Tuesday, 15 February 2011



You don't expect to find a scene in an action movie where the hero snogs the villain (unless the villain is a woman). It's just not the done thing down Hollywood way. Sean Connery never swapped spit with Gert Frobe or Donald Pleasence. That subplot of 24 has yet to be seriously considered, and scenes of Captain Kirk locking lips with Khan (sorry, Khaaaaaaannnnnn!!!!!) exist only in the mind of idiots and slash fiction writers. Flash Gordon and Ming The Merciless going all Brokeback? Supey and Lex? The American MidWest would crap themselves senseless. But good ol' Niko Mastorakis: he has his tough and macho hero plant one squarely on Oliver Reed. With tongue, probably. All in the line of duty.

And that's far from the most bogglesome moment in the movie. In fact, Hired To Kill is genuinely bogglesome all the way through. The chiselled and muscled Brian Thompson is hired by the always reliable George Kennedy to find and eliminate Jose Ferrer, an elderly opposition leader in the pretend country of Cypra (the film is shot in Greece). In order to get on the good side of the head of the secret Death Squads (Oliver Reed) he has to hire six girls who can be both cold-blooded killers and top fashion models - and he has to pretend to be not just a top fashion designer, but homosexual for no particularly good reason, despite having all the natural femininity of a wildebeest stampede. Once they're away from the city on a photoshoot, they can get to the castle where Ferrer is being held, blow it up.... But surely that nice George Kennedy wouldn't do anything as dastardly as deliberately blow their cover?

Basically this is The Expendables with tits, although Hired To Kill was actually made back in 1990. It's such an absolutely ridiculous plot - with its Dirty Half Dozen of Cosmo covergirls in vests and army trousers firing machine guns and lobbing grenades, it looks like one of those ludicrous Andy Sidaris movies from the same period - and hero Thompson is so crunchingly chauvinistic and cynical yet has no sexual interest in any of his comely troupe. It's incredibly stupid, it's total nonsense, there's not a single scene that doesn't have some terrible dialogue or inconceivably daft incident, but it's never dull and it's very professionally put together with a score that occasionally has echoes of the mighty Jerry Goldsmith. I can quite easily imagine Hired To Kill actually playing cinemas back then, whereas something as utterly wretched as Nightmare Hostel I can't envisage screening anywhere by anyone. Despite its wanton, wilful dumbassery I laughed all the way through and enjoyed the hell out of it.


Laugh along:

No comments: