Danger: Diabolik

Director: Mario Bava
Year Released: 1968
Rating: 2.5

Comic book composed of three corrupt factions - the ethically challenged police force (led by Michel Piccoli), the bad guys (they've got the suits and deep voices) and greedy Diabolik himself (with gal pal!), anti-hero supreme. Plays out like one of those countless Bond spoofs (I was reminded of Our Man Flint, for one) except Diabolik's M.O. is quite curious: his taste for jewels and gold isn't to redistribute to the poor but horde them for himself, like a selfish Robin Hood (though blowing up the Tax Office for the working people is a nice gesture). Mario Bava's technique and direction can never be called masterful or slick and he'll never be mistaken for, say, John Boorman (circa Point Blank) and John Phillip Law's line readings ensure he'll never be compared with Sean Connery or James Coburn, but the pulp elements (and gadgetry and period detail) are neat in themselves.