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Cape’s Association of Realtors to hold screening of ’66 movie

By Staff | Jun 23, 2009

Few people know that one of the world’s worst movies was filmed on location in Cape Coral.
Starring Jane Mansfield and Phyllis Diller, “The Fat Spy” utilized some of the early Cape landscapes in a story about treasure hunters looking for the Fountain of Youth off the coast of Florida.
Released in 1966, the movie quickly faltered on its way to becoming an afterthought of American cinema before it was eventually “discovered” on videotape and DVD.
Cape Coral Association of Realtors President-elect Mel King was one of the lucky few who discovered the largely forgotten movie.
Now King wants to share the discovery with the rest of the Cape as the association plans a viewing.
“It just happened that I found it was made in the Cape, and I thought, ‘How cool is that?'” he said.
Describing the movie as “awful,” King and company plan to throw a “Mystery Science Theater 3,000” style screening, where audience members can comment and react to what is happening on screen.
King said the movie is filled with recognizable locations, including the intersection of Del Prado Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway, the Cape Coral Yacht Club, the Rose Garden and Picnic Island, where “90 percent” of the movie was filmed.
Despite being an awful movie, King said it is very entertaining, especially with all the notable Cape locales, some of which, most notable the Rose Garden, no longer exist.
“It really is a funny movie. The filming is just horrendous, but it’s got Jane Mansfield and Phyllis Diller,” he said. “It’s so obviously shot here … it’s got ariel shots we’ve all seen.”
Surprisingly, the movie has long been for sale at the Historical Society Museum.
Curator Anne Cull said the movie has sold well over the years, and its story is told during museum tours.
“It’s probably the worst movie ever made,” she said. “It’s an endurance test to sit through, but the redeeming factor is all the early footage of Cape Coral.”
That the movie is terrible is at the heart of King and the association’s efforts. They hope to bring the community together through the failed efforts of Mansfield and crew, especially the Realtor community.
“We try to have fun and meet people,” King said. “Real estate is a communication business and we have to network. Now we need to know even more, and this gets people out to meet each other.”
The screening of “The Fat Spy” will be held at 7 p.m. July 23 at the Cape Coral Association of Realtors’ Education Center, 918 S.E. 46th Lane.
Popcorn, candy and drinks will be for sale. Admission is $3 per person, or $5 per family.
For more information, call 542-6209.