Operation Kid Brother may be the most famous Eurospy movie, mainly because of its notoriety among Bond fans. When series veterans Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell agreed to appear alongside Sean Connery's brother, Neil, in the 007 spoof, Sean was very upset. He thought they were exploiting Neil. Of course, as Maxwell personally explained it to me decades later, they weren't exploiting anyone. They were simply collecting a paycheck, as they were jobbing actors who didn't enjoy a Sean Connery level salary that afforded them the luxury of turning down work. And, to be honest, Neil looks like he's having so much fun in the movie that I kind of doubt he felt exploited, either! In fact, aside from the awful dubbing on the leading man, Operation Kid Brother (which also stars Bond vets Daniella Bianchi and Adolfo Celi) is an awfully enjoyable Eurospy movie. (And the killer score by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai may be my very favorite Eurospy music.) In fact, because it's relatively famous for its genre (even enjoying a cover story in Cinema Retro a few years ago), I've been surprised that it hasn't turned up on DVD or at least MOD. And, sadly, it still won't in its unmolested version... but the good news (according to Satellite News, via TV Shows On DVD) is that Shout! Factory is releasing the MST3K version in their latest DVD collection, Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXV! Because of rights issues, they just have to use the (better, in my opinion) Operation Kid Brother title instead of the alternate title Operation Double 007, which appears on screen in the episode. (The film is also known as OK Connery.) Of course, this doesn't do much for fans who crave a beautiful widescreen print uninterrupted by wisecracking robots. (There's a really good fandub floating out there to tide them over.) But it's still exciting. Like the other Eurospy titles mocked on that show Secret Agent Super Dragon and Danger! Death Ray (which I really wish Shout! would release) and decidedly unlike the Mario Bava masterpiece Danger: Diabolik (which MST3K wrongfully maligned), Operation Kid Brother is ripe for some good-natured riffing. Eurospy fans with a sense of humor about the genre will likely find this version highly entertaining. But, of course, what this release really has me wondering is, does this possibly portend a straight release for this film down the road? I certainly hope so.
The other titles in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 XXV set are Robot Holocaust, Kitten With a Whip and Revenge of the Creature, which makes it a pretty darn good set. Shout! has routinely produced some good extras for some of these MST3K sets, so... dare we hope for a Neil Connery interview? That would certainly make this a must-buy for fans of the genre. It's a must-buy already for me. As far as I know, no date has yet been announced for this release.