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Dead bodies start piling up, first it's industrialist Keller (Dervis
Ward), then secret service agent Wyngard (John Stone), then industrialist
Bridgenorth (Leonard Rossiter), & it all has to do with Venetian Oil
taking over Keller Oil & a certain mysterious organisation,
represented here by Ms Eckman (Elke Sommer), that has promised to remove
Soon Bulldog Drummond (Richard Johnson) & his young nephew Robert
(Steve Carlson) become involved, & after several clues back in England
have led to someone dieing or someone being tortured by Ms Eckman or her
lovely but dim-witted partner Penelope (Sylva Kocsina), a definite clue
leads to the Riviera, & to Robert's old friend, Arabian king Fedra
(Zia Mohyeddin), who just happens to be there on his yacht.
& while Robert soon joins the King on his yacht, Drummond receives
an invitation to a nearby castle, where he meets his nemesis Peterson
(Nigel Green), who tries to make himself a fortune with business espionage
& especially the assassinations that go with the job, & for that
he has employed a stable of sexy female assassins, including Ms Eckman
& Penelope. His next victim, by the way, is to be king Fedra ...
It seems that the only thing between him & total success is Bulldog
Drummond, but instead of killing him right here on the spot, he spends an
evening gloating & then tries to have Drummond seduced by Ms Eckman -
Then though, via surveillance cameras, Peterson learns that one of his
girls, Grace (Suzanna Leigh), plans to make a getaway & asks Drummond
for help ... & Drummond suggests that she should, once out of the
castle, turn to Robert & the king for help. & that gives Peterson
a great idea, why not use the girl as a living timebomb, & use her
disloyalty for his own ends ?
So he plants a bomb on the girl somewhere on her body (but who knows
where), unbeknowest to her, & gives Ms Eckman & Penelope express
orders to give her an opportunity to slip away ... & the plan works.
& while the timebomb on the girl is ticking away the king's last
hours, Peterson finally wants to get rid of Drummond ... & does so by
challenging him to a game of chess, played with remote-controlled lifesize
robots. & wouldn't you know it, Drummond is able to use the robots
agauinst Peterson & ghas him killed by his own robots.
Then it's off to the king's yacht, with only a few minutes remaining,
& along the way he captures Ms Eckman & Penelope, who are supposed
to help him looking for the bomb - they refuse of course.
On the ayacht, the bomb can be found nowhere on the girl, even if
Drummond has stripped her naked, so in utter despair, he throws nude Grace
into the water. Ms Eckman & Penelope have meanwhile used the confusion
on the yacht to make a getaway.
But where might the bomb be hidden, Penelope asks innocently.
In Grace's hairpiece, answes Ms Eckman.
Grace's hairpiece ? ... but I have switched that one for mine, because
it was prettier, says Penelope before she (& Ms Eckman) goes boom ...
To compete with the then enormously successful James Bond
series, Sapper's super-detective Bulldog Drummond, who has
had an exciting cinematic life in the 1920's & 1930's both in Great
Britain & America, has been unearthed & updated to go with the
time. Drummond has now become less of a private investigator but is thrown
into an espionage plot full of exotic locations, sexy assassins, super
villains & of course bizarre weapons ... all key ingredients of the James
Bond series as well. Of course, Deadlier than the Male did
not have the same high budgets as the James Bond series,
& it shows, still the film is a fun piece of 1960's nostalgia,
colourfully directed & with all the unreal, sometimes surreal elements
one has come to expect (& indeed love) from an espionage film of this
era. You might have forgotten it the veery next day, but it's a harmless
fun ride while it lasts.