A- Sound B
starring Tony Franciosa, Raquel Welch, Ronald Fraser, Greta Chi
screenplay by Lorenzo Semple Jr.
directed by Leslie H. Martinson
by Walter Chaw There's something desperately wrong with veteran television director Leslie H. Martinson's spy spoof Fathom, and it took me the whole movie to figure it out: Raquel Welch, as the titular va-va-va-voom dental hygienist cum parachutist cum superspy spends the entire film running from symbols of aggressive virility. Clad fetchingly in a variety of swimsuits and tight shirts (but never pants), our Fathom is pursued by a man with a speargun, by a Russian paramour mistaking our heroine for a prostitute, through various tunnels, and through a train. In its barest form, Fathom appears to be a rape fantasy involving a helpless, screaming, occasionally castrating Welch (though, tellingly, the only person she kills is another woman), who plays a variation on her standard cocktease and--naturally--deserves getting prodded about by a bull while a collection of bad guys poke at her with phallic shunts.