Secret Agent Super Dragon / New York chiama Superdrago (1966)

4.0 out of 5

The straight-faced and serious manner at which Ray Danton plays Agent Super Dragon in this frivolous Eurospy comedy is an appealing anecdote itself. Danton makes silly ideas like meditating to avoid suffocation while being dumped into a canal or tearing it up in a fight scene while rocking a turtle neck sweater, both cool and sophisticated. Margaret Lee and Marissa Mell make for great spy girls, though Mell’s appearance in the film offers proof that red hair doesn’t do her beauty justice.

The location and globetrotting element that the spy film genre frequently offers feels more or less primarily restricted to Amsterdam, but the film makes good use of traditional Dutch attributes, with the Dutch maids and visuals of windmills adding a pleasant vacation getaway vibe to the proceedings.

The idea of using an untraceable drug in chewing gum, champagne, and import vases as a medium for world domination is handled in an unhinged manner with admirably over-the-top results, as unknowingly drugged masqueraders hysterically laugh and attack each other like children during an auction, helping viewers to realize the high entertainment worth of imaginative but budget restricted ideas.

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