aka With License to Kill aka Las Tigresas 1969 Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón
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!)
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.
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.
aka S.O.S. Bikini Conspiracy 1967 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.
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. Continue reading →