Monday, November 23, 2009

CARTES SUR TABLE - Paul Misraki - "Attack Of The Robots" (1964)

"Attack Of The Robots" is an early outing by Jess Franco following on the heels of the Dr. Orloff flicks, that is basically a vehicle that shows off the talents of one Eddie Constantine.

Eddie is not exactly a household name in America, but in Europe, he was essentially, the poor man's Humphrey Bogart! Eddie had swagger, and he used it to good advantage playing tough guys for many years. One of his characters, private dick Lemmy Caution, was reprised many times over the years, starting in the 1953 feature "La môme vert de gris" or "Poison Ivy," all the way to the 1991 film "Allemagne 90 neuf zéro!" Born in Los Angeles, Eddie started off his career as a singer, but it was only in France that he had any results, so it's no wonder he later became a French citizen! Sacrebleu!! Coming soon, "Alphaville!"

Here Eddie faces off with character actor Vicente Roca as Chinese agent Wee Lee. Vicente has a fine list of credits including a role as a mayorial candidate in a film call "Vivi O, Preferibilmente, Morti" or maybe even lesser known as "Sundance Cassidy and Butch The Kid!" Ow!! That smarts!!

Sophie Hardy as Cynthia Lewis is a big distraction to Eddie!!

As is Ricardo Palacios. You might remember Ricardo from his killer role as Sancho Lopez in a later Jess Franco film, "The Blood Of Fu Manchu!"

When you first hear the title "Attack Of The Robots" you naturally assume it's either going to be a Mexican or a Japanese film, but the literal translation would have been something completely different, "Cards On The Table!" So now you know why they are not really robots!

So let's get down to the real nitty gritty! The bad guys and gals make robot(zombie)assassins out of normal every day people, but the only dupes susceptible cannot be + or - blood type, they must be neutral! Then, they put the glasses on them for complete control!

The retired Eddie Constantine as Al Pereira is called in on the case because his blood is neutral!

Two things, Al Pereira wears his hat in about 90% of this movie, and there is also an actor in the film named Al Pereira in the role of a fake Chinese man! Really!! I'm not kidding!

Al shows off for scintillating Françoise Brion as the evil scientific mastermind Lady Cecilia Addington Courtney to no avail!

I don't get it either, I just like this shot for some reason!

The musical genius behind the scene is the Masestro Paul Misraki, a man so beloved in France, he was made Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur and an Officier des Arts et des Lettres! Paul had been composing since the 30's and wrote the music for not only the 1956 Brigette Bardot film "Et Dieu... Créa La Femme:" or "And God Created Woman" but also "A Dog, a Mouse, and a Sputnik" among some other 130 titles! Sitting in at the piano is of course, who else but Jesus Franco!?!

Mr. One is about to get his ass kicked by Al! Speaking of Al, after undergoing the treatment, the Robots have blackface makeup, and then when they die, they turn white!! Tricky!!

After kicking Mr. One's butt, and getting out of the water with his suit and hat still on, Al puts on Mr. One's Funky glasses. Since Al's blood is also neutral, he falls under the spell and heads back to headquarters, otherwise he wouldn't have known how to get there!!

There's a really big hubbub, Bub, and The Boss gets stuck in the robot making machine for a dose of his own medicine!

By some kind of freakin' miracle, Al and Cynthia escape from the evil scientists, Wee Lee, and Al's old nemesis, Hermes! Some people think this film is a comedy, I just think it's a Jess Franco film!! A distinct category all by itself!!


RODAN! said...

Love where The Boss gets stuck in the robot making machine, how perfect!

Prof. Grewbeard said...

actually the zombots are supposed to be gold-faced but since it's a b/w film the actors have to mention that fact every so often...

i have a couple of Eddie Constatine records, they're very...French.

buzz said...

The Lemmy Caution films are all over the map, from straight thrillers to goofy fare like this and ALPHAVILLE (I can only imagine what the Lemmy Caution fans must've thot with that one; it would be like handing the reigns of a James Bond movie over to David Lynch).

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine Eddie Constantine as a singer; to me, he will always be a tough secret agent (Al in Attack of the Robots) or private eye (Nick Carter in License to Kill).

I've heard that "Robots" was filmed in color, but distributed in black and white. It should have been shown in color. I remember one critic saying that the B&W gave it a film noir feel. But it isn't film noir, it's spy-fi.

I first saw it when I was an adolescent, and the main thing I remember thinking was that the villainess (Francoise Brion) was hot. :)

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanks for the comments Anonymous! And Thanx for my new favourite word - "Spy-Fi" Love it!!

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