“Remember, my people: there is no shame in being poor, only in dressing poorly!”
When the greedy new alcalde of Los Angeles (Ron Leibman) demands exorbitant taxes from local peasants, Don Diego Vega (George Hamilton) decides to wear his late father’s Zorro outfit and save the day. When he hurts his ankle jumping from a ledge, his long-lost effeminate twin brother, Bunny Wigglesworth (also Hamilton), conveniently arrives from Britain and takes over the role of Zorro — adding his own unique, flamboyant touch.
After the success of his vampire spoof, Love at First Bite (1979), George Hamilton produced and starred in this affectionate homage to the masked avenger of pulp fiction lore. It’s a surprisingly enjoyable, tongue-in-cheek romp, thanks in large part to Hamilton’s portrayal as both Don Diego and Bunny — he’s convincing enough in these dual roles to make you forget he’s really just one actor. The script is clever, with plenty of juvenile yet amusing one-liners, and the action moves at a quick pace. As with all broad comedies, Zorro may not be for all tastes, but I think it’s a delightfully innocuous diversion.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- George Hamilton, endearingly campy in his multiple roles
- Ron Leibman’s over-the-top performance as the Alcalde (though his yelling eventually becomes tedious)
- Brenda Vaccaro as the Alcalde’s sexually rapacious wife, Florinda
- Bunny’s flamboyant outfits
- The Alcalde trying to get Don Diego to “act like a sissy”
- Many giggle-inducing lines: “What do the people need roads for? They never go anywhere.”
No, but it’s recommended. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.