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Espionage Double Feature

Stoney (1969)     The Killer Likes Candy (1968)

Stoney (1969) Caught up in an international mishmash of espionage and double crosses in the Philippines, two gunrunners hunt for buried treasure and are disrupted by the quest for the same woman. Killer Likes Candy (1968) Shrewd and evasive ex-Nazi and top assassin Oscar Snell is determined to rub out the King of Kafiristan. His sole weakness is his sweet tooth; he leaves candy wrappers at the scene of every crime. It’s up to no nonsense CIA agent Mark Stone to find Snell and stop him before it’s too late.

(aka "Surabaya Conspiracy" or "The Gold Seekers")

 

directed by Wray Davis
USA 1969

 

There's a fortune in jewels underneath the swimming pool of the Surabayan High Commisioner's country residence, and shipping rivals Ward (Michael Rennie, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL) and Blessing (Mike Preston, ROAD WARRIOR) are racing to get their hands on it. Ward's mistress (and Blessing's ex) Irene Stone (Barbara Bouchet, AMUCK) - aka Stoney - flies to Surabaya and plans to transport the stolen loot in a large shipment of tea. While she is charming dictator High Commissioner Suwono (Leopoldo Salcedo, SAVAGE SISTERS), Blessing is bribing his aide de camp Captain Haryan (Pancho Magalona, CRY FREEDOM) and plans to fly the loot out of the country; however, both may have to contend with revolutionaries who resent Suwono's dealings with their former colonial rulers. Filipino film regular Vic Diaz shows up as one of Stoney's local contacts. Based on a novel by James Fox, STONEY is a mess of a thriller with lots of scenes of Stoney and Blessing socializing and making covert arrangements, but the heist is reckless and the ensuing gunfight with the revolutionaries is underlit. Stoney and Blessing have little chemistry (Bouchet is always entertaining, but Preston is incredibly uncharismatic) and Rennie's Ward never leaves his boat. Richard Jaeckel (PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID) and Vance Skarstedt (ONCE BEFORE I DIE) as Blessing's partners are prominently billed and featured early on, but disappear for much of the film (even though we know that they have traveled with Blessing to Surabaya). Cinematographer Jules Brenner (whose prolific TV work includes SALEM'S LOT and HELTER SKELTER, but who later shot RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) manages some nice Panavision compositions, but the inclement weather softens some long-lens shots. The score of Charles Bernstein (who later scored A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) is the film's most successful element.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

DVD Review: Code Red Releasing (International Espionage Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Code Red Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:57
Video

2.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.88 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.31:1

Edition Details:
• Trailers for DETECTIVE BELLI, STIGMA, CUT-THROATS NINE, and NIGHTMARE
• Optional 42nd Street Experience viewing option

DVD Release Date: August 16th, 2011
Amaray

Chapters 22

 

Comments

Code Red's progressive, anamorphic transfer of STONEY is not perfect, although some of the imperfects seem to be inherent in the original cinematography (some careless dirt-in-the-gate and black vertical scratches), and some from the age of the print (reel change damage, an occasional green vertical scratch). There is no evidence of digital manipulation and close-ups evince great detail in characters faces.

The mono audio is fine with the dialogue and Charles Bernstein's classy score coming through nicely. There is no trailer for the film. The features and trailers are viewable on their own or grouped together as part of the "42nd Street Experience" playback option.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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(aka "Un killer per sua maesta" or "Le tueur aime les bonbons" or "Zucker for den Morder" or "Face D'Ange" )

 

directed by Federico Chentrens and Maurice Cloche
Italy/France/West Germany 1968

 

When the agent guarding the King of Kafiristan (Lukas Ammann, DAY OF ANGER) is taken out by sweet-toothed assassin Oscar Snell (Bruno Cremer, UNDER THE SAND), agent Mark Stone (Kerwin Matthews, THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD) - nicknamed "Angel Face" - and his comic relief sidekick Costa (Venantino Venantini, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) are on the case. After two more failed assassination attempts, Snell's client Guardino (Werner Peters, THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE) sends some muscle to take out Mark and imports to Kafiristan fanatics to take out the king. Mark traces them to Guardino, but Snell is a perfectionist and does not plan to leave his assignment unfinished. Marilu Tolo (THE SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS) also stars as the king's personal physican (and Mark's love interest), Umberto Raho (THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE) pops up as a clinic physician, and Gordon Mitchell (EMMANUELLE, QUEEN OF SADOS) appears as Guardino's chief henchman. With its lack of onscreen nudity, graphic violence, and its PETER GUNN-esque theme song, this 1968 French/Italian/West German must have looked awfully dated when it hit US screens in 1974 (especially since by this time Mathews had transitioned from the screen to "special guest star" roles on television). The assassination plot isn't very interesting but there are some entertaining fight scenes (including one that takes Mathews and various stunt extras through Abruzzi's Parco dei Mostri) and a tense shootout in a derelict church.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 12 April 1968 (Italy)

Reviews 

DVD Review: Code Red Releasing (International Espionage Double Feature) - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

Runtime 1:25:36
Video

1.28:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.3 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.28:1

Edition Details:
• see above
 
Amaray

Chapters 24

 

Comments

The B-feature in this set is struck from the 4:3 cropped panned-and-scanned, interlaced master created for the Video Gems VHS tape release (the nostalgia-evoking logo even gets a chapter all to itself). The quality is what one can expect of an early-eighties P&S transfer (slightly faded colors, grayish blacks, robotic pan and scan movements in group shots, and increased grain from cropping of the 2-perf 2.35:1 Techniscope frame). There is no tape damage and the audio is in good condition. The opening and closing credits are squeezed.

  - Eric Cotenas


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Code Red Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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