Danger Diabolik 1967 *****

Cult director Mario Bava brought this delightful comic-book spoof on time and under budget for Dino de Laurentis, but promptly turned down the chance to make a sequel. It’s a pity, since this 1967 romp features elaborate costumes, sets and action to rival the James Bond franchise, with John Phillip Law and Marissa Mell as master criminal Diabolik and his moll. Terry Thomas is on hand for comedy relief, but the size and scale of Diabolik’s plan make for uproarious entertainment. The criminal’s lair is show-stoppingly ingenious in conception, as are the gadgets, parties and the Ennio Morricone score. The Beastie Boys stole the look for one of their retro videos, but Danger Diabolik’s machine-gun delivery makes it an ideal introduction to Bava’s virtuosity.


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