A cadre of scientists is about to pull the plug on a deadly weapons project they feel guilty about participating in, when one of them starts behaving oddly, and then melts down to a pile of circuits and gelatin! The agency head of this “XYZ Project,” an old friend of Steve’s named Dexter, works with the IADC to track down the mastermind behind this android-replacing-scientist plot, which so far has been successful twice; only Diana, who’s holding the last remaining human, Dr. Lazaar, stands between the villains and their plan to sell XYZ to foreign interests for a boatload of money. The trail leads to a Gepetto-like toymaker named Hoffman, and then back to Dexter; their plan to use a Wonder Woman andrid against the real girl herself backfires when they can’t tell the difference, and the super heroine stops them from going any further. However, at the risk of anyone else finding out about XYZ, Steve and Diana let the baddies proceed with their plan, only now they’re selling the android scientists, who could discern their project from one at a high school science fair!
Fun holiday offering has a lil’ for everyone: taut plot, colorful characters, and gleeful camp, courtesy a supporting cast of wind-up toys and trinkets (the kind you’d probably find in a old curiosity shop’s attic) and Frank Gorshin, whose performance as the Riddler on the 60s Batman series help set the standard for camp on TV. Two highlights: the opening in which the aforementioned scientist literally has a meltdown (and the effects aren’t bad, relatively speaking), and the climax, in which WW battles her android doppelganger, using the pre-digital technique of shooting over-the-shoulder and using obscured-face stand-ins.
A good side entry if you’re planning a Demonic Toys movie marathon.