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Residencia para Espías

Residence of Spies
Golden Horn

Spain 1966
produced by
Hesperia Films
directed by Jess Franco
starring Eddie Constantine, Diana Lorys, Anita Höfer, Otto Stern, Tota Alba, Dina Loy, Mary Paz Pondal, Cris Huerta, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui, Lola Gaos, Nora Romo, Andonio Jiménez Escribano, Manuel Vidal, Wolfgang Preiss, johanna von Koczian, Howard Vernon, Jess Franco
screenplay by Jess Franco, Luis Revenga, based on the novel by Michael Loggan, music by Odón Alonso, Adolfo Waitzman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After a top secret American weapons transport is publicly announced in the UN by a Russian diplomat, the Americans have to come to the realization there's a leak somewhere in their communication route, and they trace the leak back to a boarding school for female spies in Istambul. So the CIA sends their top agent/womanizer Dan Leyton (Eddie Constantine) to act as undercover chauffeur/maintenance guy/seducer at the school. The downside though for Dan's womanizing ways, the CIA has sent his agent girlfriend Marion (Anita Höfer) along to ... keep an eye on him, mostly. Well, Dan is a wiley fox, so he still finds enough ways to seduce the girls, including Janet (Diana Lorys), the girlfriend of his Istambul contact Colonel Spokane (Otto Stern), plus he goes after clue after clue after clue ... but everything leads to very little apart from him getting beaten up a few times, being able to beat up a few baddies, and being shot at at regular intervals. Oh, and the girls at the school are dropping like flies. Finally, Dan comes to the conclusion that Janet must be the villainess of the piece, but when he confronts her with that, she proves all his evidence wrong but gets him onto the decisive lead - the school's inconspicuous doctor (Nora Romo), who smuggles military secrets out of the school via equally inconscpiuous x-rays of her patients. Knowing that, it doesn't take Dan long to bust the whole spy ring. Their ringleader though is Colonel Spokane, an old friend of his, whom he offers the gentle-man (?) like way out, suicide - an offer Spokane gladly takes him  up on ...

 

Residence for Spies is a light-footed and elegantly directed Eurospy movie that takes a comedic approach to things (something both Jess Franco and Eddie Constantine are usually better at than usually given credit for) that easily makes up for the film's obviously pretty limited budget. But as swift as the film might move, as good as it might look, and as funny as it might be at times, one can't help but notice that it seriously lacks in the story department. Basically, most of what happens in this movie happens at rather random moments and is not always set up narratively, and the plot as such lacks highlights and proper twists, too. Actually, the film doesn't get really exciting until the finale.

Now that's not to say Residence for Spies is a bad film, in fact it compares rather favourably to quite a few other Eurospy movies out there (also because Eddie Constantine had enough charisma to carry a film and Jess Franco never made cookie-cutter movies, even when he stuck to whatever formula), it just really could have done with a better thought-through and structured script.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD