9/18/2006

Ennio Morricone - Danger, Diabolik

(Click on the picture to download.)

One of the most fascinating and unique things about Italian pop culture is the popularity of the fumetti neri: crime, mystery or spy comic books in black and white aimed primarily at young adults and characterized by dark atmospheres, a lot of casual violence and twisted (anti-)heroes. One of the most popular fumetti neri-characters is the black clad super criminal Diabolik, a ruthless and totally amoral sociopath. (Oddly, sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani, who created Diabolik in 1962 and wrote the series for over twenty years, look like harmless, slightly spinsterish elementary school teachers).

In 1968 the adventures of the glamorous and stylish super villain were turned into a feature film directed by b-movie auteur Mario Bava. I haven't been able to see the movie yet, but this sounds like a very promising combination. Though he lost it somewhat by the seventies, Bava was one of the most astonishing European directors, especially considering the constraints of the Euro-exploitation movie industry he was working in, and he created at least one true masterpiece of formally radical modernist film making
with his early giallo thriller Sei donne per l'assessino (Blood And Black Lace).

Ennio Morricone's Diabolik soundtrack is a lushly textured, highly enjoyable slice of vintage spy twang with a slightly psychedelic bent and those soft female vocals typical for his work of the time. Not necessarily essential Morricone, but definitely a fun listen and the main theme Deep Deep Down is really quite beguiling. The source for this rip is a sort of semi-legit cd recorded from either the DVD or the Laser Disc of the English dubbed version (hence the dialogue snippets and a few sound effects). Danger, Diabolik was never officially released on lp or cd and the master tapes were allegedly destroyed in a fire years ago.

I can't remember where I got this rip (most likely some torrent download), but whoever the original uploader was - mad props to him/her!

5 comments:

muse1453 said...

square dancer,
Thanks for Danger, Diabolik. I've been hoping the full stk. would show up since another person turned me onto a few of these songs a couple of years ago. I personally like this better than Morricone's better-known spaghetti-western soundtracks.

Just in case you didn't get my response to your question on my blog, you could go ahead and put my Ambush links on your page. Cheers.

square dancer said...

hi muse,

now that's a nice coincidence :-) Actually this soundtrack is slowly growing on me. Though it's quite in the loungy spy twang vain, there's a slightly weird feel to the music, especially the languid underwater-like quality of the vocals. Still, I've yet to hear something that I'd consider up there with his work for Leone's first four movies.

Couldn't read your answer yet. My provider had some technical problems over the last few days and I couldn't access a lot of sites, including all the blogspot-blogs. But now everything seems to be ok, so I'll do a bit of blogging again over the next couple of days. Cheers!

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Enrico Ratso said...

nice

mrG said...

The soundtrack has been re-recorded from original scores and was released last March

http://amzn.to/1osvBbr