Tuesday, March 21, 2023

french letter.

Rewatched this last night because it's quite probably the greatest balsa-wood based Concorde movie ever made.

By the director of Cannibal Holocaust that is.

And if nothing else it's most definitely the cheapest.

Concorde Affaire '79 (AKA Affare Concorde, SOS Concorde. 1979).
Dir: 'Roger' Deodato.....Hmmmm could be a pseudonym.
Cast:  James Franciscus, Mimsy Farmer, Venantino Venantini, Fiamma Maglione,
Edmund Purdom, Mag Fleming, Joseph Cotten, Ottaviano Dell'Acqua, Robert Kerman, Renzo Marignano, Francisco Charles and Van 'Damage' Johnson.

Whilst on an exciting test flight over the director's swimming pool, Air France Concorde 820 (or a hastily constructed cardboard facsimile of it) is mysteriously sabotaged causing it to crash land in the ocean just off the coast of Martinique.

Which for anyone interested is an insular region of France located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea.

And more importantly a really cheap place to shoot a movie.

Ask Joe D'Amato if you don't believe me.

Tho' if you do you'd need the help of a spiritualist seeing as he's been dead for 17 years.

Someone who's not dead tho' is bush haired air hostess Jean Beneyton (the frisky Farmer from such classics as Four Flies On Grey Velvet, The Perfume of the Lady in Black and Autopsy) who, as luck would have it was thrown clear of the plane as it crashed and has been surviving the cruel sea by holding onto a tinfoil covered French loaf.

Rescued by two fishermen (including Dakar from Zombie Flesh Eaters who must have come free with the boat hire) her situation manages to go from bad to worse when a sexy speedboat appears and kills the poor fishing folk before taking Jean hostage.

The swines.

Meanwhile in 'downtown' New York City (every 80's Italian movie has to have at least 20 minutes shot - usually without permits - in The 'Big' Apple in order to convince us all that we're watching a big budget blockbuster) mahogany skinned investigative reporter, Moses Brody (Franciscus from Cat O'Nine Tails, Beneath The Planet Of The Apes and the Betty Ford Clinic) has just received a worried phone call from his horse faced ex-wife Nicole (Maglione, best known as Mr. Desmond's Secretary in Nightmare City), kaftan sporting owner of Kidman's restaurant the best place to eat fresh lobster in the whole of Martinique.

This isn't that important to the plot but I enjoy painting a mental image for the audience.

Especially seeing as the director appears to have forgotten that it should be his job.

Anyway it seems that Nicole has a lead on an important story and needs Moses to fly out to Martinique as soon as.

With a window in his schedule and a whorish girlfriend hinting that she's pregnant (this plot point will never be returned to) Moses packs his patented Action Slacks alongside his favourite nipple revealing polyester shirt and heads off to Martinique.

"Hello French Polishers? You might just be able to save my career!"

Upon arrival tho' Brody is devastated to learn that Nicole has died suddenly from an apparent heart attack.

It says a lot for the local police force and their investigation techniques that Brody is literally taken from the restaurant to the morgue and just shown her dead body, no ID checks or anything like that - it's lucky that the body was his ex-wife I mean it could have been anyone.

Saying that tho' I'm not really that au fait on the customs of the Lesser Antilles (to be honest the only Antilles I care about is Wedge) so maybe it's a tradition that all newly arrived tourists are taken the local morgue to see a corpse.

Answers to the usual email address please.

Brody being, well a lush basically, decides to deal with her death by getting blind drunk.

He's blissfully unaware tho' that he's being followed by a grubby looking gang led by a tussle haired American in obscene sports shorts.

Wandering around the town centre in a daze Brody is suddenly attacked by the aforementioned gang of thugs (they're probably eager for some tight American manass) but is rescued from certain death - and a vicious buggering - by a porn 'tashed local fisherman named George (Super Witch of Love Island's Charles).

Waking up on Charles' trawler with his trousers on backwards Brody discovers that our droopy 'tashed tinker was a good friend of Nicole and that he reckons she was killed because she'd discovered that the missing Concorde had crash landed on a nearby reef.

The pair decide to investigate.

Meanwhile in a broom cupboard somewhere in an office block near the producers house, evil business bloke Raymond Milland (ex circus boss and Italian movie stalwart Cotten) and his business partner Jeff Danker (genre God Purdom) are rubbing their hands together with glee (or it may be the cold) at the thought of being the ones that downed the Concorde.

It appears that Milland runs a company that specializes in producing those little pillows you get on long haul flights but with Concorde being so fast the demand for them will drop bankrupting the company.

To this end the pair have employed the hairy armed Forysthe (Venantini from oh loads of stuff) alongside his previously mentioned tight-bunned assistant John (Dell'Acquam stuntman on everything from Zombi 3 to Quantum of Solace - no seriously) to cover up any evidence involved with the crash.

Even if it involves murder.

Which by this point it does.


Water in mah mooth!

Heading out to sea the next day Brody and George are surprised to see poor old  Jean launch herself off Forysthe's boat and attempt to swim towards them spluttering something about Concorde's and crashes before being dragged back onboard.

Any worries they have concerning her safety are quickly alleviated when one of  Forysthe's crew explains that she's a wee bit mental due to having her womans period.

With a noncommittal shrug our heroic duo continue out to sea.

Arriving at the - alleged -  crash site the pair don scuba gear and dive into the water where they almost instantly come across the downed Concorde (well a paper model of one filmed thru' a fishtank) resting on a coral reef.

Forcing his way into a broken door Brody goes inside the wreck only for the buckled metal opening to slam shut trapping George's (wanking) hand.

It never rains.

Unaware of the potential disaster happening just outside Brody continues to explore the wreck only to find a shark lying (floating?) in wait - seriously is there anything this movie doesn't have? - so decides to head back to the surface to formulate a new plan.

Approaching the exit Brody notices George's predicament so swimmings out thru' a handy hole in the planes fuselage he valiantly attempts to tug George free.

With only oooh an hour or so's worth of oxygen left Brody has the choice of heading to the surface and fetching a crowbar or hastily cutting of George's arm with a rusty penknife.

Guess which plan he plumbs for.

Dragging his stricken comrade to the surface Brody is surprised - tho' not as surprised as George is - when a boatful of henchman fire on the pair hitting George in his face which explodes in a sea of blood.

How's your luck?

Brody is forced to dive below as two scuba-divers give chase.

Imagine Thunderball but re-shot in a council swimming pool by blind, hook-handed children.

You're welcome.

"Excuse me I have my woman's period!"

Brody - being the hero - outwits the pair by hiding in an underwater cave before returning to the surface and and tossing John off (the boat), stealing it them jetting away.


Heading to the United States Consul demands an investigation.

Or at least a shifty handjob from the ferret-like ambassador only to be told that they all know about his reputation for making up stories and that he should fuck off.

Which is nice if a little extreme.

Dancing provocatively for the embassy staff Brody manages to persuade them to mount a search for the plane only to find no sign of it upon returning to the site.

True there seems to be the remains of an explosion but the two couldn't be related could they?

Well the local authorities don't seem to care so why should we?

Perry Como impresses Johnny Cash by balancing a childs toy phone on his penis.

Meanwhile back at the subplot, Milland and his men are busy watching a video his grandson has made of a toy airplane sinking in a bath.

No hang on it's actually meant to be a video of the submerged Concorde being blow-up by a group of scuba-divers.

Tho' never having seen a multi-million pound plane explode underwater who am I to say that the footage isn't frighteningly realistic?

But then again I have eyes.

Their fun is short lived tho' as a sweaty subordinate soon arrives to spoil the day with some disturbing news.

Turns out that Jean is being held for a $1 million ransom by some badmen intent on squeezing a few quid out of Milland and Co.

But we all knew that anyway.

Bizarrely enough she's being held by the very same folk that Milland has hired to blow up the Concorde and kill any witnesses so it's not as if he doesn't know who - and where - she's being held so surely he could just get some other folk to kill the guys double-crossing him?


Oh well it's obviously easier to pay the ransom and be seen as a push-over rather than violently deal with Forsythe and his pals therefore meaning that anyone else would think twice about crossing you in future?

Just a thought.

Anyway there's precious little time to think about such trivia as yet another Air France Concorde is preparing to fly from Venezuela to London.

Well actually it's the crew preparing for the journey, it's not some kind of sentient Transformers style robot plane.

Tho' at this point no plot twist would be too far-fetched.

Thinking about it any plot twist would be appreciated.

Or just a half decent plot in general.

Dollar: The porn years.

Later that evening, Brody - clad only in the briefest pair of pants ever seen on the cinema screen - sneaks on board Forsythe's boat where he overhears the crew not only planning to do away with poor Jean but also how they're planning to sabotage the other Concorde.


Being the designated hero Brody rescues Jean and the pair steal a speedboat and zoom away toward dry land where they hitch a ride to the embassy building from a local banana seller.

But Forsythe is soon in hot pursuit, determined to kill the dynamic duo before they can alert the authorities of the danger to Concorde.

As in the plane not the market famous for selling knock-off trainers in my home town of Sedgley.

Cos it's obviously not the one in Brierley Hill seeing as that shut in 2013.

The planes on that sigh are heading for an almighty crash.

On board the aforementioned Flight 128, Captain Barry Scott (famed Hollywood television actor, dancer and closet homosexualist Johnson) is shocked to find the plane suddenly losing power, tho' it's more shocking that the production team thought that anyone would be fooled into thinking that the cockpit of Concorde is the size and shape of a small cupboard.

Turns out that just like previously, an evil henchman has sneakily popped vials of acid in the microwavable chicken which when heated leaks out of the ovens and fuses the planes electrical cables.

So there you go.

With the plane losing more and more power and Brody and Jean surrounded by Forsythe and his men things are looking grim for the passengers of Flight 128.

And not even the soon to be star of Cannibal Holocaust Robert Kerman who's just turned up as a frightfully British air traffic controller appears to have any idea how to save them.

Or any idea of what he's doing there if I'm honest, other than as a favour to the director obviously.

Will Brody make it to the consulate before it's too late?

Will Concorde crash into the ocean?

Will I ever learn not to spend my Friday nights watching utter shite?

Made no doubt to cash in on the upcoming Airport '79: The Concorde (the fourth and final installment of the Airport franchise) and shot prior to his mockumentary masterpiece Cannibal Holocaust, Ruggero (or Roger as he's known here) Deodato's The Concorde Affair is a bizarre hodge-podge of sub-Bondian bad guys, package holiday globe-trotting and threadbare effects held together (barely) by the genuine charm of James Franciscus.

Tho' it may be the effect of all the duty-free he consumed during the shoot.

Who knows?

Obviously he wasn't as drunk as screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi was when he started to write the plot tho', it's all over the place - at one point espionage thriller and at another it's a disaster movie before randomly throwing in shark attacks and kidnapping subplots whilst screen legends Edmund Purdom and Joseph Cotten appear every few minutes in scenes that play like a community centre version of Dallas.

Of the other cast members of this brain-melting ball of half-baked confusion and coincidences, the yumsome Mimsy Farmer is criminally underused (and overdressed) as Jean, forced into an oversized mans shirt whilst crying and muttering to herself leaving the aforementioned Franciscus to carry the whole movie, tho' to be honest he just seems to be enjoying the paid holiday.

And you can't really blame him.

On a more bizarre note it's strange yet somehow entertaining to see a star of the golden era of Hollywood - in this case Van Johnson (best known - to me anyway - as The Minstrel in the Batman TeeVee show) reduced to sitting in an office chair sweating at a wooden board with broken clocks stuck to it, vainly attempting to convince us it's an airplane cockpit as ex-porn god and future Cannibal Holocaust star Kerman (dubbed it seems by Damon Albarn) stands about in an horrific shirt swearing at people.

And all to a brilliant Stelvio Cipriani's score.

True it's practically the same score as he used in Tentacles and What Have They Done to Your Daughters? but it's still a good one.

"Is it in yet?"

Veering wildly from genius to madness between - and sometimes in the middle of - scenes Concorde Affaire may be ludicrously loopy, unimaginably insane and cheaper than your mum but still has a kind of feckless charm sadly missing from modern day blockbusters.

Plus it's a damn sight more entertaining than the David Lowell Rich movie it's ripping off.

Sorry, paying homage to.

Plus I'd rather see a nearly naked James Franciscus dodging bullets on a speedboat over George Kennedy’s cum face any day.

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