Danger!! Death Ray
Director: Gianfranco Baldanello
Danger!! Death Ray is a Eurospy film that is as wacky as its title. The movie stars Gordon Scott as secret agent Bart Fargo, what a name, a wily and smooth talking spy that must hunt down a diabolical organization that has just abducted the creator of a powerful new weapon that's able to penetrate any object in its path causing mass destruction. Diabolical! Can Bart Fargo retrieve the kidnapped scientist before it's too late, or is the world doomed? Find out in Danger!! Death Ray!
|Gordon you little rapscallion. That's a perfect Bond pose.|
|Take your clothes off or I'll pump you full of lead.|
To start things off, I just have to say that this movie was way more fun then it had any right to be. While not one of the best examples of Eurospy films, Danger!! Death Ray is without a doubt one of the most entertaining of the bunch. Gordon Scott as the ridiculously named secret agent Bart Fargo, is one hell of a hoot. This guy effortlessly takes down the bad guys and looks like he's having a blast doing it. Even when you think his cocky demeanor might get the best of him, he comes out on top sporting a shit eating grin for all the world to see.
In fact I would say that the one thing holding this film all together would be the actor behind Bart Fargo. Gordon Scott brings so much flavor and fun to the role that it infects the whole production of the film. The sets were nothing to phone home about, the miniature work was laughable, and the acting was anything but outstanding from the rest of the cast, but all of that stuff doesn't matter because the charm and wit of Fargo's character lifts up the film from falling into forgotten territory. Scott's enthusiasm is just outstanding and frankly I couldn't get enough of his crazy antics.
|I spy Gordon Scott looking FABULOUS!|
|Level with me. Can I get a matted frame of just the breasts?|
Like true Eurospy and Bond fashion, Bart has his fair share of ladies, but none really stand out from the bunch as classic femme fatales. There more treated like extras in the cast. They come and go, but don't really leave a lasting impression on the audience. That's not to say that they have nothing to do. We've got a double crossing chick, played by Silvia Solar, who lures Fargo out on a speed boat, only to jump ship just as her colleges proceed to blow the piss out of the doomed vessel, an innocent young lady named Lucille, in the form of one time actress Maureen Delphy, who helps Fargo out by slipping into her birthday suit in front of his pursuers to divert their attention, and even a nice homage to James Bond's Moneypenny in the form of Miss Roberta. All in all, the female cast is effective, but they just don't seem to have that lasting appeal that most Eurobabes and Bond girls possess. It also doesn't help that they're upstaged by Fargo at every turn, that sly son of a bitch.
|So what do you think of the size of my Death Ray?|
|Say goodnight you knuckle-heads.|
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the villains give a good go at being diabolical by leaving a rather large body count in their wake. In the opening moments of the film, we're witness to a scientist's kidnapping that literally claims the lives of twenty or so police officers as they try in vein to stop the nerd-nappers. One particular evil henchmen named Frank, played by the diverse Nello Pazzafini, sports some sweet black framed glasses and proceeds to leave no stone unturned as he takes out a few of his fellow underlings, mowing them down with a sub machine gun one by one so they don't talk to the fuzz. Now that's just mean. He also puts up one hell of an entertaining fight against Bart Fargo during the end of the film, sans buddy holly spectacles.
Though the character of Frank takes care of most of the dirty work, the main villain of the piece is a man by the name of Carver, performed by Alberto Dalbes. He's more of a hands off kind of guy, resorting to some rather entertaining moments of peril for good old Bart Fargo. Locked within his secret laboratory, Carver controls a series of hidden spy cams that are placed in various locations throughout his expansive and elaborate mansion. Each camera is mounted with a machine gun, eager to greet any unexpected visitor with a belly full of lead. This sweet set up is a perfect example of Carver's laziness, for all he has to do is watch the monitors and push a button when Bart comes onto the screen, hopefully tearing a few holes in the do-gooder spy. Of course, he never is able to take out the resilient agent and instead ends up screwing the pooch when the time comes. Carver you knuckle-head.
|If you can take your old man down, we'll go out and get burgers.|
|Say hello to my little friend.|
Speaking of knuckle-heads, the special effects crew must have been quite a bunch because some of the effects work looks like something straight out of a kids toy box. There's some hilarious moments in this film, like when Bart Fargo crashes his sweet cherry red car into the ocean after chasing a pair of henchmen through a narrow and winding road. The final shot looks like someone pushed a matchbox car into a bathtub full of water, really I'm not joking. Another scene depicts a submarine with the same care to detail. While the resulting shot looks anything but realistic, I appreciated the effort and got quite a good kick out of seeing the stark difference between model work and the real thing. In the end it actually adds to the fun and enjoyment of this silly but highly entertaining film.
Lastly, I must talk about the most enjoyable part of this film. It's the swinging and ridiculously upbeat theme song that repeats over and over throughout the film. This tune will get stuck in your head like no other song has before and man is it a catchy tune. Badupadupadada! Now that's a hit.
|Awesome! Danger!! Death Ray the video game!|
|It's not the size of your Death Ray... it's how you use it!|
Danger!! Death Ray is not the best Eurospy to ever come out in this explosive time period for the genre, but what it lacks in production value and supporting characters, it more then makes up for it with one of the most enjoyable and fun secret agents, Bart Fargo. With a name like that, how can he not be fun? The charisma that Gordon Scott brings to the role is infectious and even smoothes over some of the more rough edges of the film. If you're looking for a good time, then look no further then Danger!! Death Ray. Also check out the Mystery Science Theater 3000 edition. It's just as hilarious and entertaining as the original film.