The Million Eyes of Sumuru
Produced by Harry Alan Towers
Directed by Lindsay Shonteff
Screenplay by Kevin Kavanagh, Sax Rohmer & Harry Towers
Genre: Spy-Fi - 1960s
Country of Production: United Kingdom
Released: May 17, 1967 (U.S.); December 3, 1967 (U.K.)
Sumuru (Shirley Eaton) is planning to take over the world by having her "slaves" (a group of women under her command) kill all of the major world leaders and taking their place. Agents Tommy Carter (Frankie Avalon) and Nick West (George Nader) have been assigned to stop them. Carter and West enlist the help of a few of Sumuru's slaves by seducing them (although she has forbidden them from falling in love, the penalty for doing so being death). They, with help from a local army, invade Sumuru's palace on an island near Hong Kong and defeat her, killing most of the slaves in the process.
The Million Eyes of Sumuru is a fun spoof of the James Bond franchise. It has some of the hallmarks that we have come to expect of 1960s Spy-Fi: beautiful women, an egomaniacal villain, and, of course, good guy secret agents. The plot is rather simplistic, but this does not detract from the fun.
The movie includes one of the funniest torture scenes that I've ever seen. Sumuru's slaves have captured Agent West and brought him to her palace, where he has been suspended by his wrists. She flogs him a few times, only to tease him by hinting at several possible ways of torturing him to death. As is often the case in Spy-Fi, the repartee between the captured good guy and the evil mastermind is quite witty. The next morning, Sumuru returns and wakes him up, still dangling by his wrists. She kisses him, saying that she can be kind as well as cruel. He responds by telling her, "Honey, I had better than that in high school." She storms off in a huff, instructing one of her slaves to "cut him down and then kill him." She does this literally, freeing him and allowing him to overpower her and escape. Did it ever occur to anyone that it might be more effective to kill him before cutting him down, when he was still helpless? This theme was explored effectively in the first Austin Powers film in 1997.
There is no shortage of female beauty on display in this movie. Sumuru's slaves, of which there are many, are dressed in skimpy outfits throughout the film - lots of bare shoulders, low-cut dresses, and sexy 1960s hair styles, as well as some bikinis, on display.
Sumuru, of course, is the babe of the show. She loves wearing skin-tight outfits, which goes with the territory of being a power-mad dominatrix trying to rule the world. Shirley Eaton was an actual Bond Babe, having portrayed Jill Masterson in the third film of the Bond franchise, Goldfinger, in 1964. Her portrayal of Sumuru in the movie at hand steals the show, as she comes off as deliciously wicked and sexy
The Girl From Rio
Produced by Harry Alan Towers
Directed by Jesús Franco
Screenplay by Harry Towers
Genre: Spy-Fi - 1960s
Country of Production: United States, Spain, West Germany
Sumuru (Shirley Eaton), now calling herself Sumitra, is back, and she is up to her old tricks, using an army of women to take over the world and enslave all of the men. This time around, she has moved from an island near Hong Kong to Femina, a city she built that is populated exclusively by women, that is located close to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Jeff Sutton (Richard Wyler) is a wealthy, international playboy who has ten million dollars that Masius (George Sanders), a mob boss, is after. Sumuru has him captured and brought to her because she also wants to get her hands on it.
As it turns out, Sutton had engineered his capture to give him a chance to rescue Ulla (Marta Reves), an old acquaintance of his. They manage to free themselves from captivity, steal an airplane, and escape from Femina, only to be captured by Masius upon returning to Rio. Masius wants to get his hands on Sumitra's fortune, and plans to use them as bargaining chips.
Sumitra recaptures Ulla, as well as Leslye (Maria Rohm), a woman that Sutton had romanced at the beginning of the movie, and forces him to return by threatening to kill them. She decides to kill all three by tying them down and subjecting to a diabolical heat ray. They manage to escape and, with help from Masius and his men, who attack Femina, get away.
The Girl From Rio continues on where the first movie left off. It contains more fun and more 1960s-style James Bond spoofery. The plot is a little more intricate, as it introduces a secondary villain (Masius and his mobsters). Although I enjoyed both films, I think this one is a little bit better.
Shirley Eaton is back in fine form as the main character and villainess. For some reason, she keeps changing her hair color, going from having dark hair to being blonde, and back again (she consistently wore dark hair during the first film). She looks good either way, but I prefer her as a brunette. The Skinner Zone's rule of thumb: The darker the hair, the sexier the babe (although there are exceptions).
Sumitra's slaves are opposite of what they were in the first film, where they were cute, feminine, and very sexy. This time around, they are dressed in outfits that a dominatrix might have come up with if she was on acid or acting as costumer for a 1950s Sci-Fi movie. They are anything but feminine - in fact, they come off as what Stepford wives might be like in the alternate "Mirror, Mirror" universe from Star Trek, in which things were reversed.
Leslye is quite nice looking, even to the point of rivaling Sumitra herself. This movie takes things a little further, as we actually get to see some boobs (albeit very briefly). Irene (Elisa Montés), who is Masius' accountant and tax advisor, is also worthy of admiration.