CODE 7, VICTIM 5
a Towers Of London (Harry Alan Towers) production
starring Lex Barker
made in South Africa in 1964
About to loan this film to a friend, I thought I’d give it another viewing…then looking it up on the IMDB, I found that I’d actually reviewed it in 2006, so I’m reprinting that review here. I’d rate it a little bit higher today, if only for the novelty factor of the South African location shooting and for the presence of Lex Barker, who is always worth watching, even when going through the motions in an offshore programmer such as this one. Also, the film was photographed by the pre-fame Nicholas Roeg, and his unique eye is evident here, so it’s always an interesting LOOKING film.
Lex Barker in unimaginative South African-set detective film (originally reviewed February 2006)
CODE 7, VICTIM 5 is now available in a cheap DVD, and for a few dollars (mine cost $3 US), it’s passable entertainment, mostly for the presence of Lex Barker as private eye “Steve Martin” (same name as Raymond Burr’s character in GODZILLA). This is a typical Harry Alan Towers production–find an out-of-the-way country where the pound/dollar goes a long way and without powerful unions, hire a lot of locals in small roles, use a lot of free locations to give the film “color,” have Towers himself pen a by-the-numbers script over dinner or during a flight. South Africa photographs well (the film was shot by Nicholas Roeg, so it’s no surprise), and is so unfamiliar to this American that the background almost becomes a character. The plot is the standard “someone is killing off one by one the members of a group from a previous time” and ex-Nazis are even dragged in. Ronald Fraser (best known in the USA for FATHOM, with Raquel Welch and the late great Tony Franciosa) does a good job as the local police inspector who finds jet-setting detective Barker to be a bit of a pest, but eventually realizes Barker’s honesty and professionalism–Fraser and Barker are the perfect foils for each other. Nothing special here–probably of interest mostly to the Barker fan (or those who want a quick three-dollar travelogue of South Africa).