Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 23rd, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, June 23rd, 1967
Director: Jesus Franco
Writers: Julio Buchs, Remigio Del Grosso, Jesus Franco, José Luis Martínez Mollá
Cast: Ray Danton, Barbara Bold, Dante Posani, Dieter Eppler, María Luisa Ponte, Rosalba Neri, Beba Loncar, Teresa Gimpera, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui, Jesus Franco
DVD released: September 30th, 2016
Approximate running time: 82 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: FSK 16 (Germany)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono German
DVD Release: Pidax Film / Alive
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: EUR 10,95
Synopsis: A secret agent named Lucky; the Inscrutable while in Europe discovers a counterfeiting plot in the country of Albania.
After the success of the James Bonds films an influx of Spy knockoffs would follow in its wake throughout the 1960’s. Visually Lucky, the Inscrutable borrows just as much from James Bond as it does from fumetti’s (Italian comic books). Lucky, the Inscrutable was directed by Jess Franco and stylistically the film doesn’t feature the elements one would expect while watching a Jess Franco film. Lucky, the Inscrutable looks and feels like a film that was made by a director for hire. That is not to say that it is totally devoid of Franco like touches. There is an ample amount of humor in this film that is undeniably Jess Franco.
The plot features many colorful villains and a collection of beautiful ladies. Some of things that happen throughout the film seem hokey but then this may be the filmmakers’ original intention. Even the films anticlimactic ending fails perfectly in line with everything that precedes it. The action sequences are good but could have been more convincing. Lucky, the Inscrutable fails as film if you view just as an a typical spy film. Part of its charm is its irreverent take on the spy genre.
In the lead role of Lucky, the Inscrutable is Ray Danton an actor who had previous starred in these spy films The Spy Who Went into Hell and Secret Agent Super Dragon. Two interesting things about the character Lucky, the Inscrutable is his multilingual skills and how he is recognized by everyone he encounters even when in disguise. Ray Danton is wooden and at best anything he contributes to the film that stand outs is most likely due to Franco’s direction. Wooden uninspired performances are nothing new to many international co-productions made in the 1960’s since most if not all performers’ where dubbed since the cast usually is made of different languages’ being spoken on the set.
In a minor and yet unforgettable role is actress Rosalba Neri whose character is Yaka an Albanian general. Neri is only in handful of scenes including the film’s most memorable scene where she discovers that she forgot to put her pants on after assembling her soldiers to find Lucky, the Inscrutable who escaped after seducing her the night before. Lucky, the Inscrutable would mark the first time that actress Rosalba Neri and composer Bruno Nicolai working with director Jess Franco. Bruno Nicolai’s composes yet another memorable score for Lucky, the Inscrutable that ranks amongst his best work as a composer. Ultimately Lucky, the Inscrutable is an amusing satire on the Spy films of the 1960’s.
Pidax Film presents Lucky, the Inscrutable in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s intended 2:35:1 “scope” aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer is in great shape. Details look crisp, black levels remain strong throughout, flesh tones look healthy, colors look nicely saturated and appropriately vibrant. And there are no issues with compression or edge enhancement.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English and a Dolby Digital mono mix in German. Though both audio mixes sound clean and are in very good shape. The English audio mix has some very mild background hiss. Fortunately, this is a minor issue that never becomes intrusive. Another difference between these two audio mixes is the German audio mix sound more robust of the two audio mixes. And included with this release are removable German subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, an image gallery with the film’s main theme playing in the background and six deleted scenes (7 minutes 18 seconds – 1.66:1 aspect ratio, in English).
Rounding out the extras trailers for Dr. M schlägt zu and X 312. Both of these films were directed by Jess Franco.
Overall Lucky, the Inscrutable makes its long overdue DVD debut via a first rate audio / video presentation from Pidax Film.