The Ambushers (1967)

When a government-built flying saucer — yes, really — is hijacked by Jose Ortega (Albert Salmi, Inspector Sturgess from Superstition), Matt Helm (Dean Martin, who else?) must work with the ship’s former pilot Sheila Sommers (Janice Rule, The Swimmer) to recover it.

Originally known as The Devastators, this was the first Matt Helm movie I ever heard of, thanks to the Medved’s The Fifty Worst Films of All Time. I think by now we’ve all learned just how off those guys were about movies. When doing my research on this I also found a Judith Crist review that called it, “the nadir of witlessness, smirky sexiness and bad taste.” And Janice Rule said that she regretted appearing in this film, saying that it was the worst movie she was ever in.

You know that I loved this movie, right?

Matt Helm is sent to the ICE (Intelligence and Counter Espionage) Training Headquarters to uncover a traitor and meet the aforementioned Sheila Sommers, a test pilot who is the only person that can fly that stolen saucer. After all, its electo-magnetic power means that only a woman is able to fly it, because men are killed by all the energy it shoots off.

This was Beverly Adams’s final appearance as Matt’s secretary, Lovey Kravezit.

One of the Slaygirls in the film is Annabella Incontrera, who is also in Crimes of the Black CatSo Sweet, So DeadThe Case of the Bloody Iris and Black Belly of the Tarantula, a movie packed with Eurospy women. Don’t believe me? Just check out our list of “Bond Girls in Giallo Films.”

Look — this isn’t the best movie ever. But I love it. I love that Dean’s stumbling his way through it, singing and drinking and winking at the camera. It’s perfect for what I need to watch right now. I don’t care what TV Guide’s greatest critic Judith Crist has to say.

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