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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Diabolik!" )

 

directed by Mario Bava
Italy 1968

 

A Groovy '60s Cult Classic From Filmmaker Mario Bava

The suave, psychedelic-era thief called Diabolik (John Phillip Law) can't get enough of life's good – or glittery – things. Not when there are currency shipments to steal from under the noses of snooty government officials and priceless jewels to lift from the boudoirs of the super-rich.

The elusive scoundrel finds plenty of ways to live up to his name in this tongue-in-cheek, live-action caper inspired by Europe's popular Diabolik comics. He clambers up walls, zaps a press conference with Exhilaration Gas, smacks a confession out of a crime lord while freefalling with him from an airplane, and pulls off the heist of a twenty-ton gold ingot. Impossible? No, diabolical – Danger: Diabolik, to be exact!

***

The Italian response to James Bond, this sly, sexy, cool-as-all-hell film manages to one-up the Bond series in just about every category. Starring John Phillip Law as the arch super-criminal Diabolik who elaborately steals from the rich and who plays a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Inspector Ginko (Michel Piccoli) as he conspires to steal the world’s largest bar of gold. Director Mario Bava, who has been grossly overlooked in this country as something of a cult item, uses the film to expound one elaborate set piece after another. His over-the-top sensibilities seem a perfect fit with the comic book world of the film. Filled with wild action, sexy photography, and tongue-in-cheek performances, this is a movie that reeks of style. Add to this one of Ennio Morricone’s best film scores and you have yourself something of a masterpiece.

Adam Lemke

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 26th, 1968

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Adam Lemke for the DVD Review!

Box Cover

 

  

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1.40.08       1:40:20.055  
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,861,182,972 bytes

Feature: 30,133,112,832 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1602 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1602 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by actor John Phillip Law and Bava Biographer Tim Lucas
• From Fumetti to Film - featurette
• Music Video
• Teaser Trailer
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: 6/14/05
Keep Case

Chapters 12  

Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,861,182,972 bytes

Feature: 30,133,112,832 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historians Troy Howarth And Nathaniel Thompson
Audio Commentary With Actor John Phillip Law And Tim Lucas, Biographer Of Director Mario Bava
Danger: Diabolik – From Fumetti To Film (20:23)
The Beastie Boys Music Video Body Movin’ With Optional Commentary By Adam Yauch (6:38)
Teaser Trailer (1:05)
Theatrical Trailer (2:23y


Blu-ray
Release Date: May 19th, 2020
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Shout! Factory Blu-ray (May 2020): Shout! Factory have transferred Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik to Blu-ray.

From our Facebook Group - Simon Diabolik says: "Very disappointed the transfer utilizes what appears to be an old master. If I'm not mistaken, the same one used for the previous DVD? This of all films deserved a fresh 4k scan. And yes I understand it's whatever Paramount had to hand but Il maestro's Diabolik, deserved better treatment."

I would tend to agree and would have hoped for more, but this is still a marked improvement over the 2005 SD transfer. Flesh tones improve (lose the orange-ness - see Mell's bosom below) as do other colors in terms of richness via the 1080P resolution but can still look faded in spots. It is in the proper 1.85:1 aspect ratio actually losing a sliver from the bottom of the frame from the opened-up 1.78:1 of the Paramount DVD. There isn't significant depth and the film always looks like it needs cleaning but aside from a full, film-level, restoration, superior source (Italian government body tightly holds the Italian-language print) or 4K scan - this is likely the best we will be getting.

NOTE: We have added 78 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE   

On their Blu-ray, Shout! Factory use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the English DUB'ed language. As stated in the new commentary this is preferable, original, DUB (of the two in existence.) It is another advancement in the film's audio and score by Ennio Morricone (Who Saw Her Die?, The Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Fifth Cord, Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) notably "Deep Down" theme in Danger: Diabolik. I loved the Edda Dell'orso background singing and Alessandro Alessandroni 'waa-waa'-ing in lossless. It is considered one of Morricone's best - in the older commentary Tim Lucas cites it as being listed at one time as the 3rd best commentary of all time by film fans.  The DUB sync's aren't distracting, imo and there is some other music in the film - free-form organ and some funky psychedelic electronic vibes that sound 'lounge-y cool' in the upgraded audio. The overall lossless transfer improves the audio and film experience. Shout! Factory offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Shout! Factory Blu-ray include the previous commentary with star John Phillip Law hosted by Tim Lucas, biographer of Director Mario Bava. It still has immense value, Law as well, even with a few gaps - as do all revisitation of Lucas' commentaries, imo. There is also a new commentary by Troy Howarth (author of The Haunted World of Mario Bava) and Nathaniel Thompson (DVD Delirium series.). They discuss the difference between the English DUBs, the compromises of what Bava acquiesced and what Di Laurentiis wanted, how Danger: Diabolik wasn't a happy experience for Bava. They talk about his tease eroticism, Catherine Deneuve replaced for not wanting do nudity (rolling in money) scene as well as the Fumetti phenomenon in Italy and much more. It's great - a lot on Bava. Also repeated from the DVD are the 20-minute Danger: Diabolik – From Fumetti To Film piece with Steve Bissette, Adam Yauch, John Phillip Law, Dino De Laurentiis, Ennio Morricone, Roman Coppola etc. and the Beastie Boys music video Body Movin’ with optional commentary by Yauch, plus there is a teaser and trailer for the film. 

Negligibly underwhelming visually but the Shout! Factory Blu-ray of Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik has the film looking and sounding its best for home theatre consumption to date, 2 excellent commentaries and more. It's a film I am very pleased to own on Blu-ray. - wonderful to revisit. The film is strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVD (2005): The image on this disc is nearly flawless. Sharp, clean, full of detail and vibrant colors, it’s no surprise that this disc took the honors of “Best ‘guilty pleasure’ Release” in our DVD of the Year Poll 2005.

Paramount has put some care into the special features with a commentary, a short featurette on the film’s comic book origins, and best of all, a hilarious music-video send up by the Beastie Boys. The only thing I could have wished for was an isolated film score option, but at less than $15 retail price, this is one disc that goes above and beyond what it needed to be. out of

 - Adam Lemke

 


Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 
Box Cover

 

  

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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