22 February 2010 | Bunuel1976
Mexican SLAYRIDE (Riccardo Freda, 1967) **
Even given my general lack of enthusiasm for the "Eurospy" genre, I was all the more disappointed with this one in view of the involvement of director Freda, yet another major figure of Italian cult cinema (even if both Spain and France seem to have had bigger stakes in the film's production). Apparently, this was one of a series of low-brow efforts – obviously intended to emulate the James Bond extravaganzas – made featuring the protagonist (a secret agent named Coplan), blandly played by Lang Jeffries. A measure of the undistinguished results in this case is the fact that a mere five days after my viewing of the picture, I can barely recall what it was about: I do know that it opens with a jeep being blown up, an auction of some Rembrandt painting occurs early on, a damsel in distress eventually proves duplicitous (even disposing of the hero's associate), ditto a wheel-chair bound man (harboring both a passion for classical music and a pet snake) is revealed to have been faking it all along, while somewhere along the line there is an attempt to replace the American President with a double (or was that last ploy from KISS, KISS
BANG, BANG , which I watched a couple of days prior to this one?!). As usual, there are some particularly animated fist-fights along the way, with a bit of romance on the side
but none of it is remotely memorable, and not even all that engaging while it is on (which rather gives credence to the allegation that Freda often took on projects simply to feed his gambling habit!).