Danger: Diabolik (1968)

(a.k.a. DIABOLIK)
Article #520 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-17-2002
Posting date: 1-10-2003

A law officer matches wits with a supervillain known as Diabolik.

I’m going to come flat out and admit that I really don’t have much of an affinity for the swinging-sixties-superspy-supervillain type of movie; for some reason, the highly stylized ultracool action-adventure movie just fails to ignite anything within me, probably because they seem all style and no substance, and without substance my interest tends to flag, and even with Mario Bava at the helm, I get really tired of the endless barrage of bizarre camera angles and stylistic tricks. In particular, I have never been a fan of the musical soundtracks prevalent in these movies; the jazzy blaring in-your-face horn arrangements just seem strident and jarring. This movie in particular has a soundtrack that drives me up the wall, and between that and the merely adaquate dubbing, I’m almost tempted to watch it with the sound turned off. However, I have to admit that I ended up liking this movie quite a bit despite all this; there are some very clever plot elements throughout that really hold my attention and appeal to my sense of humor, and these end up more than compensating for the elements I have no use for; in particular, I like the clever way our villain manages to retain possession of the necklace through a very bizarre series of situations (you have to see it to appreciate it). As I watch several more movies of this ilk, I’m sure that my opinions of these types of movies will evolve, and I will get more of a feel for them. Still, we have to start someplace, but fortunately, this wasn’t a bad place at all to start.

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