|BLACK GOLD DOSSIER, THE
France / Italy
aka La Guerre du pétrole (Fr), Squadra d'azione... oro nero (I), Strategia per una missione di morte (I)
Director: Ivan Kathansky [Luigi Batzella]
Photography: Felice De Maria
Script: Alain Petit
Music: Pluto Kennedy [Marcello Giombini]
Cast : Richard Harrison (Richard Benson), Gordon Mitchell, Florence Cayrol (Lorna), John Brown, Jean Marie Lemaire, Lemmy Carson, Michel Charrel
You can get this on DVD from amazon.de... if you must!
Ugh ! Luigi Batzella operates under a variety of pseudonyms including Ivan Kathansky, Dean Jones and Paolo Solvay. Whatever he calls himself, his films are unreservedly shite. Even Django Has His Price (Anche per Django le carogne hanno un prezzo, 1971) was a horrifically bad western, Blackmail (La Strano ricatto di una ragazza per bene, 73) a stodgy crime feature, The Devil's Wedding Night (Il Plenilunio delle vergini, 73) a bile inducing horror film and The Beast in Heat (Bestia in calore, 77, starring diminuitive ugly Sal Boccaro) simply too crap to contemplate. This espionage thriller is, shockingly enough, dreadful.
'The Corporation', somewhat peeved at an unsuccessful arabian deal, hires a team of mercenaries to blow up a double-crossing emirate's oil reserves. They succeed, of course, but only after a couple of uninvolving misadventures along the way. Possibly the only claim of interest that the script possesses is that it predates all those 1980's vietnam pic's that generally featured Chris Connelly by several years. Heck, it even has a dispiritingly predictable double-cross at the end.
Direction seems to involve tying the camera to a tree and pushing the performers in front of it with cattle prods. The extent of any style involved is restricted to the occassional zoom or tilted angle shot, and you can't help but suspect that these were accidental.
There are inordinate scenes of people driving around, walking around and even sailing around, all of the time belching forth dialogue that simply cannot have been written down on standard paper. Characters continually repeat what the actor before them has said, albeit using a slightly different phraseology : "We'll wait here for half an hour", "Yeah, half an hour, why not", "Half hour rest, good idea !", "Okay, thirty minutes then
" This inevitably creates the impression that one is coming down off an unsatisfactory acid trip, a feeling not helped by dreadful dubbing in which the sound of a punch is heard five seconds before the choreographed action takes place.
There is some minor fun to be had with Black Gold Dossier if you dig exceedingly deep. The soundtrack (composer not listed in the credits) is a marvellous analogue synth concoction which mixes spastically echoed bongos, farty noises and defective melodies. Richard Harrison and Gordon Mitchell are firm favourites of Italian exploitation, and although their performances are far from the zenith of their respective careers, the former wears amusing glasses and the latter has a bizarre haircut.
Unsurprisingly for the director there is a high level of sleaze. Florence Cayrol serves no purpose apart from to roam around some sand-dunes with no clothes on ("If there'd have been any Arabs around, there'd have shown themselves when they saw Lorna Naked
"). There is one truly hilarious scene in which she bonks a captor : "Hey fellas, did ya hear that? The prince and the white woman", asks one bedouin guard in authentic American High School accent. "Yeah, they're really going for it, I wouldn't mind a piece of that ass !", "Well, if he doesn't give us her, he'll give us the men
and speaking of asses, did ya see the guy with the limp
" Lawrence of Arabia this isn't.
A rancid piece of unsavoury excrement, even the flashes of political incorrectness can't redeem this. Avoid.