outside of the costumes, Conquistador de la Luna has some practical effects mixed in with some visual tricks. During the rocket sequences, the effects of g-force are shown by the actors’ reflections being contorted. G-force is one of those things that space movies stopped using decades ago, but talking guinea pig movies are still using. There is also a big bag of stock footage “borrowed” from other recent rocketship films, for those of you who like to play the “Where is that from?” game. There are visual effects rocketship shots created just for the film, especially during the climactic showdown to save the planet.

If the writing and directing credits (Story by José María Fernández Unsáin, adapted by Alfredo Varela, directed by Rogelio A. González) look familiar, that’s because they are identical to fellow 1960 Mexican science fiction film La Nave de los Monstruos/Ship of Monsters. Alfredo Varela would adapt dozens of stories by José María Fernández Unsáin through the 50s and 60s. By 1970, José María Fernández Unsáin had moved on to adapting his own scripts and even directing some of them. Alfredo Varela both wrote and acted through the 50s to the 70s.

Enough of that jazz, it’s time to conquer the moon!
Conquistador de la Luna

Bartolo (Antonio Espino “Clavillazo”) – A mechanic and inventor who is also a klutzy goofball. He’s neighbor to the Abundio family and does handyman work for them, which leads to him accidentally blasting himself into space in their rocketship. But that’s what they get for leaving a rocketship in their backyard! Becomes embroiled in a plan to save Earth from Martian invaders.
Estela Abundio (Ana Luisa Peluffo) – Often called Estelita, Estela is the daughter of the famous Professor Abundio and becomes trapped on his rocketship after Bartolo accidentally begins the launch sequence. She becomes the target of affection for The Great Brain of Mars. Ana Luisa Peluffo has appeared in over 200 films since 1949.
Professor Don Abundio (Andrés Soler) – Professor and father of Estala, Don Abundio will spend most of the movie as an outside adviser to Bartolor and Estele, communicating by radio and conferring with a room full of guys with long beards.
The Great Ruler of the Moon (???) – The Martian chief commander of the Moon forces serving the Great Brain of Mars, he’s totally a Sleestak, but don’t say that to his face!
Kalia (???) – The punishment chief of the expedition. She has long hair, four arms, and is a former beauty queen of Mars. She ate her last husband for being useless. Has a thing for Bartolo.
The Great Brain of Mars (???) – The Glorious Leader of Mars. His body died, but his brain is still alive thanks to a box device it’s stored in. He has a mouth that talks outside on the table, which is shaped like a huge Martian head that’s chopped in half. He’s literally become abstract art. Has a big prehensile eye stalk that does most of his outside world interaction.

Conquistador de la Luna
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 27, 2014 at 8:10 am

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Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción (Review)

Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción

aka Danger! Women in Action
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
1969
Written and directed by René Cardona Jr.
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
If you heartily missed the action of Alex Dinamo, agent of Servicio International, after his last adventure discovering the Bikini Conspiracy, then you are not alone. Alex Dinamo returns because of that ever-present danger, women doing things! Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción(Danger! Women in Action) was made a year after SOS Conspiración Bikini, and has the return of Julio Alemán as Alex Dinamo and René Cardona Jr. as writer/director. By now the Alex Dinamo franchise has grown to the point where there were comic books, and spy films in the mold of James Bond were hot hot hot. So it’s not a big surprise when Peligro… was eyed as an international production, even going so far as probably producing an English language dub. If that version was released is a mystery, but as the opening credits sport overlapping credits in Spanish and English, it was at least partially completed.

Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción sees the return of the mysterious international force known as S.O.S.(Secret Organizational Service), who plan to poison the water supplies of Ecuador and other Latin American countries in a bid to openly take over. S.O.S. is presented as a large conglomerate movement that actively controls the governments of many third world nations, but whatever their larger goal other than world takeover just for the thrill of taking over is never explained. Nor is any overlying S.O.S. ideology, so it is a mystery why it attracts so many people, especially a high proportion of women. Like S.O.S., the sequel is largely female-centric, despite being stuck in a male super hero spy world. The leadership of S.O.S. is almost exclusively women, Dinamo’s partner and contact are both women, and other women are instrumental in helping Dinamo take down S.O.S. It’s almost a consolation prize, Cardona knowingly packing the cast with women to try to counter Dinamo’s sexist ride through life, as well as taking advantage of all the eye candy to pack in male audiences.
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
This being an Alex Dinamo film, the following things return, thus making them official Alex Dinamo tropes: Weird ways of passing notes by secret agencies, this time via cigarettes. Random gadgets such as a cigarette voice recorder and a hairpin gun. A female contact who dies halfway through the film, and a female main partner for Alex. Lots of random S.O.S. agents who all die in a hail of gunfire during a long long action climax.

Peligro… falls short in that it is too long (ha!), and not because it’s packed with lots of action. We see every second of things that happen. From people walking and walking to their planes/boats, to starting the planes/boats, to the planes taking off and boats unmooring, not a frame goes to waste on the cutting room floor. Hey, I understand, editing is expensive. But that makes the film clock in to close to two hours, while only having 90 minutes of film.

The major difference is the action sequences are very long and much more brutal, which is better than the prior and I like the change. The violence isn’t innocent, Alex Dinamo and his companions are not immune to bullets and get injured in almost every fight. There is a cool knife fight that is the best scene in either Dinamo film combines. It’s not enough to propel this sequel to awesomeness, but it was enough to keep me interested. You don’t need to see the original to follow along, so if you see one Alex Dinamo film, this is the one you should get.
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
Sonia Furió is replaced by Elizabeth Campbell as the new head of S.O.S. Bárbara Angely plays an agent named Bárbara, who spends a large amount of time in a bikini like all government agents do. Amedee Chabot (Agente 00 Sexy ) pops up as a bikini-wearing girl with a gun. Other women who have bit parts as S.O.S. Agents include Nadia Milton, Elsa Cárdenas, Ellen Cole, and Arturo Correa.

Although the film appears to be filmed at least partially in Ecuador, information has made it out that it was largely Florida and Mexico City that were where the film was actually shot. Production and union problems plagued the film, necessitating the cutting of shooting location. It sounds like they just flat ran out of money and had to make due with what they could scrape together. Not a wholly unusual story, and it’s good to know these things when judging the final product to see how they compensated.
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo

Alex Dinamo (Julio Alemán) – Agent of Servicio International has returned to do more battles against S.O.S. Because that’s what he does. Also women, that’s also what he does. Alex “recovers” from injuries by hiring babes to act as nurses, because that’s what all the cool people were doing in the 1960s. That’s why all the cool people died of easily prevented infections, because they didn’t hire actual nurses.
S.O.S. Leader Solva (Elizabeth Campbell) – S.O.S. is back and still lead by mostly women. This time, Solva is the leader who plans a ridiculous plot against the entire hemisphere. Luckily, it’s too crazy to not get stopped by Alex Dinamo. Elizabeth Campbell also appears in El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras and The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy.
Maura (Alma Delia Fuentes) – Alex Dinamo has a right-hand woman, and this time she’s Maura, played by veteran actress Alma Delia Fuentes. Maura gets shot several times, but they’re only flesh wounds.
S.O.S. Agent Jack (César del Campo) – It’s not a Bond ripoff without a villain with a gimmick, and this guy has a metal hand. A METAL HAND! Possibly gold, probably painted ceramic. His metal hand can karate chop cut things like chains. That doesn’t really help him against Alex Dinamo.
Professor Yura (Jaime Valladares) – The mad scientist making the virus that’s going to be distributed all across Latin America’s water supply. Also the cure has only been proven to work on the beginning stage, but they’re totally confident it will work in later stages… This moron is thankfully killed.
Bárbara (Barbara Angely) – Good agent who was working on the latest S.O.S. conspiracy when her cover is blown and she’s chased all the way to the beach. Alex Dinamo saves her, but that’s not enough to survive a battle on the beach, as this is the new, brutal, gritty Alex Dinamo.
S.O.S. Agent in Ecuador (Amadee Chabot) – And S.O.S. agent who gets mentioned both because she fires lots of guns while in a bikini, but also because she’s Amadee Chabot, who has a semi-well known career in Mexican genre cinema.
S.O.S. Agent 77 (Liza Castro) – S.O.S. Agent who betrays S.O.S. because her sister is killed earlier in the film. I’m not sure if her sister is Bárbara or one of the random S.O.S. agents who were killed. That’s how important her sister was to the film. Basically, everthing Alex Dinamo accomplishes is because Agent 77 turned against S.O.S. So she’s the real hero!

Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 29, 2014 at 7:18 am

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S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini (Review)

S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini

aka S.O.S. Bikini Conspiracy
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico
1967
Written and directed by René Cardona Jr.
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico Alex Dinamo
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.
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico Alex Dinamo
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.
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico Alex Dinamo

Alex Dinamo (Julio Alemán) – The most secret secret agents who was ever not a secret, Alex Dinamo must be good, because his name is ridiculous! Works for International Service and fights evil. Julio Alemán was also Rocambole in the two 1967 Rocambole films – Rocambole Contra las Mujeres Arpías and Rocambole Contra la Secta del Escorpion. He appeared in over 150 films and was chairman of the Mexican actors’ union, the Asociación Nacional de Actores (National Actors’ Association). He died in 2012 of lung cancer.
Adriana (Sonia Furió) – The girl Alex Dinamo came to see on vacation (at least that’s what he says!) Of course, that doesn’t keep Alex from hitting on other bikini women, much to Adriana’s anger. Adriana spends much of the film in bikinis herself, and she’s accomplished enough as a martial artist to flip Alex if needed. She’s still captured by SOS, because that’s what they do. Sonia Furió is a Spanish-born actress who gained some critical acclaim in Mexican cinema.
Inspector (Roberto Cañedo) – Alex Dinamo’s boss at International Service. He tells Alex to not be so reckless with the job, and also with the skirts. Will occasionally wander into the story, but besides giving vague guidelines that Dinamo disregards he doesn’t really add anything of value.
Murdered Agent (???) – Member of International Service that Dinamo recognizes and aides a few times, but she’s eventually murdered. Was undercover as a bikini model in the SOS empire. If she had a name, it was never said out loud, despite her being a somewhat major character. I am not sure who plays her.
Bristol (Sonia Infante) – SOS leader who seems to be THE leader, with Luigi right below her. Bristol is ruthless and sharp, but her plans for international expansion hit a speedbump by the name of Dinamo. A busy and acclaimed actress from the 1960s (the Infante clan is a minor acting dynasty), Sonia Infante took an 18 year break from acting after her 1967 marriage, but returned in the 80s after her divorce.
Luigi (Carlos Agostí) – A leading member of SOS, Luigi is well-known enough he has to be smuggled into Ecuador. As he’s the only SOS leader who is well-known, he realizes it’s dumb to bring him in and dumb to have everyone together. He doesn’t have enough influence for anyone to actually listen to him.
Lucrecia (Maura Monti) – An SOS goon who has a higher ranking position in the organization. She also has a musical number and is responsible for smuggling in Luigi.
Madame Rapiee (Lorraine Chanel?) – Lady who organizes all the bikini models for SOS. She’s also a high-ranking member of SOS. I think she’s played by Lorraine Chanel, who gained fame in the US primarily for having an affair with Gary Cooper. It’s hard to find good images of her to make this ID 100% certain.
Uli (Noe Murayama) – High-ranking SOS goon who really really hates Alex Dinamo, especially since he keeps foiling his attempt to murder other agents. Noe Murayama is a familiar face in Mexican genre cinema.

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.
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico Alex Dinamo
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2 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 28, 2014 at 7:14 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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