I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I pushed play on the Netflix Instant version of Dr. Goldfoot And The Bikini Machine. I thought it was just another iteration of the AIP surf flicks I’ve enjoyed so much this summer (like Ski Party, Pajama Party and Bikini Beach), but it also happened to combine a few other favorite genres (to varying degrees of success) with some sci-fi/robot stuff going on as well as a spy motiff. Oh, and the bad guy is none other than one of my all time favorite actors Vincent Price absolutely relishing in his role as an evil mastermind. To say the man chews scenery doesn’t quite do his performance justice, he savors that ham like a world-class steak and it really makes the movie.
The plot revolves around Price’s Dr. Goldfoot creating lady-looking robots to rob wealthy men. In a precursor to Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse and The Matrix, the robots are directly programmed for the specific men they’re going after, which is a pretty rad idea seen through the prism of mid-60s sci-fi. Anyway, a couple of guys played by Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman get wise to the plot and try to put a stop to it which leads first to a dungeon scene with cameos by some of their fellow AIP stars, including Annette Funicello, and then into a huge chase scene that includes boats on wheels and street cars.
It’s got all that, plus the trademark wit and thinly veiled sexual innuendo you should come to expect from the surf flicks and on top of all that it stars Price at his hammiest AND has some James Bondian moments (they this element is the weakest of the batch by far), which makes this like the Voltron of weird subgenre movies for me. And you know what’s even crazier? It was going to be a musical originally, but those bits were cut out, though its unknown whether that was before or after filming started. Wouldn’t it be rad if someone uncovered a full print of this film with those scenes intact? I’d definitely give it another watch!