Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Dr. Goldfoot
as Bill Dexter
as Goldfoot's Assistant
as Colonel Doug Benson
as Craig Gamble
as D.J. Pevney
as Todd Armstrong
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The good news: Vincent Price plays Dr. Goldfoot again! The bad news: they put Mario Bava in the director's chair. This is a comedy, not a horror type movie! This movie is a mess, and it looks in the movie that Price can tell it's a mess of a movie too. If you're a really big fan of both of them, I'd say to watch this movie anyway just to see what went wrong, but if you're not a fan don't waste your time.
I would have expected more from Mario Bava, but there you go. It's an okay watch, but the first film is largely superior.
Films For the Summer Heat
I would rather be the kind of person who likes the French New Wave. Oh, I can speak intelligently about it. I have seen any number of French New Wave films. I know the directors, and I know the most famous of the movies. I can't remember the actors' names, but there's only so much room in my head for names, and I feel as though it's filling. The bigger problem, however, is that I just don't like the genre. You think I'm happy rejecting the collected works of Jean-Luc Goddard in favour of something not even the director liked? No. No, indeed. I freely admit there's no accounting for taste, but I don't like even my own taste in this particular. I can do without seeing Vincent Price camping it up over and over again, and yet I'm somehow drawn into returning to this sort of film. Part of it, I guess, is that I can't think about much of anything when the weather starts getting hot, and I'm just stuck with this sort of thing.
Price returns as the notorious Dr. Goldfoot. He's intent on killing a slew of NATO generals, I'm not sure why, and there is to be bombing of Moscow for reasons that don't entirely make sense. He has built a series of bombs out of the girl robots he had in the last movie, and they are exploding and taking out the generals. There is one left, General Willis, who mysteriously looks exactly like Dr. Goldfoot. Trying to stop the doctor in his nefarious plans is a group called Security Intelligence Command. Dr. Goldfoot sabotages the computer so that it suggests the two agents who should go after him are Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia, a pair of Italian comedians playing agents with their own first names. Meanwhile, Bill Dexter (Fabian!) believes that stopping Dr. Goldfoot is the only thing which will keep SIC from kicking him out. He is also pursuing the delectable Rosanna (Laura Antonelli), whom Dr. Goldfoot wants to duplicate into one of his girl bombs.
Yes, I know. My habit of watching movies like this when the temperature goes up comes from my mother originally. There was a tiny hole-in-the-wall video rental place back home. It was connected with Webster's Pharmacy (and get [i]anyone[/i] from Altadena started on the changes Webster's has gone through over the last few years). It had a very distinctive smell, one I can't quite put a name to now but which I would probably know if I smelled it again. On hot Saturday afternoons, we would drive up there and wander through the store for up to an hour. (It was air conditioned.) We would read titles to one another, judging movies by their covers as everyone does in situations like that. My mother still calls them her "dumb, stupid comedies." We would dabble in the family section, and sometimes glance at action movies, but we were in it for the laughs. We might order a pizza or otherwise have dinner that none of us had to cook, and we would lie around in a near stupor and watch movies.
To this day, it's how I handle hot weather. I'm not capable of really turning off my brain, and I want some way to occupy it even when I'm not at my mental best. I have comfort fiction for when I'm depressed, both movie and book, and I have light, silly fare for when my attention span has disappeared. A lot of my trivia books emerge from the shelves in the summer; a paragraph of the same information I've known for twenty years is easier to digest than a paragraph of plot. And, yes, if it takes watch Vincent Price gad about in gold shoes, well, that's what it takes. Probably in the next few days, I will watch Mark Harmon teach summer school and Charlie Sheen play for the Indians, and both of those movies are ones we first pulled off the shelves at Webster's. Because I also keep coming back to some of these movies over and over again. There is just enough to them that they hold my interest, but there isn't so much that it takes effort to follow the plot or delve the characters' inner mysteries.
Maybe that's why this movie and the one of which it was a sequel were such big hits in Italy, come to that. Italy's climate is not unlike that of my home town. (Or at least, the climate of parts of Italy; it varies in climate as much as California, I believe.) On a hot summer's day, there's something pleasant about watching silly people doing silly things. Yes, this movie is awfully padded; the scene at the amusement park goes on far longer than is actually interesting. The costumes are sadly not as good as they were in the first one; in particular, the golden swimsuits the girl robots are wearing in the end credit sequence are baggy and ill-fitting. This is not a movie that's going to transport anyone to anywhere, though I'll admit I can imagine seeing it on a double bill at a drive-in with [i]The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini[/i] or a Hercules movie or some movie with giant irradiated bugs. There is a nostalgia to it, but I'm not sure it's the kind of nostalgia everyone involved was hoping for.
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