DIRECTOR: JACK HORNINGTON. RUNNING TIME:88 mins. VIDEO:REDWING £9.99 CERT 15
Featuring a stellar cast of Z-grade ‘stars’ and allegedly filmed on exotic locations all over Europe (all of which seem to look like rat-infested stinking rubbish tips), this bizarre international co-production sees a dying Hitler (played by popular Mexican slapstick performer and serial Hitler impersonator Juan Garbonza), fatally injured in a car crash whilst evading the authorities, revealing the location of hidden Nazi loot a to a disparate group of US, British and Soviet troops in 1945 occupied Germany. Naturally, an hilarious madcap chase ensues, as the various parties all attempt to double and triple cross eachother in their hunt for the loot. All the while they are being observed by both allied Military Police and Intelligence agents, not to mention ex-SS and Gestapo men eager to get the funds they need to finance the Fourth Reich. This is possibly the least offensive of a spate of low-budget Hitler movies made in the 1960s and early 1970s, including the bizarre and tasteless Mexican flick Crazy House of Hitler which once again featured Juan Garbonza as the Fuhrer. Another star of that film, Harry Palm, in 1971 found himself pursued through the South American jungle by a giant set of male genitalia wearing an Iron Cross and with its pubic hair shaved into a Hitler moustache in They Saved Hitler’s Wang. Perhaps the most bizarre Hitler project was the early 1960s Mexican TV series Adventures of Hitler, in which a reformed Fuhrer wandered, Fugitive-style, around South America attempting to redeem himself by righting wrongs, all the while being pursued by ruthless Nazi-hunters.
‘Hilarious’ highlights of It’s a Mad, Bad Aryan World include General Patton (played by a clearly inebriated Lon Chaney Jr) running into the street to retrieve his helmet, only to be run over by a Sherman tank driven by Jerry Lewis impersonator Sammy Petrillo Jr, and a pair of Abbot and Costello lookalikes comically strafing, then bombing, a village by accident after the pilot of the B-25 bomber they’ve commandeered shoots himself (he’d seen their act). Another notable sequence sees a Bilko-like American sergeant being misdirected into a minefield by a small German boy. He and his Jeep are amusingly blown to smithereens. In addition to Lon Chaney and Sammy Petrillo, the film also features guest appearances from sometime Stooge ‘Curly’ Joe de Rita as Mussolini (driving an ice-cream van and shouting ‘Mamma Mia’ a lot) and a sick-looking Basil Rathbone as a fugitive Himmler. Sadly, the latter was so ill during filming that when startled by a blank round being fired in one scene, he suffered a near-fatal heart attack. Even more sadly, the film is so cheaply made the director couldn’t afford to reshoot and we see Rathbone clutching at his chest and collapsing. As the other performers continue the scene, his prone body can clearly be seen being dragged off set. However, his feet remain in shot and can be seen twitching as medics try to restart his heart with electric shocks. The film’s climax sees the surviving protagonists converging on a Frankfurt brothel, where veteran schlock film star John Carradine’s US Intelligence Major (who had been co-ordinating the monitoring of the treasure hunters) confiscates the loot hidden under the floorboards and tries to steal it himself – making a break for the Swiss border with his German mistress. He dies in a hail of bullets when his erstwhile colleagues realise what is going on. However, his mistress survives – and is revealed as Martin Boorman in a dress! He is last seen sailing for Brazil on board a U-Boat! Dredged up from obscurity for a video release, this really is a sad, extremely bad, load of old cobblers!