“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP.” - Nicolai Dalchimsky (Donald Pleasence)
Entertaining cold war conspiracy claptrap from 70's action guru Don Siegel. After the Cuban missile crisis the Russian KGB secretly initiated 100s of mind controlled sleeper assassins worldwide including 52 on US soil (guess 1 per state). One of their clerks Nicolai Dalchimsky (Donald Pleasence) as gone rogue, and is using these long dormant sleepers to enact revenge on the US. Fearing the risk of these attacks starting a war between US & Soviet Union, the KGB send in one of their top spies Major Grigori Borzov (Charles Bronson) to stop Dalchimsky before the crises escalates to all out war.
Telefon hasn't aged very well and gets extremely goofy at times. Like when sleeper Marie Wills, gets commanded to blow up a secret desert military factory in her nightgown then swallows a suicide pill, or the kooky romantic ending with double agent Lee Remick and Bronson. My Biggest disappoint though was how little they use Pleasence, he looks the part but barely says a word outside of the phone trigger he repeats throughout the film. That said its still worth seeing and Siegel does the business action wise, he really knew how to blow shit up and shoot solid action sequences.
[Personal Reasons For OBEYING]
A fair bit of the old mind control going on.
[x] The most basic form of mind control is repetition - Dalchimsky always repeats the final segment of the poem 'MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP'
[x] Dalchimsky's activation trigger is from a famous Robert Frost poem, apparently Tarantino also used it in Death Proof.
[x] Pills'n'Thrills - KGB agents mention drug induced hypnosis early on in the movie. And a guy with an unloaded gun aims at Bronson and shoots.
[x] Monarch Slaves - vague and most likely coincidental but the final sleeper is wearing a cap with a crown on.
Originally taken from Letterboxd