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February 12, 2003

Modesty Blaise (1966)

Posted by Mike on February 12, 2003 10:42 PM

It's hard to believe that the production team behind Barbarella didn't decide to do their film with the idea that they'd somehow improve on this one, which they did. I can't think of a more remarkable testimony to the sublime ineptitude involved in Modesty Blaise than that: it makes Barbarella look pretty damn good.

The film manages to toss in all the genre conventions of a spy movie, from the stodgy, old "controller" figure to mandatory stabs at German expressionism (as filtered through a healthy lung-hit). But the conventions, in this case, amount to a pile of bizarre-o spy-dada that's almost lurid in its awfulness. The good parts involve the costumes and sets, which are every bit as nutty as you'd expect from squares tasked to come up with something psychedelic.

I squirmed. Vogon poetry would have been better. Sure hit for camp fans.