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Danger: Diabolik
Danger Diabolik
Actors: John Phillip Law, Marisa Mell, Michel Piccoli, Adolfo Celi, Claudio Gora
Director: Mario Bava
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
PG-13     2005     1hr 45min

The suave, psychedelic-era thief called Diabolik (Law) can't get enough of life's good - or glittery - things. Not when there are currency shipments to steal from under the noses of snooty government officials and priceles...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: John Phillip Law, Marisa Mell, Michel Piccoli, Adolfo Celi, Claudio Gora
Director: Mario Bava
Creators: Mario Bava, Adriano Baracco, Angela Giussani, Arduino Maiuri, Brian Degas, Luciana Giussani, Tudor Gates
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Classics, Superheroes, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/14/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Total enjoyment
Paul Williams | London, England United Kingdom | 08/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Once upon a time films were made with low budgets and heaps of imagination, and this is one of them. Though given a whopping $3M by the ego-maniac Dino de Laurentis (King Kong the atrocious remake) the genius Mario Bava brought this 60s beauty in at $400K. Even converted into today's hard currency it would be hard to conceive of a modern day director either struggling out of bed for such a miniscule sum, or ever bringing a film in under budget. Instead Bava treats the eye and the mind to a dazzling psychedelic modernist fantasy.
There seems to be a common notion that many directors of the past were somehow more stupid than the giant intellects of the cinema of today and that they had no comprehension of what they were doing. Bava knew exactly what he was making with this movie version of a popular European comic and that was to make a film that was fun.
Pitted against a world of old stilted politics, bumbling police and chalk-stripe-suited Mafia villains Diabolik, a cool ultra-thief with an underground lair to be envied by Dr No and every other evil genius, outwits his pursuers time and time again with a manic laugh, a delicious girl-friend and his 'n' hers Jaguar E-Types.
This film is a two-hour trip; the score is superb and the images have a vivid organic feel unachievable with today's over-processed CGI FX. If you love the visuals of Barbarella you'll love this. Bava, though, has a more cynical view of the world and in one scene presents us with a nightclub where villains ply the "innocent" hippies with drugs making them dance in hysterically funny ways that is just as an incisive critique of that era as it would be of some rave scenes today. Some things just don't change.
Sure if you want to adopt the brave stance of the post-modernist and assume the sophisticated position of The One Who Laughs At Bad Old Films then you'll get some kind of kick out of this. But you won't get anything like the kick you will by just relaxing into the brilliantly-lit mad world of Mario Bava where nothing is quite what it appears and baddies win - almost."
James Bond as Anti-Hero
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 05/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is an amazing little film. Obviously a spaghetti spy offering,
the film was produced by Dino De Laurentiis. It has Bond rip-off
written all over it, but that's half the fun!The music is great
(too bad it ain't on CD!), and very 60's. The english dubbing has the
same laughabillity as other spaghetti pictures. Not to mention the
cornball lines ("Don't worry. With this [heat-resistant] suit, I
could swim through the heart of the sun!"). It also has Terry
Thomas (best known for being a comical villain in Disney pictures and
"Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines") as a
supporting cast member. I think you'll get a kick out of this one
if you like "In Like Flint", "Matt Helm", or
"Austin Powers". Only this isn't a spoof... at least not on
purpose. And the hero is really a bad guy, robbing, and going around
killing innocent people and cops!The cool is everywhere, from
near-death escapes, Bond-like villain lairs, fancy cars, awesome
stunts, sexy chick/s, neat gadgets, and the hero out-planning
everyone!The opening sequence involves an interesting
"chase", where a caravan of cash is followed by
Diabolik. The caravan drives by, then his swank sports car moves by in
the background like a predator stalking its prey (I always thought
film students could learn a trick or two from these kind of pictures,
the same way the Hong Kong action style has influenced the newer US
action pictures). Retro-Bond-like 60's fun! Great for MST3k
parties, or just a guilty pleasure in your collection.
What a blast! (Deep, deep, dooooooooowwwwwwwnnn...)
John J. Baker | New York, NY United States | 06/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was introduced to this lovely little slice of sin when it aired as the final triumphant episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Unlike their usual verbal slamming of previous movies on the program, Mike Nelson and the gang seemed to approach this film with more of an affectionate teasing. Watching the stylish bank note lovemaking scene in Diabolik's swank underground hideout, I turned to my wife and said, "This isn't like the other Mistie spoofs. I would actually like to a version of this WITHOUT Mike Nelson poking fun at it!"

So for my birthday just a few days ago, my wife surprised me with a copy of "Danger: Diabolik!" on DVD. We were amazed at how many stunning scenes were excised from the MST3K version: Valmont gunning the snitch doctor for example, and most especially Diabolik and Eva detonating all those tax and debtor's buildings! That scene presaged the finale of "Fight Club" by thirty-two years! WOW! Tyler Durden IS Diabolik!

Let us not forget the peek-a-boo His and Hers shower scenes! This coy presentation of lethal sexuality puts that horrific Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie vehicle "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" to shame!

Savory DVD bonuses include: The Beastie Boys' video "Body Movin'" - inspired visually by "Diabolik!" There is also a featurette tracking the development of "Diabolik!" from comic book to feature film. It features interviews with comic book illustrator Steve Bisette, Beastie Boy Adam "Ad-Rock" Yauch, and "Diabolik!" star John Phillip Law.

Many people in the U.S. are put off by Diabolik's amorality. This from the country that produces everything from the bone-headed Rambo and the monstrous Terminator to that repulsive vigilante "hero," the Punisher. The latter are presented as righteous figures, wheras director Mario Bava makes no bones as to what Diabolik is, a vain big-time thief and terrorist. His actions are not meant to be emulated, merely to be enjoyed as eye-candy.

As a sidetrack on morality. I find it repulisve that Arnold Schwarzenegger used his Terminator persona as a standard for his supporters to rally around, as though that killing machine was meant to be perceived as a hero! Has anyone heard tell of John Phillip Law using Diabolik in the same manner? Well? I'm waiting...

Marisa Mell is tasty as Eva, and the actors who play Jenko(?), Valmont, and the Minister of Finance deserve a belated round of applause. They all made the shady "Diabolik" a joyful, fantastic romp.

Like a pop-culture version of "Richard III," "Danger: Diabolik!" is the proverbial guilty pleasure. It invites you to revel in vices of theft, wealth, and stylized sex. You KNOW it's not right of course, but you ENJOY it anyway... MWAH-HAH-HAAAAAA!!!"
The definitive "Easy-listening" movie.
Paul Williams | 01/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you like Burt Bacharach, Ennio Morricone, if you loved Barbarella, Harry Palmer, etc... You can't ignore "Danger : Diabolik". I've been looking for this movie in Europe for 18 months, and finally ordered it form the USA. And this is the most stylish film I've ever seen. Poor scenario (but this is definitely enjoyable) with an amazing atmosphere. E-Type Jaguars, secret underground bases, mind-blowing music : this is how the world should be."