Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Cinema - The Doll Squad Has Jiggle, Kung-Fu, but No Gazongas

As this blog ripens I will be adding brief reviews of largely-overlooked films - the sort of thing that used to be available only to people wearing raincoats, if you get my drift, but may now be obtained on DVD for viewing at home.

Which takes a lot of the fun out of the exploitation film experience, incidentally. These movies are really best viewed in a dingy theater with sticky floors, or at a drive-in. Alas, the post-modern world has no room for such old-fashioned venues.

The Doll Squad (1974) is a tame little flick from Ted V. Mikels, director of the immortal Astro-Zombies (1970). This has some of the same Magic-Marker-on-celluloid special effects, and a whole lot of jiggling (but, alas, bikini-clad) hooters, and one legitimate beast in the person of William Bagdad as "Joseph," who looks like a Cincinnati hot dog vendor on a Sterno binge.


A secret agent goes nuts, rents an island off Venezuela, and hatches a diabolical plot to release bubonic plague, carried by extra-smart rats, unless the world meets his demands. But since he only communicates his demands to one U.S. Senator and one spy agency type, via a static-y transmission to the TV set in the senator's office and by carrier pigeon, the world does not meet his demands.

Never mind. The computer says Sabrina Kincaid and the Doll Squad are the only ones who can stop the fiend.

There are a few lively moments as Sabrina flounces from a naugahyde booth in a steakhouse to a naugahyde booth in a strip joint, putting the squad together and foiling would-be killers, but after that we have endless running around in jumpsuits and destroying the World's Stupidest Army. And without redeeming nekkidness this is tedious.

Summary: Many breasts, two of them almost naked (damn pasties); many shapely behinds, all clad; one greasy treacherous junkie; one greasy treacherous weirdo; one extraordinarily inept assassin, who first gets the cigarette lighter/flame thrower in face treatment (while seated in a naugahyde booth) and later gets the knife in eye (in the parking lot); really bad kung fu; lame villain in tight pants. One and half coils, mostly for the villain's Tom Jones impersonation and regrettable habit of putting his Chelsea boots on the coffee table, and for William Bagdad's fine slinking around the amusement park.

The film was supposedly the inspiration for "Charlie's Angels." And why not?

Better bets from this director : Astro Zombies and The Corpse Grinders.

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