Also known as Il Raggio Infernale,
this Italo-Spanish spy film
was one of the many to ride the wave of James Bond
-style knock-off spy thrillers in the '60s
. The plot, such as it is, follows the adventures of American super spy Bart Fargo as he chases down the kidnapped professor Carmichael, creator of the eponymous death ray (which, the professor must stress, was only created to be used for "peaceful purposes..."), and save him from a poorly-defined evil organization
which doesn't share the professor's...unique world view. Following the trail (and bouncy soundtrack) from Italy to Spain, Fargo must contend with the usual assortment of spies, Femme Fatale
and one really, really
violent Abraham Lincoln
(trust us on this one) in order to make the world safe for all peace-waging death ray-wanting countries everywhere.
For the Mystery Science Theater 3000
version, please go to the episode recap page
This film provides examples of:
- Bald of Evil: Inverted; the guys who kidnapped the professor are the only ones in the room with full head of hair.
- Big Bad: Carver whoever the hell that is.
- He's one of the dudes attending the demonstration of the Death Ray at the beginning. Not one of the kidnappers, but there nonetheless.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted so thoroughly that watching Bart Fargo reload every minute or so becomes quite annoying. The film seems not to understand that after seeing him reload once or twice, the audience will assume that he continues to do so even without seeing it happen.
- The Casanova: The movie tries to paint Fargo as this. Doesn't really work.
- Cutting the Electronic Leash: Bart throwing his spy watch out the hotel window at the end. (See Narm below.)
- Death Ray: Naturally. For peaceful purposes.
- Developing Doomed Characters: The briefing about the peaceful Death Ray, and the lead up to it.
- Disposable Woman: Mrs. Carver. She doesn't even get a first name. Hell, it's arguable if we can even be certain she's actually married to Carver at all.
- Death Trap: The villain's lair at the end has machine gun cameras mounted on seemingly every surface throughout a very narrow hallway, yet Fargo somehow manages to take down every one without so much as a scratch. It probably has something to do with them all being identically hidden with massive blind spots.
- The Dragon: Frank, the Andre the Giant/Michael Caine-looking guy.
- Eagleland: At least, an Italian take on an American superspy, even giving him as "American" a name with "Bart" as a first name and "Fargo" as the second.
- Follow the Leader: One of many, many films to try and ape the spy-craze of the the '60s.
- Heel-Face Turn: Al.
- Heroic Bystander: Lucille. Most people might have an issue with random guys dropping through their skylights and being chased by guys with guns. Not her.
- Idiot Ball: Fargo has a perfect shot at the escaping Al at one point in the film. For some reason, he doesn't take it. Played straight at the end with the bad guys though; bless 'em for trying.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Al. To the point where even the hero takes pity on the poor bastard.
- Leit Motif: Bart Fargo's is the catchy "Badupadupadada".
- Mooks: By the caseload; on both sides, to boot.
- More Dakka: Disguised as antique wall fixtures, for that extra bit of class.
- Notable Original Music: Much of the music in the movie sounds a lot like Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man and the catchy "Badupadupadada" for Bart Fargo's Leit Motif.
- Punch Clock Villain: Poor Al really seems hate being on the low-rung of his organization's hierarchy and seems really keen on taking up Fargo's offer to get him out of it. Poor, poor Al.
- Ray Gun: The Death Ray, which was built for *cough* peaceful purposes *cough*.
- The Sixties: Depressingly so, in Italy. The film just screams Casanova '70. Which is odd, since it was filmed in Spain.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: See Ear Worm, above. This movie has some of the bounciest damn chase scenes you're ever likely to find.
- Spy Fiction: Uh huh.
- Suspect Is Hatless: When the lead scientist is kidnapped and lifted out on a helicopter, the description of the helicopter is described as "painted white and red with a blue tail."
- Toros y Flamenco / Olive Garden: It's hard to figure out where exactly some of the locations are supposed to be, except for the scenes obviously set in Barcelona.
- Too Dumb to Live: Al. He charges out from behind cover during a running gun battle for no apparently sensible reason.
- Tuxedo and Martini: Well, more like "Business Casual," but it fits the mold closer than Stale Beer (Bart seems to prefer Cointreau, incidentally), what with all the explosions and gunfire and the titular death ray.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Whatever happened to Frank? Fargo's fighting him in a room, then it just cuts away for some reason.