(1972)2Tom VickMade in West Germany, Samuel Fuller's international espionage thriller stars Glenn Corbett (who also starred in Fuller's The Crimson Kimono 13 years earlier) as Sandy, a secret agent on the trail of a gang of blackmailers with incriminating photographs of an American senator. The film suffers a bit from a convoluted plot that bounces Sandy from city to city, chasing after Christa (Christa Lang, Fuller's wife), a mysterious femme fatale employed by the gang to get politicians into compromising positions. While the script is chock-full of great one-liners ("The last time a man opened the door for me, we were going 60 miles an hour," Christa informs Sandy at one point), they tend to get lost in the lackluster performances of many of the actors. And unlike more durable Fuller classics like Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss, Dead Pigeon feels trapped in its inescapably '70s low-budget aesthetic (music that sounds like it came from a cop show, way too many zooms, Corbett's ridiculous mustache and hairstyle). In a way, these flaws are natural by-products of Fuller's exuberant style, which always threatens to pitch over the edge into full-blown kitsch, but they also give his films a personal stamp. With Fuller, excess just comes with the territory, and fans of his movies develop an affection for their imperfections. There may be more flaws than usual in Dead Pigeon, but they give it a goofy charm that's nearly impossible not to like.
This German-produced film was made by American B-movie director Sam Fuller especially for his European fans who have far more respect for his films than their Yankee counterparts. The story centers on the attempts of a hard-boiled private dick to bust open a ring of international smugglers. He is assisted by his lovely sidekick.