The Bizarre (& Unauthorised) JAMES BOND Films Of The Philippines - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Bizarre (& Unauthorised) JAMES BOND Films Of The Philippines

No Time To Dolphy?

By the time Goldfinger was released in 1964, and the James Bond film series had proved with three successive hits that audiences couldn't get enough of the suave spy and his dangerous but glamorous adventures, multiple spoofs and parodies began to emerge. From British comedies Carry On Spying and The Intelligence Men, to Italian Eurospy adventures of Agent 077 and the American productions Our Man/In Like Flint, the genre was right for over-the-top-parody, with Ian Fleming's own original work receiving a similar treatment through 1967's Casino Royale.

Possibly the most consistent series of parodies though came from the Philippines. With a loose grasp of copyright laws but no one to enforce them, spoof Filipino productions were ripe during this era. James Bond wasn't the only popular character to receive the parody treatment but he certainly was one of the most prominent.

Rodolfo Vera QuĂ­zon Sr., the Filipino comedian and actor better known by his stage name Dolphy, was widely regarded as his country's King of Comedy, thanks to his comedic talent embodied by his long roster of works on stage, radio, television and movies. He passed away in 2012 but enjoyed a 50 year on-screen career in which he made more than 250 productions, often appearing with his comedy partner Panchito. From 1964 to 1966, Dolphy starred in a massive 37 known-films within just that three year period, and as the genre was so popular among them were about a dozen spy film spoofs.

Sadly, nearly all of Dolphy's films from this era have been lost to time. Shot extremely quickly, shown for one week in local picture houses, then discarded before the next print arrived. Possibly because, very clearly, all of them were completely unauthorised. There are plenty of other films from later in his career that did survive, but it's a shame that considering Dolphy was just 18 at the time when he starred in his first spoof James Bond film, playing Agent 1-2-3 in 1964's Dolpong Scarface, the world can not witness the start of something which was obviously enjoyed by many.

In 1965 Dolphy followed up his debut Bond parody with Dr. Yes., leaving no doubt what franchise this film was spoofing on. He then shot a trio of films all vibing on the success of Goldfinger. Dolpinger, Dolpinger: Agent sa lagim, and Dolpinger Meets Pantarorong were filmed back to back, released near-simultaneously, and directed by the wonderfully named Butch Bautista (Dave's dad, perhaps?).

Despite five Bond-spoof films in six months, Dolphy wasn't done with the genre, although perhaps realising a twist was needed for the next production, Dolphy re-teamed with the director of his first two Bond spoof, Luis San Juan, for Genghis Bond.

Genghis Bond would see Dolphy pull double duty as both the title character and Agent 1-2-3, and unlike the previous productions Genghis Bond still exists...

As 1966 arrived Dolphy showed no sign of slowing, especially with the spoof secret agent films. As Genghis Bond had proved that the exotic locations of the James Bond series could be recreated locally, albeit poorly, Dolpong Istanbul became the next adventure for Agent 1-2-3, before another popular spy franchise of the era was bought into the fold for the crossover you never knew you wanted. It's James Bond meets The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in Doble Solo.

One last adventure for Agent 1-2-3 would come with Alyas Don Juan, released at the tail end of 1966, but before that may just be the best unauthorised 1960s Filipino film ever produced. Because not only was James Bond and the spy genre big business at the time, but 1966 was the year that Adam West and Burt Ward were cast as Batman & Robin in the popular US TV series, meaning Batman was very big business too. A Filipino spoof crossover was almost inevitable...

"The names Man, Bat-Man."

This 1966 Filipino Batman/James Bond cinematic spoof directed by Artemio Marquez stars Dolphy as Batman and James Bond and Boy Alano as "Rubin".

Dolphy pulls not just double-duty here but triple! He was just 20 at the time when he played the characters James Hika (Bond), James Batman (Batman, d'uh!), and Dolpho (the Bruce Wayne type alter ego).

The plot is very 1960's James Bond. An evil organization called the CLAW has threatened nuclear annihilation on the rest of the world unless all countries submit to its rule within five days. Presenting a united front, an alliance of countries tap James Bond and Batman (and Robin) to stop the threat. And, thankfully, this one still exists.

Are we excited?...

Here's an idea for EON Productions - as Daniel Craig is retiring from the role of James Bond, why not give the franchise a very unexpected shot-in-the-arm and announce a (bigger budget than above) 007 and the Dynamic Duo film. Audiences may be shocked but, honestly, who wouldn't watch the hell out of that? I know I would.

As for Dolphy, he hung up his Walther PPK, retired his Bat-cowl, and concentrated on spoofing other genres, like the Spaghetti Western in Da Best In Da West, and Oscar winner The Graduate (which became The Graduation), but for his sheer workload across a rather marvelous career we salute you with a chorus of Dolphinger (da, da, da....)...

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