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Kommissar X - Drei Gelbe Katzen

Death is Nimble, Death is Quick
Operazione Tre Gatti Gialli

Austria / Italy / France 1966
produced by
Parnass Film, Danubia Films, Filmédis, Les Films Jacques Willemetz
directed by Rudolf Zehetgruber
starring Tony Kendall, Brad Harris, Ann Smyrner, Dan Vadis, Siegfried Rauch, H.D. Kulatunga, Michèle Mahaut, Philippe Lemaire, Erno Crisa, A.Jayarati, Rudolf Zehetgruber, Werner Hauff, Paul Beckmann, Joe Abey, Chandrika 'Champa' Liyanage
screenplay by Rudolf Zehetgruber, based on a novel by Paul Alfred Müller (as Bert F. Island), music by Gino Marinuzzi jr, theme by Mladen Gutesa (as Bobby Gutesha), stunt coordinators: Brad Harris, Dan Vadis

Kommissar X

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After Babs (Ann Smyrner), daughter of rich plantation owner Lincoln, is almost kidnapped and her bodyguard Rogers (Paul Beckmann) is killed saving her, Captain Rowland (Brad Harris) of N ew York homicide is flown to Colombo to investigate the case (why do they need New York policemen in Sri Lanka ?) while private eye Joe Walker alias Kommissar X (Tony Kendall) is flown in to protect Lincoln father and daughter.

Soon enough, Rowland and Walker are on the trail of a criminal organisation called Three Yellow Cats that uses karate, snakes and nitro glycerine to get rid of their opponents - and soon enough, the organisation makes several attempts on our heroes' lives, plus it seems to have the local chief of police (A.Jayarati) on its payroll. Many chases, fistfights and shoot-outs later it turns out the head of the organisation is a certain Baker, a once reknowned bacteriologist who has fallen from grace when he started developing dangerous bacteria ... and now he has developed bacteria to totally annihilate Lincoln's plantations if he doesn't pay one million Dollars in cash ...

After a finale that involves Rowland defeating Baker's head henchman King (Dan Vadis) in a karate fight - after which King hurls himself off a cliff to not lose face - as well as a herd of elephants and Baker and his men fighting over a piston plane, all the baddies get their just desserts ... and this time around, Walker does not get the girl, neither Babs nor Michèle (Michèle Mahaut), a secret agent posing as hotel manager in order to help Walker and Rowland, nor an elephant lady (a real one, not a metaphoric one) that has come to like Walker ...

 

Of course, the Kommissar X-films are all just cheap and inferior imitations of the then immensely popular James Bond-films, however, as long as you manage to not take them too seriously you will probably find yourself entertained, if in a weird way.

That said though, director Rudolf Zehetgruber's take on the series is definitely inferior to the Kommissar X-films Gianfranco Parolini made the same year, somehow Death is Nimble, Death is Quick is by far not as campy, as over-the-top and as self-ironic as Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill or So Darling, So Deadly, it by and large lacks the crazy pulp clichés like hotpants wearing, gun-wielding girls, over-complicated deathtraps and bizarre torture devices, instead takes its (rather weak) story almost seriously. Still, the film is fun if you're in a nostalgic mood and don't expect too much, it's jsut not as entertaining as other films of the series.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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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