Saturday, February 21, 2015

CAPTURE THAT CAPSULE - Will Zens - "Spy Squad" (1961)

From the not so subtle to the less than sublime, Welcome Comrades to the Saturday Night Special, and a Dungeon journey a little deeper than usual!

Here's the one you've been waiting for, from 1961, "Spy Squad," or the original title, "Capture That Capsule!" Here's the basic premise: America is shooting off a rocket with a nosecone capsule full of secret info, and the Communists want it, and are tracking it, but the Americans know that, so they are sending up a fake capsule instead with a tracking device in it, so they can follow the Commies to their headquarters! It's a gigantic fustercluck of massive proportions!

"Capture That Capsule" is just about as WTF?! as it gets, and should be a cult favourite right up there with "Skydivers" and "Bucket Of Blood!" Driving the car is Dick O'Neill as comrade Al, and the passenger is Richard Jordahl as comrade Henry!

Speaking of "Bucket Of Blood, the reason this film caught my attention in the first place was that I read that Dungeon Hero Dick Miller was in it! I tried to find a copy of this movie for over 7 years because of that fact, and finally those wild cats over at Cult Action Films came up with a copy from a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who taped it off the TV in 1986, but............I personally think something is wrong here!! If Dick Miller is in this movie then he sure doesn't look like Dick Miller, and the guy the IMDB lists as Ed Played by Richard (Dick) Miller is without a doubt not him! It's a mystery a film like this deserves!

In fact, I think the only guys you can believe were in this film most likely only had a couple of credits in their life, like Doug Hughes as Comrade Joe here popping his third beer!
1961 just happens to be the same year that one of my favourite instrumental songs of all time was released by the awesome central California band, The Revels...........
"Capture That Capsule" actually turned out to be more captivating than I could ever have imagined! I don't usually give Directors much credit here, but in this film I'm giving a big thumbs up to Director/Writer/Producer Will Zens, and the genius of Latvian Cinematographer, Vilis Lapenieks! They'll have a scene like this where the American spy will toss the fake capsule to another guy, but it will cut to another shot of the Communist gang catching the thing! It's a pretty good effect!!  Will Zens also wrote the wacky music heard from start to finish, and here's a tasty little sample of his brilliant writing!!

Beer drinker Joe and one of his comrades are not getting along, so they have a fist fight, and when the other guy goes overboard, they say, "Oh, Well!" like he wasn't even a part of the mission!

This film is so weird! These two American spies posing as fisherman grab the capsule out of the water, and then the Commies pose as American agents to get the capsule away from them! It's really quite amusing!

Two more American agents posing as Fish and Game officials try the same thing again once the guys come on shore, and a major tussle ensues! Meanwhile, the capsule keeps tracking whoever has it in their possession!

These Communists are a tight bunch! They even ride sailor style three in the front, and this 1959 Buick convertible just keeps on smiling!

That leaves the backseat all to the capsule itself! I probably should just have shown you 20 stills of the capsule in different solo locations! It would have been easy enough to do!

Now this is quite a shot of Al!

Long before Sea World in southern California, there was Marineland! A nice backdrop for a small price!

Just in case you noticed this film was devoid of women up to this point, here's a shot of a gal that is about to get her sports car jacked! The trio realized they were being tailed (but they don't know how) so they started hoofing it down the beach!

The women's boyfriend was out in the ocean scuba diving, and he comes charging out of the water towards the guys, and so Joe shoots the guy. The women runs over to aid her man, and picks up his spear gun and skewers Joe good, so the other two just take the car and jam and leave Joe to die! (Whatever's good for the party!)

Comrades Al and Henry feel like they are still being followed so they ditch the capsule along the side of the road! This looks like the car that was tailing them, but once they look inside, they see it's just a woman! Once again, it's a clever ruse that gets turned upside down when the guys spot some fancy radio broadcasting equipment inside the car that a normal housewife wouldn't be carrying around! She gets away by rolling up the window on Al's arm and driving off!

Nowhere is it mentioned that this film is a comedy, but here's a series of events that says it is! The two American agents have been tailing these guys so close, they are unobserved hiding directly under Al and Henry listening to their conversation!

A devilish little boy finds the capsule and leads the guys on a silly chase!

These two have been wandering all over the place trying to get the capsule to the home of their beloved party leader. They go by a house where there is a different kind of party going on, and this drunk woman tries to get the capsule from them because she thinks it's full of booze, and they have to try and evade her!

The capsule is finally delivered to Carl Rogers as Hammie Hamilton, the leader of the bunch, and when he plays the tape that was hidden inside the capsule, instead of secret information, it's a bunch of gibberish, and they know that they have been had!

The jig is up boys, and now it's time for another trip, this time to an American big house!

The American agents can have a smoke and relax now that they've put those slimey Communists away forever! "Capture That Capsule" is one long damn chase scene, and it has enough WTF?! moments to keep it lively! I liked it enough that I just  might just have to go back and watch it again!

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