Moustache man Richard Harrison is back in action in this ultra-cheap late '70s European adventure yarn, financed by the French and filmed in some nondescript country with a foreign-made look. Sadly the low-rent action antics that periodically pepper this badly-made thriller aren't enough to save it from being dumped on the cinematic scrapheap, mainly due to the lack of talent on the part of the crew. Some sources credit Jess Franco as being the director of this less-than-impressive movie and I'm inclined to believe them, considering the inability to make scenes of action exciting, the lack of skill apparent in the static camera-work and the reliance on sex and nudity to propel the flagging storyline. The only thing lacking is excessive use of the zoom lens.
The opening of the film is truly mind-boggling; after a diplomatic meeting (full of stilted, ludicrous dubbing), we see stock footage of a building being demolished (why? are we supposed to believe this was the result of an Arab bomb?) and a man parachuting into a field. It turns out that the man is good old Richard Harrison, a covert agent so secretive that he has to parachute into a meeting in his own country! The film then goes on to take in some cheap spy antics as Harrison meets up with some shady operatives in an exotic hotel, takes time out to bed a pretty blonde girl and is followed by two shady Arabs. The, the film turns into a traditional desert adventure as our band of heroes drive through the blistering sands in a jeep, getting captured by Arabs along the way and engaging in some lame point-and-shoot gun battles before the explosive finale, which makes use of lots of miniature explosions a la Antonio Margheriti.
The only surprising thing in this movie is the twist ending which leaves things on a distinctly downbeat note - a final reminder of the pessimistic nature of 70's cinema, perhaps? The music alternates between being annoying and effective, mainly consisting of a loud, single-note tune which becomes quite overwhelming towards the end. The continuity is poor - one bedroom scene cuts off halfway through, then is continued following a totally separate moment of narrative - and characters mysteriously disappear throughout the movie. There's also a total lack of characterisation which makes it hard to care about the whole desert adventure thing and the supporting guys just kind of blend into one.
As previously mentioned, veteran performer Richard Harrison is the hero in this film and it has to be said, this is one of his most expressionless performances and he does seem bored with the part. Harrison is joined by fellow veteran Gordon Mitchell, sadly sidelined into an almost non-speaking part as a fellow member of the operative group who gets to shoot a few Arabs. Eagle-eyed viewers may spot Spanish film regular Olivier Mathot in a minor role as an official. Lastly, the leading lady is played by Florence Cayrol, who is frequently required to go nude for her role, especially during a pretty explicit sex scene with a repulsive balding Arab! The whole film smacks of racism and doesn't make much sense and to make matters worse, it's too dark and dreary to be very exciting. The lack of budget also hurts this one badly.