Saturday, February 02, 2013

Dean Martin doesn’t bother to act, he just plays the role as Dean Martin....



Hey pallies, as promised durin' this wondrously wonderful month of Dino-amore, here is the second installment of Mr. "dfordoom's" wondrously wonderful words on our Dino as Matt Helm. Have decided to goes backward in the Helmer collection, so today we read this Dino-devotte's thoughts on "The Ambushers." This is the one Dino-review that we have shared before from "dfordoom's" pad, "Cult Movie Reviews," which originally appeared at ilovedinomartin just two years ago on January 31, 2011. So likes we are goin' to rerun our Dino-thoughts, as well as 'gain wes share "dfordoom's" Dino-lovin' Dino-flick report....

Hey pallies, likes today's Dino-gram 'gain give a nod to the international nature of Dino-devotion. Today's Dino-inspiration comes from a dude from an Aussie dude from New South Wales....dfordoom and his delightful blog "Cult Movie Reviews."

Mr. "dfordoom" recently put the accent on Helmer numero tres, "The Ambushers." Gotta agree with dfordoom when he alludes to this Helmer caper not bein' the best of the quartet, but this dude is to right on when he sez....

"Dean Martin doesn’t bother to act, he just plays the role as Dean Martin, but that appears to be intentional. It provides an excuse for countless Dean Martin in-jokes. Whenever he wants to seduce a woman he always puts on a romantic record, generally a recording by some guy called Dean Martin. So whether you like his performance depends entirely on whether you like Dean Martin as Dean Martin."

Indeed, our Dino is likes at his Dino-best when our Dino is purely, simply, and truly bein' DINO! So as we close out the month of January and so so looks forward to beginnin' Dino-amore-month tomorrow, likes enjoys this Dino-review of "The Ambushers" with some great screen caps thrown in.

ilovedinomartin expressed our Dino-appreciato to "dfordoom" for featurin' our Dino as Matt Helm at his pad...helpin' his readers to turns on to the Dino-magic and grow in their Dino-knowlege and Dino-devotion. Hopes "dfordoom" for be sharin' more reviews of other Matt Helm flicks, indeed more and more Dino big screen classics in the Dino-days ahead. Likes to view this in it's original format, likes just clicks on the tagg of this Dino-gram. Dino-helmed, DMP

The Ambushers (1967)



Even if you’re a fan of 1960s spy spoof movies you may find the Matt Helm movies to be a bit of an acquired taste. And The Ambushers, the third in the series, has a particularly poor reputation.

There’s no doubt that The Ambushers is a very silly movie, with amazingly goof (and cheap) special effects. But it’s intentionally silly. Whether you enjoy the silliness is of course a matter of taste. There were two main approaches to making spy spoof movies in the 60s. You could try to retain at least a semblance of a proper spy movie plot but play it for laughs as well as thrills. Or you could abandon any pretense of plausibility and play it purely for laughs The Matt Helm movies, and especially The Ambushers, fall into the second category.

There is a plot. Well, almost. The US government has invented a flying saucer. Some bad guys have hijacked both the flying saucer and Sheila Sommers, its glamorous female pilot. It has a glamorous female pilot because it’s powered by electro-magnetism, and as everyone knows electro-magnetic energy is instantly fatal to males. The beautiful female pilot escapes. As well as being the top flying saucer pilot in the country she’s also an agent of the crack counter-espionage organisation ICE. She and ICE’s top agent Matt Helm (Dean Martin) are assigned to find the missing flying saucer. Sheila is also out for revenge on her former captors.

There’s also another glamorous female, played by Senta Berger, and she also wants revenge on the same gang of bad guys. That’s it really. Very little in the way of plot twists or double-crosses. Mostly it’s just a romp and an opportunity for Dean Martin to make lots of wisecracks.

Dean Martin doesn’t bother to act, he just plays the role as Dean Martin, but that appears to be intentional. It provides an excuse for countless Dean Martin in-jokes. Whenever he wants to seduce a woman he always puts on a romantic record, generally a recording by some guy called Dean Martin. So whether you like his performance depends entirely on whether you like Dean Martin as Dean Martin.

Senta Berger doesn’t do too much apart from looking like the typical glamorous eurobabe as femme fatale but she does it with a certain amount of style.

The film’s greatest strength is the chemistry between Dean Martin and Janice Rule who plays Sheila Sommers. It’s not so much actual romantic chemistry as comic chemistry. Ms Rule understands exactly what is required of her and the interchanges between her and Martin really do sparkle. She’s by far the best thing about this movie.

Being a 1967 movie aimed squarely at the widest possible audience it’s all very tame. The violence is cartoonish and jokey, with the hero threatened by drowning in a vat of beer being a typical example. Being Dean Martin he doesn’t find the idea of total immersion in alcohol scary in the least. The sexiness is confined to lots of innuendos and girls in bikinis.

The fact that Matt Helm’s secretary is a gorgeous young woman who rejoices in the name of Lovey Kravesit gives you an idea of the general tone of the movie. That, and the fact that the female agents of ICE conceal most of their high-tech gadgetry in their bras.

In fact it’s a bit like an American version of a Carry On movie, with the same sort of cheeky but good-natured abundance of double entendres and the same air of general lunacy. It’s certainly closer in spirit to Carry On Spying than to a James Bond movie.

If you’ve never seen a Matt Helm movie it’s perhaps best not to start with this one. The Silencers would possibly be a much better choice. But The Ambushers is still harmless fun, and it certainly has a wonderful 60s vibe to it.

4 comments:

Andy Lim* said...

You are truly Dino's greatest fan. Surfers should visit DMP's blog and read the information about this fantastic star.

No wonder the DEAN MARTIN SHOW was so popular those days. His PR especially his body language and unique voice combined with the special guest-stars (like Andrews Sisters) that appear made the series truly one of a kind.

Thank you for visiting again DMP.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes thanks ever so much Mr. Andy for likes makin' my day....don't know that I "truly" am "Dino's greatest fan," just knows that I loves to lift up the name of our Dino and share the Dino-message as far and wide as Dino-possible! Keeps lovin' our Dino pallie Andy...and let's stay in touch!

Kylie said...

I was just watching The Ambushers earlier tonight, I never thought it was as good as the other Matt Helm films but the more I see this movie, the more I like it.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Miss Ky couldn't agree with you more...to me "The Ambushers" has always always been the least of the Helmer capers, but likes you sez, the more I view it, the more Dino-pleasure I gets each and every time. Stellar to hear from you Miss Ky...please greet our Levi..and hopes to hear more Dino-patter from you more often, as you are on true Dino-holic! Keeps lovin' our Dino!