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July 13, 2005

{     Danger: Diabolik - DVD     }    

Danger DiabolikAfter painful delays and possible cancellation, Mario Bava's 1968 cult classic has finally made the jump to digital! This restored version of the film keeps the original Ennio Morricone soundtrack intact and includes a very decent English dialogue dub. Paramount has also taken the time to tack on a handful of special features unique to the DVD release (more on that below). While Bava will always be best known for his direction of such Italian horror classics as Blood and Black Lace, The Whip and the Body, and Kill Baby Kill, his genius truly shines on Danger: Diabolik, a feature-film adaptation of the long-running Italian comic series. Working on a shoestring budget, Bava crafts a very stylized bit of spy-fi that holds it's tongue firmly in cheek when acknowledging it's comic-book roots. The boundary between cool and camp is indelibly blurred in Danger: Diabolik, and the over-the-top performances of John Phillip Law as the title character and sexpot Marisa Mell as his main-squeeze propel things forward at breakneck speed. It's like James Bond crossed with Lupin III, after snorting a line of crystal meth. Here's a quick breakdown of the extras- Commentary by Actor John Phillip Law and Historian Tim Lucas - pretty engaging, and Lucas balances out Law's ham-fistery with a fairly scholarly take on things. Featurette: "Danger: Diabolik: From Fumetti to Film" - Includes interviews with Roman Coppola, Adam Yauch and more from Tim Lucas. It's great to see a comic panel-to-screen comparison of some of the film's scenes, and the discussion of the lasting influence of Danger: Diabolik is aces. It's amazing to see the film contextualized so well, and I'm happy to see it treated here with the respect it deserves. You also get theatrical and teaser trailers, and a chance to see the Diabolik-inspired Beastie Boys' video for "Body Movin'" with optional commentary by Adam Yauch. The menu screens have a nice deco-late 60's feel, and the total package is fairly slick. Sure, it's not The Criterion Collection treatment, but it really feels like Paramount listened to fans of the film when putting the DVD package together, and the end result is a very solid re-working of this cult classic. They also kept the retail cost low, so you can pick this up dirt cheap. For more on my rabid fascination with Danger: Diabolik, hit the CrownDozen archives and look up my previous pre-DVD announcement posting on the film.

     » $9.36 + free shipping (!!!) at DeepDiscountDvd.com

Comments

Adam, you've got excellent tastes...I watched the Super Ninjas film you recommended and was highly entertained. Looking foreward to viewing this one.

Posted by: Jay at July 25, 2005 4:24 AM

Looking back at the previous article, I guess people really do pay attention to the Crowndozen comment page.

Posted by: Eric at July 25, 2005 5:04 AM
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