29 January 2014 | MartinHafer
This is the SECOND evil brewmeister bent on taking over the world film I've seen!
If you grew up watching late 50s and 60s TV shows, chances are that you would recognize Anthony Eisley but not his name. While Eisley never became a big star, he was rather ubiquitous on TV. I remember him from "Dragnet", "The FBI" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" but he's more remembered for "Hawaiian Eye". However, in "Lightning Bolt" he's given the chance to be a star--albeit in a very low-budget Italian spy caper. Often American 2nd and 3rd tier actors were brought in to star in Italian films of the era. Since few knew Italian, the films were completely dubbed and marketed internationally. Many were horrible, some were classics (such as "La Strada" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly") and most were somewhere in the middle--like "Lightning Bolt".
In "Lightning Bolt" (a.k.a. "Operazione Goldman"), Eisley (who is inexplicably red-haired) stars as Lt. Harry Sennett--an American James Bond-type hero. His mission is to discover what's causing the rockets at Cape Kennedy to go off course and explode. This means lots of pretty girls, fast cars and danger. The plot is very similar to two films--"You Only Live Twice" (a Bond film about Blofeld capturing manned rockets) and "Strange Brew" (since the evil boss-man turns out to be an insane brewmeister!!).
So is it good? Well, yes and no. The film looks like they wanted to make a Bond film but only had about a tenth the budget. Some of the sets are impressive but all too often the stunts and action scenes come off as not quite ready for the bit screen. As for Eisley, he isn't bad as he isn't meant to be as smooth or sexy as Bond and is pretty decent in the action scenes. The print is often poor. In some cases you cannot blame the filmmakers--such as the scratchy or grainy sections. But, in others they obviously used lousy stock footage. "Lightning Bolt" is a movie with much to dislike. Yet, it also has a certain kitschy fun that makes it worth seeing. It certainly is NOT a film for everyone--but for the right audience it's worth seeing. For a much better Italian action/adventure film, try watching the much more slickly made "Danger: Diabolik"--especially since Diabolik dresses EXACTLY the same as the brewmeister's henchmen. Overall, bad but quite enjoyable.