At once an homage to classical Hollywood thrillers and a playful riff on the newly-popular James Bond films, Attack of the Robots (Cartes sur table) stars Eddie Constantine as a wise-cracking superspy investigating a series of assassinations being performed by ruthless killers with bronze skin and horn-rimmed glasses. The trail of these mindless automata leads him to the lair of a seductive villainess (Françoise Brion, L’Immortelle) who has formulated a computer-powered plot to overthrow the governments of Europe. Constantine, who was popular in France for his two-fisted Lemmy Caution films (including Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville), had begun to tire of playing the hardboiled detective, and welcomed the opportunity to take a more light-hearted approach to the genre film. Reflecting director Jess Franco’s passion for jazz (he appears in two scenes as a nightclub pianist), Attack of the Robots has a spontaneity and playfulness that make it one of his most entertaining films, even as it embraces themes of sadomasochism and mind control that were so integral to his work.
Audio commentary by Tim Lucas, co-author of Obsession: The Films of Jess Franco
Original theatrical trailer