Support Us

Satellite News is not financially supported by Best Brains or any other entity. It is a labor of love, paid for out of our own pockets. If you value this site, we would be delighted if you showed it by making an occasional donation of any amount. Thanks.

Sampo & Erhardt

Sci-Fi Archives


Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

Social Media


Episode guide: 1013- Diabolik

Movie: (1968) Super-thief Diabolik performs several daring heists, then sets his sights on a shipment of gold.

First shown: August 8, 1999
Opening: M&tB discover the SOL employee handbook
Intro: Pearl has a new joystick, which leads to re-entry protocol
Host segment 1: Crow and Mike are packed; while Servo disposes of the many extra hims
Host segment 2: In Castle Forrester, everybody is lining up new gigs
Host segment 3: Crow is worried, so Mike sings a reassuring song
End: After the crash, M&tB settle in to their new home with a familiar pastime
Stinger: “Is that stud coming?”
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (270 votes, average: 4.47 out of 5)

Loading...

• And so we come to the final Sci-Fi Channel episode, and, of course, this is one where the host segments outweigh the movie. Like all the big premise-changing episodes, the host segments are, once again, a marvel of tight, efficient (and funny!) story telling. As for the movie, it’s sort of “Danger Death Ray”/”Double 007” meets “Batman” and, well, yes, it certainly is pretty to look at.
• Last time I called the riffing “steady and workmanlike,” adding that “there’s little that’s memorable.” I’m going to disagree with myself after this viewing. Maybe it was the mood I was in, but I laughed a LOT this time.
• Mary Jo (with an assist from Bill, Patrick and Paul) offers her thoughts.
References. I noticed a couple they missed: “Okay, I’ll go hang with Nova for a while” is a reference to the fact that the woman looks a bit like the female lead of “Planet of the Apes.” Also “Flaming truck at Brixton, 20 minutes late” is a “Fall & Rise of Reginald Perrin” reference.
• While this episode was being made, Jim Mallon stalked the halls with a video camera, documenting the event. The footage was later released on video as “The Last Dance: Raw.” The last time through, I watched it before actually watching this episode, and it is interesting in a couple of respects. First, if it does nothing else, it captures the tedium of TV production. There is a lot of standing around waiting, and this gives us a real sense of that. Second, it gives a brief shot of where I scrawled on the back of the SOL set. Since that object no longer exists, to my knowledge, it’s nice that there’s a record of it. Finally, yes, the MST3K process has been described many times, but there’s nothing like actually seeing people doing it. So, if you haven’t given it a look, it’s worth one. But I doubt you’ll want to watch it again.
• I think a lot of MSTies agree that this was a strange choice for a final movie. We discussed it here.
• But I do have one question for the movie: What is the point of covering your face with a form-fitting mask that doesn’t disguise you at all? As proof of this, I simply have to note that, despite the face coverings, every cop who encounters Diabolik immediately knows who he is.
• There are many, many naughty riffs during the “rolling around in the bed full of money” scene.
• In one scene, the lovely Eva climbs into Diabolik’s car and as she does so we get a very brief glimpse of VERY high (stocking covered) inner thigh. Crow is the only one who reacts, and he does so only very quietly. I wonder if they just couldn’t decide whether to make a big deal out of it or not.
• I assume Esso (now ExxonMobil) paid for the blatant product placement: It feels very phony. Having the service station attendant ask Eva if she wants a tail (Esso stations sold little plush tiger tails that one was supposed to attach to one’s gas intake pipe so that, when the gas cap was in place, it looked as if there was a “tiger in the tank”), and actually say “Tiger’s in the tank, ma’am,” is a little over the top.
• I really like the little explosion sound effect they use in segment 1 as Tom disposes of the extra Toms. It’s a very satisfying little “boom.”
• Callbacks: “Welcome, Dr, Meecham!” (MST3K: The movie) “Ha-ha! I’m useless against your weapons!” (Prince of Space).
• Mike references the “giant fiberglass muskie in Hayward Wisconsin,” a landmark that is also depicted in the movie “Blood Hook,” directed by Jim Mallon.
• Crow’s concern about “traffic accidents” echoes a similar concern by little Akio in the movie in episode 312- GAMERA VS. GUIRON. I wonder who on the staff made that connection.
• During the song, Mike produces Crow’s “mother” from episode 602- INVASION USA. Wonder how much they had to dig in the prop room for that!
• I just want to note that the song in segment 3 is the second time in the series that a song rhymes “Earth” with “Colin Firth.”
• The final bit in Castle Forrester makes a reference to the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” finale, where the cast similarly huddled together and sang “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” Or maybe there’s a law that any TV show connected to the Twin Cities has to end that way.
• That’s the voice of Peter Rudrud as the TV announcer.
• The final bit, in which Mike and Bots settle in and start riffing on “The Crawling Eye,” the movie Joel and the bots riffed in the first national episode, is cute and kind of satisfying. But a lot of fans noticed a little goof: We can’t see the screen, of course, but based on their riffing, it seems that the first thing they see is opening credits. The problem is that “The Crawling Eye” doesn’t start that way. It starts with a cold opening, showing some characters mountain climbing (and then one of the characters is killed). The credits don’t begin until several minutes into the movie. Kind of ruined it for some people. But the bit is such a lovely bit of closure I can’t fault them.
• Cast and crew roundup: Director-scriptwriter Mario Bava was cinematographer for “Hercules” and “Hercules Unchained.” Assistant director Lamberto Bava directed “Devil Fish.” Makeup guy Otello Fava also worked on “Warrior of the Lost World.” Score composer Ennio Morricone also worked on “Operation Double 007.” In front of the camera, Marisa Mell was also in “Secret Agent Super Dragon.” Adolfo Celi was also in “Operation Double 007.” John Phillip Law was also in “Space Mutiny.”
• CreditsWatch: Directed by Kevin. “To Earth” — music by Mike; lyrics by Kevin (so you can blame him for the Colin Firth rhyme).
• Fave riff: “Member FDIC…” Honorable mention: “I’m driving with my whipper.”

Next week we will move on to season 11.

231 Replies to “Episode guide: 1013- Diabolik”

  1. PALADIN says:

    ‘Diabolik’ always strikes me as exemplary of the difference between American and European action/adventure films.

    An American-made film about a professional thief would have made a point of giving the protagonist a compelling and sympathetic backstory to make him an anti-hero, but a hero nonethless.

    The Italian ‘Diabolik’ takes it for granted that the viewer is familiar with the titular character`s comic book roots…
    ” Diabolik is a ruthless master thief. He typically steals from criminals (and has no issue with killing them if need be, but rarely, if ever, kills the innocent or the police). He seems to have a deep knowledge in many scientific fields, including chemistry, mechanics and computers. In his first appearances, Diabolik was a more straightforward villain who did not hesitate to murder anyone in order to accomplish his deeds. He was later given a more “Robin Hood”-like persona and was shown stealing essentially from criminals, in order to soften the series’ violence and amorality.”….
    …and the movie just plunges the viewer into the hedonistic heists of this bizarre character, who starts out with apparently More Money Than GOD and goes on to steal even more….seemingly just for something to do.
    ( Sure, maintaining sports cars and a classy blonde-model babe in your own private Batcave MUST cost a load o` bucks…. But after you have enough to roll around in on your Squash-Court-sized bed, you`ld think that it would be time to just enjoy it all instead of ‘going for the gold’ as well. )

    American action adventure films INSIST upon delivering the origin of the hero, even if the hero is Superman, whom I believe babies have actually been born knowing who he is and where he came from for decades. Diabolik must be one well-known character in Italy for a backstory to have seemed irrelevant.

    Fortunately, the forbidding, relentlessly protruding skull of John Phillip Law carries the day and his over-acting is just icing on the cake.

       3 likes

  2. jay says:

    My original VHS copy of DIABOLIK has a little “Have A Nice Day” face drawn on the label, but it is a sad face with a big tear coming from one eye.

       3 likes

  3. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “This satellite has been my home, I’ve never known another…”

    Well, except for when you lived with Mike’s family in Wisconsin for ELEVEN FRICKIN’ YEARS…

       7 likes

  4. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    “How do you sleep at night, Diabolik?”
    “On a bed uff money, vith…uh, vun beautiful lady.”

    Finnias ‘Critter’ Jones:
    The movie itself was based on an Italian comic (created by two sisters) celebrating an outlaw anti-hero who by todays’ American standards comes off as a self-centered terrorist.

    In the strictest sense, a terrorist is one who commits acts of violence in pursuit of an ideological cause. Diabolik was in it strictly for the $$ and the LOLs.

    Wilford B. Wolf:
    it seems like 3 or 4 different comic book plots that weren’t joined together very well

    Since it was based on a comic book, that’s probably exactly what it was. They got hold of three or four issues of Diabolik and BAM they had a first draft of the script. ;-)

    Brandon:
    Crow sure changes his mind about stuff a lot doesn’t he? Initially, Road House was his favorite movie, then later he trashes it…

    Well, just because it was his favorite movie, it doesn’t mean he ever thought it was perfect. ;-)

    It’s like in the Village of the Giants episode, where Crow repeated defends the film “Willow” yet ultimately riffs on it himself, because while he likes the movie, that doesn’t mean he thinks it’s perfect.

    Another film known to have been one of Crow’s favorites is “Mannequin” as referred to in, among other places, his “Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim Cattrell!” song. I have no idea if he ever referred to it in a riff as well.

    John M .Hanna:
    If I have one complaint about this movie, its Diabolik himself. The riff, “This guy gets by on unbelieveable luck and coincidence.” really nails this one. Diabolik is just a walking Deus Ex Machina.

    How many other action protagonists match that description? Well, uh…some, definitely some.

    The Castle Monster:
    Rich, handsome, greedy and remorseless isn’t really a winning combination from this backward cheeseburger-eating American’s perspective.

    Here in 2018, one can just remove the word “handsome” and the riffs practically write themselves…

    The Castle Monster:
    Well, yeah, but I bet George Clooney had some actual dialogue and character development (because I haven’t actually seen Oceans 11).

    Well, he had dialogue, I’ll certainly give him that much.

    Gummo:
    Mary Jo’s Mrs. Forrester gets a lot of grief from fans, but I thought she really came into her own as a character in the last 3 seasons.

    IMHO not a likeable character but a character nonetheless.

    Iggy Pop’s Brother Steve Pop:
    Hence, “Is that stud coming?” rather than “Is Stud coming?”

    “Is that Steve Pop coming?”
    ;-)

       3 likes

  5. goalieboy82 says:

    Sampo
    looking forward to your take on Season 11.

       1 likes

  6. thequietman says:

    Wow, what a ride it’s been. After coming in around the tail end of Season 8 five years ago (during the second cycle of this episode guide) and then picking up with Season 1, I’ve now seen all the regular episodes, in order, and commented in some way on (almost) all of them. Even more incredibly, we now have the ability to own nearly all of them on official, high-quality DVD releases. I certainly didn’t think this would get an official DVD release. I feared it would be in the same camp as “The Deadly Bees” and “The Space Children” and was delighted to be proven wrong.

    Not too long ago I thought this would be it and once this episode had come and gone in the discussion here I’d have to find something else to do with my Thursday evenings. But lo! Freshly arrived this week is my Season 11 set, all ready for me to start watching as we delve into a brand spanking new era of our favorite show! The future is indeed bright!

       2 likes

  7. jeyl says:

    For anyone who has this episode on DVD.

    Is it me, or is the audio in the episode coming off a bit rough?

       1 likes

  8. Sitting Duck says:

    Diabolik fails the Bechdel Test. None of the female characters ever converse with one another.

    Is there a translation out there for the Deep, Deep Da song?

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I think Ginko looks sort of like Nigel Hawthorne of Yes, (Prime) Minister and The Madness of King George.

    Do banks ever transport cash in bags with dollar symbols on them?

    I believe I may have mentioned this during one of the weekend discussions. The first time I watched the To Earth host segment, I thought Gypsy said of Crow and Tom, “I think he wet himself under the desk.”

    Thomas K. Dye:
    Mike’s apartment only has “1/2 bath.”So how’s he gonna take a shower?

    He could always pop over to the Y.

    losingmydignity:
    Get the good print DVD version and be amazed at how much fun Bava’s film actually is…anti-heroes who bucked the establishment were very popular at the time, not just in Europe. Bonnie and Clyde came out the same year

    A fairly apt comparison, though I’d replace, “anti-heroes who bucked the establishment”, with, “selfish dickweeds”.

    Gorn Captain:
    Mario Bava was an economical filmmaker, and only a used a tiny amount of the three million budgeted by Dino Delaurentiis. The final cost was around $400,000.

    And then the movie ended up being a hit. And once all the investors started clamoring for their 50-100% cut of the profits, he went to jail for fraud while his accountant partner jetted off to Rio with the cash and the Swedish secretary.

    Favorite riffs

    “Wonder how those guys would feel if they knew they were guarding all this waste paper instead of ten million dollars?”
    They’d feel hurt, sir.

    “Roger. Affirmative.”
    Do something affirmative, Roger.

    This will fool them, unless they look at it.

    This is just a Good Samaritan he met in the tunnel.
    She’s a Great Samaritan.

    If he had stolen just a little less, I could see her ass right now.

    I’m a Nazi, but I love color. What can I do?

    “Excuse me. The fuse must have blown.”
    I don’t blame it.

    Next birthday, I’m taking you to Olive Garden.

    Here, I’ll do my own autopsy.

    “How long’s it been, Eva?”
    Well it shrank when you died.

    “Of course, our gold reserves certainly have dwindled recently.”
    And someone’s been taking paperclips.

    Diabolik adds to his trail of charred and dismembered bodies.

    Nobody goes to this kind of trouble anymore for frankincense or myrrh.

    “With this suit, I could swim through the center of the sun.”
    That’s what it said in the catalogue, anyway.

    Kind of glad I didn’t install a bagpipe alarm.

    Well I’m sorry if you’re offended by my random murders.

    Ha ha! I’m useless against your weapons!

    He had so many innocent people left to murder.

       4 likes

  9. majorjoe23 says:

    A note on season 11: DRM-free downloads of the entire season (and the making of documentary) are available for preorder now on Rifftrax, becoming available April 17 (the same day the DVD/blu rays are coming out). So if you didn’t back the Kickstarter or don’t have Netflix, you’ll be able to get them then.

       1 likes

  10. Jason says:

    “This will fool them unless they look at it.”

    The Eden Prairie Finale has lost none of its bittersweet qualities for me, even though we live in privileged times where it no longer represents the end MST3K. But it’s still the end of an era, and it’s a farewell to a cast that had a special chemistry. The Mike-Kevin-Bill dynamic really caught fire once they got through the first stretch of Season 8, and I feel the same about the Sci-Fi Mads. The performers genuinely clicked and managed to bring a new energy to a show that had suffered the loss of key cast members and should have been feeling long in the tooth by that point. Watching the episode is like saying goodbye to friends, and it’s still kind of devastating. In my head canon Mike is still living in that same humble apartment with the Bill Corbett model Crow and the Kevin Murphy model Servo.

    Though Diabolik may not have been the movie the Brains would have selected for their last episode if they had more say so, it’s a pretty strong riff. The movie is competently made with good photography and a catchy Morricone soundtrack, but the fact that it proffers a destructive, self-serving sadist for a protagonist gives the gang a lot of material. “We’re beautiful; you’re a loser!” is a perfect summation of the movie’s ethos on Servo’s part. The host segments are, of course, terrific. I’d forgotten all about the “Mojo Nixon’s garage sale” joke, and it’s a nice touch to have Pearl back in her old scarf for her last moment. I was kind of hoping Season 11 would shed some light on how Pearl inevitably fouled up being ruler of Qatar, or the circumstances of her, Bobo and Observer all crawling back to each other, but I should really just relax.

    Comparing how the Brains approached this episode versus Laserblast is interesting. In both cases, they had to operate under the assumption that they were producing a series finale. They did a fantastic job of it both times, but the two episodes strike rather different tones. Laserblast, with its ambitious (at least by the standards of the show’s production values) “2001” spoof feels more spirited, like they wanted to go out with a bang and leave it all on the field. Diabolik, while just as conclusive, has this sweet, low-key vibe that feels even more appropriate. There’s just something about Mike and the bots being so grateful and contented with their half-bath apartment, low fidelity TV set and bowls of rice that strikes the perfect note of warmth and humility I ascribe to the show.

    Can we talk about the AMC offer? We knew the rumor had been floating around, but in Shout!’s featurette about the episode, Jim Mallon confirms that Best Brains was approached by the channel for more episodes. Jim claims that the offer was rejected because the rest of the Brains were disinterested. Considering that the cast (particularly Bill, who was hitting his stride while Mike and Kevin were playing well-worn roles) had always suggested that they would have been happy to continue the show, I feel like Mallon’s side isn’t the whole story. For one thing, didn’t The Sci-Fi Channel have exclusivity on MST3K, cancelled or not, through 2001? It makes a lot more sense for the performers to have turned Season 11 down if the opportunity only arrived two years after the fact, when they had moved onto other projects and Mallon had long since torn down the sets and auctioned off ten years of props. Also, given that many of the Brains have eventually made it clear that they resented the fact that Mallon refused to give them stake in the company, it wouldn’t surprise me if the thing they were really disinterested in was continuing to be Mallon’s employees when they had long earned the right to be partners.

       12 likes

  11. There was an innocence to Mike and ‘Bots that just can’t be recaptured by the new crew.

       7 likes

  12. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Dr. Frankenkeister:
    Now that we’ve reached the end of another run through the series, could the Thursday reviews go over ancillary MST projects? The Film Crew, Cinematic Titanic, Mike’s solo commentaries, Rifftrax video releases, Blood Hook, etc.

    That indeed sounds remarkably fun but, well, obviously, we didn’t do it in 2014 (even I’m not that oblivious…). This year, however…………?

       3 likes

  13. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Bruce Boxliker:
    My theory (as someone above mentions), is that Ginko is the real hero here, and they just made an artistic choice to film it from (mostly) the villains point of view.
    Because really, how can anyone consider Diabolik a hero in any way, even an anti-hero? He does NOTHING heroic whatsoever. Every single thing he does is for his own greed. He casually murders countless innocents, all in the name of greed & sex. He’s not ‘bucking the system’ in any way, either. He’s not Robin Hood. He’s evil, plain & simple. Thankfully, it’s a groovy, goofy kind of evil, so it doesn’t fill me with as much rage as certain shows about criminals do.

    Movies usually strive to make us identify with the character who’s endangered (even if he’s only endangered by his own actions). Ginko’s a cop so he’s obviously the symbol of law and order (something which I can allow would’ve had very different connotations in post-war Europe) but he’s just doing his job. He’s not flying his freak flag or whatever the term might be, he’s the government, mister. He’s The System, and we all get angry about The System now and then. Even Hannibal Lector had some audiences rooting for him, because he was a fugitive from The System. Even films like one which has already been mentioned, Ocean’s Eleven (the Clooney version), had the criminals in effect “getting away with it.” Because, after all, it wasn’t our money, right…?

    Post-Watergate, there was a level of paranoia against the government in the USA just there was in Europe during Diabolik’s era, which ushered in a trend of vigilante films (distinct from super-hero films, because super-heroes rarely kill unless absolutely necessary), in which “ordinary” yet heavily armed people who’d suffered losses, who’d been Pushed Too Far, who’d had all they could stands ’cause they couldn’t stands no more, took to the streets and killed dozens of people per film, who were “doing it for themselves” when the law supposedly failed them.

    Admittedly the vigilantes’ victims weren’t usually “innocent” but that didn’t necessarily mean that they “deserved” to die. Vigilantes certainly didn’t limit themselves to criminals whose crimes would’ve earned them the death penalty if tried and convicted.

    I’ve already expressed my doubts/concern about the Euro anti-hero school of thought, but whatever else you can say about Diabolik, he wasn’t a hypocrite. Yes, he killed everyone who got in his way but (at least, in this film; I can’t vouch for the comic books) he never pretended that his victims “deserved” to die, he never pretended that he had the “right” to make that call. He would never have called himself a “hero.” AFAIK he only set out to kill other criminals who challenged him and didn’t target the cops, poor ridiculous saps that he thought them to be. Stay out of his way and he’d stay out of yours.

    Diabolik was the ultimate “individual,” a sociopath in the truest sense of the term. Good? Evil? He Just Didn’t Care.

    On the other side of the spectrum, the vigilantes took that “right” upon themselves — they literally went looking for people to kill, the mark of a psychopath instead of a sociopath — and audiences cheered when they did so. Strictly speaking, they were terrorists, because they were acting in pursuit of an ideological goal, however ill-defined.

    Diabolik killed as a means to an end. Vigilantes killed as an end in itself. Diabolik would probably never deny the charge of being an enemy of society while vigilantes told themselves that they were protecting society. Is one “excuse” for murder “better” than the other? People way smarter than I am have been comparing and contrasting those two schools of thought for quite some time.

    Also, FWIW, I don’t remember any 1970s vigilantes who seemed to be enjoying life nearly as much as Diabolik and his ilk. The vigilantes weren’t doing it for fun…which is probably why so many of them were almost always scowling.

       1 likes

  14. Johnny Drama says:

    It’s nice to see the show went out with a comfortable, average movie with great host segments. I think season 10 was the best of the Sci-Fi era. But I can’t think of a better or more fitting choice from the season 10 lineup to end with. Each season 10 episode has the same kind of feel to it. But yeah, they were getting kind of burnt out, even if they were getting better. It’s nice that the anger, bitterness and resentfulness that permeated the Sci-Fi era started to dissipate as the show continued, and is almost all but gone by the time the show ends. There’s still an oddly inappropriate gay joke towards the beginning of the episode, though.
    Looking back at the show itself, now that season 11 has come and gone, this one plays out different to me now. I remember watching it twice in a row back on the day it premiered back in ’99, and thinking that was the end. Now, it feels like Mike and the Bots are still part of the Experiment. They’re still riffing movies and being recorded by Cambot. They’re just in some sort of stasis lock for the time being. This would certainly explain why the Bots are back on the SOL in season 11. Besides the obvious explanation that they are not the original bots, but rather one of the many clones from through out the years. That also explains their new conglomerate personalities. More on that in the weeks to come….
    And I hope that this site continues to stay pure to MST3K, and not go down the slippery slope of side projects. MST3K fan site, first and foremost.

       0 likes

  15. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Regarding Mike’s desperate wail of “We’re all gonna die!” as was established in the Space Mutiny episode, Crow and Tom are effectively immortal. It can be presumed that the other Bots are, too. So, really, Mike was the only one at actual risk of dying. And even then, it’s just a show…

    The show bid Frank farewell with its first and only lucha libre film. Bidding the show farewell with its first and (obviously) only Euro super criminal film isn’t too different from that.

    Should Scrooge “I love to dive into [money] like a porpoise! And burrow through it like a gopher! And toss it up and let it hit me in the head!” McDuck have received at least a minor riff during the rolling around in money sequence? Or not…?

    Mechagamera:
    “Diabolik” as the last episode . . . it is what it is.

    Well, you can say that about anything…

    Dan in WI:
    So the stick of joy is broken.

    Is what the kids were calling it back then…?

    Dan in WI:
    Crow about Eva’s coat “Did she get stuck in a bear’s behind?”

    Should that have been followed by something to the effect of “I just wish we could see her bare –”

    robot rump!:
    when they reference Crow’s mom in ‘to Earth’ i sometimes catch myself remarking how they threw her out in ‘Codename:Diamondhead.’

    Probably floated around until it got caught in the SOL’s gravity field and wedged against part of the clunky outer hull, at which point it would’ve basically been a randomly placed hood ornament.

    littleaimishboy:
    Mike Nelson isn’t a SOL employee anyway.As a temp, he’s considered an independent contractor.Sheesh!Eyeroll!! What a blooper by the writers!!!

    Well, he only found the book, right? It’s not like anyone gave it to him.

    That said, the SOL is a habitat/vehicle; it’s not a business and thus by definition cannot have employees in the first place. That’s like saying you’re employed by your car or your house. If anything, Mike worked/temped for Gizmonics Institute.

    Kali:
    Amazon is offering what looks like a REAL soundtrack for Diabolik through its mp3 music line for about 9 bucks.I got it a few weeks ago.Great tracks and no dialogue to get in the way.I haven’t seen a soundtrack CD on this (except for the one where the packager made the best of things and cut out all of the music from the film with dialogue).Of course, I started going “Deep Deep TONGUE!” at the appropriate moments.:-)

    Wouldn’t inappropriate moments have been even more fun? ;-)

    “Plenty of Deep Deep lip and TONGUE action!”

    PALADIN:
    American action adventure films INSIST upon delivering the origin of the hero, even if the hero is Superman, whom I believe babies have actually been born knowing who he is and where he came from for decades. Diabolik must be one well-known character in Italy for a backstory to have seemed irrelevant.

    Well, as you say, American films insist on the origin. Films from other nations, maybe not so much.

       1 likes

  16. Ray Dunakin says:

    Michael Kuzmanovski:
    There was an innocence to Mike and ‘Bots that just can’t be recaptured by the new crew.

    I tend to agree, however I’m still holding out hope that with a little more time, the new crew will finally get into the groove.

       0 likes

  17. Michael Kuzmanovski:
    There was an innocence to Mike and ‘Bots that just can’t be recaptured by the new crew.

    Stinger: “Is that stud coming?”

    No, he’s too busy checking on the dog’s meat, for Dorking. It gives him that squishy feeling.

       0 likes

  18. Kenneth Morgan says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: Movies usually strive to make us identify with the character who’s endangered (even if he’s only endangered by his own actions). Ginko’s a cop so he’s obviously the symbol of law and order (something which I can allow would’ve had very different connotations in post-war Europe) but he’s just doing his job. He’s not flying his freak flag or whatever the term might be, he’s the government, mister. He’s The System, and we all get angry about The System now and then. Even Hannibal Lector had some audiences rooting for him, because he was a fugitive from The System. Even films like one which has already been mentioned, Ocean’s Eleven (the Clooney version), had the criminals in effect “getting away with it.” Because, after all, it wasn’t our money, right…?

    Post-Watergate, there was a level of paranoia against the government in the USA just there was in Europe during Diabolik’s era, which ushered in a trend of vigilante films (distinct from super-hero films, because super-heroes rarely kill unless absolutely necessary), in which “ordinary” yet heavily armed people who’d suffered losses, who’d been Pushed Too Far, who’d had all they could stands ’cause they couldn’t stands no more, took to the streets and killed dozens of people per film, who were “doing it for themselves” when the law supposedly failed them.

    Admittedly the vigilantes’ victims weren’t usually “innocent” but that didn’t necessarily mean that they “deserved” to die. Vigilantes certainly didn’t limit themselves to criminals whose crimes would’ve earned them the death penalty if tried and convicted.

    I’ve already expressed my doubts/concern about the Euro anti-hero school of thought, but whatever else you can say about Diabolik, he wasn’t a hypocrite. Yes, he killed everyone who got in his way but (at least, in this film; I can’t vouch for the comic books) he never pretended that his victims “deserved” to die, he never pretended that he had the “right” to make that call. He would never have called himself a “hero.” AFAIK he only set out to kill other criminals who challenged him and didn’t target the cops, poor ridiculous saps that he thought them to be. Stay out of his way and he’d stay out of yours.

    Diabolik was the ultimate “individual,” a sociopath in the truest sense of the term. Good? Evil? He Just Didn’t Care.

    On the other side of the spectrum, the vigilantes took that “right” upon themselves — they literally went looking for people to kill, the mark of a psychopath instead of a sociopath — and audiences cheered when they did so. Strictly speaking, they were terrorists, because they were acting in pursuit of an ideological goal, however ill-defined.

    Diabolik killed as a means to an end. Vigilantes killed as an end in itself. Diabolik would probably never deny the charge of being an enemy of society while vigilantes told themselves that they were protecting society. Is one “excuse” for murder “better” than the other? People way smarter than I am have been comparing and contrasting those two schools of thought for quite some time.

    Also, FWIW, I don’t remember any 1970s vigilantes who seemed to be enjoying life nearly as much as Diabolik and his ilk. The vigilantes weren’t doing it for fun…which is probably why so many of them were almost always scowling.

    Well, in the unedited version of “Diabolik”, there’s a plot development where he seems like something of a hypocrite, regarding his attitude towards the Establishment. When the government decides to go all out in capturing him, he announces that he thinks the government shouldn’t be using the public’s tax money to catch him, rather than on more important things. So, he…no, I won’t spoil it. All I’ll say is that it’s an interesting solution, and it features another funny scene with Terry-Thomas.

    Once again, I recommend the original version of “Diabolik”. It’s a well-made, imaginative movie that’s waaaaay off-kilter.

       1 likes

  19. The Original EricJ:
    No, he’s too busy checking on the dog’s meat, for Dorking.It gives him that squishy feeling.

    I’m not talking about dirty jokes.

       0 likes

  20. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    “This satellite has been my home, I’ve never known another…”

    Well, except for when you lived with Mike’s family in Wisconsin for ELEVEN FRICKIN’ YEARS…

    In fact, as I mentioned in the Hamlet thread, based on established timeframes, when the SOL crashes, Crow (from Episode 807) is STILL living in Wisconsin with Mike’s family, because it’s been fewer than eleven years since Crow-807’s arrival on Earth.

    For that matter, for all we know, Crow (from Episode 821) is also STILL working at the cheese factory (even though Mike himself left it long ago). I wonder if when Crow-821 realized he was in effect trapped in the past, he watched and waited around for the timeframe when Crow-807 would arrive so he could pal around with himself. After all, it’s important to be able to enjoy your own company.

    Because, you see, while Crow-807 departed earlier in Season Eight, Crow-821 went FURTHER BACK. Crow-821 went back years prior to Mike getting shot into space while Crow-807 went back to JUST AFTER Mike got shot into space.

    In Episode 807, Mike knew better than to get Crow to prevent him (Mike) from getting shot into space because that would’ve changed history (just as Crow-821 in fact did change it in 821 only to have Crow-Prime (the Crow who met Eddie*) change it back), so Crow arrived after Mike was shot into space so he could tell the Nelsons what had happened to Mike (it seems safe to presume that Dr. F and Frank didn’t see any reason to give them a heads-up). Except that in eleven years Crow apparently never thought to actually do that. (The fact that, as of Hamlet (1009), Mike was receiving letters from his family demonstrates that they found out something about something at some point.)

    And now that Crow-Prime is on “contemporary” Earth, there may in fact be THREE Crows in all. So while Servo destroyed his own duplicates, Crow found two duplicates of himself waiting for him. Weird, huh? ;-)

    Alas, not one of them has the Beaulieu-voice…

    ===

    *although Crow-807 probably also met Eddie at some point since Mike’s family was/is of course also Eddie’s family (Mike mentioned having a niece in #818; Eddie’s daughter? who knows?); hopefully the Eddie who had not spent years trapped in space was at least a little more pleasant…

       1 likes

  21. Sitting Duck says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Should Scrooge “I love to dive into [money] like a porpoise! And burrow through it like a gopher! And toss it up and let it hit me in the head!” McDuck have received at least a minor riff during the rolling around in money sequence? Or not…?

    Well, he only swims in it. As far as we know, he’s never had sex in it.

       1 likes

  22. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    More about Mike’s family:

    Episode 1009 mentions Mike’s brother-in-law’s ex-wife Wanda (unless my google search result got that wrong).

    Presuming that Mike himself is not married, this means that Mike has a sister who is married to Wanda’s ex-husband. Thus Mike’s sister’s husband would be Mike’s brother-in-law (the couple might or might not be the parents of Mike’s niece, to whom he once gave a Devil Doll, as noted in 818).

    The fact that Wanda remains sufficiently within Mike’s family circle for Mike to know her current conditions (i.e. “alive”) could be interpreted to mean any number of things that we won’t get into here. ;-)

    1009 further reveals that Mike has an Uncle Les and a Cousin Al. Per 807, his father’s name is Elmer. Mike also has an Aunt Edna (whom Crow affectionately calls a “kook”). Presuming that Les and Edna are married and the parents of Al would be the simplest course…if you’re into that kind of thing.

    I’m not sure if Crow mentioned even more relatives in 807 or not, google search couldn’t pinpoint that sequence of dialogue.

    Additional references to Mike’s family were probably scattered throughout the episodes but these are the only ones I recall right off.

    Except for the “virtually all of Mike’s descendants married apes” stuff, which doesn’t really count since none of those relatives have been born yet, but what the heck:

    Francis Nelson, Mike’s great-grandson, married a macaque

    Thomas Ryan Nelson (context implies he’s another great-grandson) married a slow lorus

    Kevin R.W. Nelson (“probably a great-great-grand[son]”) married a ruffed lemur

    Wilbur H. Nelson married Sara Thompson but had an aye-aye as a mistress

    W.D. Nelson married eight times: three silverback gorillas, four bonobos, and one Japanese snow monkey

    R.W. Nelson, Wilbur Nelson, W.D. Nelson, Mike’s descendants also clearly liked their Ws.

    Oh, and in 2112, Dr. Peanut from “Deep Ape” will be dating one of Mike’s female descendants.

       1 likes

  23. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    FURTHERMORE…

    As I mentioned in the Shop of Wonders thread, if we chose to take seriously Crow’s claim that he has a nephew, he could have held that role (literally or figuratively) while he was for all intent and purpose part of Mike’s family. The fact that in Hamlet Servo seems to know more about Mike’s family than Crow can be simply explained as a sign that Crow has a much worse memory than Servo (who, after all, has only heard about Mike’s relatives second-hand, in contrast to Crow, who actually met and lived alongside several of them).

    Servo, on the other hand, can AFAIK have no relatives besides his many duplicates (whom he destroyed, although we could be charitable and presume that their personas continue to exist in some sub-routine of Servo’s). Thus, the “grandmother” seen in Touch of Satan can only have been one such duplicate whom Servo in effect assigned to be his own grandma. Which is kind of weird even for Servo, but…

    Of course, Servo DID spend 500 years on the edge of the universe interacting with any number of aliens but there’s nothing to suggest that he ever married an alien or became part of a family of aliens. AFAIK we know nothing whatsoever about the time Mike, Gypsy, Cambot, and Magic Voice similarly spent.

    Crow-Prime presumably retains Crow-807’s memories of living with Mike’s family (even if he doesn’t keep them in the upper levels of his memory bank or whatever the heck) but there’s no obvious way that he could possess Crow-821’s memories of being a cheese factory worker and whatever else he did after that. And he cheated himself out of 500 years of space adventure, which creates a distinct anecdote gap between him and his two roommates.

    I find this stuff interesting. So sue me. ;-)

       1 likes

  24. Mr. Krasker says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    FURTHERMORE…

    As I mentioned in the Shop of Wonders thread, if we chose to take seriously Crow’s claim that he has a nephew, he could have held that role (literally or figuratively) while he was for all intent and purpose part of Mike’s family. The fact that in Hamlet Servo seems to know more about Mike’s family than Crow can be simply explained as a sign that Crow has a much worse memory than Servo (who, after all, has only heard about Mike’s relatives second-hand, in contrast to Crow, who actually met and lived alongside several of them).

    Servo, on the other hand, can AFAIK have no relatives besides his many duplicates (whom he destroyed, although we could be charitable and presume that their personas continue to exist in some sub-routine of Servo’s). Thus, the “grandmother” seen in Touch of Satan can only have been one such duplicate whom Servo in effect assigned to be his own grandma. Which is kind of weird even for Servo, but…

    Of course, Servo DID spend 500 years on the edge of the universe interacting with any number of aliens but there’s nothing to suggest that he ever married an alien or became part of a family of aliens. AFAIK we know nothing whatsoever about the time Mike, Gypsy, Cambot, and Magic Voice similarly spent.

    Crow-Prime presumably retains Crow-807’s memories of living with Mike’s family (even if he doesn’t keep them in the upper levels of his memory bank or whatever the heck) but there’s no obvious way that he could possess Crow-821’s memories of being a cheese factory worker and whatever else he did after that. And he cheated himself out of 500 years of space adventure, which creates a distinct anecdote gap between him and his two roommates.

    I find this stuff interesting. So sue me. ;-)

    Didn’t Tom’s mother show up in both Village of the Giants and Hobgoblins?

       1 likes

  25. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Mr. Krasker: Didn’t Tom’s mother show up in both Village of the Giants and Hobgoblins?

    No, those constituted riffs. I would think. That wasn’t really Mike’s father at a wedding who danced onstage in “Devil Doll,” either. ;-)

    Really, if anyone’s Tom’s grandmother, it’s Joel’s mother. Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson, wherever you are…

       1 likes

  26. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    I keep associating “FDIC” with “Your crank is turned to FRANK,” although of course the FDIC reference was a commercial that was AIRED on FRANK and had nothing to do with FRANK itself. So it goes.

    (from The Deadly Mantis)

       1 likes

  27. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: Another film known to have been one of Crow’s favorites is “Mannequin” as referred to in, among other places, his “Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim, Kim Cattrell!” song. I have no idea if he ever referred to it in a riff as well.

    “This is just like the opening of Mannequin, one of my favorite movies!” was definitely a riff

       1 likes

  28. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    • During the song, Mike produces Crow’s “mother” from episode 602- INVASION USA. Wonder how much they had to dig in the prop room for that!

    and yet in a previous episode Crow’s mom was thrown out with the rest of the trash. I hope somebody got fired for that blunder

       0 likes

  29. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:

    PALADIN: American action adventure films INSIST upon delivering the origin of the hero, even if the hero is Superman, whom I believe babies have actually been born knowing who he is and where he came from for decades.

    Not to mention every time a series is rebooted, there has to be yet another origin story.

       0 likes

  30. yelling_into_the_void says:

    “Is that stud coming?”
    Oh well, what do I care. My scene is actually on the bridge.

    There are no references to Thunderball or Space Mutiny.

    I wonder what the host segments would be if it wasn’t their final episode…

       0 likes

  31. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Terry the Sensitive Knight: “This is just like the opening of Mannequin, one of my favorite movies!” was definitely a riff

    It didn’t constitute “making fun” of Mannequin, though, so it’s not quite the same thing. As though it matters. :-)

       1 likes

Comments are closed.