Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 21st, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, December 15th, 1966
Director: Nick Nostro
Writer: Jaime Jesús Balcázar
Cast: Giovanni Cianfriglia, Gérard Tichy, Mónica Randall, Loredana Nusciak
Approximate running time: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian, Dolby Digital Mono Italian, Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Pulp Video
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (Italy)
Retail Price: OOP
Synopsis: A world champion wrestler named Superargo looks for redemption after accidentally killing one of his opponents. Superargo is enlisted by the government to help infiltrate the organization of Diabolicus who has been stealing a large quantity of uranium from ships traveling in the Gulf of Mexico. Diabolicus plans on using the uranium to help him conquer the world. Will Superargo put a stop to Diabolicus’s sinister plans and finally find the redemption he seeks?
Superargo Versus Diabolicus is an Italian production based on the style of Italian fumetti’s. The lead character Superargo is a world famous wrestler who never reveals his identity at any time throughout the film. Even in a few brief moments when his mask is removed the camera just happens to be badly positioned so not to reveal his face. Despite having formidable skills as a wrestler Superargo is also blessed with a body that is genetic anomaly which allows him to heal quickly and absorb a lot of pain. His kryptonite is electricity. He also has some spy like qualities like the car and gadgets he is supplied with throughout the film.
Superargo is played by an Italian actor named Giovanni Cianfriglia under the alias of Ken Wood. Giovanni Cianfriglia started his career as stunt-man in Pietro Francisci’s Hercules and Superargo was one of his rare starring roles with most of his performances being minor roles. It is hard to gage his performance as an actor in since the mask he wears covers up virtually all of his facial expressions and emotions. Psychically is where he owns the role in the films numerous action sequences. Some of the action sequences in the film are kind of goofy as they resemble a wrestling match instead of a smoother and more brutal style that characters like Kriminal and Diabolik employee.
In the role of Superargo’s nemesis Diabolicus is an actor named Gérard Tichy whose credits include Jess Franco’s Marquis de Sade: Justine, Summertime Killer and Pieces. Gérard Tichy’s performance is a typical as a carbon copy of the type of over the top villains that frequented most spy and superhero films of the 1960’s. In the role of Diabolicus’ Mistress is an actress named Loredana Nusciak who most memorable role was as Maria in Django. Loredana Nusciak is deliciously sinister as Diabolicus’ Mistress. Playing the part of Superargo’s girlfriend Lidia is Mónica Randall whose credits include My Dear Killer and Red Sun. Overall the performances are not that memorable and at times whether intentional or not they feel campy.
Visually the film takes full advantage of the scope photography and its broad use of colors falls in line with the style of the fumetti. The story is action packed and moves along quickly. The characters while not believable are enjoyable. The film at times shows the strain of its low budget with several scenes of Superargo wandering around or moments with his being restrained like the drawn out demonstration of his powers sequence and the scene where Diabolicus reveals his plans to Superargo while he is tied to a board.
Ultimately Superargo Versus Diabolicus is deliriously silly film that is best viewed while inebriated.
Superargo Versus Diabolicus is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The image looks at times to soft, print damaged and edge enhancement are minimal. Colors and black levels look strong throughout. Overall the image looks good considering its age and the transfers’ source material.
Audio options for this release include a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Other audio mixes include a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix in Italian and a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian. All there audio mixes sound clear and evenly balanced. Removable Italian subtitles have been included with this release.
Extras for this release include a theatrical trailer for Superargo Versus Diabolicus and opening & closing credit sequences presented without the credit titles on them. Overall Superargo Versus Diabolicus gets a DVD release that is on par with Pulp Video’s other DVD releases.