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Mystery Science Theater 3000 presents:
#1013: "Danger: Diabolik"
There's neither danger nor diabolic in this film based on a popular Italian comic book. The lovely Diabolik is a master thief who dresses in form-fitting black vinyl, a slick hedonist who likes to make big heists and foil the government. John Phillip Law, whom you'll remember from Space Mutiny and Barbarella, just to name a few of the two movies he's been in, is "Diabolik."
Diabolik has a really cool underground lair, a really cool car, and a foxy lady named Eva who employs all the wig technology available to her. Eva and Diabolik have a deep and abiding love based on trust, a shared history, and shared goals for the future, as is evidenced by them rolling around naked in a pile of greenbacks.
When Diabolik purloins ten million dollars from the government of the unnamed but Europey country, Inspector Jenko is fed up to here. Meanwhile, in a triangulation of arch-nemeses, the ham-faced Valmont's nightclubs are raided by the government. So Valmont makes a deal with Jenko: Valmont promises to get Diabolik to Jenko if Jenko's agents will back off Valmont. This will be difficult, Valmont points out, because no-one's ever seen Diabolik. Evidently no-one has ever noticed the reed-thin, pretty man in the vinyl leotard as he flits from caper to caper.
Then Eva, whose love for Diabolik is not based on material gain, demands an emerald necklace for her birthday which just happens to be the most famous jewels in the world. Knowing Diabolik can't resist heisting the jewels, both Jenko and Valmont plan to ensnare Diabolik. (Why won't somebody come up with a plan to steal Jewel?) During their no doubt daring but unseen escape, Eva injures herself. She goes to the doctor where she is kidnapped by Valmont, who knows that Diabolik will do anything to rescue her because their sex, I mean their love, is true and abiding.
So Valmont holds Eva for $10 million ransom. Long story short, Diabolik finds Eva and in a standoff in the desert, Jenko thinks they've killed Diabolik but AHA! He's only playing dead with the help of a drug. Later, when the two of them get out of that fix, Diabolik sets out to steal twenty tons of gold which Jenko has made into one huge ingot so Diabolik won't be able to steal it. Oh, please. I mean, come on! This is Diabolik we're talking about! The Master of Ineffectual Disguises! The giant ingot is transported by miniature train which is blown up as it's crossing a trestle. It sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and Diabolik and Eva retrieve it with his super cool underwater car. They take the gold to the hideout where Diabolik melts it to make regular size ingots.
Meanwhile, Jenko and his men are able to track Diabolik because they put a tracer in the gold. The G-men swarm the hideout and when the device that was melting the gold explodes, it encases Diabolik head to toe in gold. Diabolik, though immobilized, laughs triumphantly though it's anybody's guess why, since he's encased in gold and there's no-one around to feed him, scratch his nose, or help him go to the bathroom.
Prologue: Servo can't maintain altitude and Mike discovers an SOL Employee Handbook jammed up his hoverskirt. The handbook is written in Pearl's autocratic style.
Segment One: The ship starts to yaw and Mike and the bots find Pearl in a playful mood, messing with them with the use of her new joystick. The joystick breaks and accidentally sends the SOL headed back to Earth. Down in the castle, Pearl is slightly upset; up in the SOL, Crow has motion sickness.
Segment Two: Mike is packed, rice and all, and ready to go. Crow's got all his stuff in a garbage bag; and Tom is trying to figure out what to do with all the extra Toms around the ship.
Segment Three: The residents of the Castle are getting on with their lives: Pearl has accepted an offer to be dictator for life of Qatar; Bobo has a promising interview at the zoo; and Brain Guy's got lots of stuff going on.
Segment Four: Crow is frightened to go to Earth, what with all the wars and murders and diseases and Adam Sandlers running around. Mike sings a song to allay his fears, which perks up Crow but scares Servo into hiding under the desk.
Segment Five: With Servo driving, the SOL endures a violent landing on Earth. Mike, Crow and Servo share a one-bedroom, garden level apartment and settle in to watch movies.
Stinger: Valmont looking to sea, asking "Is that stud coming?"
This was our last show ever for Mystery Science Theater 3000. We all knew this day would come and to tell you the truth, it was time. MST3K had existed ten years, which is a very long life for a television show, and I had been with the show for seven years, which was longer than all my previous jobs put together. We didn't really care for the movie itself, Diabolik, and it was difficult to write. Whether any movie would have been hard for our last show or if it truly wasn't good for our purposes, I don't know. We rolled around a lot of ideas for the last show, and we grappled with how to wrap it all up. One thing we adamantly agreed on: nothing maudlin. Although we did toy with the idea of Pam Ewing waking up and realizing it had all been a dream.
A few weeks before the end of production, I was telling my brothers how we were going to end the series, and when I told them about Crow and Servo getting an apartment with Mike, I started to cry just a little. Then I had to laugh at myself, because I was talking not just about fictional characters, but puppets, for cripes sake! It really hit me when I uttered the last line of the last scene to be shot. "Look, Nelson - move on. I am.:" Once we got a good take, Peter Rudrud called "That's a wrap," and there were tears from just about everyone. But I have moved on: I have secreted myself away in my apartment, somehow I've acquired 46 cats, I wear three housedresses at once, and I hold one-sided conversations with people I see from my window who don't know I'm watching them. Life after MST3K does go on! As for the others, well, we all still keep in touch, even if it is through restraining orders and menacing personal ads. All in all, we had the time of our lives.
- Mary Jo Pehl
Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie/episodes availability on video and on DVD or even books
An Open Letter To Mystery Science Theater 3000 Shareholders From Bill Corbett:
What I remember most about our last show is Patrick running around in a full body black rubber suit which showed only his eyes, stealing all our jewelry, laughing a faux-evil-guy laugh at very inappropriate times, and throwing knives at us, which got a bit annoying...
Oh wait, that was the movie.
For me, the last show was a combination of almost unbearable sadness, mixed with real exhilaration and great fun. I was aware that something special was ending, but that also made our time together on 1013 all the sweeter. It reminded me what a wonderful, funny, intelligent, and warm group of people I got to work with for three years. They'll always be close to my heart. Which will, needless to say, go on.
Patrick Brantseg Sez:
All's I'm gonna say is that it was wonderful working with such talented people whom I consider friends. There, now all you bastards owe me lunch!
And Now A Word From Paul Chaplin:
Mary Jo said the website is interested in comments from all of us on the last movie, but unfortunately it's been three months And I really can't remember anything about it. She tells me it was called Diabolik, which certainly sounds like a bad movie, so I feel I'm safe in assuring you that it was the worst movie we ever did. Can't recall a single detail, though. Weren't there some bad guys or something?
You may have heard any of us say, previously, that we always forgot almost everything about the movie we had just finished as soon as we completed it. You probably thought it was an exaggeration, but it was not. I think it's some kind of automatic protective thing, a defense contrivance embedded somewhere in human DNA: when exposed to a real bad movie, forget it quickly. The implications are tremendous, of course; it would mean that humans evolved as part of a larger whole, a super-consciousness if you will, a truly universal awareness that this species, this fascinating, intelligent, baffling, enraging creature known as Homo Sapiens would, at some point in the dim future, make some extraordinarily bad movies, and would need to be protected from them.
Or take it a step further: Is it possible that this cosmic energy, or all- knowing force - call it God, if you must - planned even for the emergence of a handful of the species who would be called upon to do nothing but watch these movies? That the human gene pool contains a protective strand of material meant just for us who wrote for MST? A strand producing a particular kind of forgetfulness?
Makes you think.
Well, I gotta go. I'm driving up to Milles Lacs to a condo development, where I have to sit through a presentation on timeshares before I can pick up my "new, high-tech TV." I'm going on a weekday, so I also get a "deluxe 35-mm camera (with carrying case)."
I had no idea what I was missing, going to work every day like I used to do.
- Mary Jo Pehl
Oh, and one final note from TV Guy (Bill Laidlaw to TV Listings fans) - This was the last MST3000 episode produced but #1003 Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders was preempted for some reason in April so it was broadcast after #1013, on 9-18-99.
Monstervision has now also been cancelled, and TNT didn't even tell Joe Bob they were going to cancel it, so he got no final words like the above. But that's how they do things over at Turner. When a quarter of the staff at CNN got fired, they were told to leave and armed guards escorted them out the same day. Maybe it's something Captain Planet should look into...
The best book for looking up movie titles and descriptions is the Movie / Video Guide by Leonard Maltin.
If for some reason the fine film Danger: Diabolik (1968) is not available on videotape or original printed form, you can still get Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie while supplies last...
Or see films by the great Gregory Walcott
Or the MST3000 Titles Index Page
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