Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Fathom – Binder Beginning Boasts Barefoot, Bikini-bottomed Beauty

Written by Jesse Kowalski • April 21st, 2010
Fathom – Binder Beginning Boasts Barefoot, Bikini-bottomed Beauty

Dental assistant cum super spy Fathom skydives her way into our hearts via a series of confusing double crosses and eye-pleasing costume changes – 16, in fact. While traveling through Spain with her skydiving team, Fathom Harvill is enlisted by Colonel Campbell, who operates out of a mobile home in Malaga in lieu of a super secret volcano hideaway, to locate the Fire Dragon. We’re told there are only two qualifications for the job – being a girl skydiver, she meets both.

With the popularity of James Bond as strong as ever in 1967, there was bound to be a lady agent on film. Then 27-year-old Raquel Welch, fresh off One Million Years BC and sporting seemingly impossible measurements of 37-22-36, solidified her buxom beauty status with this role. Co-starring the “always a bridesmaid, never a bride“ Tony Franciosa, sporting an odd peroxide blonde ‘do, this film provides little substance, but a lot of Raquel.

The opening title sequence was designed by Maurice Binder, the master of his craft, designing such titles as Charade, Barbarella, and almost every James Bond intro the other side of Pierce Brosnan. In fact, the opening sequence is about the only part of this film worthy of multiple viewings, with the best erotic parachute folding scene ever put on film. There is a great soundtrack throughout from John Dankworth, fresh off the other big female super sleuth, Modesty Blaise, the year prior.

Fathom was directed by Leslie Martinson, who reached his zenith with Batman in 1966 (TV show and motion picture!), came back with Fathom, helmed some Brady Bunch, and then directed the playlist of my lonely, lonely childhood – Buck Rogers, CHiPS, Matthew Star, Fantasy Island, and Diff’rent Strokes, before offering the wafer thin mint that was Small Wonder.

Jesse Kowalski

Jesse Kowalski grew up watching B-movies on a Zenith console in his parents’ basement. Has a soft spot for beach movies, lounge music, and Jerry Lewis.

Find out more about Jesse Kowalski

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