Agent 3S3, Massacre in the Sun / Agente 3S3, massacro al sole (1966)

3.5 out of 5

The flaws in Sergio Sollima’s second Agent 3S3 film are made up for with enough appealing characters, diverting absurdity, and George Ardisson’s distinguished looks. It also benefits by having just the right amount of comedy to not seem too much like a spoof as well as an interesting touch of genre blending, as a brief shift to a frontier setting results in a few familiar Spaghetti Western motifs.

What does seem well intended but possibly misguided is the inclusion of an excessive number of villains, most of which have their own base of operations or ‘lairs’, so to speak, forcing the mind to wonder who is who or just what opposing party our hero is fighting against this time. Once viewers finally have things figured out, likely during the second viewing, it becomes apparent that the numerous conflicts and interactions between 3S3 and his adversaries offer a wide array of enjoyment. Of note is the amusing banter between 3S3 and Fernando Sancho, here enthusiastically playing a dictator orchestrating a revolution by day and enjoying his lair of muchachas by night.

Ardisson is practically flawless as Agent 3S3, skilled in all departments required for an agent to be able to carry an entire film on his shoulders, with the usual eye for beautiful women and at times agreeable gentlemanly smoothness, though he sometimes seems a little too proud to administer an hilarious spanking or the iconic bitch-slap if he feels it necessary.

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