April 11, 2011

SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON CONTEST

I took a short break today during a marathon songwriting session and caught a few moments of MST3K's spin on the Eurospy classic, Secret Agent Super Dragon. I'm a big fan of the robots and the 'satellite of love'. When I was running a film series on the east coast, I even got in touch with Mike Nelson to talk about arranging an event. It wasn't in the stars for us at the time, but it sure would be fun to do someday. Since then, I've seen many variations of MST reunions, and I'm always thankful for a chance to spend time with those guys around a so-bad-it's-good movie. Some of their picks were quite excellent as original films, Danger Diabolik being the first on the list. I can't quite get Super Dragon up there in the same league, but I am interested in seeing a straight cut of the move. The film was made at the height of the spy boom in 1966 -with Marisa Mell (Danger Diabolik) I might add! The secret agent was played by Ray Danton, who appeared in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Honey West in the 1960s and many crime/spy shows in the 1970s, including the role of Derek Flint in a 1970s effort to bring the Flint films to the small screen.


Secret Agent Super Dragon makes use of fun spy conventions, like outrageous gadgets, femme fatales, evil baddies, henchmen, secret lairs, and a plot to turn people into slavish zombies. What more can you ask for? Sounds fine on paper, right? Judging by the original trailer here, tell us what you think- Fun spy fare? Or, obvious MST3K candidate? Vote here in the comments section, I'll choose a winner from the voters, and one Spy Viber will win a Secret Agent Super Dragon prize from the Spy Vibe archives. Deadline is next week, April 18th. Good Luck! Image from the Marisa Mell website. Movie review at Double O Section here.


4 comments:

  1. Actually Super Dragon is really great fun - Danton as a spy hero in the sixties was (generaly) great fun. Watching Super Dragon, you can see why he was chosen to follow in Coburn's footsteps to play Flint - however it would appear that the director and writers (perhaps) had never seen a Flint film. There's no humour or style in 'Dead on Target', and Danton's charisma and grin - which almost matches Coburns isn't used at all.

    For further Danton spyjinx, check out Code Name Jaguar - and for the brave Jess Franco's Lucky the Inscrutable (actually it's not that bad - possibly one of Franco's more accessible films).

    But one thing you forgot to mention - yes Super Dragon stars Marisa Mell - but it also stars Margaret Lee - one of Eurospydom's hottest actresses.

    Eurospy films are low hanging fruit for parody, but the fact that MST3K chose to riff on Super Dragon probably suggests it is one of the better films in the genre - which I would heartily concur with.

    Cheers
    D.

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  2. Looks like my kind of movie... I remember Ray Danton from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (always the suave Thrush agent). Thought he would have had great career as a leading man but never really took off.

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  3. Awesomely kitsch! And Marisa Mell to boot. How can it fail?!

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  4. I love MST3K, but I'll never forgive them for choosing Diabolik as their finale. There's a certain level of "good" that you need in the "bad" films you riff on, but when it gets TOO good, the riffs cease to be funny. The Diabolik episode of MST3K is terrible for that reason, and not a worthy finale to the series. Furthermore, it forever tarnished Diabolik's reputation as a film, which annoys me. Check its IMDb reviews, and more than half are MST3K acolytes who now believe it's terrible because Mike and the bots said so. That was just such a bad choice! I mean, you don't see them riffing on Casablanca, do you? And I would genuinely place Diabolik in the same league of great movies as that. It's certainly in my Top 10.

    ANYWAY. I digress. Secret Agent Super Dragon is a much better choice for MST3K. It's NOT a partiuclarly good movie on its own... though as David points out, it's also far from the worst of the Eurospy genre. It's watchable, which goes a long way, and most of the stars are quite good. I love this MST3K episode, and I love their Super Dragon song! Any Eurospy movie whose exotic locations include a bowling alley in Wisconsin (or Michegan?) deserves a little riffing!

    The unmolested version is also worth seeing, though, and there's a very good widescreen DVD out in Germany. I recommend picking it up. It used to be available here through the site Diabolik DVD.

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