Posts Tagged Superheroes

The Skeleton Crew

A long look at KRIMINAL, KILINK, anti-heroes of Italian fumetti and their Turkish counterparts. Special guest appearances by Mandrake the Magician, fake Joker, and totally not Superman.

THE SKELETON CREW

Diabolik was a return to the seedy days of the pulps. He was an accomplished thief, a master of disguise, and an ace at killing anyone who interfered with his ambitions. His amoral mayhem struck a chord with readers, who quickly catapulted the master thief to the upper level of pop culture stardom, making it obvious that others would follow in Diabolik’s steps, each one trying to be more outrageous and offensive than the last. Among the many characters inspired by Diabolik was Kriminal, created by Luciano Secchi working under the pseudonym Max Bunker. Kriminal was a master thief from England, notable for his curious choice in clothing: a black and yellow skeleton suit with a creepy skull mask. It’s a difficult look for a grown man to pull off, but he makes it work. Kriminal, whose alter ego was Anthony Logan, did his best to one-up Diabolik, exhibiting sometimes absurd levels of cruelty and violence as well a parade of scantily-clad females that he couldn’t help but menace. The dude was wearing a skeleton suit. You either have to menace or be laughed at.


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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It’s Essential You Have Thunderball Fists

THE SUPER INFRA-MAN

inframanThe greatest compliment you could pay an exploitation film is to say it looks like they designed the poster first and then recreated it on screen. This formulation describes Inframan perfectly. Every one of its scenes could be bullet-pointed with the word “SEE!” in front of it (“SEE! Hong Kong engulfed in flames! SEE! The evil sorceress with an army of kung fu monsters!”) It is, in many ways, a perfect film, in that it is resoundingly successful in achieving what it sets out to do—which is transport its audience into a hyperbolic comic book world and entertain them beyond their wildest dreams. Its production values are high enough that it never seems to be striving beyond its means–its art direction, set and costume design all combining to create a seamless alternate reality. As such, it never once betrays its commitment to being a nonstop celebration of color, speed, style, violence and the joyous suspension of disbelief. In short, it is cinematic escapism in its absolute purest form.


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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