Superargo Versus Diabolicus (1966)

This movie is everything I want it to be and more. A pro wrestling hero? A Eurospy James Bond rip-off? Future technology that is now charmingly quaint? A red masked lucha libre-esque hero massacring dudes with a flamethrower while the main villain and his mistress tie said hero’s girl to a torture table on fire? You should watch this movie three times and then stare into the sun and burn your eyes out. That’s how great it is.

Nicola Nostro made a few of the Ten Gladiators movies, but nothing prepared me for the madcap mayhem that he’d unleash on me with this movie. I mean, this is a film where the good guys stab and shoot Superargo just to show us all that he can’t be hurt and that his blood instantly coagulates.

Spanish actor Gérard Tichy (he was in plenty of Spaghetti Westerns and The Corruption of Chris Miller) plays Diabolicus. Loredana Nusciak — Maria, the lover of Django — plays his mistress who, of course, screws him over and gets machinegunned for her troubles by Superargo’s lady.

Superargo is — of course — Ken Wood (Italian real name: Giovanni Cianfriglia). He was Steve Reeves’ body double and shows up in another Italian superhero movie, Sandokan the Great. I love that Superargo becomes a super spy because of depression — he’s too strong and he threw another wrestler named El Tigra from the ring, killing him. Now, he just stays inside until his woman goes to his old army buddy and gets Superargo some government work.

There’s a scene where Argoman does a bicycle thing-a-majig with his feet while they test his blood pressure and scientist dudes lose their minds. Scenes like this are exactly why I adore this movie.

This is a movie that invents gadgets that are totally preposterous: a two-way radio inside a gigantic player piano. A geiger counter that looks like a cocktail olive. And a feminine brooch that has a television inside it that totally clashes with Superargo’s entire wardrobe!

The greatest thing about this movie is that at the end, Superargo awkwardly stares at the screen, kind of smirking, while the credits play. It’s not paused — he’s just standing there — and you’re like, “Yeah. That Superargo is a pretty good dude.”

There aren’t enough stars in the galaxy to rate this one.

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