Lightning Bolt (1966)

Whether it’s Yor Hunter from the FutureDeath RageCastle of BloodAnd God Said to CainCannibal Apocalypse or the Rick Dalton-starring Operation Dyn-O-Mite, Antonio Margheriti never disappoints.

Originally known as Operation Goldman, this Eurospy feature was bought by the Wooler Brothers — they brought Blood and Black Lace and Hercules In the Haunted World to America — and double-billed with the West German/Italian spy film Red Dragon, which was shot in Hong Kong. Eurospy movies really do bring the world closer together.

Their tagline? This movie “strikes like a ball of thunder.”

Yes, this was released a year after Thunderball.

Harry Sennet, Agent of Department “S” of the Federal Security Investigation Commission, is known as Goldman because he has an unlimited expense account instead of a license to kill. He’s played by former Hawaiian Eye star Anthony Eisley, who also appears in The WitchmakerThe Doll Squad and Al Adamson’s Dracula vs. Frankenstein. Margheriti  — billed here as Anthony Dawson — thought Eisley looked too Italian, so he dyed his hair blonde. It came out reddish. He no longer looked Italian.

Yes — I get the potential joke that Anthony Dawson was in Dr. No and played an early version of Blofeld.

He and his boss, Captain “Agent 36-22-36” Flanagan (Diana Lorys, who is pretty much a Eurospy queen what with appearances in this film, The Devil’s Man and Superargo and the Faceless Giants) are after Rehte. He’s a German beer magnate — Beerfinger, anyone? Dr. Reinheitsgebot? The Man with the Golden Lager? — who is destroying Cape Canaveral’s rockets with lasers on his beer trucks.

Miss Cinema of 1954 Wandisa Guida used the Americanized name Wandisa Leigh for this film. You may remember her from other Eurospy fare like Secret Agent Fireball and the amazingly named Bob Fleming… Mission Casablanca. And you can search for Barta Barri, the Hungarian-born Spanish actor here. You probably don’t remember him playing the crazy old man in Monster Dog, but I do. He was also in tons of Spaghetti Westerns.

You have to love any Italian movie that can’t afford to shoot in Florida, so they recreate the entire area in Rome. By the end of this, there’s an underwater empire, masked cronies, a submarine escape and so much more. It starts slow, but stay with it. And hey — it has a great Riz Ortolani soundtrack!

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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