Tuesday, February 14, 2012
If you listened to the last episode of The Infernal Brains, you heard me and a couple of my pseudonymous associates discussing the Cantonese "Jane Bond" films of 1960s Hong Kong -- and, in particular, how those films stood out for their relatively non-sexualized depiction of the high-kicking contemporary action heroine. To see the absolute opposite of that, one need only look at lady spy films from pretty much anywhere else in the world during that era, and especially those from Mexico. 1968's Las Sicodelicas, a joint production between Mexico and Peru that was primarily shot in Lima with a combination of Mexican and Peruvian talent, although not technically a spy film, offers a good example. Of course, without the aid of English translation, Las Sicodelicas comes across as little more than a mod era fashion show. But, oh, what a fashion show it is!
Wrestling Women series. Isela Vega, a former model and singer whose enormous popularity as a sex symbol during the late 60s would lead to her winning a lead role in Peckinpah's Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia, represents Mexico. And last, but certainly not least, we have Batwoman herself, Italian import Maura Monti.
Los Shains). Maura's Mireyra is, I don't know, the one most likely to pop her top, I guess. And it falls to Chabot's Adriana to be designated the most virginal and relatively sweet-natured of the group, which leads to her falling ass-over-teakettle for the private detective Arsenio, who is played by Rogelio Guerra as one part bungling comic relief and one part bargain bin Michael Caine. This last development requires Chabot to constantly make puppy dog eyes at Guerra, something that she proves to be weirdly terrible at. It also results in a plot snarl for the Sicodelicas once Arsenio takes it upon himself to investigate their latest string of killings.
Santo and Blue Demon vs. The Monsters), does, as will surprise no one familiar with his work, a merely workmanlike job, but it's likely he felt the combined appeal of his four female stars would be enough to carry him. And he was right. As highs go, Las Sicodelicas may be lightweight, but it's clear that everyone involved was enjoying the trip, and that's enough for me.