Diabolik (1968)

Most people outside Italy don’t know about him, but in the transalpine country and in some European hardcore comic circles his name is a legend. I am talking about Italian’s number 1 comic icon: Diabolik.

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Written by the Giussani sisters, Diabolik is the most evil criminal ever. It definitely drinks from the french Fantômas (the one in the novels) doing his first steps in 1962 but he is the incarnation of pure evil as no other anti-hero is. At his side the pretty Eva Kant, Diabolik’s lover and most loyal ally. After him: Inspector Ginko.

Given that introduction, Mario Bava felt like doing a film-adaptation in 1968 and the result was something that became a cult classic. The name of the flick: Diabolik.

He is Diabolik, “Il Re del Terrore”

Paradoxically, the worst element in the movie is what served as a pretext for it and that’s the plot. When compared to Diabolik’s twisted and intriguing plots, the movie shows a very simple and predictable plot. However we have different elements that made the movie quite interesting to watch.

The actors. Even though John Phillip Law is not that known, you have Michel Piccoli in the role of Ginko and Marisa Mell in the role of the beauty Eva Kant (absolutely gorgeous). Adolfo Celi is there to play the part of the villain in the series, Valmont.

Piccoli and Mell
In the pool, Celi-style

The score. A really catchy score written by Ennio Morricone. Rock, pop, and psychodelly melt altogether in a decent composition by the Italian master. No official soundtrack released but a couple of themes are quite good.

Mario Bava. His style on filming is so unique and personal that makes the movie instantly a classic. A couple of scenes: the entrance to the cave, the money orgy or just the gold melt have a vibe of erotism only Baba could transmit.

What girl would resist a man able to provide that bed? Eva Kant sure couldn’t.
And what driver could resist Eva Kant? You know you’d stop.
That said the movie clearly drinks from the french Fantômas movies. Gadjets, crazy persecutions at 2xspeed and a representation of evil that calls for the instant love rather than rejection, all that in the unique environment the 60s represented. The movie is a classic and it was even used as a source for Beastie Boys’ Body Movin clip.
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