Archive for the ‘Danger:Diabolik’ Category

“Movies are a magician’s forge, they allow you to build a story with your hands… at least, that’s what it means to me. What attracts me in movies is to be presented with a problem and be able to solve it. Nothing else; just to create an illusion, and effect, with almost nothing” —Mario Bava

Director Mario Bava’s stylistic influence on 60s Italian cinema—particularly the Giallo genre—goes without saying. His singular vision was always evident, no matter what genre he was working within. Often taking what could have been fairly pedestrian story material, and—with limited budgets—Bava created worlds that you can fall into; mysterious, often dangerous worlds. His films have a staged feeling, and maybe that’s the point; clearly atmosphere and mood are paramount concerns—and why should’nt they be? Film is, after all, a visual medium, and like another visually minded-director—David Lynch—Bava fashions dream-like worlds that tap into the primal, the visceral.

Certainly, as a result of Brava’s initial work as a cinematographer, his shots are always impeccably composed, and fascinating to examine as single images…


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Sophia Macello’s character has been evolving of the past several months, as does her back-story. She has become a much darker character than what I first started with, but still with a slight camp appeal (maybe a little more serious than, say, Danger Diabolik which, initially, was my primary inspiration). She has become motivated by revenge, and, the character herself, has become much more mysterious.

I thought I would present her current back-story. I like creating back-stories for characters, even when the characters appear in illustrations; this helps me define the the character overall when I’m working over various designs.

Sophia’s story begins in Rome in the late 60s. Historically the late sixties, early seventies was turbulent time in Rome. These were the “Years of Lead”, wide-spread social turmoil and terriorsim  ripped across Rome.

Sophia is an agent for a secret government agency of highly trained assassins. After the killing of innocent civilians, an incidnet that was blamed on terriorist groups, she decides to leave the agency, no longer wanting to be a part of this corrupt arm of the Italian government. Of course, the shadowy leaders of this agency will not let her do this, and they plant a bomb in her car which kills her (presumably) and her father.

Now, weeks later, government officials are being killed one by one. Soon Sophia reveals herself to be the one who is doing this, that she is now a rouge assassin, taking her revenge for the killing of her father. But is she really a ghost, as many believe, or did she indeed survive the car bombing, and if so, how? No one seems to know.

This is where her real story begins.

This idea had various inspirations, namely the British movie Deadlier Than The Male  and Mario Bava’s Danger: Daibloik as well as Japan’s Pinky Violence films. The character herself, at least the latest version, was inspired, to a great extent, by the Italian film actress, Edwige Fenech.

For more information on all things realted to 60s cinema, go to Cinebeats.




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I just found this not too long ago and have been humming it ever since: Mike Patton’s cover of Ennio Morricone’s Deep Deep Down, originally sung by Christy for the Danger:Diabolik soundtrack. Patton’s version really builds upon the original and sounds great live with a full orchestra backing him. There’s is talk of an album of covers of Italian pop songs from the 50s and 60s—which would include Deep Deep Down— but I have yet to find any hard release dates.

I’ve also included a clip of the version by Christy (it’s the English version; for some reason I can’t find the original Italian).

Speaking of great Morricone covers, the always versatile John Zorn (a long-time collaborator of Patton’s) has a brilliant album of Morricone covers that has been out for years called The Big Gundown. Here are two live versions of pieces that are on the album, Erotico and The Battle of Algiers.


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Sophia Macello: Agent Danger is a character I’ve started working on for a secret project. She is an Italian super secret agent in the 1960s. It’s ultra campy, spy-fi stuff, maybe a little surrealistic. I’ve included some live action movies from the 60s that were inspiration in terms of style…


                                                         Alphaville, Jean-Luc Godard



                                                           Danger: Diabolik, Mario Bava



John Phillip Law and Marisa Mell enjoy the fruits of Diabolik's criminal activities.


Modesty Blaise, Joseph Losey



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