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OPERATION ORIENT
Topic Started: Sep 29 2006, 06:38 AM (1,367 Views)
Jared
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I posted a review of this minor but rather interesting sex/crime flick over at Worldweird Cinema (see link below) this week.
Anyone have any opinions or know any info or trivia about the film?
Worldweird Cinema
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cinehound
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That was out on DVD -between several other Greek sleazy crime thrillers- by New Star label.

By the way, Jared, I never forgot you, I'll prepare that article about Greek exploitation ASAP, last month was terrible for me my friend, I was too busy indeed.

...And yep, I just found out this is the number 200 post in my forum...well,well,I'll drink a beeer to that :)
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Yes,there are a few Greek sexploitation DVD (in English) for sale by XPLOITED CINEMA US store!
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200 posts?! So nice,I'll drink to that Miltos! :lol:
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cinehound
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Thank you my friend !!

Yes, NEW STAR Greek label released some Italo-Greek softcore DVDs a couple of years ago. Most of them are directed by Elias Milonakos. I don't remember all the titles -I think they were 10 or 12 movies- but some of them are: THE MARK, EMANUELLE QUEEN OF SADOS, SWEET BODY OF BIANCA, OPERATION ORIENT, BLACK APHRODITE, CATHERINE CHERIE, LOVE LUST AND ECSTASY...

A bunch of them sold out but I think NEW STAR released more copies recently (or will do that soon).

I have a brand-new & sealed CATHERINE CHERIE available for trade by the way...
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trash-online
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here is my review of the film that used to be in the OLD trash-online.com

SYNOPSIS: Haine Muller (the late muscleman Gordon Mitchel, star of countless peplums and spaghetti westerns), calls a meeting to discuss a large shipment of dope to the States. An ancient Greek statue, a cultural gift to the US government, will be stuffed with heroin and shipped through diplomatic channels unnoticed. When the statue is stollen, Haine unleashes his hitmen. In the meawhile, the film shows us their sexual encounters.

PLOT: Even from the opening scenes it's obvious that this is not going to be an original story- actually the idea of the hidden heroin shipment was probably stollen from THE SICILIAN CROSS (1976). The action/crime and sex mixture works quite well for the first act of the film and afterwards it becomes a routine and boring affair that will disapoint even the director's hardcore fans- like me. After a while, the film gets meaningless and incomprehensible- not to mention it's slow pacing. It's the same case with most Milonakos' movies (all of them are slow) but this one just doesn't work at all (apart from a few sequences). Ironically, the US VHS cover describes the movie as "a fast paced resque mission"- no comments! The film's sudden ending (Mitchell's trashy death scene) leaves the viewer wondering what the hell happened.

ACTING: Gianni Gori (who later starred in a Stelvio Massi crime film), is one of the most unattractive male leads in Greek movie history. That's a shame because Milonakos' had stronger leads in his previous works. Gordon Mitchell has a small (although basic) role in the movie and he doesn't seem to be in a great shape- obviously his only motive to participate in this movie was a paycheck. Notis Pizzilo (Pitsilos- one of Greece's major cult cinema icons) is wasted in a brief appearance (he gets killed right after he shoots the old men) as the fat, bearded hired assasin. However, this is probably his best role to date. Also look out for the beautiful Anna Maria Clementi (EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS) in the female leading role. The film's mediocre performances suffer even more from the silly English dubbing- I am not sure if a Greek soundtrack was ever recorded for this movie although it got a theatrical release in Greece.

SCORE: The score by Babis (Harry) Alepis (also film editor here) is typical 70's funky rock stuff, almost psychedelic. The horror-oriented credits theme is also a winner, while the repetitive themes that accompany the sex scenes are plain boring.

VISUAL: Milonakos makes clever use of locations as usual, although OPERATION ORIENT is not among his more stylish works. The action scenes are trashy and laughable- just take a closer look at the scene where Gori is attacked by a biker. Well, action was never a strong point of Greek filmakers (apart from a few exceptions) so my expectations aren't high. As for sex scenes, unfortunately they fail to live up to their maker's reputation (Milonakos is something like Greece's Jess Franco). The cinematography by Petros Karavidoglou (who photographed countless Greek sex films in the 70's) is a standard affair with nothing impressive to display since there are no night scenes at all.

OVERALL: As far as I am concerned, the best thing in OPERATION ORIENT is Notis Pitsilos' scene, probably the strongest in the whole movie. Just for this single scene, the movie is worth watching. On the other hand, if you are easily bored this is a film that you should avoid. OPERATION ORIENT can only be viewed as a sample of the 70's Greek erotic cinema, a genre that deserves to be explored by exploitation fans. In fact, films like this one would probably appeal to Jess Franco or D'Amato fans. Master Ilias Milonakos has done a lot better in other works such as MELI TO KORMI TIS (1975) and previous year's THE MARK.

SOURCE: New Star (Greece, DVD- fullscreen): New Star's disc looks pretty good although it wasn't mastered from the movie's original negative, in fact a betacam master was used- probably the same that was used for the old US Private Screenings VHS. The New Star disc is undoubtedly the best way to appreciate the movie and certainly the easiest to find. The film is presented in it's original ratio- Greeks were shooting all of these movies in fullscreen. Also it seems to be an uncut print although you can never be sure with these films and their distributors. Some complaints about this release (the same with the rest of New Star's "Erotica Collection" discs): 1) Amateurish artwork with screenshots from the film- obviously they had no original stills or promo photos. Apart from that, the sleeve is wrongly trying to promote the film as regular softcore sex stuff- viewers in search of polished softcore movies are more likely to be repelled by this one. 2) Wrong credits and disc details in the back cover. 3) Badly-edited (actually not edited at all) trailers for the rest of the films in the "Erotica Collection"- the original trailers of these movies are probably also lost. 4) Inaccurate Greek subtitles. It's a shame because these films deserved better treatment but on the other hand I'm glad that they finally got a DVD release here in Greece- some of them were previously unavailable on video or impossible to find. You just can't have everything right?

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OPERATION ORIENT seems very interesting and I'll buy it.TRASH-ONLINE.COM was the best online source to learn about Greek exploitation.Excellent review database,later turned to a DVD store with rare films and nice covers but without any reference to Greek exploitation at all.Not even sure if it's in the same man's hands now.
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Miltos,again,please go on and start that forum with sites coverage as we need it!
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cinehound
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I agree with you, www.trash-online.com was the best database/zine about Greek exploitation/trash films (and trash from all over the world).

Site is now a very good DVD-R shop with cool rarities of all genres, nice covers as you said (but small to fix on CD boxes), cheap prices and very good design. :)

The owner is the same. I don't know why he changed it so much, I guess he could combine the store with the webzine (as he actually did for some time), but it's HIS decisions, not ours !!

I just created the "sites" forum and a last, general one...
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trash-online
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The owner is the same. I don't know why he changed it so much, I guess he could combine the store with the webzine (as he actually did for some time), but it's HIS decisions, not ours !!


no the owner is not the same :) I just wouldn't want to discuss it here.
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