Matt Helm

TV MOVIE REVIEW: “The Ravagers” (1970)

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The story that led to this TV Movie is long, twisted, and rambling, and at the end there’s precious little payoff to make it all worthwhile, but perhaps there’s a lesson in that. It was originally conceived of as two separate projects back around 1967, when the Dean Martin Matt Helm franchise was going strong and the unexpectedly-well-received Frank Sinatra Tony Rome movies were just getting off the ground. In a nutshell, the great minds behind these pictures thought “Hey, let’s do a crossover picture where Helm meets Rome!

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MOVIE REVIEW: “The Wrecking Crew” (1969)

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…And so, my friends, Matt Helm Month (Previously known as “August”) comes to a close with our review of “The Wrecking Crew,” the final film in the series. I have to confess, I’m spent. The movies have worn me down. I’m not sure why, but they’re difficult and laborious to review, and I frequently have to re-watch portions of them to keep track of sometimes-incoherent plot twists and what have you, even in the later, more competent films in the series. Here at the end, the producers seem kind of worn out, too.

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MOVIE REVIEW: “The Ambushers” (1967)

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The Smarm Is Back! Cheeze, too. It’s quite odd - two weeks ago I said the first film was like a home movie shot in Hugh Heffner’s basement. The second one was a vast improvement, and far less embarrassing all around, and you’d think the producers would want to continue on from where the standard the second film made, but no. Perhaps they were put off by the thought of a nearly-monogamous Matt Helm? Who can tell. The bottom line is that less than four months after the release of “Murderer’s Row” and only about nine months after “The Silencers,” the third Matt Helm movie was released.

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MOVIE REVIEW: “Murderer’s Row” (1966)

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Ok, last week’s review of “The Silencers” was a bit of a ramble, so let’s see if I can stay a bit more focused this time out. “Murderer’s Row” was the second movie in the Matt Helm series, released barely ten months after the first film, and in the same year. They really cranked ‘em out in the sixties.

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MOVIE REVIEW: “The Silencers” (1966)

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Man, did this movie employ every stripper in the Los Angeles, or what? Seriously, the amount of barely-concealed T&A in this movie is astounding. I mean, the title sequence *alone* has not one, but three stripteases, and though there’s a lot of nekked ladies on screen, the naughty bits are always obscured in some way or another. While I appreciate the strategic requirements of that technique when people go to the trouble of doing it - like that Love, American Style episode that takes place entirely in a city of nudists - it does kind of begin to wear you down after a bit.

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NEWS: Matt Helm Lives Again????

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According to this article in Variety, Steven Spielberg is looking to revive the Matt Helm franchise.

According to sources, he plans on sticking a bit closer to the source material than the (soon to be reviewed on the 'Bot) Dean Martin films....

In other words... more grim 'n' gritty spy flicks.

Will nobody bring the funny?

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