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Swiss director Jean-Louis Roy’s long-lost mid-1960s Cold War super-spy thriller is a marvelous and surreal hall of mirrors, part-DR. STRANGELOVE, part-ALPHAVILLE, with sly nods to British TV shows like “THE AVENGERS” and “DOCTOR WHO.” The film stars a Who’s Who of great Sixties character actors starting with the unforgettable Daniel Emilfork (THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE) as crazed scientist Herbert Von Krantz, who’s invented a device to sterilize all nuclear weapons. A mad herd of rival spies are desperate to get their hands on the device, including legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg as the leader of a sect of bald, turtleneck-wearing assassins, and Jess Franco vet Howard Vernon (THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF). Gainsbourg’s deranged jazz-lounge song, “Bye Bye Mr. Spy” – performed by him on a funeral parlor organ, no less – is arguably the film’s high point. “An accomplished spy is at the same time psychologist, artist, funambulist, conjurer,” to quote one of the characters – and the same could be said of Roy’s exotic camera obscura of B&W Cold War paranoia. With Marie-France Boyer (Agnes Varda’s LE BONHEUR).
directed by: Jean-Louis Roy
starring: Marie-France Boyer, Ben Carruthers, Jacques Dufilho, Daniel Emilfork, Serge Gainsbourg
1967 / 90 min / 1.66:1 / French Mono
• Region A Blu-ray
• New 4K Restoration from the original 35mm picture and sound elements by Cinémathèque suisse with additional digital restoration by Craig Rogers of Deaf Crocodile
• New Commentary by film journalist Samm Deighan (Diabolique magazine, Daughters of Darkness podcast)
• New Booklet essay by filmmaker, punk musician and poet, and genre expert Chris D. (The Flesh Eaters; author of Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film)
• New interview with Francoise Roy, wife of director Jean-Louis Roy, and Michel Schopfer, first assistant director on THE UNKNOWN MAN OF SHANDIGOR (17 min., in Swiss French with English subtitles)
• Ultra-rare 1967 "making of" documentary from Swiss TV's "Cinema VIF" show, featuring interviews with director Jean-Louis Roy, cast members Daniel Emilfork, Jacques Dufilho, and Marie-France Boyer, and behind-the-scenes footage (28 min., in Swiss French with English subtitles)
• Restored original trailer (4 min., in French with English subtitles)
• Inside cover artwork
• English SDH subtitles
Purchase Original Edition From Vinegar Syndrome.