Despite an inspired, offbeat performance by George Hamilton, Zorro, the Gay Blade doesn’t have nearly enough gags to sustain its 93 minutes. For the most part this is a Zorro with a very dull edge.
Although there is no time frame, film is obviously set years ago (in California) where Don Diego Vega, offspring of the legendary Zorro, is called upon to pick up his father’s sword after the elder’s death.
The hook here is that Hamilton’s Vega, who is at first sight righting the wrongs of the poor villagers against leader Ron Leibman (who shouts unbearably through his entire role opposite equally brassy spouse Brenda Vaccaro), soon injures his foot and can no longer carry on his heroic deeds. Luckily his long-lost lookalike Englishman brother appears out of nowhere and takes on the Zorro persona.
The contrast between the two Zorros is initially quite funny but there is nothing intriguing or original through the rest of the action. Pic climaxes at a snail’s pace to Hamilton getting the girl (Lauren Hutton as a rather bland would-be political activist)