Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965)

Article #829 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-22-2003
Posting Date: 11-19-2003
Directed by Norman Taurog
Featuring Vincent Price, Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman

A brilliant idiot inventor plans to make a fortune (with the help of Igor, his idiot sidekick) by creating a gang of female robot idiots to catch, marry and take control of the fortunes of eligible millionaire bachelor idiots. When one of the idiot robots is accidentally assigned to an idiot spy who has been demoted by his idiot uncle, an investigation gets underway. (Note the common character theme in this movie.)

Title Check: The machine not only makes bikinis, but whole girls to wear them.

AARRGGGHHH! No, not another swinging-sixties comic take on the superspy/supervillain movies! This comes too soon after THE AMBUSHERS and CARRY ON SPYING! Well, there are some good things about this movie. In one way, it was quite ambitious; it was American International’s most expensive movie up to that point, so it might be thought of as that studio’s IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD. Actually, IAMMMMW is one of those movies that ended up being funny by bludgeoning me senseless for about an hour with its desperate slapstick until I lost control and actually started to laugh; sadly, this one only gets the bludgeoning part right. Its best element is the presence of Vincent Price; he delivers his lines with such style that they actually seem far wittier than they are. It also gets a few laughs out of being referential to earlier AIP pictures; when Vincent Price starts going through photos of his ancestors, you know they’re doing a takeoff of practically every one of Price’s Poe movies, and one whole scene is a direct lift from THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM. There’s also a neat little reference to HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM for which you may want to keep your eyes open. Also, the presence of Annette Funicello and Harvey Lembeck in cameos reminds us of their beach party movies. But the slapstick pratfalls that make up the rest of the movie are frantically, desperately unfunny, and it all climaxes with one of those chase scenes that is supposed to have you busting a gut with belly laughs; it had me constantly checking the time remaining feature on my DVD player to see just how much longer this kind of thing was going to last. Fortunately, it keeps the double entendres to a minimum; I think I had more than a year’s dosage of that with THE AMBUSHERS.

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