Visible Agent 000
aka Voitheia O Vengos, Faneros Praktor '000'
Director Thanasis Vengos Writers Napoleon Eleftheriou, Nikos Tsiforos
Cast Thanasis Vengos (Athanasios Bobas aka “Thou Vou”), Zannino, Dimitris Nikolaidis, Lavrentis Dianellos (Psaltis)
Hola everyone, and welcome to the final in our three film Spies-A-Go-Go tribute. Tonight we venture for the very first time into vintage Greek cinema with a very strange spy spoof, and living proof that no country was immune to Bondmania: the 1967 Visible Agent 000.
Every country has its own Jerry Lewis lurking in its cinematic past, and
As a Bond spoof, it's an absolute riot. The shadow of Sean Connery is everywhere, from the portraits on the wall to the school's name (right next door to the James Bond Kindergarten for Spies!), and to the numerous lapses into Monty Norman's instantly recognizable theme music – sadly, not played on bazoukis. There's an exasperated M, a blonde and leggy Miss Moneypenny, and a Q who offers Thou Vou a briefcase full of indispensable gadgets, including clothes pegs, a Swiss Army knife and a supply of contraceptives. Proving he's a master of concealment, he stalks his female suspect first as a mobile bale of hay, then as an overgrown child on a scooter, and as a gypsy violist with a trained monkey and tape recorder strapped to his wrist...
...All of which may sound about as funny to you as an episode of Acropolis Now. Like many non-English language comedies it won't be to everyone's taste, and much of the humour is, I suspect, lost in the translation. Luckily for us, Vengos is adept at channelling the previous fifty years of comedic genius: the Marx Brothers' surreal visual gags, the physical comedy and pathos of Chaplin and Keaton, and let's not forget the bastard child of them all, the infantile dementia of Jerry Lewis. The result is surprisingly effective, a frantic farce replacing “what the...?” moments with genuinely witty and supremely silly gags in rapid-fire succession. There's also romance and even a Sixties pop number WITH bazoukis, all in an imaginatively filmed and crisp black and white print. It's certainly one of the strangest back alleys we've peered down as we chart the most obscure corners of Bondmania – the 1967 Visible Agent 000.