Fantastic Argoman (1967)

I’ve been trying to make my rounds through the extensive list of 60’s super criminal essentials for a while but I somehow always managed to miss this one.  It was unavailable for years so you can imagine my shock and delight upon discovering a copy at Best Buy of all places in an inexpensive set with three other Foreign Super Hero titles. Argoman is a psychic super criminal/anti-hero who often uses his powers to steal priceless relics. He also forces women to come to his secluded love island telekinetically for sex. He feeds them radioactive cigarettes just in case he needs to track them with his geiger counter ring. It’s also brought to our attention that he loses his powers for six hours after sex.

Argoman is actually Sir Reginald Hoover, a wealthy Bruce Wayne-alike playboy (fully equipped with a trusty butler). When he’s stealing treasure or fighting crime he cloaks himself in one of the most phenomenal Super Hero costumes I’ve ever seen! An obvious rip-off of Cyclops from the X-Men comic which had been in circulation for 4 years before Argoman was made. The private investigator who’s always on Argoman’s trail was as if David Niven had been cast to play Inspector Clouseau.

His nemesis a drop dead gorgeous megalomaniac named Jenabelle, the future Queen of Everything.  She steals the world’s largest diamond with plans of using it as a powerful laser to create mass destruction. Only Argoman and his magical powers of the mind can put a stop the mad woman and her army of robots.

Fantastic Argoman is set apart from other European Super Criminals and Super Heroes from the 60’s. Unlike Kriminal or the Three Fantastic Supermen, he has magical powers! That adds a different dimension to his ass kicking ability. I also found Fantastic Argoman to be one of the most stylish of these films, alongside Danger: Diabolik . The big difference being, Fantastic Argoman hasn’t had the same kind of restoration treatment. It’s definitely a diamond in the rough. This release is so ghetto you can actually see tracking warbles which means it was taken from a VHS dub. I’m just happy to have found a copy! The score was by Piero Umiliani which creates a perfect retro atmosphere along with the futuristic set design. 

 This movie has a very comforting  rhythm.  It has the makings of a cult classic. It’s a shame more people aren’t familiar with it. Hopefully with its recent release, mediocre as the quality may be,  it will get a little more attention. It’s a great little slice of camp and has the Atomic Caravan seal of approval.

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