Lightning Bolt / Operazione Goldman (1966)

3.0 out of 5

Antonio Margheriti’s second, and last, espionage comedy fuses comic book Sci-Fi with a run-of-the-mill Eurospy plot, saving it from being what could have been a rather mediocre affair. Disappointing is when a Capt. Patricia Flanagan, played by Diana Lorys, is introduced as someone that fractured an enemy agent’s spine, suggesting the appealing idea of a kickass female lead, only to find out she is not the main superspy agent, but more of a sidekick to the heroic ass slapping protagonist Lt. Harry Sennet, played by Anthony Eisley. Sennet is not a bad superspy but nothing overtly special either, though his frequent first-person narrative voiceover and a few other quirks help him to stand out a bit amidst the sea of Bond-esque figures in the 60s.

Keeping things primarily on the fun side, Margheriti’s film is heavy on action, so much to the point of being mindless, and an underwater lair ruled by an over-the-top super villain, played by Folco Lulli, is always an entertaining inclusion. The 60s Italian genre feel is augmented with guards dressed like Diabolik, while thick blood-red liquid passing as lava surging through miniature sets makes for pleasing cheap effects.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics