Movie of the Day – Danger: Diabolik!
June 27, 2012 2 Comments
So ignore the entire last 20 seconds of the trailer cause apparently in 1968, they had no problem spoiling the end of a film. With that aside, you would be hard pressed to find movie that solely focus on the capers of a villain, even in this day and age. Much to my excitement in finding little precious nuggets of films forgotten, Danger: Daibolik! is certainly one of the films that is a campy, tongue-in-cheek adaptation of a European comic book of the same name that focuses on the life of a career criminal and his sexy mistress/companion/whatever. I adore this movie for the wacky sensibilities, stylish settings and unique B-movie feel from the late Italian director Mario Bava. Danger: Diabolik! is certainly all style and flash, which helps when the movie is utterly paper thin in acting and plot.
Diabolik (John Phillip Law) is the criminal mastermind who has just pulled off a huge heist. He spends most of his free time with his girlfriend, Eva (Marisa Mell), in fond embrace. The police minister (Terry-Thomas) is approached by Valmont (Adolfo Celi), a master criminal who proposes to use his underworld connections to catch Diabolik for the police. In between their gratuitous lovemaking, he and the exotic Eva are chased by police and the mob in this plodding crime drama. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi
I love the off beat nature of this movie. To me, seeing a movie about a criminal thief and sexy companion is just as much fun as seeing a detective try and bust the acclaimed thief. We get to see the other side of the coin in terms of the bad and good guy going after one another. If anything, being a master thief seems like a lot of fun considering the majority of time in the movie is spent hopping from one exotic locale to another and then making sweet, sweet love in each place.
This is pretty much the entire crutch of the movie, showing the lavish escapades of Diabolik as he and Eva evade the grasps of the law and Valmont, who is helping to bring him in. The action of the film is what you would expect from a low budget film, but it all just works so well together from campy looking effects to tricky camera work to mask some sets and effects. The overall tone of the movie is just fun, 60s action and nothing more. You can’t ask for more from a movie that closely resembles the tone of the comic it was based on. The B-movie aspect shines through and you end just going with the flow of the film itself rather than questioning everything that is happening.
I dig Danger: Diabolik! for that special feeling of Italian b-movies. This has the same tone as watching Barbarella which leaves you more with a visual spectacle rather than a strongly acted, character film. Diabolik takes that spy era of Bond films and give us the impractical side following the villain of the film while enjoys the spoils of his work. Couple all this with a wonderful Ennio Morricone (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly) and you have a cinematic, cult film that doesn’t take itself seriously and revels in glory of it’s work. Diabolik! is a fun movie that dabbles strongly in the absurd realm but also has a lush, visual eye for style. All this might get masked over by the campy nature, but beneath all of that lies a good, enjoyable movie.