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Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1,966
Subj: Euro-spy #7 review: Madam Sin (1972)
Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2022 at 11:50:31 pm CDT (Viewed 160 times)

I watched this one a while back and waned to write a review. At 1972, it clocks in a bit late for the Euro-spy fad which was done by the end of the 60s.

Hey, have you every wanted to see Bette Davis playing a James Bond villain while wearing yellowface? No? Well, here's a movie that does just that.

The opening scene has Robert Wagner, in glorious 70s sideburns, wandering around London to a cheesy soundtrack that could only have been dne in the early 70s. He wanders past a travel agent with flights to NY for 79 pounds, looking longingly.
He gets confronted in a park by the actor who plays Marcus Brody from Raiders of the Lost ark, where we find out that he's a former secret agent whom Marcus tries to recruit for a secret employer.

Wagner of course refuses and a pair of nuns who ask him for a donation. One of the nuns pulls a sonic ray gun on him and he fights them, the nuns winning out in the end. He awakens in the back of an ambulence with the pair of nuns smoking a postfight cigarette and the smiling agent Marcus.

If that first 5 minutes doesnt hook you, there's something wrong with you.

Secret Agent Wagner, called Lawrence, eventually winds up in the Scottish highlands where most of this cheesy thriller takes place, on the secret Thought Factory base commanded by Madame Sin.

When we meet Bette in yellowface its pretty funny. She is a legendary boogie-man responsible for revolutions and assassinations around the world, a female Fu Manchu. Davis, thankfullly, doesnt try to use an Asian accent but uses her traditional Trans-atlantic accent.

She tries to recruit Lawrence (although he had a less than impressive showing against the two nuns), showing him her Blofeldian base, where sonics are used to create illusions, destroy things and keep Lawrence prisoner, like a silent dog gate.

Anyway, the plot involves a nearby British naval base and we gets lots of highland scenery. Its a bit slow overall but with enough over the top fun to keep it interesting, and a soundtrack that is bonkers 70s. Also, a shock twist near the end which I didnt see coming.

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