CODE 7: VICTIM 5. British Lion Film Corp., UK, 1964. Columbia Pictures, US, 1965. Lex Barker, Ann Smyrner, Ronald Fraser, Walter Rilla. Co-producer (uncredited): Harry Alan Towers. Director: Robert Lynn.

   Code 7: Victim 5 has the distinction (?) of being one of the first films to try and cash in on the post-Goldfinger James Bond craze. This was marketed as a spy thriller (The original title was simply Victim 5) but it’s actually … well, what is it exactly? Something about a New York Private Eye named Steve Martin (is he meant to be the same character Raymond Burr played in Godzilla? Could this be the basis of future academic discussion?) called to Cape Town South Africa to find out who killed a millionaire’s butler, and learning this is simply one in a series of murders involving former POWs from World War II who … who … zzzzz.

   Steve (played here by Lex Barker) Martin’s investigative technique consists of going from one tourist spot to another – any place where there’s scenery, really — looking for clues or something and getting in fights, shoot-outs and car chases, all of which, the background music Insists, must be very exciting, but they seemed sort of blah to me.

   There’s a bit of imagination In one sequence involving Death by Ostrich Stampede, and late in the film we get to see the former Tarzan once again stalking lions through the jungle, but mostly this is the kind of film that is usually (and charitably) dismissed as “routine.” The smutty-sub-Bond double-entendres and the plethora of girls In Beach Party bikinis, sporting 1960s hairdo’s maybe made the movie look hip back in ’65, but now it just looks quaint — it doesn’t have a quaint charm, it’s merely quaint.

— Reprinted from The Hound of Dr. Johnson #44, March 2006.