Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Danger: Diabolik

I finished work at about 9.30 last night full of good intentions of going home and getting a good night's sleep. Instead I ended up staying up half the night watching "Danger: Diabolik" which had arrived from Amazon in the morning. I think I have found another favourite movie. The last time I remember staying up late because I got hooked by a film unexpectedly was when "Vanishing Point" was on TV a couple of Christmases ago.

As a warning I should probably say that my taste in film does not seem to tally with most others and that my delight in late 1960s heist/spy/crime/caper movies knows no bounds. Danger: Diabolik is pretty much all of these genres. It is an adaptation of an Italian comic book and is tremendously successful as such. Mario Bava does a better job of transposition than most others who've attempted to wrench a character from drawing to screen.

The plot is very silly but involves jewel heists and general evasion of the police whilst looking cool and driving an E-Type Jag. As someone who finds the most heart-wrenching scene in cinema history the destruction of the Aston Martin and E-Type in "The Italian Job" you can imagine my joy in watching a film where at least half the Jags make it out alive.

The film's stars, John Phillip Law and Marisa Mell are both incredibly sexy and were a couple when the film was made. You can definitely sense this; the chemistry is palpable and it makes a pleasing change from the James Bond promiscuity idea of masculinity to have a hero who is faithful to his girlfriend for the entire movie.

A film like this would not be made today I suspect. You might argue that some of the Tarantino/Rodriguez films are modern descendants but I think they lack the charm, wit and sense of effortless style that Diabolik has. These modern films are just too try-hard, they try to copy what Bava just did.

Finally I need to mention that Diabolik has Terry-Thomas in it too. I could not have asked for more.

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Blogger Ross said...

What a coinky-dink, I've got that film at home ready to watch as well.

Look forward to when I have the time.

8:40 pm  

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