• MASTER PLAN: must get recipe for egg salad. The premise is simple enough: take a standard movie thriller from Japan and remove the original sound track. Then, dub in your own wacky dialog. This ends up as the most unusual parody of the James Bond-type spy action of the sixties, with Japanese actors of the time voicing silly, inane sentences, usually in an overly silly style. One sinister henchman, for example, speaks in the style of a bad Peter Lorre imitation, way over-the-top. The whole thing is hit-or-miss: if you're really into awful Lorre imitations, you'll probably be giggling; if not, you'll just find that aspect, well, kind of stupid & tiring. A lot of the intended humor stems from just listening to some weird, juvenile guttural sounds or snickering seeming to emanate from the actors on screen; of course, that's the illusion: the actors you see had nothing to do with all the strange noises you hear. So, the main question is how clever was Woody Allen and his 'staff' of voice actors in adding on their interpretations of what passes for funny? It was hit-or-miss, about 50/50. There's also the problem of all those insertions of The Lovin' Spoonful singing for no reason except to fill up time. That doesn't do much for the pace of the film.

    The film begins with a standard action scene from the original Japanese film and it's not that bad, involving a flame thrower and then a 'lady-in-peril' scene, with some exciting fights. It actually looks like the conclusion of the film. We suddenly switch to Woody Allen, seated in a nice office with an interviewer, as he explains his vision of re-authoring a film. Allen's one big scene is pretty amusing and he pops up briefly later, as well as at the conclusion. The movie itself doesn't make much sense and is hard to follow. The hero, some kind of agent, encounters femme fatales and various villains, all in the pursuit of a code describing the ultimate egg salad recipe. The hero gets into some fights, always yelling stuff like "Saracen Pig!' and 'Spartan Dog!' It may sound funnier than it actually is. He's also good at pulling carpets out from under the feet of bad guys, which may have been funny in the original film, as well. Many of the more clever bits involve the dialog of the villains, who put a very strange spin on some of the threats they make, such as a special camera that takes pictures which removes the clothes from the subjects. The ending has some genuine thrills. The main connection to the Bond films, however, is that two of the actresses here also appeared in "You Only Live Twice" a couple of years later. Hero:6 Villains:7 Femme Fatales:6 Henchmen:5 Fights:7 Stunts/Chases:5 Gadgets:3 Auto:4 Locations:7 Pace:6 overall:6