Tuesday, May 01, 2018

In the 1960's a few comic book series were created in Italy that can be a bit confusing to try and keep straight. The most famous I think would be Diabolik that started up in 1962 by two sisters. A film of it (Danger: Diabolik by Bava) was made in the same year as this one and seems to have had a strong visual influence on it. There was also Satanik but a different one from this film's Satanik - that one was a male in a skeleton outfit and the comic was also titled Killing in some territories. Another comic character was Kriminal who also had a skull uniform and there were a couple films made of him. And then there was this Satanik begun in 1964 by Max Bunker who also created Kriminal. It went on as a comic book for 10 years.

What all of these have in common is that their literary father seems to be Fantomas in that they are all criminals, ruthless and the heroes of their comic books. I can't think of any US comic book in which the ongoing main character was a killer. At least in the old days when I read comics.
The story of Satanik which this film follows somewhat closely is that a female scientist has a ravaged face and so kills the creator and steals a potion that will turn her beautiful. But it also makes you a psychotic killer - but since she killed to get it I would guess that she was pretty close to that already. Satanik is played by the loverly Polish actress Magda Konopka who I had never heard of but has a decent filmography. As to her acting, I would say she has a stomach that men dream of during a dreary winter.

Not a lot actually happens in the film and what does, happens slowly - it is a cool stylish film that seems most interested in the pop fashions of the time and simply gazing at Magda. But I quite like that Euro-look of films in the 1960's and did I mention that Magda has a great stomach.


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