Woeful title aside, CODE 7, VICTIM 5 is a would-be, South African-set detective story from prolific B-movie producer Harry Alan Towers, who also wrote the thing under his 'Peter Welbeck' pseudonym. It stars man-of-the-moment Lex Barker as a private eye who's commissioned to investigate a mysterious murder among the upper crust in South Africa.
The best - and only good thing - about the movie is the location photography, captured in stunning detail by famed cinematographer Nicholas Roeg. This is a sunny, great-looking movie which allows you to see plenty of areas of the country usually missing in films; those drives around Table Mountain are particularly fine. A shame then, that the rest of the film is so sloppy.
The worst thing is undoubtedly Towers' script, which is mundane to say the least. Despite a few shoehorned-in fight scenes, this is dull, by-the-numbers stuff in which little happens to lift the story out of its lethargic gloom. Barker tours the country for a while, indulges in some light romance with a string of Euro-crumpet in scenes reminiscent of a Connery Bond flick, and finally tackles the villain whose identity is revealed at the climax.
The cast put in strictly ordinary performances and Barker fails to show even an ounce of charisma, so you end up wondering why was such a star of his day. He looks a little like a young Stephen Baldwin to me. Some of the action sequences are okay, like an impressive car chase early on, but for the most part this is a chore and rightly forgotten.
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