Long before Austin Powers arrived on the scene, Agent Phil Moskowitz was making the world safe for deli sandwiches.
Featuring a "no-star cast aided and abetted by Woody Allen," What's Up, Tiger Lily (1966) is an A/V hybrid of Kagi No Kagi (1964), a Japanese James Bond-style spy thriller, with non-sequitur Allenesque dialogue dubbed in.
When AIP first acquired the Japanese original, test screenings got a thumbs-down from American audiences. So, close on the heels of What's New, Pussycat (1965), the studio brought writer/director Allen on board.
The Grand Exhalted High Majah of Raspur, "a non-existent, but real-sounding country," has an important assignment for Special Agent Phil Moskowitz (Tatsuya Mihashi): he must recover a stolen egg salad recipe, a recipe the High Majah hopes someday will put his country on the map. (There's a waiting list, and as soon as there's an opening, they're next.)
"It is written: He who makes the best egg salad shall rule over heaven and earth. Don't ask me why egg salad. I've got enough aggravation," the High Majah solemnly declares.
The DVD has a few hidden secrets of its own. The main menu contains an "Easter Egg:" ten egg salad recipes, revealed with a strategic click of the remote. We gave this one a try:
Green Chile Egg Salad (makes 4 sandwiches)
1 4-oz. can diced green chiles 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped ¼ cup mayonnaise 2 Tbs. green onion, chopped ¼ tsp. hot sauce
Combine ingredients and chill for one hour. Serve on lightly toasted bread or roll of your choice, garnished with lettuce and tomato.
Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. The third, written with co-author Faith Durand, is The Kitchn Cookbook. It will be published in Fall 2014 by Clarkson Potter.
Read more from Sara Kate »