LEAGUE OF FORGOTTEN HEROES: Satanik (1968)

Satanik isn’t a hero, but it is based on an Italian comic book which was part of the fumetti neri (black comics) phase that Danger: Diabolik inspired (which is why Satanik is spelled that way).

Marnie Bannister is a biologist and chemist who earned her Ph.D. at a young age. While a technically brilliant scientist, she is ridiculed by her peers because of her poor background the fact that her face is marked by tumors. She still lives at home, Cinderella-style, with two beautiful sisters, an alcoholic father and closed-minded mother — all of whom make fun of her appearance. Working along with the alchemist Masopust, she develops a drug that makes her beautiful. The side effect? It also makes her into a murderous criminal named Satanik, who uses her beauty and sex appeal to take advantage of men. The comic features plenty of horror characters, such as evil ghosts and a vampire named Baron Wurdalak.

The movie, however, only concerns itself with Satanik’s transformation from old woman to beautiful young woman, playing by Polish model Magda Konopka.

If you’re looking for this film to live up to Bava’s Danger: Diabolik, I have bad news for you. There’s no way that can happen. Sure, there are murders and jet-setting and fun music, but this movie crawls while Bava’s runs, tumbles and pirouettes.

Its director, Piero Vivarelli, is better known for the original Django. With the great poster art and source material, I guess I was just expecting more.

If you want to see it for yourself, you can rent it on Amazon Prime.

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