I once tagged this – purely on the strength of its title – as the backlist film I most wanted to see. Evidently the Gods of DVD were listening, because it was eventually released along with other titles from the vast British B library of the Danziger Brothers. Sadly, it’s no Cover Girl Killer – but it offers an hour of almost surreally genteel sleaze. Most of the film takes place in the Flamingo Club, presumably in Soho, where alcoholic, loud-check-suited comic Bert Black (John Hewer) provides dreadful patter between turns and polite patrons sit in nicely-arranged chairs while lithe dancers strip down to G-strings and pasties in decorous routines. Bert wears a battered funny hat, and is always harping on about his former top-of-the-bill status, but the fatherly club manager (Michael Peake) keeps gently reminding him he’s only on to give the girls time to get changed.
The plot kicks off when ‘thirty if she’s a day’ Rita (Ann Lynn) is so ticked off that her gangster boyfriend Branco (bald, glowering Kenneth J. Warren) has dumped her for younger, blonder, brassier, if peculiarly-accented Angelin (Vanda Hudson) that she tries to blackmail him about his dope ring. Most gang bosses would hire a cosh-boy or a gunman to take out the tart, but Branco calls in batty boffin Perkel (Peter Elliott), who wants to perform a human experiment on his remote-control zapper device (which uses the then-new and exciting technology of transistors, prompting several references to Sputnik). In the dressing room, Rita and Angelin have a sadly mild hair-pulling fight over Branco. Rita gets sacked, so Diana (Jean Muir), who is secretly married to Bert, goes on in her place and is electrocuted – everyone (including the useless plods) says it must be an accident, but Bert goes off the booze and turns ‘tec to track down the murderers, aided by stage door-keeper Lou (Leon Cortez). Meanwhile, Rita and wicked waiter Rocco (Carl Duering) are still trying to muscle in on the dope racket and kill Branco simply – without needing to hire a mad scientist – to get hold of his black book of drugs contacts. Perkel is lured back to the club on the pretence of giving a demonstration to interested parties, and nabbed as he is about to repeat his experiment with an unwilling Rita, who has had the deadly microphone sellotaped to her hand by the stern hero. After it’s all over, Bert admits he doesn’t feel all that much better.
Paul Tabori’s script would be utterly conventional if it wasn’t for its very minor science fiction content, and director Ernest Morris does it almost all in long, dull master shots. Furthermore, Hewer is a boring hero, the appealing Muir dies before she can do more than a) her act and b) show off her cute bobbed hairstyle, and the talented, interesting Ann Lynn should have been given more scheming, shrewish rottenness scenes. The obscure Elliott, who has a bit as a blacked-up Indian professor in Night of the Demon, is probably man of the match as the amoral, dotty, bland professor, who works up his human bug-zapper device in a Highgate lock-up. Perkel excites Lou the doorman’s suspicions by showing up as a flat-capped electrician to tamper with the microphone in the afternoon and again as a patron in evening dress to perform the experimental murder in the evening – though Lou forgets to mention this during the perfunctory investigation (just another routine stripper electrocution). Naturally, Perkel still wants to be paid, even though he’s offed the wrong ecdysiast.