Wednesday, April 6, 2016

In short: Mister Dynamit – Morgen küßt euch der Tod (1967)

aka Die Slowly, You’ll Enjoy It More

A dastardly villain has somehow stolen a US nuclear bomb. For vague plot reasons, the CIA, despite having a spy among said villain’s men (excellently positioned as his chef), can’t take care of the situation themselves, so they do the most embarrassing thing and ask the German BND for help. The BND sends out its top agent, one Bob Urban (Lex Barker), also known – perhaps in the same way you call a big guy “Little” - as Mister Dynamite.

Bob’s investigation consists of the usual things Eurospy heroes get up to: sleep with every woman who can’t flee fast enough, walk into traps, get out of traps with his awesome powers of punching and ventriloquism (seriously), and shoot some people. Somewhere on the way, the CIA does send in one of their own, one Cliff (Brad Harris), also known as Cliff. Things don’t get terribly exciting.

Officially a German/Austrian/Italian/Spanish collaboration, this movie based on the popular series of German Men’s Adventure novels, is pretty German dominated behind the camera, which, despite its director Franz Josef Gottlieb usually being kind of okay when doing pulp action, does lead to exactly the result you’d fear, namely a curiously boring and anaemic film that lacks the feeling of crazy joy you can usually get out of Eurospy films. While there’s nothing about the film that exactly runs against the pleasurable parts of the genre’s formula, it all feels very bland and lifeless, with a few too many scenes of people in uniform sitting around in a grey room talking, and little excitement to be found around those scenes.

There are one or two pleasantly crazy moments, though: the film’s main villain is so much of a model railway nut his – tiny, unspectacular – lair is dominated by a model railway that if needed provides the usual monitors for henchpeople communications, as well as a lot of mysterious buttons. Oh, and for some reason, the guy likes to get drunk and roll himself up in a rug. Which is exactly the sort of nonsensical craziness I love in my Eurospy films, but is basically the only truly crazy thing about a film that seems to go out of its way not to provoke a heart attack – or even mild excitement – in anyone watching.

Most of the time, the film’s a series of scenes with Lex Barker being bland, Brad Harris being inexplicably bland and painfully underused, and bland blandness all around, with a veritable horde of German actors you’ll know from Rialto’s Edgar Wallace krimis popping up in tiny roles – with Joachim Fuchsberger as a random MP, and Eddi Arent as the BND Q, among others.

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