MASTER PLAN: cripple male population with Scrotitis, then control world. Oh, boy. Oh, brother. Not your father's Bonder. A spoof of the superspy genre, specifically James Bond, this is at least meant to be intentionally funny, not an outrageous misfire intended as a genuine thriller. The question is how much actually works as a comedy. The title is an obvious play on such Bond titles as "You Only Live Twice." Instead of CIA agent Felix Leiter, there's Felix Heavier - ha! (lighter - heavier, get it?). Not quite as clever, instead of Mr. Bond, here we have Mr. Blond. Instead of a 'Dr.No' villain, there's a Dr.Yes. Not Blofeld here, but Blofelch. But, the real master villain is named Melvin, for no particular reason. This movie (or, video) is probably a case study of seeing the limits of what can be done when you have absolutely no budget (money). To me, the most amusing section is the 5-minute bw prologue, subtitled 'The Past' - and filmed way earlier than the movie proper, like 10 years earlier. It reminded me of Super-8 films I'd created as I was finishing high school and starting college, way back in the late seventies/early eighties. I tried to make them amusing and, to me, they were, but I had trouble being objective. Seeing these first few minutes took me back to those naive, gentler times, when there was no money even for costumes and everyone just wore whatever clothes they had on hand, like jeans & sneakers. The viewer has to do a little more than suspend disbelief to appreciate this as an actual James Bond parody. There's no actual acting, just kids trying to be funny on film. Oh, and the filmmakers are obviously Star Trek fans, probably of the original series (think the "Arena" episode), as indicated by some of the sound FX, the visuals and the locations, so these bits would be amusing to Trekkies. Most of the film was shot in Super-8 and 16mm.
After some lengthy credits (with lame digital fire FX over titles) and switching to color, the plot follows agent Lames Blond, 00-0, awakening from a coma as an impotence-causing virus has been let loose by the villains (we never see the effects). The players are now older, but still with no acting ability. The hero spends a lot of time running from and after ninjas and assorted goofballs, including a henchman (Cowabunga, a parody of Scaramanga) who foams up his hand before killing his victims (as we all know, at least one Bond henchman had an augmented hand or arm to do his killing). The hero, at least, finally gets to wear a tux-styled suit; the ninjas, you would think, would be simple to costume, but they look like they're wearing some dark maintenance uniforms. To give you an idea of how really lackluster the budget was: towards the end, the hero is chased by about 8 ninjas, but you'll note you never see more than 3 in the same shot; care to guess why? Some of the main 'actors' also doubled up for secondary roles (picture Sean Connery playing both Bond AND Ms.Moneypenny). And, just when you start to think the filmmakers were clever, considering there was no money, you see dummies falling off cliffs - in slow motion; yes, to make it all even less credible, they filmed these in slow motion, to make sure we see that these are fake dummies. Was there a method to their madness? I'm not sure, but the main drawback for me was the soundtrack. Most of the bad guy characters are always grunting, snorting and making all kinds of annoying noises, to the point of tediousness and reminding me of a frat party gone to seed. The secret agent also, typically, enters a shot, looks around, and you can hear 'hmm' and 'Hm?' and 'uh?' ad nauseum. Some of the location shooting, however, tried to capture the feel of a bigger-budgeted picture. And, the major accomplishment is, of course, a DVD release, with 99 chapters (check out the deleted scene for a good laugh). Watching it with the director's commentary is actually a bit more interesting. But, as they say, sometimes living is not enough. Hero:2 Villain:2 Femme Fatales:2 Henchmen:1 Fights:3 Stunts/Chases:2 Gadgets:1 Auto:2 Locations:3 Pace:2 overall:2
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