SOS Conspiracion Bikini

Dir: René Cardona Jr.
Star: Julio Aleman, Sonia Infante, Sonia Furio, Roberto Canedo

Cardona directed a hundred movies over nearly 40 years, according to the IMDb: everything from Guyana: Cult of the Damned to seven entries in the La risa en vacaciones [Holiday Laughs] series. This was his stab at a Bond-esque caper, starring Aleman as Alex Dinamo, an agent for "International Service" sent to Ecuador to investigate their enemies, a group called the "Secret Organizational Service". They are using a swimwear convention as a cover to plot their next terrorist attack, under the guidance of their leader, Madame Bristol (Infante). Though, to be honest, they are rather more laid-back about said plotting, since it takes the best part of an hour for them to do it. Much of the preceding time taken up by everyone involved, on both sides, getting to the hotel where the convention is taking place. One of the models is actually a counter-espionage agent, but is killed before quite being able to get details of the plan to Dinamo. After he convinces his boss (Canedo) to raid the hotel, arresting Bristol and her cronies, they flee in a speedboat, aiming to escape through a rural airfield. Dinamo is having none of that, and pursues in his own vessel, leading to a climactic chase involving not just the boats, but a plane and a helicopter as well.

And, it has to be said, the worst miniature work I've ever seen in a major motion picture, when the plane, for no apparent reason, flies into one of the boats. Only to vanish entirely during the next shot, which sees a toy ship blown up with a couple of firecrackers. It's a striking contrast to the rest of the film, which has been a marginally competent, if low rent and mostly rather dull, Bond knockoff. Aleman looks the part, right from the first time we meet him, brawling with a villain aboard a banana boat (and using the bananas to his advantage!). I did enjoy the spectacular array of gadgets, including cameras hidden in lighters, a ballpoint pen that converts into a gun, and a tracking device that contains two compasses, just in case one breaks down. I may also have seen someone get shot with a stiletto heel, though I can't swear to that. However, there just isn't enough going on in the rest of the film to hold your attention, despite the musical number by a surf band or the fashion show. It's not self-aware enough to be as entertaining as, say, the Flint movies, yet it isn't good enough to stand up against the genuine Bond entries. It is, however, the first film I've ever seen filmed in Ecuador. So, there's that...

[February 2015]

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