Not so-gentlemanly thief Diabolik (John Phillip Law, of Barbarella and Space Mutiny fame) terrorizes the European countryside, killing, maiming and stealing to satisfy the mercurial whims of his girlfriend Eva, all whilst dodging semi-competent Police Inspector Ginko. For Eva's birthday, Diabolik determines to steal an exquisite emerald necklace from some rich old toddy. Unfortunately for him, it's a cunning trap set up by Inspector Ginko. Doubly unfortunate, the European criminal element has united under mob boss Valmont in order to capture Diabolik. Will Diabolik escape the two-pronged trap, or will Ginko finally get his man? Will Valmont play the hero? Will Eva survive her experience in the Infrared Room? And what of Diabolik's plans to swim through the center of the sun?
- Ashes to Crashes: Poor Ralph Valmont.
- Batman Gambit: Both Diabolik and Ginko attempt these. Only Diabolik's succeeds.
- Board to Death: Valmont executes any criminals who don't agree to his plans for capturing Diabolik.
- Camera Spoofing: Diabolik pulls the Polaroid Punk to steal an emerald necklace.
- Coincidental Broadcast: see Hint Dropping, below.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Diabolik, according to the film.
- Death by Materialism: Subverted. Diabolik gets covered in molten gold, but his safety suit saves him. And by Joker Immunity, it's implied he will soon get out.
- The Ditz: Valmont's squeeze Rose.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Diabolik's.
- Enemy Mine: Ginko's police are raiding and shutting down Valmont's activities at various nightclubs. In order to get Ginko to agree to back off, Valmont promises to help Ginko capture and arrest Diabolik. Their partnership goes better than you would think.
- Evil Laugh
- Expo Label: The "exhilaration gas" and "anti-exhilaration pills"
- Fan Service: Eva. Oh so much.
- Also, the entire film has John Phillip Law in leather or shirtless.
- Femme Fatale: Eva
- Follow the Leader: Inspired by James Bond and Batman
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny
- Ice Cream Koan: "If you didn't see him [Ginko], he's there."
- Jabba Table Manners: Valmont in the pool.
- Joker Immunity: The only explanation for the last scene.
- Lack of Empathy: One of the elements that make Diabolik and Eva Villain Protagonists. They don't give a damn about how many people -- cop, crook or innocent -- get killed by their exploits, as long as they get what they want in the end.
- Made of Iron: Inspector Ginko. He is on a small train full of ammunition, which is blown up on a bridge and falls 30 meters into a deep bay. The next time we see him he only has a dainty band-aid under one eye.
- Male Gaze
- Marilyn Maneuver: During Valmont's Thrown From the Zeppelin moment, his ditzy girl Friday stands rather close to the trap door.
- Money Fetish: Diabolik and Eva have sex in a big pile of it.
- No One Could Survive That: Played oddly straight when Diabolik is coated in molten gold, even though he's wearing a "swimming through the sun"-proof suit.
- Offscreen Villain Dark Matter -- Averted, we assume.
- Police Are Useless: Kind of averted, since most of the time Ginko only seems to fail to catch Diabolik because of some increasingly ludicrous plot contrivances, including Diabolik exiting one elevator just after Ginko and the cops enter the one next to it.
- Also, in the film anyway, Diabolik gives off the impression of having some belief in Ginko's abilities.
- Pretty in Mink
- Tempting Fate: Quoth the Prime Minister: "He [Diabolik] is certainly not going to make a fool of me!" Needless to say, he immediately does exactly that.
- Unfortunate Names:
Valmont: [Watching a speedboat approaching] Is that Stud, coming?
- Villain Protagonist
- Worthy Opponent: Diabolik thinks this of Ginko. To Ginko's credit, he does not feel the same of Diabolik.
- Zen Survivor: Diabolik, faced with capture, takes a cyanide-like capsule and goes into a death-like trance, allowing him to awaken and escape later.
- The pill works on a very rigid timetable, too. He says it knocks him out for exactly 12 hours and he wakes up with exactly three minutes to spare. Pulse rate? Body mass? Don't matter; it's 12 hours on the dot, and that's that.