It’s been a while, dear friends, since I last seduced you with another pick out of MGM’s brilliant line of movies. As a matter of fact, with all that’s been going on around Cinema Suicide I haven’t even had much time to think about them myself. Well you’re in luck! Last night I forced myself to sit down and enjoy some downtime with Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. The Midnite Movies line has produced some pretty strange offerings, but perhaps none more strange than this film. Rumor has it that this was intended to be a musical but somewhere along the way the songs got cut and we’re left with a 1960s version of Austin Powers.
The plot, though bizarre, is pretty simple. Vincent Price plays Dr. Goldfoot, a mad scientist that, along with his dimwitted assistant Igor, has begun creating beautiful robot women with the intention of sending them out to seduce, marry, and rob wealthy men. All is going according to plan until one of the robots mistakenly confuses her intended target with the bumbling Craig Gamble (Frankie Avalon). Gamble immediately falls in love with the bot and is heartbroken when she is redirected to her initial target, millionaire Todd Armstrong (Dwayne Hickman). Well, one thing leads to another and Gamble and Armstrong discover what Goldfoot is up to. High-jinks ensue, there are a few swinging dance numbers, and what is certainly one of the more interesting chase scenes in Hollywood history.
At it’s core Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine is just another low budget AIP flick aimed at teenagers and their money. It’s the film’s subtle, sideways humor, blatant sexism (half the female cast wears little more than underwear throughout), and a wonderfully whimsical performance by the always genius Vincent Price that really sets this one in a class by itself. Hickman and Avalon turn in some great performances but it’s Prices over the top, tongue in cheek performance that saves this from being another throw away. Dr. Goldfoot is a James Bond entry with a sense of humor, Austin Powers without the irony, and one of MGM’s lost treasures. If you’re really up for a challenge you can try and track down the Mario Bava directed sequel, Dr. Goldfoot and the Sex Bombs.