Surviving examples of Filipino pulp cinema from the 1960s are so few and far between that it's always exciting when one turns up -- even though, admittedly, I was less excited about the prospect of actually watching Napoleon Doble and the Sexy Six than I was by the mere fact of its existence. Like the previously reviewed James Batman, Doble is one of many spy spoof/action comedies from the period that starred the (still!) massively popular comedian Dolphy, and, having seen James Batman, I felt that I had already pretty much gotten what those movies were all about. Basically, they combine standard action movie tropes with broad, Mad Magazine style parody. And, while the ability of Mad's writers to substitute the word "blechhh" for any similar sounding word struck me, at age 8, as being the height of wit, it's not the sort of humor that stands up to repeated exposure once you're well into your adult years.
Chiquito, or the Etruscan horror that is Franco and Ciccio, or even a screen comic who I’ve been known to like on occasion, like Egypt’s Ismail Yassin –- can be a soul sapping exercise, soundtracked by endless shrill exclamations of cowardice and explosions of desperate, rubber-faced mugging. Fortunately, the fact that Dolphy, in addition to being a funnyman, must also comport himself as a man of action precludes him from any of the tiresome “feets don’t fail me now” shtick that so many of his contemporaries all too easily fall back upon. This, of course, doesn’t guaranty that I’ll find him funny. But Dolphy, with his unique combination of sardonic baring and secret agent cool, gives the impression that he doesn’t really care whether I do or not.