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PHOTOGRAPHY

DANGER: DIABOLIK

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 100 minutes, audio commentary, featurette, Beastie Boys music video with optional commentary, and trailers

STUDIO: Paramount

RELEASE DATE: 6-14-2005

ANALYSIS: Director Mario Bava is a unique director. His visual style puts a stamp to any film he does whether it is PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES or DANGER: DIAOLIK. DANGER: DIABOLIK is a creative madhouse dipped in counterculture cinema. The sets and characters are over the top, but the film is infused with such vibrant energy. DANGER: DAIBOLIK is an enjoyable film. It is based on the Italian comic book DIABOLIK. The film rips parts of the comics and even winks at the fans and audiences throughout. I was rooting for Diabolik (despite he is a terrorist/super criminal) because he does it for his girl Eva and pulls off each theft with such genius (and flare). Inspector Ginko comes up with plan after plan to capture Diabolik inclduing bringing an Italian crime boss Valmont to catch him.

Mario Bava is the mastermind behind DANGER: DIABOLIK. he was truly ahead of his time in Italy. He would probably have enjoyed filming actors against green screen today. He was a multi-faceted genius who could do many tasks like paint matte paintings, be the camera man, come up with ideas on the spot, and use glass plates to expand sets.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The film print looks really good despite some scratches and pieces of dirt. The only part that shows the most damage is the scene before the title sequence. Colors, blacks, and skin tones look good. Image details isn't bad either. The transfer is definitely a step above the pan and scan version shown on AMC in recent months.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Dolby Surround (that is what my Sony DVD Player says, but the case says English 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles: English (featurette also has subtitles option).

Audio is also good. Dialogue is clear, and music and sound effects come alive.  This audio mix is the original mix used for US theatrical release.  Previous releases on VHS and Laserdic used a different English langauge dub.

SPECIAL FEATURES: DANGER: DIABOLIK was delayed from release to give a better treatment on DVD. In addition to the movie itself, several extras are on this DVD. They have included the Teaser Trailer and Theatrical Trailer. Also an audio commentary for the movie was recorded with actor John Phillip Law and Tim Lucas (Biographer of Mario Bava). The two of them are very informative on the filmmaking techniques of director Mario Bava like how he would do matte shots and use glass plates to extend the size of a set. Several stories are included in this track as John Phillip Law talks about how he got the title character role to the influence the film has had on people.

The extras don't stop there as the "Body Movin" music video by the Beastie Boys appears on the disc with optional audio commentary by Adam Yauch. The video uses clips from DANGER: DIABOLIK and in a way a homage to the film. One of the best extras is DANGER: DIABOLIK- FROM FUMETTI TO FILM, a twenty minute featurette on the movie and the comic book it is based on. Interviews with John Phillip Law, Dino DeLaurentis, Errico Morricone, Adam Yauch, Roman Coppola, and comic book artist Stephen R. Bissette (who gives insightful commentary on how Bava framed the movie like a comic book and went for the same energy of the comic).

FINAL ANALYSIS: DANGER: DIABOLIK is a whole lots of fun. It is a madly visual film to delight in.  Also check out PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES.

this DVD Review is (c)6-10-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia