The Killers Are Challenged (1966)

aka A 077, sfida ai killers
Article 2543 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-22-2008
Posting Date: 7-29-2008
Directed by Antonio Margheritti
Featuring Richard Harrison, Susy Andersen, Wandisa Guida
Country: Italy/France

A group of noted scientists are working on a new source of energy that will make petroleum obsolete. However, someone is killing them off one by one. CIA agent Bob Fleming assumes the identity of the only living scientist in an attempt to protect him, and to track down the murderers.

We’re taking a little break from our Melies-a-thon for an Italian James Bond ripoff, and, fortunately, it’s one of the more entertaining ones. The plot is relatively easy to follow in this one and the basic setup is rather interesting. There’s an assortment of odd characters; my favorite is a cab driver who used to work for Scotland Yard and drives a vehicle full of protective devices. The fantastic content is mostly of the Gizmo Maguffin variety, with the new source of energy the prize in this one, though a gadget ring that can test drinks for poison is also fun. The best scene is a barroom brawl involving (among others) the secret agent, his mysterious female helper, several drunken sailors, a big guy with a stool stuck on his head, and a feisty dwarf; guess which one is left explaining the brawl to the police when they arrive.



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