Thursday, August 24, 2017

MISTER X (1967)

I acquired MISTER X (1967) under the very similar title AVENGER X - Let's not go into how I acquired it. I had been told that it was a kind of Euro Spy film and I guess it almost fits into that category. The problem is that the film barely has a story and until the last act is pretty damned boring. I guess, to be  more accurate, it does have some semblance of a story but it is so poorly related that in the end it just seems like a string of events held together by the presence of some of the same actors playing characters that all seem like they should be in a Euro Spy film. It's an indifferently directed, sloppily dubbed and haphazardly scored Adventure/Crime / Thriller in which the bad guys are trying very hard to be hardened criminal types. These bad guys are involved in or scheming to become involved in the standard movie Vague Drug Trade that will net them all millions.

The main character - Mister X - is a smirking, smarmy attempt to be Diabolik about a year before Mario Bava brought that good/bad guy to the screen. As in DANGER: DIABOLIK (1968) our antihero is a master of hiding in plain sight and has the ability to disguise himself so well as to be appear to be someone completely different. This chameleon-like ability is not used very effectively in the story, much as little else in the film is all that effective. Well - until the final fifteen minutes when the action gets interesting and a few random story elements actually come together. That last act is good enough that it almost makes it worth sitting through this lackadaisical meander around some out of season European tourist locales. 

The one element of the film that I can give full marks is the presence of two of the female actors. I originally tracked this film down because the amazing Helga Line has a small role in it and she is a joy, sporting jet black hair while playing a gangster's moll with a sneaky plan of her own. Sadly, the film only gives her one good scene but at least it is opposite the other entertaining actress Gaia Germani. Miss Germani plays Mister X's sidekick/lover and she gets to shine here showing off real energy and a wonderfully expressive face. I've spotted her in a couple of other Italian films from the 1960's (HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD, the Euro Spy film YPOTRON) but it's in this one that she is so sensual and cute I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I kept wishing the film would just focus on her especially after she demonstrates her own hand to hand combat skills.

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