Peligro!...mujeres en acción [Danger! Women in Action]

(Productora Fílmica Re-Al/Nacional Cinematográfica, 1967) Prod: Alberto López; Co-Prod: Carlos Espinosa; Dir/Scr: René Cardona Jr.; Photo: Juan Manuel Herrera; Music: Ernesto Cortázar Jr., Carlos Camacho; Ass't Dir: Luis Gaytan; Film Ed: Alfredo Rosas Priego; Camera Op: León Sánchez; Underwater Photo: Genaro Hurtado; Makeup: Margarita Ortega; Sound: Salvador Topete, Manuel Topete; Sound Ed: Abraham Cruz; Bathing suits: Oleg Cassini; English-Language Version: Stim Segar; Eastmancolor

CAST: Julio Alemán (Alex Dinamo), Alma Delia Fuentes (Maura), Elizabeth Campbell (Solva), Amedée Chabot (SOS agent in Ecuador), Liza Castro (SOS agent 77), Bárbara Angely (Bárbara), César del Campo (Jack), Elsa Cárdenas (agent in Puerto Rico), Nadia Milton (SOS agent 380--Cristal), Rosa María Rodríguez, Jessica Munguía, Tere Vales, Ellen Cole (SOS agent), Pricila Alava, Arturo Correa (driver in Puerto Rico), Juan Garza (SOS commando leader), John Novak (federal agent at end), Antonio Hanna, Jaime Valladares

NOTES: A year after shooting SOS Conspiración Bikini, René Cardona Jr. returned to Ecuador with Julio Alemán to shoot the further adventures of James Bond-clone "Alex Dinamo" (who was even featured in a comic book series around this time). Peligro!...mujeres en acción is actually a quite decent spy-adventure film, one which certainly did not have the production values of the Bond pictures, but which compares favorably with the various Italian, German, and other European ripoffs being made around the same time. There are aerial shots and underwater shots, a real boat, truck and car (a Mercedes!) are destroyed, and the film was shot on location in Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Florida (at the Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami, and Cooper City--note the police car in the airport sequence). The physical action is handled well, and the whole picture moves along at a good pace.

Perhaps it was for these reasons that the producers decided to make a bid for international distribution of Peligro..., and prepared an English-language version which may or may not have ever seen commercial release. Oddly enough, the commercial video release of this film has a "hybrid" set of credits, with some names being repeated twice, and most of the technical credits showing up in English! Credit is also given to Stillman "Stim" Segar, an English-speaking actor who worked on a number of Mexican films of the 1960s and receives credit on several of the K. Gordon Murray-distributed, English-dubbed pictures. But given the lack of any international names (even a washed-up Hollywood has-been), Peligro... apparently could not find U.S. release.

However, a trailer for this version Danger Girls may be found on Youtube. There is also a clip from the Italian-dubbed version 7 assassine dalle labra di veluto.

The subversive organization SOS, led by the female mastermind Solva, smuggles a criminal scientist out of prison (?) in a coffin. While he is working on a new plan, SOS schedules a raid on an Ecuadorian oil refinery: by destroying the plant, Ecuador will be plunged into chaos and SOS can intervene. But Bárbara, a Intelligence Service agent, contacts fellow spy Alex Dinamo and sets up a rendezvous off the coast of Ecuador. She then steals SOS's plans for the raid and flees, pursued by SOS agents. Bárbara stops her car on a beach and, taking scuba gear from the trunk, plunges into the surf. SOS divers in a minisub chase her, but she blows them up with a miniature bomb. However, she is knocked unconscious by the blast, and has to be rescued by Alex, who--with Maura, another agent--have come to the rendezvous point in a small boat. Bárbara tells them about the raid on the refinery.

Alex swims to shore and commandeers a truck to take him to the landing spot, while Maura and Bárbara attack from the sea. The commandos are all wiped out, but Bárbara is killed and Alex and Maura are wounded.

Although this plan has failed, Solva tells her fellow SOS members that the professor has invented a virus which will be planted in the water supplies of various Latin American countries. It will become active in 48 hours unless the SOS antidote is applied.

Alex and Maura are sent to Puerto Rico to meet an undercover agent who has infiltrated SOS. But SOS assassin Jack (who has one steel hand with a razor sharp edge) is also there, and he kills one Intelligence Service operative (afterwards, fastidiously wiping the blood off his hand). Cristal, the undercover agent, tells Alex that the SOS headquarters is in Miami. He and Maura leave; Jack kills Cristal and another Intelligence Service operative, but is too late to catch Alex.

In Miami, Solva sends the sexy Monique to seduce and kill Alex, but she only succeeds in the first. Alex ties her up and leaves her in the closet of her hotel room. Meanwhile, Jack attacks Maura but is shot by SOS agent 77, who is actually an Intelligence Service spy (and Bárbara's sister).

No. 77 takes Alex and Maura to the professor's lab; Alex steals the antidote and a map of the locations where the virus has been planted, then blows up the lab. Solva and her henchmen pursue the three Intelligence Service agents across the Everglades, using jeeps, an airplane, and a helicopter which brings in a flamethrower. Alex, Maura and No. 77 are all wounded, but they manage to kill Solva and steal the helicopter and escape. The antidote and the map are handed over to the proper authorities, and SOS has lost again.

Although Peligro... is full of attractive young women in bikinis, and while Alex Dinamo is to some extent presented as a womanizer, the film isn't as sexist as one might suspect. SOS (in both films, in fact) is depicted as a powerful international organization under the direction of a woman (here, Elizabeth Campbell, austere and dominating), with both male and female members. Virtually all of the women--on both sides--are shown to be assertive and physically and mentally capable, not simply sex objects (the chief exception occurs early in the film, where exotic dancer Samantha--an SOS agent--tries to seduce Alex in her boudoir, but is shot to death by one of her own associates by accident; in a similar situation later, Monique is disarmed by Alex but later takes an active part in the pursuit across the Everglades, and is shot to death by Alex). Maura is stereotyped to a certain extent as Alex's aide, exasperated by his womanizing and constantly tagging along after him, but she is certainly a competent secret agent in her own right. Director Cardona had the film's actresses doing a lot of running, fighting, and shooting (the fights are mostly done using quick cuts, thus avoiding the necessity for doubles).

The cast is good, although Julio Alemán doesn't have much to work with--personality-wise--as Dinamo. He is kind of ruthless, however, shooting some SOS guards in the back and blasting Monique with a submachine gun without blinking. Bárbara Angely tackles her role in an energetic fashion and looks sleek and attractive in a bikini; Amedee Chabot is also beautiful, in a smaller role. Nadia Milton is unfortunately given a song (in English) and has to sing it wearing a sort of silver hat with earflaps: the song is terrible, the singing (possibly not Milton herself) is terrible, and the costume is terrible. Elsa Cárdenas and Arturo Correa have mere bit parts, but César del Campo is adequate as the metal-handed Jack.

Overall, slick and satisfactory entertainment.

NOTE: revision 3 April 2000: Ellen Cole does not play "Monique" (despite what it says in García Riera). In the Miami sequence towards the end of the film, there are 3 SOS agents with Elizabeth Campbell: one is "Monique," who speaks with a French accent and is tied up and left in a closet, a second has dark hair, and a third has shorter, red hair. Ellen Cole is the SOS agent with the dark hair.

NOTES 2 (Feb 2009): Mostly coincidentally, I have been in contact with several people who worked on this movie, including the late Barbara Angely, Ellen Cole (now a lawyer), and Jack Novicki aka "John Novak." Mr. Novicki, now a retired professional photographer, was kind enough to share these memories of the film with me in 2007:

"I only appear at the end of the film. Most of my scenes were to be shot in Guayaquil but were cut in Miami. Again, to the best of my recollection most if not all of the interior and some of the exterior shots to be filmed in Ecuador were shot in Florida or Mexico City. When we were shooting in Miami a interior set of a submarine was built in the studio of commercial production house. This may be the Cooper City you noted. The use of their non union workers probably was what caused the union problems that the production had."

"I know that almost all the scenes I appeared in ended up on the "cutting room floor." Now, for a little background. The film was to be partially shot in Ecuador. I heard that they could not get permission but I think they just ran out of money after the Miami scenes were shot. I had quite a few scenes in the Ecuador part of the script. The part was of a CIA agent helping out the Mexican intel group in Ecuador. The production was having problems with the tech unions in FL and they were picketing some of our locations. I spoke to a few of the guys and told them that the actors were working under a union contract and we had no control over the nonunion production personal. We shook hands and I never saw them again."

"One afternoon in Miami, Ellen Cole, Elizabeth Campbell and I went out for lunch and we got talking. Elizabeth said that she was signed to a 6 month contract with Universal or Warner Brothers in LA (I don't remember which) and when the contract ended, and was not renewed, she took an offer from a Mexican producer and that's how she ended up in Mexico. Elizabeth was not only a very beautiful woman but she was a very warm, charming and open person."

Back to the Amedee Chabot Page or the Elizabeth Campbell Page.

Revised 13 February 2009 by D.Wilt.