Saturday, February 18, 2012

I have a rich and varied life. When I'm not watching crappy genre exploitation films, with few to no redeeming features, I'm often to be found reading crappy genre exploitation books - with few to no redeeming features.

Occasionally the two collide.

At the moment I'm suffering the double-whammy bewilderment of reading the novelization of what promises to be a most godawful film. A film that STARRED Gareth Hunt. Just think about those words for a moment; let the true horror of them sink in... 'Starring Gareth Hunt'. Not 'Also starring', 'co-starring', or even 'With a special guest appearance from'. But 'Starring'.

The film (and the book) is called Licensed to Love and Kill and is a very late very cheap very unfunny spy caper spoof. A last 1979 gasp of the Superspy craze started when James Bond first hit the screen in Dr No.

Here's the cover:
Licenced to Love and Kill

And here's the blurb from the back:

Charles Bind is
No. 1

A Women want him because nobody
does it better.

Jensen Fury wants him because no other agent
has ever caused him so much trouble before and
Fury wants No. 1 very, very dead!

The prologue contains a truly genius bit of rubbish writing The book opens with our hero tied to the pilot seat of a plane by el Fatah terrorists. There's a bomb on the plane and the terrorists have 'chuted to safety.

The seconds towards doom ticked away. One minute and eighty seconds from now and he would be raining all over France in a million bloody pieces.
Faced with immediate extinction and unable to move his hands, which are tied behind him, our quick thinking hero bites a collar button off his flight suit and spits it at the 'PILOT EJECT' button. Kapow! The plane's canopy shoots off (severing his bonds somehow) and he is hurled into the velvet sky. and his parachute opens - what considerate terrorists. He lands, gathers up the 'chute, strips off his flight suit to reveal an 'immaculate white evening suit' with a rose in his buttonhole, and strolls to meet his date in the Monte Carlo casino that fate and Fatah have delivered him.

Luckily the plane explodes in a braziiion bits so the author doesn't have to explain what kind of plane it was that had enough room for 'terrorists' (i.e. more than one) to move about enough to tie someone to the pilot's chair, take off, and then bail out with 'chutes of their own - but yet still had an pilot ejector seat. Some sort of jet-fighter-cum-wide-bodied passenger plane perhaps?

What got me though was the 'One minute and eighty seconds' on the bomb timer - isn't that two minutes and twenty seconds? Or maybe Fatah bomb-makers used some sort of metric timers that use 100 seconds to the minute, the bastards.

The rest of the book is turning out to be equally awful. I can't work out if it was really written by a spotty fifteen year old with no imagination or someone pretending to be. Someone is taking the piss though. Every time a character gets into a car and guns it, they're going ten miles an hour faster than whoever gunned their car in the previous chapter so in chapter one our hero is doing 110 mph down the Strand (or wherever) and by chapter seven he's doing 180 down Sunset Boulevard. I expect him to break the sound barrier by the end of the book.

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