SuperArgo and the Faceless Giants (1968)

Superargo_and_The_Faceless_Giants_(1968)‘Don’t tell me the great SuperArgo is afraid of fairies…’

Top athletes are being abducted by strange, giant men. Despite personal reservations, the head of the Secret Service turns to SuperArgo for help. The ex-wrestler turned crimefighter has been working with a psychic on his mental abilities and soon finds that he needs all his skills when he comes face to face with a mad supervillain and his robotic army.

The second, and last, of the brief Italian series featuring Ken Wood (Giovanni Cianfriglia) as SuperArgo. The film is actually a slight improvement on ‘SuperArgo Against Diabolicus’ (1966), with more colourful villains this time around in the shape of Guy Madison (better known for Westerns) and the rather fetching Diana Lorys. SuperArgo also seems to have lost his wife (careless of him), and gained a sidekick in the person of Aldo Sambrell as the Indian mystic. This makes for a tidier dynamic all round than in the first film, with our masked hero also allowed a love interest in Luisa Baratto.

The aspect of our hero’s new psychic abilities aren’t explored in any depth, but he does manage to shatter a vase with the power of his mind and levitate, which is handy in a cage filling with poisonous gas. But, for the most part, he prances around in his red body stocking and black mask indulging in the usual rounds of fairly lame fisticuffs with the robot ‘army’ (about a dozen at most). There’s a bit of a problem with these ‘giants’ actually. True, in some shots, a couple do seem to be very tall indeed but, against SuperArgo, not so much, and when there’s a whole bunch of them not at all. And why would they be giants anyway if they are the kidnapped athletes? Nice motorcycle helmet headgear, though.

Superargo_and_The_Faceless_Giants_(1968)

He’d heard about blokes waking up after their stag night in some weird places…

Director Paolo Bianchini manages a better level of action than his predecessor on the first film, but it’s still not exactly a thrill ride. In fact, it’s pretty emblematic of the whole superhero/spy cycle of films that were coming out of Europe at the time. Unremarkable, mindless entertainment with a fearless hero, some beautiful babes, a supervillain, a science fiction gimmick, and a smattering of fights and car crashes. It passes the time if you’re not in too critical a mood.

SuperArgo is always polite to the fairer sex as well, and drinks a cup of tea at one point, which is rather nice. He could also do Goldface and Fenomenal in a fight. Both at the same time. Any day of the week. Not sure about Kilink though, think he might meet his match there… and the Fantastic Argoman would kick his ass. Guaranteed.

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