Saturday, January 10, 2015

Infamous Films: The Fat Spy

Oh my...this one hurt.  I won't sugar-coat this one: it is bad.  It is real, real bad.  On the scale of Bad Movies, Bad Action Films are generally the least-offensive, since you can usually laugh at how bad they choreograph/stage their scenes.  The worst kind of Bad Movies, however, are Bad Comedies.  Bad Musicals are right up there, since the Songs are so painful to your ears.  So what happens when you get both?  The answer- The Fat Spy.  This mostly-forgotten Film was given to me a while back in 2014 because 'it looked pretty bad.'  If only they knew how right they were!  How do I begin?  There's a paper-thin Plot, bad Songs, bad Acting, bad Writing, bad Film Stock (since nobody gives enough of a shit to restore it), bad Jokes and just a general feeling of cheapness.  This is a Film that wasn't even finished due to the Budget drying up.  How they handle that is...well, I'll save that for later.  The Story, as such, involves the search for the Fountain of Youth.  Two Industrialists seek it out and two Twins work for their respective sides.  When a bunch of 'teenagers' show up to look for treasure, things get complicated.  On the plus side, this is one of the last few Films in which Jane Mansfield appears.  On the negative side, she was about 5 months pregnant when she shot this, so her appeal is a bit faded for many here.  I'm not quite that superficial, but enough people are to make mention of it.  How bad can this be?  To find out, read on...
Yes, normally the Title Card comes first, but if this Film feels like beginning cold with 3 minutes of these guys singing is a proper way to open, then so do I!
Anyhow, this guy wants the Fountain of Youth and has had a guy on the Island that supposedly hide it for 6 months.  For no clear reason, his daughter- Junior (Mansfield)- is in love with the titular guy.
These 'kids' show up on the same island, since apparently everyone in the 1960s went on Treasure Hunts for Spring Break.

Seriously, was that ever really a thing?
To save you much time, here's a breakdown of how this movie works.  You either get mostly-terrible Songs...
...mostly-terrible Comedy that usually involves mugging and/or talking to camera...
...and occasionally a bit of Story.  Rinse and repeat for 70ish minutes.
Cutting even farther ahead, here's a big problem with the film summed up in one shot.

1) Cheap, non-restored Film Stock (not the strand hanging on the film).
2) The Film cheating by just exposition dumping to cover for Scenes they couldn't afford to film.
So, as it turns out, the Fountain is actually two Roses (why not?!?).  The bad guys eat one and become talking babies, while the second is given to an old couple...who claim to be Ponce De Leon and his wife.

Before you can even begin to process that, the Film stumbles to an end with...
...a wall of text showing the rest of the Film's conclusion that they didn't film.  Damn.  The End.
What a hot mess this is!  Let me get right to the big question: was anything done right here?  In a  The Comedy is just stilted, Dated and couldn't have seemed that good even in its day.  The Acting is either ridiculously-overstated (like Mansfield's Monroe impression) or ridiculously-understated (like the Acting from the Band).  There is really no middle-ground here.  The Story is not completely-worthless in theory, but is definitely made so by the Film.  The main Story is too thread-bare, so everyone and their random Stories fight to fill out the barely-appropriate Runtime.  Here's an example: one of the Teens meets a Mermaid...and goes to meet her later, but that's it.  Was his Ending just not shot?  If so, why bother putting half of it in?  If not, where did it go?  The Songs are generally just so forgettable or mundane that I just skipped through them.  They felt like filler from the very first one, so I don't think that I missed much.  A girl says that she loves a boy...and they sing about it.  Do I gain more insight if I sit through their 2-minute song about how much they love each other?  I can't imagine that I do.  This is...look- just don't bother.  Jane Mansfield was obviously in better Films, so watch them instead.  Phyllis Diller is in the same category and, if it helps, she is barely in this.  Despite how happy these 2 look, I assure you that you can just move along quickly...
Next up, a weird Film I found from France.  With a masked killer, a mummy and a Cat, it's...something.  Stay tuned...

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