man from sexTHE MAN FROM S.E.X. (1979) – Category: Fun-bad but not classically bad enough for my highest rating.

Bind … Charles Bind. In the cinematic world of cheapjack James Bond ripoffs the three films that featured Lindsay Shonteff’s secret agent Charles Bind aka “Number One” are possibly THE worst. “The Bind Trilogy” deserves to be as well-known to fans of bad movies as flicks like Operation Double 007, Danger! Death Ray and Trunk to Cairo. All three of Number One’s movies are Number Two (had to be said) but The Man From S.E.X. pretty much Harry Alan Towers (rimshot) over the other two in terms of awfulness.

Nicky Hensen portrayed Bind … well, given Hensen’s limited thespian skills let’s instead say “he was billed as Bind in the credits” of the first Charles Bind/ Number One film, titled Number One of the Secret Service (1970). (Jon “Dr Who” Pertwee was in the Hensen film, too)  Gareth Hunt (of New Avengers fame) was billed as Bind in the credits of this middle film in the series and in 1990 came the third and final film Number One Gun, starring Michael Howe (of Tom Grattan’s War fame). The first and third pitted our hero against the evil organization K.R.A.S.H. (Killing, Rape, Arson, Slaughter and Hits) but The Man From S.E.X. featured a different – but no less absurd – villain.

To take things from the top The Man From S.E.X. is NOT a porno film, not even softcore. In fact, though Gareth Hunt’s Number One is depicted as the typical secret agent lady’s man his character doesn’t “get lucky” very much in the movie. Hell, the midget spy in For Your Height Only (reviewed previously here) was getting laid all the time in HIS film, making Charles Bind look pretty lame.

This flick so slavishly imitates the Bond films that there’s even a pre-credits teaser which finds Number One tied up in an out-of-control fighter jet that’s about to explode. He escapes by spitting his breath mint at the “eject” switch with enough force to trigger it and glides down to Earth in a parachute. After touching down he sheds his flight suit to reveal a tux underneath and escorts a regulation Beautiful Woman to dinner, apologizing for being late because he was “all tied up”. Say what you will, the REAL 007 films often featured quips and teasers every bit as lame as this. In fact Gareth Hunt has more screen presence than the limp Roger Moore, who is so cold and lifeless he probably doesn’t even show up on infra-red screens.  

Next we get treated to a band that I SWEAR the filmmakers hoped everyone would think was ABBA doing a song called Love is A Fine Thing while the credits roll. After dinner and a presumed night of snogging & shagging Bind shows up for his briefing from “Stockwell”, the imitation M of the Number One films. From there it’s on to Merlin, the imitation Q of the Number One films, to get his gadgets, including a magnetic cigar, a force field generator and other items.

The villain is Senator Lucifer Orchid, a wealthy British man who has somehow been elected Senator from California. Orchid is played by Gary Hope, who would go on to play the K.R.A.S.H. agent named Kissov in Number One Gun. Senator Orchid is so evil he gets his jollies out of having captives run along the beach behind his mansion just so his top agent Ultra-One can use them for target practice like assorted villains in Spaghetti Westerns do to innocent people. Orchid knows he can’t get elected president since he wasn’t born in the United States, so he’s hatched a plan to replace the Vice President with a duplicate created by plastic surgery, then assassinate the president, letting his puppet assume the presidency.  

Oh – about Ultra-One… he’s played by Space: 1999‘s Nick Tate as a badass mercenary anxious to test his mettle against Charles Bind and for some reason Tate is dubbed by a man who sounds like he’s imitating Marlon Brando’s performance as Vito Corleone. I have no idea if that was done because Tate’s Aussie accent was deemed too thick for American audiences or if it was supposed to be funny … kinda.

In fact that’s the problem with the whole film. Part of the fun of its badness is the way it keeps you guessing. You always have to wonder “Okay, was that just really bad filmmaking or were they trying for the fun-but-not-quite- funny cornball schtick of the Bond movies?” And don’t start with me 007 film fans! Pay attention through every minute of the Connery and Moore Bond films before you email me with outraged complaints. (Bikini-clad Japanese women performing plastic surgery to make Bond look Japanese … perfectly serious spy film moment.)

The Man From S.E.X. actually has production values that make it look less silly than the Derek Flint or Matt Helm movies. If you watched it with the sound down you could mistake it for a serious film … until the fight scenes. Number One does battle with a whip-wielding midget, a huge gay man who keeps saying nothing but “Hi” during his battle with Bind, assorted thugs of Senator Orchid and, best of all, a deadly stripper whose nipple-tassles are really razors and she spins them so fast our hero has to retreat before her menacing advance.

A scene where Number One’s specially-issued car literally flies is so incredibly cheap you’d have to see it to believe it. And the plastic surgeon who creates Lucifer Orchid’s duplicate Vice President also crafts a duplicate of Charles Bind in a story element that goes absolutely nowhere and has the worst imaginable excuse for a payoff.

As for the ladies, most of them are unmemorable except for Me Me Lai (of Italian cannibal movie fame) and Fiona Curzon who had played a different character in Nicky Hensen’s Bind movie. You can guess the rest about this film … Senator Orchid is defeated, Number One wins his showdown with Ultra One and the closing credits play over a freeze-frame of Bind kissing Fiona Curzon’s character Lotta Muff (yes, Lotta Muff).

Sometimes you find yourself bored and yawning during this flick in between fits of laughter so that’s why it didn’t get my highest rating. The most memorable scene to me is the part where Senator Orchid punishes his midget hitman for failing to kill Number One by burning him alive with his cigarette lighter/ flame-thrower. This is done just so Orchid can get off a quip about the midget being a Small Fry. That should let you know what you’re in for if you decide to watch this cheap, inept and inane spy film.  

(And if you’re wondering S.E.X. is just a throwaway acronym. The best the filmmakers could come up with was “Society for Experimental Xenogenesis” which would make a great name for a group of devil-worshipping villains, but a horrible name for a good-guy spy organization.)


© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Filed under Bad and weird movies

18 responses to “BAD MOVIE: THE MAN FROM S.E.X. (1979)

  1. This made me laugh so hard! Luv ur movie rviws!

  2. I love your blog! It is my favorite and your movie reviews are the best part!

  3. This review was more entertaining than the movie!

  4. Pingback: “LOVE IS A FINE THING” FROM THE MOVIE “THE MAN FROM S.E.X.” | Balladeer's Blog

  5. Hayden

    Great review! Very funny!

  6. Sherron

    I loved your review but I will never watch this movie!

  7. Lyndsay

    What a goofy secret agent.

  8. Neal

    Weird movie it sounds like.

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