Kriminal (film)

Kriminal is a 1966 crime film directed and written by Umberto Lenzi. The film is about a thief and murderer called Kriminal (Glenn Saxson) who escapes from a prison and is chased after by Inspector Milton (Andrea Bosic). It was followed by a sequel, Il marchio di Kriminal (lit. The Mark of Kriminal).

Italian film poster
Directed byUmberto Lenzi
Screenplay byUmberto Lenzi[1]
Story byUmberto Lenzi[1]
Music byRomano Mussolini[1]
CinematographyAngelo Lotti[1]
Edited by
  • Jolanda Benvenutti
  • Antonio Gimeno[1]
  • Filmes Cinematografica
  • Estela Films
  • Copercines[1]
Release date
  • 1966 (1966)



In August 1964, the fumetti neri series Kriminal began publication.[1] The comics often contained themes of sex and violence, which included the title character seducing scantily-dressed women, then strangling or stabbing them to conceal his identity.[1][2] Director Umberto Lenzi stated that he initially wanted to make a comic book-inspired film with an adaptation of Diabolik.[3] Lenzi found himself unable to get the rights to Diabolik, which had purchased by Dino De Laurentiis.[3] Lenzi then attempted an adaptation of Satanik, but eventually settled on Kriminal.[3] Lenzi argued with Kriminal's creator Luciano Secchi about the changes he made with the character, which Lenzi would later describe as "a bit Nazi-skin fascist. We made a fun film."[4] Lenzi opted for a lighter tone in contrast to the combination of sex and violence present in the fumetti.[4]

The lead role was played by Dutch actor Roel Bos under the name "Glenn Saxson", who previously had leading roles in Spaghetti Westerns such as Go with God, Gringo.[5] Bos did a screen test for Lenzi, who was looking to portray Kriminal as a younger character compared to his fumetti counterpart.[6]

Shooting for the film lasted approximately two months.[3] Interiors were shot in Rome, while exteriors were filmed in Madrid, Istanbul, The Black Sea and London.[3] Most of the physical stunts in the film were performed by Bos' double Attilio Serverini, except for one of the more dangerous sequences involving Kriminal running atop a speeding train.[3]


Kriminal was released in 1966.[7] The film was described by film historian Roberto Curti as being "moderately successful", which resulted in a sequel, Il marchio di Kriminal, directed by Fernando Cerchio, being released the following year.[8] As of 2016, there has been no official English-language DVD of Kriminal.[8]


In a retrospective review, Curti wrote that Kriminal is "fast, fun and entertaining overall, but it is also disappointingly tame."[8] Curti mentioned that the film is "lacking the comic book's tongue-in-cheek attitude and political uncorrectness, while much of the film looked more like one of those travelogue James Bond rip-offs that were flooding the screens at the time."[4]

Lenzi later noted that when he re-watched the film on television, that it "seemed even better than when I shot in 1966: then I was a bit perplexed, now I appreciate the aspect of irony in it, something which comic strips didn't have because they were vulgar, horrible."[4]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Curti 2016, p. 47.
  2. ^ Curti 2016, p. 48.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Curti 2016, p. 52.
  4. ^ a b c d Curti 2013, p. 297.
  5. ^ Curti 2016, p. 50.
  6. ^ Curti 2016, p. 51.
  7. ^ Curti 2016, p. 66.
  8. ^ a b c Curti 2016, p. 53.


  • Curti, Roberto (2016). Diabolika: Supercriminals, Superheroes and the Comic Book Universe in Italian Cinema. Midnight Marquee Press. ISBN 978-1-936168-60-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Curti, Roberto (2013). Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786469765.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External linksEdit

  Media related to Kriminal (film) at Wikimedia Commons