Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs

Synopsis: Horror legend Mario Bava (Black Sabbath) directs this hilarious sequel to Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine featuring international superstar duo of Ciccio and Franco (Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia, War Italian Style). The great Vincent Price (Madhouse) is back as Dr. Goldfoot and no man is safe from his army of irresistible bombshell robots… not even N.A.T.O. generals! Goldfoot’s gorgeous robots are loaded with lovemaking explosives – their mission: ignite war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Goldfoot is one general shy of global domination and with the ravishing Rosanna (Laura Antonelli, Malicious) as his secret weapon; it’s just a matter of time. Now, it’s up to secret agent Bill Dexter (Fabian, Thunder Alley) to keep the general and the world safe from the diabolical Dr. Goldfoot and his sexy robots.

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Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs 4.5

eyelights: Vincent Price.
eyesores: Fabian. Franco and Ciccio. its bargain basement production. its pathetic humour.

“That’s not Rosanna. That’s a jigsaw puzzle.”

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine‘ wasn’t a huge hit for American International Pictures, but it was a surprising success abroad, particularly in Italy. So when they were approached by Italian International Pictures to finance a sequel to ‘Due mafiosi contro Goldginger’, they agreed – if it was turned into a sequel to ‘Dr. Goldfoot’.

Thus ‘Dr. Goldfoot and the Bomb Girls’ was spawned.

But where the original was a dedicated vehicle for Vincent Price and Frankie Avalon, this pseudo-sequel was originally intended to be a vehicle for ‘Goldginger’ stars Franco and Ciccio, a popular Italian comedy duo. This led to a picture with a conflicted focus: though it’s lead by Price, Franco and Ciccio’s antics take up equal screentime.

Further to that, two different cuts of the film were produced, with the Italian one putting the onus on Franco and Ciccio, whereas the English market one focused on Price. To confuse things even more for fans of the original ‘Goldfoot’ picture, Frankie Avalon didn’t return and was replaced by pop star Fabian in a different but similar role.

Of course, since the picture was shot for two markets at once, many of its gags got lost in translation; the script lacks the wit of its predecessor. The picture was shot and set in Italy, giving it a completely different flavour; sadly, as a low budget Italian production, it lacked the qualities that had made ‘Bikini Machine’ so appealing.

‘Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs’ is just boring nonsense.

Interestingly, legendary Italian director Mario Bava was under contract to producer IIP’s Fulvio Lucisan and was obligated to helm it against his will. It’s hardly surprising, then, that ‘Girl Bombs’ is anemic and uninspired, and is considered one of his worst films; one gets the impression that he just didn’t give a crap about the outcome.

Released in 1966, ‘Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs’ takes us to Rome where NATO is preparing some wargames. Dr. Goldfoot, now inexplicably in league with China, decides to murder all the generals and take the place of the final one, so that he may take control of the operation and start a nuclear war between the United States and the USSR.

(Um… they plan to split the world 50/50, but cherry-pick the US – even though it’ll be under a nuclear winter. WTF.)

In any event, as with the first film, Goldfoot creates a series of robot babes, but this time he plants bombs in them and has them seduce the generals; the moment they get close the girls explode. Why he doesn’t just shoot or poison or even kidnap the generals is unexplained. And no one notices a pattern in all of the generals being blown up.

Meanwhile, Fabian, who somehow recognizes Dr. Goldfoot even though he’s playing a different character than Frankie Avalon did, follows him around and tries to alert his former bosses at the spy agency so that he can get into their good graces again. To this aim, he teams up with two goofy doormen, played with brio by Franco and Ciccio.

Where ‘Bikini Machine’ was campy but zesty, ‘Girl Bombs’ is dumb and flavourless; much of the so-called “humour” consists of Franco and Ciccio making faces. And the delivery of what few gags there are is heavy-handed and unskilled – case-in-point, the many times that the physical humour was fast-forwarded to silly music to punch it up slightly.

I actually chuckled only twice throughout:

  • When Colonel Benson is alerted to Goldfoot’s ploy and whereabouts, Goldfoot disguises his lair into a school for girls. Disguised as a nun, he convinces the Colonel that everything is kosher. What’s funny is just how poorly disguised Goldfoot is, barely concealing his beard with a small piece of veil. It’s so obvious he’s not a nun that it makes the scene absurd – and funny. Plus which Vincent Price totally camps it up, knowing how ridiculous it is.
  • Trying to hide from Goldfoot, Ciccio disguises himself as Goldfoot, puts a frame up in front of himself and proceeds to mimic Goldfoot’s every gesture and mannerism. Again, it’s such an absurd moment because there’s no reason why there’d be a mirror in the middle of that room, and you could easily see Ciccio’s legs below and the background behind him. But it’s the utter silliness of the conceit that makes it funny. That and watching the pair’s routine.

Seriously, that‘s it. Not even Vincent Price can inject a little life in this horrible motion picture – and he’s by far the best thing it’s got going for itself. Laura Antonelli is also cute as Fabian’s love interest but, otherwise, this is a lame, unfunny and cheap knock-off of a picture that already stretched the boundaries of silliness.

It’s a total bomb.

Date of viewing: May 8, 2017

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