The opening credits of Spanish Fly
promise "Leslie Phillips vs. Terry-Thomas", making this the British comic innuendo version of King Kong vs. Godzilla
or Frankenstein vs. the Wolf Man
, with the two masters of fnarr-fnarr lecherous English lounge lizardry pitted against each other. It's a sunstruck, terminally silly slice of fluff of the stripe that passed for a sex film in 1976 ("Go and butter yourself", someone says) but seems almost comically innocent these days. The sort of film that boasts special credits for women's fashions by Cornelia James and underwear by Janet Reger, it tells the story of a gap-toothed con man (Thomas) exiled to sunny Spain. He adds ground-up cantharides to undrinkable plonk to create a market for aphrodisiac wine, and impotent underwear tycoon (Phillips) benefits from the effects of the product as he gets to grips with four lovely models, until his wife (Sue Lloyd) shows up and a side-effect means he starts barking like a dog.
The stars are game, but the material--from a story by producer Peter James, now a horror novelist--is skimpier than the starlets' bikinis and none of the pretty girls has any comic timing (though they all get topless scenes). Students of British pop culture will note the bizarre juxtaposition of hiring an uncredited Francis Matthews, the upright voice of Captain Scarlet, to dub the roles of a gay Spanish photographer and (for one bad gag) a disgusted dog.
On the DVD: The picture is fullscreen. There are no extras.--Kim Newman
DVD Special Features:
Language: English Dolby Digital 2.0