Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981) starring George Hamilton, Lauren Hutton, Brenda Vaccaro, Ron Leibman, Donovan Scott, James Booth, Helen Burns, Clive Revill directed by Peter Medak Movie Review

Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981)   3/53/53/53/53/5

George Hamilton in Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981)

The Lark of Zorro

50 years after Zorro the new Spanish Governor of Mexico has made life tough for the peasants of the land and so wealthy landowner Don Diego Vega (George Hamilton - Death Car on the Freeway) decides to follow in his late father's footsteps and becomes Zorro. But his plans to help the peasants are thwarted when he sprains his ankle after jumping from a window and is unable to carry on his campaign against Captain Esteban (Ron Leibman). Fortunately his flamboyant twin brother is coming to visit having been sent to serve in the Navy by their father in the hope it would make a man out of him. Having become known as Bunny Wigglesworth he agrees to take his brother's place as the people's hero but on the proviso that the black suit and sword goes and is replaced by a whip and a more colourful outfit.

If you are about to watch "Zorro: The Gay Blade" just do something for me, just turn the sound of for a few minutes. I say this because when you turn the sound off and just watch you could easily take it as a serious Zorro movie which harks back to a bygone age. George Hamilton with the tan and white teeth has the look of an old swashbuckler, the sets look perfect and basically if they had got a serious script they could have easily made a proper Zorro movie.

Lauren Hutton in Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981)

But "Zorro: The Gay Blade" is anything but a serious movie and every second of it is fun as it spoofs the old Zorro movies. From the opening scene to the last it is flowing with humour from Hamilton flashing than grin as he is caught in bed with another man's wife to the daft dialogue which everyone gets to deliver as ships are mistaken for sheep. It is of course highly stupid but enjoyable so and I haven't even got to the point where we have a twin brother called Bunny who gives the movie its gay aspect with his camp persona. And with Bunny's entrance things become even dafter, more flamboyant and even more enjoyable.

Of course with "Zorro: The Gay Blade" being about Zorro and his twin Bunny this movie rests firmly on George Hamilton's tanned shoulders and he embraces the utter daftness of the movie perfectly. It is a wonderful mix of having the right look but then over playing everything so that the arm movements are larger, the smile is flashier and the speed of the daft dialogue is snappier and all of this before he than camps it up as Bunny. But it is not just Hamilton who is relied on to deliver the humour as you have Donovan Scott as his side kick Paco who wears a bear costume when he goes out with Zorro. Add to that Lauren Hutton and Brenda Vaccaro who both purposefully deliver over the top performances and there is not a dull performance in the entire movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Zorro: The Gay Blade" is simply daft fun, a lot of daft fun especially for those who have seen the Zorro movies of the past. Is it a great movie? No, but as spoof movies go it delivers exactly what you are looking for and that is a lot of daft laughs which still work over 20 years later.