“Barry Mahon is magic. And madness, too.”
— Sam Panico, Chief Cook, Bottle Washer, and Master of Vodka Ceremonies
There’s nothing like Russia launching Sputnik, the Earth’s first orbiting artifical satellite, to instill some good ol’ fashioned paranoid propaganda and convoluted espionage conspiracies placed in a melodramatic sci-fi setting to fuel the destructive spread of McCarthyism across America. Sadly, the proceedings are so Ed Woodian in their documentary-styled cheapness and hackneyed dialog that everyone laughed — and probably became “Red Sympathizers” as result.
A male-female team of U.S. secret agents infiltrate the U.S.S.R. as result of British Intelligence (Oy! Is this another “Steele dossier” to bite our arses, mates?) uncovering a Russian plot to bomb America — via intel gathered by Sputnik. The agents fail in their mission to sabotage the attack. They’re killed.
Due to our defective-cum-inaffective counter defense system (Where’s General Jack Berringer?! Flush the bombers!), Manhattan is hit and three million are killed. And since the Russians are cold-hearted war mongers who starve their citizens to fund the military, the peace-loving welfare state of America can’t launch an effective counterstrike.
We all die. Thanks for nothing, Joshua.
Seriously. That’s the movie. And it comes courtesy of . . . Exploit Productions! Seriously. That’s the name of the production company that stitched together this “exploitative” stock footage and voice over extravaganza.
God Bless you, Barry Mahon, we bow to ye. For you gave us The Wonderful Land of Oz and Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, along with a baker’s dozen of shorts with the word “Nude” in the title, and a rockin’ tale about a ghostly pirate haunting acid-rockers Iron Butterfly at Pirate’s World in Dania Beach, Florida, known as Musical Mutiny.
And we’re thankful this public domain clunker of clunkers is only 64 minutes long. But it was 64 minutes too long for actor John McKay, who made this his fourth and final film. His co-star, Monica Davis, pressed on for a few more years, closing out her career with the bootleggers vs. sheriff vs. local gangsters Drive-In romp The Road Hustlers (1968) — which needs to be put on the B&S About Movies shortlist for a review.
And while you’re at it, General Beringer . . . oh, never mind.
For the discriminating, Barry Mahon completest only, this one is on You Tube and preserved it all of its muddy, digital glory courtesy of Mill Creek’s Sci-Fi Invasion box set.