Saturday, February 22, 2014

R.I.P.: Alexandra Bastedo, Part III

(9 March 1946 —12 January 2014)

The mostly forgotten (outside of the Commonwealth) 60s' sex symbol Alexandra Bastedo, a "devoted animal rights activist" and vegetarian, died in January of cancer. Retrorambling says "Bastedo was born in Hove, Sussex, England. According to her official website, her mother was of French, German and Italian descent. Her Canadian-born father was of Spanish, Dutch, Scottish and native Indian extraction. She attended Brighton and Hove High School and Brighton School of Drama. Although most familiar to viewers of 1960s TV, she was also famous for her multilingual skills, speaking Italian, Spanish, French and German. This skill brought her to the door of 10 Downing Street to assist with translations and landed her the role of co-presenter of Miss World competitions with Peter Marshall in the 1980s." We here at A Wasted Life rather liked her exotic eyes, strong jaw and her prime 60s figure and parts of her filmogaphy, which we take a look at below...

Go here for Part I
Go here for Part II

Tu dios y mi infierno
(1976, dir. Rafael Romero Marchent)

Alexandra Bastedo returned to Spain to make this movie with another director with the last name of "Romero Marchent", Rafael Romero Marchent, who worked on so many movies together with Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent (see: El clan de los Nazarenos [1975] in Part I), who co-wrote this movie with Santiago Moncada, that one can't help but wonder if the relationship was deeper than just business... were they siblings? Any Spaniard out there know?
A Scene from Rafael Romero Marchent's  
Santo contra el doctor Muerte (1973):

The co-scripter of this unknown and forgotten drama, Santiago Moncada, by the way, unsheathed his pen for many a better-known movie, including: Bava's Hatchet for a Honeymoon (1970 / trailer), A Bell from Hell (1973 / trailer / full movie) All the Colors of the Dark (1972 / trailer), Franco's La esclava blanca (1985 / full film, with Lina Romay), José Ramón Larraz's Rest in Pieces (1987 / full movie, Voodoo Black Exorcist (1974 / full movie and Rico The Mean Machine (1973 / trailer
The plot as far as we could string together from two Spanish one-sentence synopses we found, concerns Liselotte (Analía Gadé of Exorcism's Daughter [1971 / trailer] and In the Eye of the Hurricane [1971 / opening credits]) and Caesar, who come a former fishing village that is now popular amongst the rich, where Liselotte fleeces millionaires; she meets and falls in love with a priest (John Phillip Law), whom the jealous Caesar has beaten up...
In any event, despite two English-language AKA titles, Your God My Hell and Your Heaven My Hell, and the fact that the movie stars cult actor John Phillip Law (of Ray Harryhausen's The Golden Voyage of Sinbad [1974] and Night Train to Terror [1985], among many movies of note), we could find little to nothing about this film online. The only English-language commentary is on imdb, where henry ( says: "This is not a spectacularly good film, but I loved it because my wife, girlfriend at the time, had a small part. She is the beautiful young woman who appears several times in cut-off jeans and in a white bikini in the beach scene. The poster in the lobby [see above] featured a picture of her and Alexandra Bastedo lying on the beach. [...] If you get a chance to see the film, keep your eye peeled for the beautiful girl in the cutoff jeans. She makes the whole film worthwhile.
Nice to know that in some relationships, unlike that of your parents probably, love is still there after 26 years (henry's comment: 2002 — film: 1976 = 26 years).
Also from Director Rafael Romero Marchent —  
And Santana Kills Them All (1970):

Find the Lady
(1976, dir. John Trent)

The sequel to John Trent's equally unknown comedy It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (1975 / sort of a trailer), and, as far as we can tell, the first movie in which John Candy (31 October 1950 — 4 March 1994), one of the most un-funny comedians to ever succeed, received on-screen credit. Like most films of director John Trent, the only exception being the hicksploitation Sunday in the Country (1974) — "Not since Peckinpah's Straw Dogs has the screen exploded with such righteous vengeance!" — Find the Lady is pretty crappy.
Over at imdb, Jean-Marc Rocher ( offers this more-than serviceable plot synopsis (it's also good enough for TCM, which uses it without credit): "The daughter (Alexandra Bastedo) of a wealthy businessman (Peter Cook) has been kidnapped, and the chief of police, under a lot of pressure to find her as soon as possible, assigns officers Kopek (John Candy of The Clown Murders [1976 / full movie]) and Broom (Lawrence Dane of The Bride of Chucky [1998], Behind the Wall [2008 / trailer], Rituals [1977 / trailer / full movie], and Scanners [1981 / trailer]) to track her down and bring her back safe and sound. What nobody on the police force realizes is that the kidnapping was meant to be a fake: the girl's father hired a couple of mafia goons (Mickey Rooney & Dick Emery) to stage a kidnapping, so that he could use the ransom money to pay off his gambling debts. Unfortunately for him, the hired thugs get the wrong girl. While this should been fairly easy to resolve, the daughter has decided to run off with her boyfriend, after which she actually does get kidnapped by someone else. To add to the complications, a third party is also claiming to be holding her for ransom. Somehow, the bumbling pair of officers has to wade through this mess and find the lady."
Aka Call the Cops!, Kopek and Broom and Police Epidemy (the last in Germany), the cast is eclectic, to say the least, and aside from being Candy's debut, also features the first credited performance of Delroy Lindo as well as a yitload of familiar faces with unknown name.
Unknown Movies, which says that "the only entertainment [from this movie] comes from wondering why it was made in the first place", also explains why it was made in the first place: "It can probably be safely deducted that this was a tax-shelter production, with Canadian investors at very little risk. And the Brits invest in it as well, providing enough English actors to make it a 'British' movie, so it can be easily released to British theaters because of quotas on British movies, no matter how terrible they may be. [...] The end result is a boring mishmash of sitcom antics, bad performances, crude slapstick, and the curiosity of hearing Canadian, British, and American accents from characters supposedly in an American city but looking more like Eastern Canada."
For a non-funny and non-embeddable scene from Find the Lady, go here or here at

The Man Inside
(1976, dir. Gerald Mayer)

Alexandra Bastedo plays "Joan Lytton" in this TV movie directed by Louis B. Mayer's nephew Gerald Mayer, who started his career doing unspectacular B-movies in the 50s (his better ones being his debut noir Dial 1119 [1950 / trailer] and the western The Marauders [1955 / trailer]) before retiring to a long career doing TV. The true stars of the movie are James Franciscus (of Ray Harryhausen's The Valley of Gangi [1969 / trailer]) and Stefanie Powers [of Crescendo [1970 / trailer], Invisible Strangler [1976 / full movie], Warning Shot [1967 / spot], Die! Die! My Darling! [1965 / trailer] and Experiment in Terror [1962 / trailer from hell]).
At Rovi, John Bush says the movie is about how "an undercover Canadian agent must get into a Toronto drug ring, but when he's successful, his morals are tested by the opportunity to cut out with $2 million in cash." At Stefanie Powers' website, she cribs (uncredited) the plot description written by for imdb: "An undercover cop (Franciscus) infiltrates a major heroin ring. He soon finds himself in a position to take $2 million without anyone knowing about it, a situation made all the more tempting because of his girlfriend's griping about their constant struggles to make ends meet and their need to change their lives for the better." Somewhere along the way, the TV movie got a VHS release as well as a Spanish-language release.

El mirón
(1977, dir. José Ramón Larraz)

Seeing that one the various language Alexandra Bastedo could speak was Spanish, it isn't all that surprising that she eventually was to work together with the Spanish-born, mostly active in England director José Ramón Larraz, the man behind that vampire masterpiece Vampyres (1974). (We took a look at his career when he died in 2013.)
Trailer to Vampyres
which doesn't feature Alexandra Bastedo:

Regrettably, Bastedo didn't exactly take part in his more notable films — in fact, this drama is one of his most obscure movies. In Part II of our Larraz career review, our brief entry on this movie is as follows: "Another Spanish film that never got an English-language release. A computer translation of some Spanish synopsis offers the following: 'A middle-aged man (Héctor Alterio of Scarab [1983 / trailer]) has a dissatisfying marriage with Elaine (Alexandra Bastedo of The Blood Spattered Bride [1972 / trailer]), who sleeps with other men on the condition is that he has to be present and, in some cases, participate in the ménage à trois.' Seems to be a real snoozer..."
Long scene in Spanish:

La Gioconda está triste
(1977, dir. Antonio Mercero)

This Spanish TV film based on a novel by José Luis Garci is listed on many a website as featuring Alexandra Bastedo, but she is neither listed in the credits nor did we notice her in the film... but then we sort of watched this slow moving 47-minute-long movie with only one eye. Slow but interesting is the word: at the Louvre, the Mona Lisa loses her smile and as she looks sadder and sadder the world gets sadder and sadder until — Armageddon? Yep, that's the basic plot... see for yourself below. Love how the guy lights up a cigarette in the museum towards the start of the filmlette.
Full movie in Spanish:
La Gioconda está triste
La Gioconda está triste (Antonio Mercero) from Hobbes on Vimeo.

Cabo de vara 
(1978, dir. Raúl Artigot)
This Spanish costume drama based on a novel by Tomás Salvador doesn't seem to have had an English-language release, but it does have a nice poster. As far as we can make out from two indecipherable computer translations of Spanish synopses, the movie takes place in 1883 in Ceuta, an autonomous Spanish city on the Northern coast of Africa. A prison story, it deals with an officer who takes an interest in a new inmate who, instead of being reformed by prison, is corrupted..
Who knows where Alexandra Bastedo fits in there, but she's listed on the poster and made it on the cover of a VHS. Cabo de vara was the second of only three films directed by Raúl Artigot, whose most interesting project was probably his first movie, El monte de las brujas / The Witches Mountain (1972), a somewhat slow but odd horror film starring the under-appreciated Patty Shepard of Juan Piquer Simón's masterpiece Slugs (1988) and much another fine flotsam.
The Witches Mountain — Full Movie:

The Witches Mountain von crazedigitalmovies

Director Raúl Artigot was actually far more active as a cinematographer, and in that function he worked on two Jess Franco Films, Les demons (1973 / German trailer) and Les expériences érotiques de Frankenstein (1972 / scene), as well such notable Euro-genre trash as The Cannibal Man (1973 / trailer), Amando de Ossorio's The Ghost Galleon (1974) and The Pajama Girl Case (1977 / trailer).
Trailer to Amando de Ossorio's  
The Ghost Galleon:

(1980, dir. José Ramón Larraz)

Full Movie:

Aka Stigma. Alexandra Bastedo's second movie with José Ramón Larraz, after 1978's El mirón, and like that film already took a look at Stigma in Part III of the career review of José Ramón Larraz, where we wrote the following: "[...] This film [was] 'adapted' by the Italian Sergio Pastore, aka 'George Vidor', who among other movies, also wrote and/or directed The Crimes of the Black Cat [1972 / trailer]. Larraz makes a rare (un-credited) appearance in Stigma as one of the mourners at a funeral.
"Deep Red Rum is of the opinion that 'Stigma succeeds in its darkness and moodiness, which more than make up for the pace. This is a somewhat unfairly overlooked entry into the Euro horror canon. Seek it out if you think you've seen everything from the time period.' Considering how easy Stigma is to find in comparison to so many of Larraz's movies, it is a bit surprising that so few people have bothered to watch it.
"Over at DB Cult, Phil Hardy offers the following bare-bones plot description: 'Sebastian (Christian Borromeo of Murder-Rock: Dancing Death [1984 / German trailer] and Tenebre [1982 / trailer]) discovers at puberty that he has the ability to kill people by thought-power. Initially disturbed by the rumblings in his psyche, which terrify a medium (the great and underappreciated Helga Liné of The Vampires' Night Orgy [1974 / trailer], When the Screaming Stops [1974 / trailer], Virgin Killer [1978 / Italian trailer], My Dear Killer [1972 / trailer] and So Sweet... So Perverse... [1969 / main title]) he accidentally encounters, he learns to use them and kills his brother (Emilio Gutiérrez Caba of La Comunidad [2000 / trailer] and The Art of Dying [2000]) out of jealousy for his girlfriend, Ana (Alexandra Bastedo of I Hate My Body [1974 / scene])."

Legend of the Champions
(1983, dir. Cyril Frankel)

We took a look at the British television series The Champions (1968-1969) in Part I of this career review. 14 years after its cancellation, two episodes — The Champions: The Beginning (1968) and The Champions: The Interrogation (1969) — were edited together for a TV movie that got later VHS release. Both episodes were directed by Cyril Frankel, the director of one of Hammer's few "message pictures", the virtually forgotten and disturbing B&W movie Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (1960), and Joan Fontaine's last feature film, the Hammer horror movie The Witches (1966 / trailer).
Trailer to Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (1960):

The "movie" Legend of the Champions thus inter-splices/combines the origin of the three super-mensch with a tale of one of the party, Craig Sterling (Stuart Damon) being interrogated to find out whether or not he might be a double agent. One of the few in the US who has seen this chop-job is zeitschik, who, on 7 May 2005, wrote the following at imdb: "Having seen the movie a number of times, I can see why anyone would experience confusion or displeasure. Whoever decided to use episode 18 with The Beginning did not do the viewers any favors." He is also of the opinion that "Sharron Macready (Alexandra Bastedo) really gives Emma Peel a good run for her money, and as far as I'm concerned, that's really saying something!!"

(1984, dir. Steven Hilliard Stern)

Alexandra Bastedo's last appearance in an English-language movie of note, she is the third headlining star after Kirk Douglas and James Coburn in this shot-in-Canada HBO TV production with subsequent cinema release in Canuckland and later VHS (and now DVD) release
Director Steven Hilliard Stern has a long and undistinguished career and among his projects of mild note are Lo B'Yom V'Lo B'Layla (1972), featuring a young Zalmon King; Harrad Summer (1974 / trailer), the sequel to The Harrad Experiment (1973 / trailer); and the Tommy Lee Jones TV movie The Park Is Mine (1986 / trailer). Draw! was written by Stanley Mann, an Oscar-nominated scriptwriter (The Collector [1965 / trailer]) who, among other things, wrote Damien: Omen II (1978 / trailer) and Conan the Destroyer (1984 / trailer); supplied the idea to and helped produce one of our favorite movies, Theatre of Blood (1973); and helped produce two notable pieces of flotsum, the arty The Ballad of Tam Lin (1970 / a trailer) and the non-arty Class of 1999 (1990 / trailer).
Trailer to Theatre of Blood (1973):

Charles Tatum's Review Archive, which says "Alexandra Bastedo is good, if not a little vacuous, as the love interest who really just needs to stand around and look pretty," explains the plot: "Kirk Douglas is Handsome Harry Holland, a retired gunfighter who pops into a small town long enough to win some money in a poker game from the local spoiled rich brat. Holland tries to collect his winnings and leave, but kills the town sheriff in self defense after getting a bullet in the leg, and holds a traveling Shakespearean actress Alexandra Bastedo hostage in her hotel room. The town panics, and deputy Graham Jarvis leaves to get legendary lawman Sam Starret, played by James Coburn. The years have not been kind to Coburn, who is a raging alcoholic. As Douglas and Bastedo fall in love, Jarvis literally drags an incoherent Coburn back to town. Douglas and Coburn have a friendly history, when they were not trying to kill each other, and Douglas almost agrees to Coburn's plea to surrender. Enter the circuit court judge, a man who Douglas maimed years ago. He makes no bones about his desire to hang Douglas, and Coburn and Douglas are forced to face off in a final showdown."
Full movie in Spanish:

La veritat oculta
(1987, dir. Carlos Benpar)

Alexandra Bastedo's last appearance of note in a movie was in this unknown and forgotten Spanish movie, on the poster of which her name is found. She plays a palm reader named Agnes. Online, we found the following widely-used plot description: "After a long and turbulent time in America at the beginning of the century, Adrian Massaguer (Conrado San Martín of The Awful Dr Orlof [1962 / trailer], Conquest [1983 / trailer], The Beast and the Magic Sword [1983 / Spanish trailer] and The Colossus of Rhodes [1961 / trailer]) returns to his birthplace on the Mediterranean coast to become one of the richest men in the world."
La veritat oculta was screened at the 1988 Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal, the year Ching Siu-tung's great A Chinese Ghost Story won Best Picture there.
Trailer to A Chinese Ghost Story:

Batman Begins
(2005, dir. Christopher Nolan)


OK, Alexandra Bastedo isn't anything more than an extra in this movie, so write if you even noticed her as a "Gotham Society Dame", which indicates that she probably shows up at some scene of Bruce Wayne socializing with the upper crust, perhaps the party scene just before Wayne Manner goes up in flames. Who knows. You know? We don't know.
Batman Begins is a good movie, a total breath of fresh air in the franchise after Joel Schumacher managed to kill it with his two Batman flicks, Batman Forever (1995 / trailer) and Batman & Robin (1997 / trailer) — but it is still not as good as Tim Burton's Batman Returns (1992).
Tim Burton's Batman Returns (1992):

Alexandra Bastedo — May She Rest In Peace

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