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Raquel Welch Collection DVD


Fathom: From exploding earrings to dances with bulls to leaps from a plane at 10 000 feet there isn't much Fathom can't handle in this wildly entertaining espionage spoof! Voluptuous dental hygienist-turned-skydiver Fathom Harvill (Raquel Welch) is recruited by a top-secret government agency to parachute into Spain in search of an elusive war defector (Tony Franciosa) and a missing H-bomb detonator he is believed to possess. But the super sexy spy may expose more than she bargained for as she unravels the truth behind her employer's motives - with hilarious results! (Dir. Leslie H. Martinson 1967) Fantastic Voyage: A Fantastic and spectacular voyage... Through the human body... Into the brain. Shrunk to microscopic size an elite scientific and medical team enters the bloodstream of an ailing scientist in a desperate effort to save his life. Battling the body's incredible defenses the crew must complete their mission before time runs out. The film was to win Oscars for Best Visual Effects (by Art Cruikschank) and Art Direction. The legacy of the film was to continue as 'Fantastic Voyage' later received an animated spin-off show. (Dir. Richard Fleischer 1966) Bandolero: It's a Wild West clash of personalities in Val Verde Texas for the warring Bishop brothers (Dean Martin and James Stewart) who must now join forces to escape a death sentence. Featuring an all-star cast including Raquel Welch and George Kennedy and exploding with action Bandolero! packs a smoking six-gun wallop from its first tense show-down to its last exciting shootout. (Dir. Andrew V. McLaglen 1968) Lady In Cement: The suave sleuth Tony Rome makes a shocking discovery while diving for treasure: a beautiful blonde woman anchored in a block of cement. When a local hood hires him to find his missing girlfriend his investigation begins with the mysterious ""Lady in Cement."" But everyone he talks to either is killed or trying to kill him... (Dir. Gordon Douglas 1968)

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Box set containing three movies starring Raquel Welch. In 'Bandelero' (1968), Mace Bishop (James Stewart) arrives in town with the intention of freeing a gang of outlaws, including his brother, Dee (Dean Martin), from the gallows. They are pursued by a sheriff (George Kennedy), whose lady friend (Welch) has the hots for Dee. The brothers try to go straight, but before they can make up their mind they find themselves surrounded by Mexican banditos and are forced to team up with the sheriff to fight them off. In 'Fantastic Voyage' (1966), a group of medics (Stephen Boyd, Welch, William Redfield, Arthur Kennedy and Donald Pleasance) and a submarine are miniaturised and injected into the bloodstream of a top Czech scientist, who was shot while defecting, in order to carry out delicate, life-saving surgery. Travelling though his body is hazardous, but far more dangerous is the suspicion that one of them is a traitor. They race against time to perform the surgery and escape from the body before they return to their full size. In 'Fathom' (1967) a voluptuous dental hygienist-turned-skydiver Fathom Harvill (Welch) is recruited by a top-secret government agency to parachute into Spain in search of an elusive war defector (Tony Franciosa) and a missing H-bomb detonator he is believed to possess. But the super sexy spy may expose more than she bargained for as she unravels the truth behind her employer's motives. In 'Lady In Cement' (1968), Tony Rome (Frank Sinatra) is a private detective who finds a woman encased in cement while he is out scuba diving. Hired to find the killer, Tony soon finds she was involved in the Miami underworld and may have been killed as part of a gangland double-cross. As he tries to bring the killer to justice, Tony finds himself evading both cops and crooks.

  • Average Rating for Raquel Welch Collection - 4 out of 5

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  • Raquel Welch Collection
    Kashif Ahmed

    Sexy, beautiful and old enough to be your grandmother, yes, its Raquel Welch; live and in living colour, four of the buxom beauty's best known films (well, three and another chosen at random, not to mention one glaring omission) from 1966-68. Now I know what you're thinking: if those mammaries could lactate I'd be eating cereal everyday for a month, but lets not subject Raquel to the debased indignity of juvenile objectification...after all, that's what the films were made for. And at the risk of sounding gay; I love what 'Fox' have done with this DVD set: the shocking neon pink works a treat, with Raquel's face emblazoned on the cover like a massive balloon with Raquel Welch's face on it. Antonioni would've approved.

    We get off to a fine start with 'Fathom' (1967): A so-bad-its-good spy spoof in the style of Mario Bava's 'Danger Diabolik!' (1968) with a smattering of Dean Martin's 'Matt Helm' (1966-69) franchise and a touch of Alberto De Martino's 'Operation Kid Brother'(1967) thrown in for good measure, 'Kid Brother', incidentally, being an off-the-wall Italian Bond spoof starring Sean Connery's younger brother; Neil Connery! Welcome to the 60s everyone. 'Fathom', directed Leslie H. Matheson, the man who bought us 'Batman: The Movie' (1965), does a fine job to play it straight for as long as it does, though an honest theatrical trailer helpfully suggests we don't try to 'Fathom' the plot. Raquel is Fathom Harvil; an ace skydiver / part time dental hygienist in Spain, coerced into retrieving an H-bomb detonator codenamed 'Fire Dragon' for MI6: Fathom parachutes into action, avoiding Machiavellian adversaries, bulls, bullets and double crosses all whilst wearing as little as possible. Matheson, the old perve, is a real pro and uses a lot of the same angles he employed to shoot Catwoman Julie Newmar two years previous, for every time Raquel's in shot (usually wearing a two piece bikini) he doesn't so much as execute a camera move as imitate Tex Avery's Big Bad Wolf, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if director and crew were ogling, howling and hitting themselves over the head with mallets as they filmed this. I imagine sophisticated perve Stanley Kubrick (may he rest in peace) would've snapped 'Fathom' up in a heartbeat, if only they'd let him turn it into an unwatchable art film with at least one full frontal money shot. Now to call 'Fathom' a straightforward spoof is a little misleading, for it's actually an intoxicatingly colourful series of random events strung together by the infectious charm of its leading lady, cinematographer Douglas Slocombe's sterling work on the Mediterranean palette (he'd later go onto become DP for 'The Lion In Winter', 'The Italian Job' and the 'Indiana Jones' trilogy) and a self-reflective sense of the surreal. It annoys me no end when people go on about how good life was in the 1960s, only because I actually believe them, and would've loved to have been around back then. Not simply because you could get away with making movies like this, but because it seemed like a truly fascinating juncture in the panorama of human existence, oh well, as Voltaire once said: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us"...no, hang on a minute that was Gandalf. Never mind. I enjoyed 'Fathom' a great deal, it's probably my favourite film in this set, but then again, I also liked 'Modesty Blaise' (1966) so glean from that what you will, and yes, that is a young Richard Briers from classic 70s sitcom 'The Good Life'; what would Barbara say? Good, helium light entertainment, nonsensical in the extreme, but a fantastic adaption of Larry Forrester's cult novel which, believe it nor not, was inspired by a true story! 'Fathom' defies expectation and never plunges to the depths of banality; it is, for a variety of reasons, Raquel's finest hour and a prime example of what a certain kind of cinema was all about in the swinging sixties. Great for a laugh.

    Now I've heard of people disappearing up their own holes, but to be taken by somebody else's is just cruel & unusual, such events occur with alarming regularity in director Richard Fleischer's fun filled sci-fi adventure 'Fantastic Voyage' (1966). Cold war shenanigans abound as a defector Russian scientist and pioneer in the field of miniaturization, is critically wounded and left comatose in a botched assassination attempt; obviously, the only possible solution to treating the blood clot in his brain is by shrinking an expert manned submarine, injecting them into his circulatory system and hoping for the best. Raquel Welch (who bears a striking resemblance to Eva Mendes in this movie) plays crewwoman Cora, and quite frankly, if I were being injected into another man's canal for a potentially multiple life threatening mission that could culminate with a potentially messy or embarrassing demise, I'd want Raquel Welch to be there too, I think we all would. Here, she's stuck between erstwhile Roman charioteer Massala ('Ben Hur's' Stephen Boyd) and future megalomaniac Blofeld (Donald Pleasance, no doubt hired for his escapology experience as 'The Forger'). SFX are good for the time and a lot of matte paintings & pop art sets (e.g. the alimentary canal and medulla oblongata) still retain their visual splendour. Good performances from the cast make this a compelling and consistently amusing watch, perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. The concept eventually, and inevitably, found its way into the comedy genre with Joe Dante's 'Inner Space' (1987) but 'Fantastic Voyage' is a good old fashioned, hi-concept family film that's bound to entertain.

    Its 1968, and overrated, talentless, neo-Nazi hack John Wayne (may he rest in peace) was three years away from doing the unthinkable; and making the first decent film of his tediously long career (i.e. 'The Cowboys'). For the western itself had undergone a quiet revolution thanks to wily desperados Leone & Eastwood who, by now, had smashed it for all it was worth, sent it back to Hollywood on an old mule, reverse saddle and on its last legs. Meanwhile, old school industry heavyweights: 'The Rat Pack's' supercool, silky smooth crooner Dean 'bo-bo-bom' Martin and alleged real-life Satanist Jimmy 'wahh-wahh' Stewart are cast as gun slinging siblings in 'Bandolero!' director Andrew V. McLaglen's intermittently entertaining but strictly by-the-numbers western, caught, somewhat uncomfortably, between comedic tomfoolery and violent melodrama. Stewart rescues brother Dino from the hangman's noose and the pair ride headlong into high, and ultimately, deadly adventure across the Mexican badlands. Our girl, though she gets a good deal of screen time, is little more than a co-star here, and her Mrs Stoner character is, a lot like the movie, somewhat of a schizophrenic creation; part Jill McBain, part Soldadera and a little bit of every Latina heroine who ever picked up a shotgun. Raquel puts in a good performance drawing on her Bolivian heritage to do a passable Mexican accent and it's also quite rare for a western heroine to be as involved with the action as Raquel's character is in this picture, but there's no two ways about it; this is one the last films of its kind. Peckinpah would leave the western a smoking, bullet strewn corpse with his merciless, ultraviolent classic 'The Wild Bunch' a year later, whilst Ralph Nelson's brutally honest, superlative 'Solider Blue' (1970) would put the final bullet into a drawn out death; effectively assassinating white American mythos about how the west was won, once and for all. 'Bandolero!' ('Mexican Bandits') is a reasonably entertaining romp through familiar territory, though personally I would've liked to have seen one of her more controversial pictures in this genre (e.g. '100 Rifles' or 'Hanni Cauler') instead, still, its not a bad movie and worth seeing if you're in the mood.

    For reasons that go above & beyond baffling, 'One Million Years B.C.'(1966) isn't included in this set, and we wrap things up with an enjoyable, if rather pedestrian, private eye picture with another 'Rat Pack' legend, ol' blue eyes himself; Frank Sinatra playing the Marlowe-esque Tony Rome (complete with snazzy white suit and a phrase book full of idiosyncratic hipster speak). 'Lady In Cement'(1968) is frequent Sinatra director Gordon Douglas's adaptation of Marvin H. Albert's hard boiled novel, and a sequel to 'Tony Rome'(1968). Focusing on the discovery of a body weighed underwater in cement, Miami PI Tony Rome is drawn into a murderous, labyrinthine conspiracy that leads him to question the owners of a seedy strip club and beautiful, wealthy alcoholic (a classic combination) Kit Forrest (Raquel in fine form). Its a well acted adaptation that held my attention throughout, though I would've liked to have seen the original first in order to compare both movies, overall; a far out crazy picture that'll have you using terms like 'far out' and 'crazy' whist calling people 'cats' for no apparent reason. 'Lady In Cement' is a shot glass of late 60's cool thrown over your face in manner not unlike Ted Striker from 'Airplane!', look out for some groovy, by-the-poolside palettes from DP Joe Biroc ('Superman', 'It's A Wonderful Life') that add character to this light n' breezy procedural, which is essentially 'Hawaii 5-0' meets 'The Rockford Files' via 'The Rat Pack'.

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