Antonioni, Primal Scream, *that* bridge… Apparently, this anti-American countercultural plodder had strong psychological effects on those involved – apparently every time you hum Careful With That Axe, Eugene at him, Rod Taylor starts manically constructing a shelter out of the interior doors of his house.
Z is for…
Semi-clad female aliens cavort in and out of increasingly outlandish Pop Art sets. It’s a capsule description of well-loved Jane Fonda camp-out Barbarella – and also this rather less cared-for Tigon production, give or take a few odd things. Those few odd things are: veteran actress Dawn Addams and ubiquitous screen siren Valerie Leon as the heads of a gang of alien dominatrixes in saucy underwear who are kidnapping strippers by bundling them into a sack and hauling them off in an intergalactic removals lorry; and, as the hapless Earth duo out to foil the topless invaders, none other than James Robertson Justice and Charles Hawtrey. The spectacle of these two rent-paying Britcom stalwarts trying to cut it as the heads of an anti-bare-breasted Amazon insurgency, torturing topless girls, looking tired and thinking of the money in various Bacofoil-bedecked locations is, well, otherworldly.
TV CREAM SAYS: "WHAT'S THE BLEEDING POINT?"
Holiday stand-by and endlessly repeated as this may be, but it still is really very good. Jack Hawkins is splendid as the boozy minister, Michael Caine is actually credible as something other than a cockernee sparra, and the rest of the cast include an eclectic mix including Glyn ‘V and T?’ Edwards and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, would you believe, and Richard Burton is on voice over duties wisely not taking part. Stanley Baker is supposed to be the star but it’s difficult to pinpoint anyone for that position which is an enviable achievement in such a quality ensemble cast. Yes, it’s long, no, it may not be terribly PC and, okay, it’s been on a million times. But if you’ve never sat through it before then do so now and defy our belief that no-one with anything about them cannot feel the lump in the throat as the male voice choir roar Bread of Heaven at the end.
TV CREAM SAYS: "FIRE AT WILL!" "THAT'S NICE OF HIM!"
Needless sequel to the original which has Burt Lancaster, Denholm Elliott, Peter Vaughan, Christopher Cazenove, Bob Hoskins (who manage to take on board a 24ft tapeworm whilst living like the natives, fact fans), Phil Daniels, Peter O’Toole, Ronald Pickup, Ronald Lacey, John Mills and Freddie Jones taking up where Michael Caine left off.