B-Sides: She’s a Real Spitfire
Once touted as “the next Mary Lou Retton”, world-class gymnast Kristie Phillips may not have ever achieved that level of Olympic fame, but can Mary Lou Retton claim to have ever starred in a spy flick from the director of Cyborg and Brain Smasher… A Love Story?
Kristie Phillips' one and only acting role was as the heroine of Albert Pyun’s 1995 direct-to-video homage to classic spy movies of the 1960’s: Spitfire. Why Spitfire? Because she had fiery red hair, I suppose. Phillips’ character was that of – What else? – a world championship gymnast, the daughter of the world’s greatest spy, recruited into his world of international espionage after being targeted by a diabolical arch-criminal looking to get her hands on some Russian nuclear codes.
Phillips defeated bad guys with her own special brand of gymkata. Lance Henriksen got to ham it up wearing a tuxedo and a jet pack as her James Bond-ian father. Tim Thomerson also got to camp it up as the secret agent mentor prepping her for her new job with the CIA. Superman II villainess Sarah Douglas had some fun playing yet another evil lady threatening the fate of democracy on Earth.
Like any good James Bond-wannabe flick, the opening credits boast a theme song titled after the movie set to stylized imagery of scantily-clad women posing with guns, a generic James Bond stand-in with a gun and a jet pack, and a silhouette of a pony-tailed gymnast tumbling across the screen repeatedly.
With the newest James Bond flick opening this weekend, I felt now’s as good a time as ever to showcase the campy opening to Albert Pyun’s Spitfire. The song, like the movie, is not half bad but also not all that good, yet still kind of catchy.
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