Saturday, September 12, 2015

THE WRECKING CREW - Mack David and Frank De Vol - "House Of 7 Joys" (1968)

"The Wrecking Crew" was the final installment of four Matt Helm films! The others being "The Silencers," "Murderers' Row," and "The Ambushers!" 
Welcome to another hot time Saturday night down in The Dungeon! Mix yourself up an ice cold dry martini or pour yourself a glass of Scotch, and let's get down to some not so serious business!

The star of "The Wrecking Crew" is the man himself, Mr. Cool, aka Dino Martin!

The co-stars are a bevy of beauties that will make any fan of the 60's feel like they found the pot of gold at the end of the corporate psychedelic rainbow!

"The Wrecking Crew" was probably my least favourite of the quartet, but is still a fun watch for a number of reasons! Without a doubt, "The Wrecking Crew" is a farce, and if you try to take it seriously, you'll be sorely disappointed! You just have to enjoy it for what it is, simplistically stupid, but a joy to enjoy!

That's a lot of gold bullion, and it's on a train that's about to get hijacked!

Now THAT is a cool phone! It only calls one very important place, so it doesn't need a dial!

Yet another bombshell who didn't even get top billing was Tina (Gilligan's Island) Louise!
Enjoying Tina's dance is Nigel (The Skull, Jason and the Argonauts, The Face of Fu ManChu) Green as supreme leader Count Massimo Contini, aka: the man who stole the gold!

Classy Nancy Kwan as Yu-Rang will probably always be remembered most for her very first two movie classics, "The World Of Suzie Wong," and "Flower Drum Song!" 

So Tina Louise was Ginger on 98 episodes of "Gilligan's Island" starring Bob Denver, and Bob Denver's gig previous to "Gilligan's Island" was "The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis" as Maynard, and just what was Maynard's classic line when someone spoke to him? 
That's right, it was "You Rang?!" Are you starting to see a pattern here?

The next gorgeous gal in this feature was Sharon Tate as Freya Carlson, Matt Helm's unwanted clown escort! Surely everybody knows the shocking true story about Director Roman Polowski's wife Sharon Tate who was brutally murdered by the Manson clan! If you don't, Google it!

Poor Dean, he has rendezvous with four of the best looking women in Hollywood at the time, and unlike James Bond, his suave character doesn't even ever score once!

Business is pleasure, but something like a bomb always wrecks all the fun!

Excellent shot of the two beauties Elke Sommer and Sharon Tate together! Elke has the role of Count Massimo Contini's girlfriend Linka Karensky!

A lot of the fight scenes have an obvious stunt man filling in for Dino, but in  the closeups, he's kicking ass himself!

Freya finally lets down her hair, and ditches the clown costume for something a little more appealing to Matt Helm!

She also does a little dance that just possibly might be the best part of the movie!

 At least Matt Helm gets to drive a cool Lincoln Continental instead of a station wagon in this movie! Here he is pulling up to that world famous dive, the House of 7 Joys which is celebrated in the theme song written by Mack David and Frank De Vol! This movie has a lot of eye candy in it, and I could have chosen a lot more pictures, but that's exactly the reason we've chosen to limit ourselves, otherwise, these things would go on forever!

Just in case you never watch this film, you need to know that Matt Helm had all the components to put this helicopter together in the trunk of his car in two large suitcases!

Visually, a lot of "The Wrecking Crew" is green screen city!

There were plans to have Sharon Tate and Dean Martin reunite for a fifth Matt Helm feature
 called "The Ravagers," but Dean refused to continue on with the series after the horrible murder of Sharon Tate by the Manson family, which all adds up to making "The Wrecking Crew" one of the silliest but saddest films of all time!
So that's the last of the Matt Helm films in The Dungeon Library, and now that I see that this 4 DVD set is selling online for a minimum of about $45.00, I guess it's time for my copy to vamanos too!


Grant said...

I can't help wishing that Elke Sommer had gotten to be a literal "Bond Girl," along with this movie and DEADLIER THAN THE MALE. The same with Dahlia Lavi - she was in a ton of spy movies, including one of the other Matt Helm ones, but never a Bond movie (not counting the comedy CASINO ROYALE).

Eegah!! said...

I sure do agree with you there Grant! Elke would have made a great Bond girl!

TC said...

Whether it would have been in a real Bond movie or the many imitations (Flint, Man From U.N.C.L.E., etc.), I can't help wishing that Elke had played more femme fatales. The Wrecking Crew and Deadlier Than the Male used her to good advantage. Similarly, Murderer's Row showed how good Camilla Sparv could have been playing seductive villainesses. Both were usually wasted playing bland characters, like the hero's girlfriend. (The Wrecking Crew also proved that Nancy Kwan could be very good at playing someone who was very bad).

Conversely, Daliah Lavi seemed to almost make a career out of playing slinky enemy spies. One critic once joked that Luciana Paluzzi would get arrested by the FBI or MI5 if she played any more spies in movies. You could say the same thing about Daliah and Senta Berger, too. But (1) there were a lot of spy movies being made then, and (2) those actresses were well suited for it. Why not? John Wayne made a lot of Westerns, Vincent Price made a lot of horror movies, and Humphrey Bogart made a lot of gangster movies.

The Helm series was obviously an attempt to emulate the James Bond series, but, ironically, the later Bond movies seemed to imitate Helm. Villains plotting to start WWIII (The Silencers, You Only Live Twice). A satellite with a laser beam threatening to destroy Washington DC (Murderers' Row, Diamonds Are Forever). Hijacked spacecraft (The Ambushers, Moonraker). And Bond uses a magnet to trap Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me, just as Helm did with Ironhead in Murderers' Row.

I've obviously watched way too many spy-fi movies. :)

Eegah!! said...

Maybe you have TC, but why the Hell not! Thanx for a bunch of cool info!

Anonymous said...

Fun fact: Bruce Lee choreographed the fight scenes and instructed Sharon Tate and Nancy Kwan. And Chuck Norris has a very small part as a henchman.

I wish that Bruce and/or Chuck had been visiting at Ms. Tate's home when Manson and his weirdo "family" broke in. The outcome might have been very different.

Eegah!! said...

Thanx Anonymous Fun Fact Guy! I meant to put in that tidbit about Chuck Norris, but forgot. Actually, "The Wrecking Crew" was Chuck's FIRST film appearance! And Yes indeed, it is too bad that Chuck and Bruce weren't at the house, and some real justice could have been meted out on the spot!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes E&T, we thinks that with each Helmer review your scribin' and snaggin' of screen shots gets better and better. Know that today we have posted your most Dino-honorin' labors of love a la "The Wrecking Crew" at our humble little ilovedinomartin conclave! Hopes you will share more Dino-inspiration in the comin' days!

musicdavetherave said...

Does anyone know if the Movie song House Of 7 Joys was ever released commercially in any format? Love that song. Cheers.

EEGAH!! said...

I looked high and low, and checked Discogs, and that song doesn't seem to be on any record or soundtrack. Sorry!

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