THE DEADLY AND THE BEAUTIFUL (wonder women) (1973 PHILIPPINES U.S.) D/W: ROBERT O`NEIL W: LOU WHITEHILL P: ROSS HAGEN
Dr. Tsu (Nancy Kwan) is a brilliant maverick surgeon villain with her headquarters on a remote, guarded island in the Philippines. She has her squad of international beauties in mini-dresses (including Maria De Aragon from THE CREMATORS and O`Neil`s BLOOD MANIA, who gets the most screen time, Roberta Collins and fu-fighting Shirley Washington with her amazing afro) kidnap athletes from around the world, so she can transplant bits and pieces to ailing wealthy clients (including a germophobe hermit cripple). An ex-CIA, ex-LAPD investigator (rugged star Hagen, who wears a leisure suit and who`s chat-up line is "you got great legs, baby!") goes to Manila to investigate the disappearances. Most American co-productions of the time just used the rural jungle backdrops, but this enjoyable romp makes good use of urban locations for fun chase and action scenes with a local flavour (including a cockfight arena). There`s also a nice line in tongue-in-cheek humour that stays just the right side of self-parody (including a scene with a "brainsex" machine). For a bonus, a bunch of "mutant" failures (including a tall muscular black dude with a plastic dome atop his head!) escape their cages in the climax, Tsu disappears Fu Manchu-like in a puff of smoke and Hagen plays a phallic game of chess with a platinum blonde in a set-up for a sequel (which was never made). With Sid Haig as Kwan`s lawyer and sidekick and Vic Diaz as a cheerful Jeepney taxi driver. Arthur Marks was the Executive in chrage of Production. O`Neil hit big with ANGEL. Hagen died in May of 2011.

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