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  7 Golden Women Against Two 07 Slapdash spy caper
Year: 1966
Director: Vincent Cascino
Stars: Mickey Hargitay, Maria Vincent, Luciana Paoli, Vincenzo Cascino, Patricia Mendez, Paola Mariani, Maruska Rossetti, Rossella Bergamonti, Corinne Fontaine, John Loodmere, Geoffrey Copleston, Eric Damain, John Benedy, Nestore Cavaricci, Guido Marinelli
Genre: Comedy, Action, Thriller, Trash, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: Muscular American man of mystery Mark Davis (Mickey Hargitay) saves Armenean art dealer Barbikian (Vincenzo Cascino, also this film's writer, producer, editor and director) from a group of thugs working for French femme fatale Marie Dupont (Maria Vincent), who also attracts his attention. Somehow Mark discerns both parties are after a stolen painting by the famous Spanish artist Goya on the back of which is supposedly scrawled a treasure map leading to the lost gold of Adolf Hitler! Forming an uneasy alliance, Mark, Marie and Barbikian along with his English girlfriend Miranda (Luciana Paoli, hilariously dubbed with a thick Brummie accent!) set out to find the Fuhrer's fortune, unaware that six women from around the world who previously owned the painting now share the same goal.

If the above synopsis made this film sound at all exciting, one must sincerely apologise because 7 Golden Women Against Two 07 is to the Euro-spy genre what Plan 9 From Outer Space (1958) is to the science fiction film. In other words, it is a work of staggering ineptitude on just about every level, only lacking the cheesy charm of Edward D. Wood Jr. One of only two film outings (thank god!) from quintuple threat Vincenzo Cascino, the plot is near incomprehensible. Events border on the surreal as the Italian auteur exhibits no grasp of continuity, character development or even the basic mechanics of storytelling, seemingly rewriting the plot as it goes along. Opening at breakneck speed the film provides scant information as to just who its protagonists are or what their connection is to the Goya painting which seems to have crossed continents between several, exclusively female, hands.

None of the titular seven, frankly not all that glamorous women add anything to the story. With the exception of three sequences where the girls strip off for either an epic catfight or to distract some villains, they do little besides simper and shriek. Weirdly, none of the women so much as notice square-jawed ostensible hero Mark Davis and flirt instead with Barbikian's seriously ugly henchmen ("Oh, you Italian men are so amazing, so gallant, so sentimental!"). Which is not something that would happen to Matt Helm or Derek Flint. Hungarian-born weightlifter Mickey Hargitay, husband of Jayne Mansfield and father of Law & Order star Mariska Hargitay, had one seriously strange movie career, but fans would be better off checking out his unhinged turn in garish gothic Bloody Pit of Horror (1966) or as Count Dracula in the amazing The Reincarnation of Isabel (1973). Hargitay's two-fisted mercenary hero vaguely recalls Mickey Spillane's thuggish Mike Hammer as depicted in Robert Aldrich's seminal noir Kiss Me Deadly (1955), especially the manner in which he appears to great enjoyment from belting the shit out of people, at one point convulsing with laughter as he kicks Barbikian's ass. However, Cascino's inept editing renders the fight sequences downright laughable.

Amidst endless scenes with characters bickering at the top of their lungs and chase sequences set to Keystone Cops style music, Hargitay comes off like Laurence Olivier compared to his amateurish co-stars. As shrill bimbo Marie Dupont, Maria Vincent strains so hard at seeming coquettish and sultry she seems more like a drag queen parody of a femme fatale. Meanwhile, Cascino was seemingly on a mission to upstage his cast with a bug-eyed performance that grates on the nerves. This would-be comic spy caper is a real endurance test that does not reach a conclusion so much as come to an abrupt stop. It is incompetent on every level with only the very faintest appeal as kitsch. Incidentally, the theme song features lyrics penned by Mickey Hargitay. Needless to say, it's rubbish.

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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