John Phillip Law: Danger Diabolik

"DANGER DIABOLIK!" (1968) directed by the great MARIO BAVA, was one of a very few movies of my youth directly based on a comic book hero/villain. The lead was played by cult movie favorite JOHN PHILLIP LAW. "Diabolik" was created in Italy by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in 1962. The film brings the character to life in a wild romp about a master criminal, and Scotland Yard's efforts to stop him from pulling off a major heist. It has all the energetic spirit of the old Republic serials with a very sixties "Euro-pop" sensibility. By a lucky coincidence, I actually saw this movie BEFORE it was released in the U.S., in a pristine, brand spanking new 35mm print! It was unexpectedly "sneak peeked" at the movie theater in Boston in which I worked as an usher when I was a teenager (The Cheri Theater Complex). It blew my mind! But then, surprisingly, it was never actually exhibited in Boston after that, so I never saw it again until it came out on laserdisc many years later. John Philip Law and I had become friends by then, so I got him to sign my laserdisc cover. He signed it, "To John Semper, the man I modeled my character on, best personal regards, John Philip Law!" I think if you look at the laserdisc cover you can easily see how much Diabolik and I have in common. Right?


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