Sunday, August 19, 2012
Assignment Terror (1970)
I've read a lot of bad reviews about Assignment Terror, and more than a few of them has compared it to Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space, in that meaning that it's on the same level of crappiness. The thing is that Ed Wood's classics is not that bad, it's just very cheap and very rushed - its made with love and talent, but overshadowed by it's Wood's enthusiasm for filmmaking than his talent. Assignment Terror has a similar storyline, which is hard to deny - but with that nice, sexy eurocult flair that we love so much.
An alien species, lead by Dr. Odo Warnoff (Michael Rennie, without silver underwear), arrives to earth because their own planet is dying. They need a new place to live. The problem is how they're gonna take over earth without destroying it! Warnoff has a brilliant idea: use the superstitions of mankind! So he and his team searches for famous monsters: the werewolf Daninsky, the Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster (which more correctly is doctor Farangslang or something similar...) and of course Dracula! They take control over them and plans to - somehow - multiply their powers with injecting humans with their blood or something and create a monster army to take over the world!
Assignment Terror is as silly as it sounds, but far from bad. It's just another cheesy spin on the old Universal monsters (much like Jess Franco did with The Erotic Adventures of Frankenstein and Dracula: Prisoner of Frankenstein), but with a little bit more blood and stupid dialogue. The most interesting thing is of course Paul Naschy's character of Daninsky, who once again is raised from the dead to suffer under his werewolf-curse. Also written by Naschy, Daninsky is also the only character that gets some depth and also gets a change so fight all the other monsters. Good old Naschy, he knows how to steal a movie!
And do I even need to say that Naschy is the highlight here? When many of the other actors just is doing their jobs and cashing in their paycheck, Naschy is ready for action and dominates the scenes he's in. What a guy! He left this rotten world way too early...
It's impossible to take this film seriously, but why should we? It's a matinee, and a very good-looking matinee with gorgeous locations and splendid, but a bit gritty, cinematography. The comedy is more or less unintentional, but never disturbing - it's just a movie made of cheese, accept it or watch Transformers 3 instead.
What more to say about this film, not much really. Just don't take it serious and get the beautiful DVD from Germany company ArtFilm, who together with magazine Creepy Images put together a nice package including a cool 3D card and a special issue of Creepy Images, only with posters and other promotion materials from the movie.