Our Man Flint: Dead On Target (1976)

Originally airing March 17, 1976 on ABC, this forgotten third Derek Flint movie sadly deserves to be that way. A pilot for a weekly series, luckily it wasn’t picked up, if the quality of this effort was to be any indication of how bad the show would be. Dead On Target indeed.

Ray Danton — who became a director for TV after this (he also helmed Deathmaster and Psychic Killer) — is Flint. He had a long career in Eurospy films like Secret Agent Super DragonCode Name: Jaguar and Lucky, the Inscrutable. This would be his last acting role.

What the film fundamentally gets wrong is the fact that Derek Flint is a man continually looking to better himself and seek a higher plane. Why would he decide to become a normal everyday private investigator? Maybe he was following in the footsteps of Matt Helm, whose Tony Franciosa-starring TV series had him become a gumshoe.

Well, he does exactly that, helping Benita (Gay Rowan, The Starlost, the Robert Fuest-directed Revenge of the Stepford Wives) learn to be a private dick and battle the terrorists known as B.E.S.L.A. (Bar El Sol Liberation Army). They’ve kidnapped an oil tycoon named Wendell Runsler, who must be rescued, which again seems like something Flint would probably have an issue with.

There’s a blink and you’ll miss it appearance by a nascent Kim Cattrall as a secretary. Otherwise, I can’t find much here to recommend to you. Truly, this is the lowest of the low where the Flint movies are the highest of the high.

One of Flint’s lines is “It’s like the blind man said when he passed the fish market. “Hello, ladies!”” That makes no sense. This movie being so horrifically bland doesn’t either.

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