16 October 2005 | lemon_magic
Danger! Dopey Movie! (Thank god for Gordon Scott)
While this movie is obviously nothing more than a 3rd rate "007" pastiche, I'm still rather fond of it. In spite of the ludicrous miniatures, blandly European-y setting, by-the-numbers screenplay and badly dubbed dialog, this is a fun little lightweight romp. I think this is mostly due to the casting of Gordon Scott in the lead as "Bart Fargo" (you're kidding me with that name, right?). I have fond memories of Scott in some vintage "Tarzan" movies, and I vaguely remember him playing "Hercules" as well; what worked then works now. Scott isn't as hard edged or as dynamic as, say, Sean Connery or Timothy Dalton, but he's an agreeable screen presence, he's pleasant to look at (and still built like a brick sh*thouse), and he can do a choreographed screen brawl with the best of them.
Scott is front and center for 90% of the movie, and he always looks good doing whatever it is he's doing - running down a city street, punching out a bad guy "Mannix" style, playing baccarat in a casino, lounging in bed, or being suave with the ladies. So he carries this movie the way a mother cat carries a kitten, by the nape of the neck and for as long as it takes. He isn't good enough to rescue "Danger! Death Ray" from mediocrity (I'm not sure Sean Connery himself could do that), and it's pretty obvious from the outset that he's just collecting a paycheck...but he at least makes it watchable.
Compare this to some of the other,similar European-y "007" ripoffs that MST3K covered in its fifth and sixth seasons and you'll immediately see the difference. "OK Connery" relied on Sean's poor uncharismatic brother, "Secret Agent Super Dragon" featured a walking Ken doll, and "your dad's alcoholic golfing buddy" (in a girdle) was cast as "Agent for H.A.R.M.". Two of those movies were at least the equal of D!DR in sets, effects, locations, and supporting cast (and were sometimes far superior, especially in the case of "OK Connery")(and I admit that "Agent" wasn't the equal to ANYTHING, including the "ABC Afterschool Special"). But those movies blew chunks, while D!DR is at least mildly entertaining in a completely unoriginal way. And that's 'cause Scott was the leading man, and not those other poor bozos who were completely out of their depth in the lead.
D!DR would be appropriate for a wasted Sunday afternoon matinée when you have too much of hangover to move from in front of the TV, and televised sports just don't appeal. Collect only if you are a spy movie completist, or if you enjoy the MST coverage (which is good natured and mild, compared to the slash-and-burn jobs they usually do).