Superargo (Giovanni Cianfriglia), who was once the heavyweight wrestling champion of the world, gives up his title when he accidentally kills another wrestler in the ring. In the ring Superargo always wore a mask. The only people who know his true identity are his girlfriend Lidia (Monica Randall) and his best friend Colonel Alex Kenton (Josep Castillo Escalona). Superargo once served under Kenton during the war and saved his life. Lidia visits Kenton to ask him for advice on what to do to help Superargo with what he is mentally going through. Kenton, who is now the head of the CIA, tells Lidia to have Superargo come see him.

Superargo is no ordinary man. He has superhuman power, strength and endurance. He can hold his breath for seven minutes and can dive to a depth of 300 feet. His blood coagulates almost immediately and he can withstand freezing temperature with no ill effects. Electricity is his only weak point. Even though he cannot be electrocuted it does cause him immense pain. Because of his superhuman abilities he is hired as a secret agent. Superargo is given a new super suit that is bullet proof and a bullet proof car. He is then given a bunch of special CIA toys that are right out of James Bond. A brooch that is a television camera, a martini olive that is a Geiger counter and transmitter and a piano that sends and receives messages.

There have been several thefts lately of uranium and mercury. The leader is always the same man and he is always in the company of a red headed woman. Superargo is assigned the task of finding the thieves and bringing them to justice. The CIA knows that the thieves were working in one area. The only land in that area is an uninhabited island that has been thoroughly searched.

Superargo inspects the island and finds an underwater entrance to a secret underground compound. He is captured. He finds out that a maniac named Diabolicus (Gerard Tichy) and his girlfriend (Loredana Nusciak) have found a way to turn mercury into gold. They plan on flooding the market and bringing the world’s financial institutions crashing. He then plans on taking over the world. Superargo must find a way to stop Diabolicus’ evil plans, but first he mush free himself from the mad man’s clutches.

“Superargo vs Diabolicus” AKA “Superargo contro Diabolikus” was released in 1966 and was directed by Nick Nostro. It is an Italian and Spanish co-production superhero spy movie. It is the first of two Superargo movies that were made. The other being “Superargo and the Faceless Giants” 1968.

The movie is basically James Bond, if he wore a red leotard, black shorts, boots and mask. It has everything that an adult child could want. A superhero that is impervious to almost everything, kitchy spy paraphernalia that was cool in the sixties and an evil despot that wants to take over the world.

I can understand the bullet proof car and leotard but how often would you need a Geiger counter that looks like a martini olive or a piano that takes messages? I suppose you would if you tossed the olives into the ocean to locate an underwater nuclear power plant and your girlfriend played piano. The bad guys have some interesting stuff too. For example a torture table that cooks people, which happens to be kept in your control room, a freeze room that turns people into ice cubes and a method of creating gold from mercury. The sets are also quite elaborate as well. There are lots of bells and whistles. There is an underwater grotto, an elaborate system of pipes and scaffolding, and several control rooms depending on what you want to do.

The movie is a bit of nostalgia, a bit of camp and a whole bunch of fun.

Italy actually had several superhero style movies with various heroes. Some were done as co-productions with Spain or Germany. Besides Superargo there was Argoman, 3 Fantastic Supermen, Phenomenal, Pumaman and a range of other superheroes. There were a few dozen films made, most of them in the sixties and seventies but there were a few that were done as recently as 2018.