Theatrical Release: July 1964/Feb. 1966
DVD Release: March 29th, 2016
Rating: Not Rated
Directed by Robert Lynn
Review by Craig Sorensen
Blue Underground releases a surprise double feature of swank ‘60s international pot-boilers from director Robert Lynn and producer Harry Alan Towers. These sort of films are, for me, the perfect Saturday afternoon matinee double feature. Filled with picturesque locals, pretty euro girls and aging American stars with their thinning hair flowing in the breeze of their convertibles. Light, easy going films.
In Code 7, Victim 5 Lex Barker (fucking Tarzan) plays Steve Martin (no, not that Steve Martin), globe trotting private investigator. He’s been called to the estate of rich German Wexler (Walter Rilla of The Gamma People and Frozen Alive). It seems that his butler got himself killed at the local carnival. Lex is aided in his investigation by Wexler’s lovely assistant Helga (Ann Smyrner of Reptilicus) and girl obsessed Inspector Lean (Ronald Fraser of The Bed Sitting Room). And there’s a long list of suspects including Wexler’s adoptive daughter (Véronique Vendell of Barbarella).
Code 7, Victim 5 (I’m still not sure what the Code 7 part of the title is supposed to reference) is familiar stuff, like a lot of post James Bond ‘60s films. But it’s entertaining fluff. Lex Barker is fine as our square-jawed hero and has plenty of girls young enough to be his daughter throwing themselves at him of course. Smyrner and Vendell both look good with their giant ‘60s beehive hairdos and both have nice, thick accents. The real stand out in my opinion is Ronald Fraser. He’s not the world’s most attractive man yet he’s constantly seen making out with a new girl in every other scene. And any scene that he’s not making time in he’s checking out the ‘scenery’ and ogling all the bikini clad women wandering around in the background.
It should be noted that Code 7, Victim 5 looks much better than most films of it’s ilk due to it’s great cinematography. Shot by Nicholas Roeg the same year as The Masque of the Red Death and six years before his directing debut with Performance and Walkabout. The film looks to have double the budget of similar films and is a good example of what a great cinematographer can bring to a picture (look at this disc’s second feature for an example of a decent film with uninspired photography).
Steve Cochran (I, Mobster) stars in our second feature, Mozambique, as failed pilot Brad Webster. At some point in the recent past he was involved in some kind of nebulous ‘accident’ and as a result he has been blacklisted by the rough and tumble pilots cabal and breaks out in a sweat whenever he gets in a plane. After a night in jail Brad receives a one way plane ticket to Mozambique from a dead man and a job offer to fly a plane for $1000 dollars a month. He becomes fast friends with nightclub singer Christina (Vivi Bach – Raumpatrouille) when they discover they share an employer in the mysterious Valdez. Well, turns out Valdez is dead and the two are thrown into the struggle for control of his drug running and prostitution ring.
Again, Mozambique is typical of a lot of ‘60s adventure films starring aging American actors. Unfortunately it looks fairly cheap next to a lot of similar films. A lot of the film seems stage bound which is counter productive for a film which should be based on exotic locations and literal jet-setting. Still, it’s an entertaining film with a good cast. Hildegard Knef (Bluebeard) makes a good femme fatale and Martin Benson (The Omen) and Dietmar Schönherr (Raumpatrouille) are enjoyably slimy as the villains of the film. You even get a knife throwing dwarf getting thrown down a flight of stairs and that’s always a positive in my book.
Both films look very nice on Blue Underground’s dual layer Blu-Ray release. Colors look vibrant (as they should for these types of films) and there’s a nice amount of detail. This will probably be the best they will look as I can’t imagine these things getting a 4k release. The mono soundtracks also sound pretty good. Dialog is clear and the easy going, jazzy music sounds great. The only extras here are trailers for each film.