Six years ago I was perusing the discount DVDs by the counter of a Walgreens on Santa Monica Boulevard in fabulous Santa Monica, California.
As I passed over the dozens of public domain John Wayne films and badly packaged cartoon sets I was intrigued by one title The Fat Spy.
The box showed both Jane Mansfield and Phyllis Diller, a combo that excited me even more than the fact I was IN the town where Three's Company took place.
I took the movie back to my apartment where I planned to watch it that night. Instead a bizarre series of events led to me being on TV with Mr. T for a few seconds that night.
You can read that adventure here. It's a better story than this one.
Anyway, the DVD then was pushed back in favor of other movies or shows or 'actually doing things' for a few weeks. Eventually it just became one of the many DVDs I bought and never got around to watching.
Since then I have moved twice, met Mr. T a few more times, and watched hundereds of other bad movies.
Then, the other night, the time for The Fat Spy was upon me.
I stuck the DVD in and suddenly (with no logos, titles or warning) I see a shot of some guys playing guitar. Two minutes later they are still at it. Strumming away and singing something about how 'people act funny when they have money.'
Just a static shot of two guys standing outside... singing.
Finally the song ends and the opening titles start. Yep, this is The Fat Spy.
I should mention here that The Fat Spy is public domain... and yes... it's on youtube.com.
So, if you really want, you can follow along. You don't have to... I wouldn't if I were you.
Two minutes after the brilliant lyrics "people sure act funny when they get a little money" and "people sure act strange when they get a little change" the titles show up and we here the instumental theme.
Then it immediatly cuts to a new song as we watch footage of some crazy teens on a boat. One of them has a bird tattooed on his chest. The camera shoots it, then shoots it upside down.
Obviously they are focusing on the tattoo because it will pay off later.
Maybe this guy will do something and he will be caught because of the identifying tattoo... or maybe they are just killing time.
Oh... I guess they are just killing time.
Later, after SIX minutes of bad music we FINALLY start the movie. For real this time. No more music videos.
After a little bit of talking and a little bit more of Jayne Mansfield we have a plot:
Some cosmetic company doesn't want the teens on the island for some reason. I wasn't able to retain the reason because the scene also had a bust of Abe Lincoln and the busts of Jayne Mansfield.
It's easy to see how I got distracted.
The youtube clip doesn't seem to be synched correctly. The DVD was. It doesn't really make it better.
Around this part of the movie we meet Jack E. Leonard who plays a set of twins. One is named Herman and one is named Irving.
If you don't know Jack E. Leonard, it's understandable. His star has faded since he died in 1973. But... he was actually a very well known and influential comedian pioneering the 'insult comedy' genre before Don Rickles made it a popular comedy form.
Irving is the closest thing to a fat spy in this film. He does a small bit of spying and he's kind of fat. Not phat. Just fat.
After a minute or two of plot IT IS TIME TO DANCE.
Dance dance dance. Singing and dancing. Plenty of singing and even more dancing.
Then Jack E. does his thing... playing straight man to HIMSELF and BAM, it's Phyliss Diller time!
I love Phyliss Diller. She was my favorite 'old lady' comic when I was a kid (even topping Lucille Ball) and I am pretty sure she is my favorite old lady comic today (even above Tina Fey.)
Oddly enough this movie also features an old Phyllis Diller.
Was she ever young?
She pops up as a cosmetic's competitor of some kind who wants to steal whatever is on the island (I think this is what the Fat Spy is watching the teens for.)
Confused? Yeah, it's stupidly complex.
After some banter we get more music. Some sappy song about Nanette (who is one of the teens in the film.) We also get footage of a horse walking on the beach and I belive the soundtrack features the 'clip clop' of a horse walking on a hard surface rather than the 'swish swish' of a horse of sand.
And that swish swishes us to the next youtube clip:
This clip is just an odd stop motion shot of Hulk Hogan accompanied by some guy softly saying "I wanna meet that dad."
It has nothing to do with this movie.
Oh, I should have warned you... if you jacked up the volume for the Hulk Hogan clip you should have tuned it down for part 3 of The Fat Spy.
Anyway, the movie barrels forward with some dork named Dodo who wants to find love or fish or both and Jayne Mansfield flying a plane.
Then there is some schtick with Dodo's mom calling the boat phone and the dude with the eagle tattoo making out with two skanks at once.
Dodo then finds a naked lady in the middle of the ocean. As he helps her on the boat he notices she has a fish tail.
The screen freezes and the word "tail" appears on a title card.
I think we are supposed to laugh at this.
(To be continued)