Sunday, 24 July 2011

Review - Danger: Diabolik (1968 - Dir. Mario Bava)

I saw this a fair few years ago and I wasn't that convinced by it. But when I had the chance to see it on the big screen at The Showroom in Sheffield as part of Celluloid Screams, I thought I'd give it another chance. 

Still not convinced. I think I'm going to include two unpopular statements in the next paragraph. Here we go. I appreciate that The Beatles have been really influential in changing music but personally I just don't like any of their songs. They all grate on me. It's the same to some degree with Mario Bava films. He has obviously been influential, but I'm not that keen on his films. They're okay but not what I'd call classics. Phew. That's that out of the way.

Danger: Diabolik is about a big camp gimp, called Diabolik (John Phillip Law), who charges about thieving stuff for his lady friend. The whole film is as camp as you like. It has it's funny moments, but only in a chuckling kind of way. The comedy launching of Diabolik off a catapult is one such occurrence.

Despite my previous statements there are positives; Marisa Mell as Eva Kant is probably worth the asking price alone. Hotpants action ahoy. Terry Thomas is in it too! Easily stealing every scene as a politician. Shame there's not more of him. It would have been good for him to have a third main appearance as yet another minister. 

Technically, the film is great. Bava has made a small budget go a long way using various techniques. The interior of Diabolik's hideout is a 60s marvel. The ending contains a stunning image of Diabolik encased in gold. I don't know how he does it, but the texture is gorgeous and typical of the cinematography in Bava's films. The music by Ennio Morricone fits the film perfectly. The main theme Deep Deep Down is worth a listen even if you don't watch the film. 

So, not a bad way to spend an evening. It is fun and is probably even better if you've had a few Tizers. 

If you like this you could also try:
The Castle of Cagliostro, Barbarella, Our Man Flint.

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