Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966) – By Duane L. Martin

 

Dr. Goldfoot (Vincent Price) is back, and this time he’s got a whole new plan.  He’s sending his robot girl bombs to seduce NATO generals, and once seduced, they’re triggered to explode when kissed.  Once all the generals are dead, he plans to impersonate one of them, and as the last surviving general he’ll take a bomber and drop a nuclear bomb on Moscow, thereby starting a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.  Once the war is over, he plans to divide the world up with his Chinese co-conspirators, thereby acquiring more power and wealth than he could have ever dreamed possible.  Unfortunately, there’s a fly in the ointment.  Three flies actually, in the form of an agent from Secret Intelligence Command named Bill Dexter (Fabian), and two Italian doormen who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time, and somehow were granted secret agent status themselves.  Unfortunately, they’re both a couple of bumbling idiots.

Unfortunately, this film has some major problems.  First and foremost, if you’ve seen the first film, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, then this film is going to be a huge let down.  Not because it’s overly horrible, but because it just doesn’t measure up to the first one.  Not by a long shot.

The biggest problem with this one is that they shot it in Italy and let Mario Bava direct it.  They had a winner on their hands with the first one, so why did they screw with it?  Mario Bava is a horror director, not a comedy director.  Plus, the way it was shot necessitated that all the dialog be dubbed over in post production, so it sort of takes on the feel of a typical Italian film, be it a horror movie or a spaghetti western.

Then there’s Fabian, who’s little more than a dud compared to Frankie Avalon’s character in the first film.  He’s supposed to be a secret agent, but he walks around half the time like he doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing or where he’s at.  Plus, he’s got this big fetish for kissing girls that’s even more unrealistic than how Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman acted toward them in the first film.  Don’t get me wrong.  I actually like Fabian a lot in other films, but in this one his character ended up being somewhat of a bore.

Moving on, we have the two Italian doormen.  These two guys must have gotten run over by the little yellow schoolbus on the way to school every day, because apparently neither one of them ever made it.  It’s like they’ve got two brain cells between them, and they share them back and forth every other day.  I’m not kidding when I say that they’re both too stupid to actually be functional adults, which detracts from the film in my opinion.  The first film was cartoonish and fun.  This one, largely because of them, was cartoonish and stupid.

That said, the film did have its moments.  In fact, there was one particular moment that I was literally busting a gut at, and I even backed it up to rewatch it several times.  One of the Italian doormen had bad teeth and wasn’t overly good looking, to put it mildly.  At some point he and his partner had to hide in amongst Dr. Goldfoot’s bikini robot girls that he created with his bikini machine, and the guy is standing there in a gold bikini and a wig, smiling like an absolute moron.  Dr. Goldfoot stops and looks at him disgustedly for a moment, and then turns to the camera and says, “That was the day I forgot to oil the machine.”

Finally, there’s a part near the end of the movie that goes on for FAR too long that’s little more than a sped up, Benny Hill style chase scene.  Those scenes can be funny if they don’t become overly ridiculous.  Unfortunately, this one did.  Even to the point where they ended up on a ferris wheel.

Also sadly missing from this film was his bumbling assistant Igor, played by Jack Mullaney in the first film.  He added so much humor and fun to the film, and yet in this one they gave him two Chinese assistants instead to play along with the Chinese angle of his plan I guess.  In any case, the story really lost something without Igor.

This release from Kino Lorber is very clean and sounds great.  They always release a quality product, so there’s never any worry there.  For special features, it includes  audio commentary with film historian David Del Valle and David DeCoteau, as well as an animated montage of the “Girl Bombs” stills, “Black Sabbath: Trailer From Hell” with Mick Garris, and trailers for other Vincent Price films.

Is this a bad film?  Yes, unfortunately it is, but not because of Vincent Price.  He played his role just as well as he did in the first film.  There were a lot of other elements at play here that made this film a very substandard sequel to the original, but that being said, it’s not without its charm, and it’s not unwatchable.  Disappointing yes, but all in all it’s not horrible.  Can I recommend it?  If you own the first one or have seen the first one, then yes, you should get this one as well.  If not, then I wouldn’t recommend it.  In any case, the first one, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, is one of my favorite movies, so if you’re going to see anything, make it that one, and then see this one whenever you get around to it.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out its page on the Kino Lorber website here: http://www.kinolorber.com/video.php?id=2162