Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 7th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Italy / USA, 1966
Director: Mario Bava
Writers: Giuseppe Moccia, Franco Castellano, Louis M. Heyward, Robert Kaufman
Cast: Vincent Price, Fabian, Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia, Francesco Mulé, Laura Antonelli, Ennio Antonelli, Mario Bava, Veriano Ginesi, Louis M. Heyward, Moa Tahi, George Wang
BluRay released: November 10th, 2015
Approximate running times: 82 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs was directed by Mario Bava, whose other notable films include, Black Sunday, Black Sunday, Blood and Black Lace, Danger: Diabolik and Rabid Dogs. Key collaborators on Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs include, cinematographer Antonio Rinaldi (Planet of the Vampires, Kill Baby, Kill) and screenwriters Franco Castellano and Giuseppe Moccia (The Maniacs, Dr. Jekyll Likes Them Hot). The score for the American release of Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs was composed by Les Baxter (House of Usher, The Dunwich Horror), while the Italian language version’s score was composed by Coriolano Gori (Massacre Time, Werewolf Woman).
The original English language title for Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs was The Spy Came from the Semi-Cold and this title is a literally translation of the film’s Italian language title Le spie vengono dal semifreddo. It should be noted that this film was re-edited, re-scored and new scenes where added for the film’s American release which is also about seven minutes shorter than the Italian language version.
Mario Bava is most remembered for his contributions to the thriller and horror genres and though humor has played a role in many of his films. His sole feature film that falls into the comedy genre is Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs. Unfortunately for Bava fans this film stands out in his filmography like a sore thumb. The film was doomed from its inception with the American distributor making changes without Bava’s involvement and at one point Bava tried to remove himself from the film.
And though the film’s premise follows many of the same elements from Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. The only real connection between these two films is its star Vincent Price who resided the role of Dr. Goldfoot. With the most egregious addition to Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs was the addition of Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia (002 Operation Moon). This comedic duo was dubbed the Italian Abbot and Costello. Their characters were made prominent characters and sadly their brand of comedy did not translate well outside of Italy.
From a production stand point since there are actually two versions of this film and this review is for the American version. It would be difficult to fault Mario Bava for this disaster. With that being said, there are few moments that are mildly funny and these moments usually involve around Vincent Price (Theatre of Blood). Another notable performance includes, Laura Antonelli (Venus in Furs, The Eroticist) who provides this film with its most memorable eye candy moments.
When a sequel is devoid of the things that made its predecessor successful. This is a nutshell perfectly sums up Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs.
Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels fare well and the image generally looks crisp. Also sourced used is in very good shape and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Also when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack they are well represented and the film’s score sounds robust.
Extras for this release include, an image gallery with music from the film playing in the background, a trailer for Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (2 minutes 8 seconds) and an audio commentary with film historians David Del Valle and David DeCoteau.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, how the American edit of Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs is not the film Mario Bava directed and that they were changes made to the film that were not approved by Bava, how this film in Italy was financially the most successful film directed by Bava, how films were cast for films productions that had financial backing from multiple countries, The Spy Came from the Semi-Cold and how the original Italian language version was a send up of Spy films, the cast and information about the film, information AIP the American company that co-financed this film and how the tone of this film differs from the first Dr. Goldfoot film.
Rounding out the extras are trailers for Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (2 minutes 45 seconds), House of the Long Shadows (2 minutes 27 seconds) and Black Sabbath ‘Trailers from Hell’ with filmmaker Mick Garris who provides a brief overview for the cast & crew and other information related to the film. Overall Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs gets a first rate release from Kino Lorber.
Note: This film is also being released by Kino Lorber on DVD.