Tuesday, May 01, 2018

.....Matt Helm exists in a world where there is also a Dean Martin, and that is a world that is too awesome to contemplate without causing an innercranial explosion.

Hey pallies, likes we're back with Dino-day uno of our Professor pallie  Dr. K's supreme series of Dino-grams on the quartet of Matt Helm flicks from Dr. K's  beau-ti-ful blog, "DR. K'S 100 SUPER SPECTACULAR PAGES 100."  Likes before Dr. K's randy review of "The Silencers" begins, he makes it perfectly clear how mucho he greatly grooves on our Dino's work ethic, swankly sayin' 'mong other awesome adulation that "No one has had more influence on my own work ethic and pedagogy as Dino has had."  Delves into all of his Dino-praise below dudes!

Likes as Dr. K's powerfully potent praisin' of  our Dino in his first effort as swingin' spyster Matt Helm is obviously written for someone who digs our most beloved Dino to likes the marvelous max, to the primo point that Andrew states 'bout one of the opennin' scenes that..."There is, in fact, too much awesomeness to comment on in this scene."

We absolutely apologize that both of the virile vids that Dr. K's has chosen are no longer on youtube, but we hope that those that we have found to replace 'em with will gives youse at least a Dino-hint of what Dr. K has so so delightfully described.  Likes, we shouts out our deepest of deep Dino-appreciato to Dr. K for his potent praise of our swingin' Dino at Matt Helm in "The Silencers" and we invites you to stay tuned tomorrow when  Dr. K  share a Dino-interlude before he moves on to what he coolly calls "The best of the Matt Helm movies--Murderers' Row." To checks out this current post at Dr. K's pad, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram'

We Remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2008

Matt Helm Week Day 1: The Silencers!

Before I get started on The Silencers, I just want to clear up one thing about yesterday's post: I am by no means critical of Dean Martin's work ethic. In fact, I aspire to it. No one has had more influence on my own work ethic and pedagogy as Dino has had. I look forward to the day that I can walk into a classroom, randomly open up a literature book, and begin talking cold about a poem that I've never laid eyes on before. WWDD?

The Silencers opens, after the fantastic credit sequence I posted yesterday, with a scene we find common to later Matt Helm movies: Helm must be stirred from his playboy lifestyle and his fashion photographer cover to once again enter the espionage game for his government employers, ICE (Intelligence and Counter-Espionage).

In this case, he must be woken from the verge of a nocturnal emission (or in Matt Helm's case, more like an afternoonal emission):

(not the original vid, but the closest we coulda comes)

 Although this is a (wet) dream, at other points in the movie, when Matt is contemplating his mission, we hear Dean singing standards, but with new lyrics pertaining to the film's plot. Therefore, we are to assume that Matt Helm's interior monologue consists entirely of songs, which makes perfect sense.

In this scene, we also get to see that Matt Helm has the least efficient high-tech spy pad ever created. The rotating, motorized, pneumatic bed is one thing, but he also uses large, pulsing velour rods to dry off from the unnecessarily large bubble bath.

We are also introduced here to Helm's secretary, Lovey Kravezit--an employee for whom Matt just learns her first name despite the fact that she apparently does most of her work naked in his bubble bath.

There is, in fact, too much awesomeness to comment on in this scene.

The plot of this movie is relatively inconsequential. Helm's constant nemeses, The BIG O--led here by Victor "King Tut" Buono as "Tung-Tse"--plan something called "Operation Fallout" to disrupt some underground nuclear test in the Southwest by redirecting an American missle and blah blah blah.

Helm is reluctantly drawn back into the game when BIG O sends a female assassin after him. Helm returns to his pad to find a trail of women's clothes leading to his bedroom. Apparently, this is a common enough occurence for Helm that he is nonplussed by it. Helm assumes she comes from ICE as a means to entice him into the mission, and he explains that he has already taken a photography assignment to Acupulco.

"What's in Acupulco that you can't find here?" she asks, as she wraps herself around him.

"Mexicans," Helm responds, in a joke that is even funnier today (to Republicans).

In addition to having the least efficient spy pad, Matt Helm also gets the most useless gadgets. In The Silencers, his gadgets include a gun that shoots backwards so that it kills the person pulling the trigger and a sportcoat with giant buttons that function as grenades when they are pulled off. Both of these are rife with the potential to do more harm to the user than good.

And neither are as crazy or as awesome as the belt that turns into a sword when it gets wet, which we will see in a later movie.

In the course of the movie, Helm picks up Stella Stevens, who is a witness to the BIG O's plot and a potential double agent. In this scene, Helm tries to interrogate her while they drive to the site of BIG O's project, and we get to see just how much Helm's station wagon beats the shit out of any car James Bond has ever driven:

(not the original vid, but the closest that we coulda comes)
In this scene, we get two common tropes that reappear in later Matt Helm movies. First, the drinking and driving, which occurs with a frequency that is both alarming and entertaining. Second, the postmodern, metatextual gag where Matt Helm disses Frank Sinatra in favor of Dean Martin. We are to assume from these gags that Matt Helm exists in a world where there is also a Dean Martin, and that is a world that is too awesome to contemplate without causing an innercranial explosion.

Also, Stella Stevens is pretty hot here, though her character, Gail Hendricks, gets treated terribly throughout the movie, in ways that might, honestly, make some modern viewers uncomfortable. As everyone should know, Stevens also starred with Dino's former partner, Jerry Lewis, in the classic The Nutty Professor. According to Stevens, her appearance in The Silencers just a few years after costarring in The Nutty Professor led to Jerry shutting her out for over twenty years.

Next: The best of the Matt Helm movies--Murderers' Row.


Danny G. said...

‘‘’Nother cool review from Dr K! Little bits of info I’ve not heard before. Didn’t know the grudge between Stella & Jerry. Keep ‘em comin’, pal!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes ain't it the coolest to learn more 'n more Dino-connected details! So cool to be Dino-learners and Dino-sharers. Keeps lovin' 'n sharin' our one, our only DINO!

BlueisCoool said...

A very interesting read DMP and of course I always manage to learn something new with each one. And as an added bonus great videos to boot. Thank you DMP for your hard work as always.

Have a nice week.


dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Scotty-o, we are always so eagerly encouraged by all of your awesome affirmation of our work on behalf of our most most most beloved Dino! We wishes that there we tons more Dino-faithful likes you man...you're the best Scotty-o! Keeps lovin' our main man DINO!