Thursday, February 23, 2012

i SPY EUROSPY: Super Seven Calling Cairo

Super Seven Calling Cairo
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Year 1965

Super Seven Calling Cairo is a pretty enjoyable Eurospy effort that has all the right ingredients in its formulaic recipe to make for a wonderful super spy viewing. Umberto Lenzi directs this entry and it’s equally as fun as his other efforts in the genre around this time. The film stacks up nicely when compared to his The Spy Who Loved Flowers and 008: Operation Exterminate, and the same globe trotting aspect of those productions is brought to great realization in Super Seven Calling Cairo.

The film follows agent Martin Stevens AKA Superseven as he is in hot pursuit of a camera that houses a new valuable metal. His hunt for the rare item takes him across the globe, while at the same time dealing him some rather close encounters with some very dangerous women. I expect nothing less from a good Eurospy. With an excellent cast and a plethora of beautiful locations, Super Seven Calling Cairo is a great example of a highly entertaining Eurospy that knows how to deliver the goods.

Roger Browne plays the role of Superseven, the agent that every woman figuratively loves to death and often literally tries to. Browne takes on the character with almost a regal sensibility, coming off more refined then the usual Eurospy secret agent. He’s probably the closest to the James Bond stereotype that any Eurospy has gotten too, at least from the films that I’ve seen, and he brings a tinge of respectability to his role. Poised with a square jaw and calm demeanor, his secret agent is craftier then most, never relying on wit or charm to get him out of sticky situations but rather his athletic ability and intellect.

The film also plays off of this more leveled and focused tone, by presenting Superseven with an interesting pairing of girls that both tug on the viewers expectations on which one of the women is the bad guy of the piece. Rosalba Neri, who has appeared in a few choice Eurospy films but is mostly known for her large cannon of horror movie appearances, plays the role of Faddja, a beautiful young woman who is forced to aid the opposition to Superseven. She looks absolutely stunning in this film and she provides a rather important role in the story that comes full circle in the closing moments of the movie. Opposite her is actress Fabienne Dali, who plays the role of Denise, a local Egyptian woman that accompanies Superseven on his mission to recover the sought after camera. Dali has the bigger of the two roles, traveling from exotic location to exotic location all by the side of Superseven, often getting tangled up in the danger and espionage. Lenzi does a tremendous job in interweaving these two women into the story, while never giving us a clear intention on either of their motives for wanting to be around Superseven. The ambiguity of their objectives is spectacularly done and the film is better for it.

Another aspect of the film that I really enjoyed was the inclusion of all the globetrotting. Like any good Eurospy movie, you have to have a ton of exotic places for your agent to randomly visit and in Super Seven Calling Cairo, there’s plenty of that. Agent Martin Stevens finds himself in Rome, Paris, Locarno, and London, especially spending a good deal of time in Cairo, hence the title of the film. The Egyptian exteriors are wonderful, giving a wide breadth of interesting locals that showcase many expansive shots of crowded marketplaces and monumental glimpses of the iconic pyramids. I also enjoyed the filmmaker’s choice of shooting on location in Locarno, Switzerland. The area is absolutely beautiful and the film explored its surrounding areas in a way I’ve never seen before in a Eurospy film.

What’s also great about all of this globe-trotting is that it never feels random. Superseven always has a legitimate reason for visiting these gorgeous places and you never get the feeling that they just shoe horned the story into forcing him to be there because of the filmmakers’ prior permission to visit the cities. There’s much about this film that seems to fit just right and Lenzi has done a wonderful job in making the movie logical while still setting it in that wacky mind set of a traditional Eurospy. This flick really is that enjoyable and fun.

Super Seven Calling Cairo is a well put together little Eurospy film that tries to keep the espionage respective, while at the same time delving in a few guilty pleasures that the genre has to offer. The location shoots are wonderfully captured and fully utilized within the context of the story, making for a spy film that is both visually sweeping as it is contextually interesting.
Roger Browne brings a thoughtful nature to Superseven, classing up the role of secret agent a bit while still giving him that ruthless cunning attitude that is sorely missed in many Eurospy films. Both Rosalba Neri and Fabienne Dali look stunning in their opposing roles and the fact that they both have so much to do in this movie is an added plus. For me, Eurospy films are a medium for us to be able to be transported to exotic locations while at the same time role playing as a secret agent that has the world by the horns. Super Seven Calling Cairo does exactly that and it does it in style. If you’re looking for a quick Eurospy fix then look no further then this Umberto Lenzi directed effort, because there is much to love here. The movie is just…….

The names Martin Stevens, but you can call me Superseven if you're nasty.

With a cold stare like that, how can she not be pure evil?


Woah! I'm freaking out!

Another F on your report card? Superseven I'm ashamed of you.

Here, let me kill you slowly. Say lung cancer.

The kiss of death.

Get your naked ass out here.

Rosalba Neri hates back seat drivers. Especially when their next to her.

How cute.

Take that you son of a bitch!

Did you take the last of the Oreo's?

Superseven day-dreaming about joining the Mile High Club.

The End.

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