Not so-gentlemanly thief
Diabolik (John Phillip Law, of Barbarella
and Space Mutiny
fame) terrorizes the European countryside, killing, maiming and stealing to satisfy the mercurial whims of his girlfriend Eva, all whilst dodging semi-competent Police Inspector
Ginko. For Eva's birthday, Diabolik determines to steal an exquisite emerald necklace from some rich old toddy. Unfortunately for him, it's a cunning trap set up by Inspector Ginko. Doubly unfortunate, the European criminal element has united under mob boss Valmont in order to capture Diabolik. Will Diabolik escape the two-pronged trap, or will Ginko finally get his man? Will Valmont play the hero? Will Eva survive her experience in the Infrared Room? And what of Diabolik's plans to swim through the center of the sun?
The movie is based upon an Italian comic book character
. The movie also served as the inspiration behind the Beastie Boys
' music video for "Body Movin".
It was featured as the series finale
of Mystery Science Theater 3000
. See here
for that episode.
This film provides examples of:
- Ashes to Crashes: Poor Ralph Valmont.
- Batman Gambit: Both Diabolik and Ginko attempt these. Only Diabolik's succeeds.
- Board to Death: Valmont executes any criminals who don't agree to his plans for capturing Diabolik.
- Camera Spoofing: Diabolik pulls the Polaroid Punk to steal an emerald necklace.
- Coincidental Broadcast: Right as Diabolik is asking Eva what she wants for her birthday, a news report airs concerning a visiting dignitary and his wife's fabulous emerald necklace.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Diabolik, according to the film.
- Death by Materialism: Subverted. Diabolik gets covered in molten gold which soon solidifies around him, but his safety suit saves him. And by Joker Immunity, it's implied he will soon escape.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Eva is the living incarnation of this. In the course of the film she proves she can daze and distract basically anyone she pleases, including Diabolik (it's a wonder the man ever musters the will to leave his giant, rotating bed). She even distracts herself from time to time—when Diabolik momentarily ceases paying attention to her in order to watch a police news conference, a bored Eva idly extends one bare leg and admires it lovingly. Yes, she is that sexy.
- The Ditz: Valmont's squeeze Rose.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Diabolik's, to a truly absurd degree for someone who seems to have absolutely nothing in the way of actual henchmen or employees to actually build or maintain things other than Eva (and her skill set is entirely centered around Distracted by the Sexy... at which she admittedly excels, but still.)
- Enemy Mine: Ginko's police are raiding and shutting down Valmont's activities at various nightclubs. In order to get Ginko to agree to back off, Valmont promises to help Ginko capture and arrest Diabolik. Their partnership goes better than you would think.
- Evil Laugh
- Expo Label: The "exhilaration gas" and "anti-exhilaration pills"
- Fanservice: Eva. Oh so much.
- Also, the entire film has John Phillip Law in leather or shirtless.
- Femme Fatale: Eva
- Follow the Leader: Inspired by James Bond and Batman
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny
- Ice-Cream Koan: "If you didn't see him [Ginko], he's there."
- Jabba Table Manners: Valmont in the pool.
- Joker Immunity: The only explanation for the last scene.
- Lack of Empathy: One of the elements that make Diabolik and Eva Villain Protagonists. They don't give a damn about how many people — cop, crook or innocent — get killed by their exploits, as long as they get what they want in the end.
- Latex Perfection: Surprisingly Averted in spite of being a staple of the original comic book.
- Made of Iron: Inspector Ginko. He is on a small train full of ammunition, which is blown up on a bridge and falls 30 meters into a deep bay. The next time we see him he only has a dainty band-aid under one eye.
- Male Gaze
- Marilyn Maneuver: During Valmont's Thrown from the Zeppelin moment, his ditzy girl Friday stands rather close to the trap door.
- Money Fetish: Diabolik and Eva have sex in a big pile of it.
- No One Could Survive That: Played oddly straight when Diabolik is coated in molten gold, even though he's wearing a "swimming through the sun"-proof suit.
- Offscreen Villain Dark Matter — Averted, we assume.
- Police Are Useless: Kind of averted, since most of the time Ginko only seems to fail to catch Diabolik because of some increasingly ludicrous plot contrivances, including Diabolik exiting one elevator just after Ginko and the cops enter the one next to it.
- Also, in the film anyway, Diabolik gives off the impression of having some belief in Ginko's abilities.
- Pretty in Mink
- Steal the Surroundings: Authorities try to prevent Diabolik from stealing 20 tons of gold from a train by melting it into a single ingot and sealing it into a thick welded steel container. Diabolik blows up a bridge that sends the train into the water, where the super villain steals the entire container with the aid of balloons and a mini sub. Once back at his lair Diabolik drills a hole at the top of the steel container to insert a super heated rod to melt the gold inside. He then attaches a hose to a hole drilled at the bottom of the container in order to pour the melted gold into molds so that it can be converted to regular sized gold bars. This is taken step for step from the comic book (the story "Desperate Fight").
- Tempting Fate: Quoth the Prime Minister: "He [Diabolik] is certainly not going to make a fool of me!" Needless to say, he immediately does exactly that.
- Unfortunate Names:
- Villain Protagonist
- Worthy Opponent: Diabolik thinks this of Ginko. To Ginko's credit, he does not feel the same of Diabolik.
- Zen Survivor: Diabolik, faced with capture, takes a cyanide-like capsule and goes into a death-like trance, allowing him to awaken and escape later.
- The pill works on a very rigid timetable, too. He says it knocks him out for exactly 12 hours before it kills him and Eva wakes him up with exactly three minutes to spare. Pulse rate? Body mass? Don't matter; it's 12 hours on the dot before you die, and that's that.