The Spy Who Loved Flowers (1966)

Italy and Spain combine to create this sequel to Super Seven Calling Cairo, written and directed by Umberto Lenzi using the name Hubert Humphry.

It brings back Roger Browne as Martin Stevens, Agent Super Seven. Emma Danieli from Spies Strike Silently, Daniele Vargas (Electra One from, well, Electra One), Marino Mase (Tenebre), Yoko Tani (The Secret of Dr. Mabuse), Sal Borgese (Super Fuzz), Tullio Altamura (A Black Veil for Lisa) and Attilio Dottesio (Death Smiles at a Murderer) all show up too.

Yoko Tani is honestly the only reason to watch this. Her life sounds pretty interesting by comparison, so let’s talk about that. Her Japanese parents worked at the Japanese embassy in Paris, with the actress conceived en route via ship and born in Paris, which is where she got her first name, which means “ocean child.”

After two years of time in France, her family moved back to Japan. She’d return in 1950 to attend a Catholic girls school for two years before she began dancing in cabarets, becoming famous for her sexy geisha dance. This got her the attention of director Marcel Carne, which is how she met her first husband Roland Lesaffre.

Between spy and sword and sandal films, she was in two films for Toho and is also in the Dean Martin movie Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? She continued dancing until late into the 1970s before remarrying to a wealthy French industrialist. Their shared grave has the phrase “Always together” on it.

As for Lenzi, he’d follow this movie with Kriminal and his last spy film Last Man to Kill. Along with a few war films, he’d begin making the giallo that so many in the U.S. know him for, like So Sweet…So PerverseOrgasmoA Quiet Place to KillSeven Blood Stained OrchidsEyeball and Spasmo, as well as incredibly out there — and much beloved to me — films like Nightmare CityIronmasterGhosthouse and Nightmare Beach.

You can watch this on YouTube:

 

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