Jun 26, 2020

Alert, High Tension (1969)

(Original Title: Alerta, alta tensión) A Mexican spy film in the vein of In Like Flint and Matt Helm. It's the standard story - the evil criminal wants to get his hands on Uranium so he can rule the world, Dr. Evil style.

 Jorge Rubio (Jorge Rivero) is our James Bond character, who's enjoying his bachelor pad royale.

 A woman waits for him in his circular bed - a different girl for every day of the week.

 Before they can shag, Rubio gets a call from the chief that he needs to report for a mission.

 At HQ, he hits on the secretary Sean Connery style.

 Mulibran (Antonio Raxel) the chief apprises him of the situation...

 An atomic scientist has been detained at the Mexican-US border by the evil organization.

 To learn where the uranium is stored they inject the scientist with truth serum.  However, he bites into a cyanide capsule.

 When Rubio returns to his pad, Agent Rita (Alma Delia Fuentes) is waiting for him; they'll be working together on this assignment.

 Rubio tries to hit on her, but it doesn't work on Rita.

 He even has a fake thunderstorm appear outside his window, but Rita knows his game and turns off the switch and leaves.

 The main bad guy Cero (Carlos Ancira) and his lovely assistant Orquídea (Claudia Islas)

 They observe a fighting match - the last man standing will be their chosen one for their master plan.

 Insert Dr. Evil laughter... he's even wearing the Dr. Evil jacket.

 Rubio is captured, but the truth serum doesn't work on him.

Cero's master plan: to make a clone of Rubio to infiltrate and get them the information they need on the uranium.  They will use the winner of that lame fighting contest and modify his face to look exactly like Rubio's.

 The Rubio clone is unveiled.

 Meanwhile, the real Rubio is put through various forms of torture in order to extract information

 The lovely Ana (Lilia Castillo)  is put in charge of administering punishments.

 Rubio does not comply. Time to kick the torture up a notch.

 Rubio is put into a freezing chamber.

 Ana is shocked to see that he survives.

 The Rubio clone meets Rita at a cocktail lounge.

 Rita performs a go-go dance.

 The Rubio clone is taken to the secret hideout hidden in a pet store.

 Ana falls for Rubio - as all girls must.

 Rubio pretends to consent, but pulls his handcuffed arms tight around her abdomen and knocks her out.

 He finds the handcuff key in a conspicuous pouch on her dress.

 Rubio pours the champagne on Ana's face to wake her up, then chugs the bottle.

 When the goons come running in, he karate chops them and takes their weapons - wasting them all except Ana.

 But Ana pursues him and he has to kill her after all.

 He checks to see if she's dead.  Yep. She's dead.

 Rubio hightails it outta there.

 I guess they just wanted one more shot of Lilia Castillo's ass, because he comes back and takes her pistol.

 Rita is at home when reading when there's a knock at the door.

 She gets her gun "cleverly" hidden in the fancy hi-fi stereo.  It's just the Rubio clone, however.

 Rita and the Rubio Clone arrive at the atomic facility and all hell breaks loose.

 Orquídea and Cero are fucked.  The building they're in explodes.

Rubio does battle with his clone - and wins of course.  THE END

While definitely as good as The Silencers (1966) or The Ambushers (1967) , it's easily on par with other Bond copycats like The Spy in the Green Hat (1967) and Las Muñecas Que Hacen ¡PUM! (1979) and much better than the likes of The Man from O.R.G.Y. (1970) and The Nude Bomb (1980).

I happen to really like Jorge Rivero, who was great in the Pulqueria films. Claudia Islas is completely wasted as Cero's sidekick; she doesn't have a single scene alone and really serves no purpose. Alma Delia Fuentes seems a bit awkward, one note and stilted for some reason. Lilia Castillo, however, absolutely kills it - probably the best, most compelling character in the movie.


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