Sunday, July 24, 2011

Operation Kid Brother (1967)

Also known as OK Connerty, Operation Kid Brother is one of those Italian James Bond rip-offs, but a bit more ambitious regarding the casting. First of they have Neil Connery, Sean’s real younger brother, playing the younger brother to the worlds best agent 00… yeah, they never finish his name. His boss is Bernard Lee, Louise Maxwell is his assistant, Anthony Dawson a bad guy, Adolfo Celi the main baddie and Daniela Bianchi as the woman!

I think the official plot summary on IMDB quite clearly explains the confusing plot: “The evil crime syndicate Thanatos is bent on taking over the world, using a magnetic wave generator that will cause all metal-based machinery to grind to a halt.” Yeah, sounds like another Bond movie and except for having a slightly lower budget it feels like a Bond movie in many ways. Not only the cast, but the locations, the underground lair of the Adolfo Celi and the nice score by Morricone and Nicolai. Also several references is made to the original Bond franchise and Ian Flemming, but I can’t say it’s a spoof. The story is quite straight forward serious and the comedy is not especially visible.

Neil Connery has gotten a lot of slack for his performance in Operation Kid Brother, but I felt now when I finally was watching it again that he’s quite decent – a lot better than some people said before. He’s obviously not as used to the camera as his brother, but looks good and handles both dialogue (I think, because he’s dubbed) and the action very well. I wonder why he has a beard, looks like a fake beard to. Could it be to just make him look a little bit different than Sean? Was it a legal thing? They have a short dialogue about his beard, and with the explanation that he’s very fond of his beard and refuse to shave it.

The main star is, of course, the director Alberto De Martino, a guy that for many years was regarded like some kinda hack by “fans” out there who just did see a couple of his last movies. Personally I think De Martino still is one of the more competent and personal genre directors from Italy. There’s no one who can deny the amazing quality of Blazing Magnum, the excellent The Omen rip-off Holocaust 2000 (I consider it in parts better than the first Omen movie and way better than the sequels), the fantastic Antichrist, the ultra-cool Medusa vs. the Son of Hercules and a lot of other movies in every genre possible.

He creates a slick movie, filled with action and energy. The script might be confusing and a bit drawn out, but when the action hits it hits hard and fun. The ending, with a fraction of the budget of a real Bond movie, still has an underground base, explosions, a high body count, a fun idea with attacking the base armed with arrows!

Never released officially on DVD, it’s only available on a decent looking bootleg – fullscreen and mastered from VHS. It’s still a nice addition to the collection and a eurospy movie which deserves a little bit more respect than it gotten so far.

1 comment:

Jay Shatzer said...

Great Fun Flick! I wasn't too sure about Neil Connery at first, but damn if he didn't do a bang up job in this film. Wish he would have gone on to do more Bond type flavor, because he entertained the hell out of me. Nice review and love the site.