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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: Arizona Colt on January 02, 2007, 01:25:48 PM

Title: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 02, 2007, 01:25:48 PM
In 1973 a film entitled HIGH CRIME was released to Italian movie theaters which officially began the Poliziotteschi movies that would be popular there for a good 6-7 years. The film starred Franco Nero and was directed by Italian action specialist Enzo Castellari whose career is bubbling with various bandwagon movies like the JAWS clone THE LAST SHARK, THE WARRIORS rip off 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS and the MAD MAX take THE NEW BARBARIANS. Castellari would return the following year with Nero in tow to direct the DEATH WISH styled STREET LAW also starring Barbara Bach.

Although Castellari has stated in interviews that he started the genre, HIGH CRIME and the films that followed, were all Italian variants of the American films THE FRENCH CONNECTION, THE GODFATHER and the two most influential, DEATH WISH and DIRTY HARRY. The one major difference between the Italian and US crime movies was the violence. What the Italians lacked in budget and shooting schedules, they made up for with numerous scenes of brutal and bloody violence. This made Italian cop flicks mainstays in grindhouse cinemas throughout the big cities in the US especially New York.

However, there had been a number of polizio's before HIGH CRIME. These were more crime-noir movies that had a classy flair about them and somewhat convoluted storylines that required your attention. These were, however, no less violent. These would include such greats as Giallo specialist Emilio Miraglia's ASSASSINATION (1967) and Sergio Sollima's REVOLVER (1969) and VIOLENT CITY (1970) starring Henry Silva, Oliver Reed and Charles Bronson respectively. There were also similar cop films that would follow in the wake of HIGH CRIME's popularity. Some of this similarly themed movies are BANDITS OF MILAN (1968), THE BASTARD (1968) and LA POLIZIA RANGRAZIA (1972) a film which has also been said by some fans to have been the first Italian Cop-Crime picture.

I have not seen RANGRAZIA, but from what information I've obtained about it, it involves a special squad of police officers that work outside of the law to catch the criminals. There have been other polizio's that did in fact use this plot device. Films such as COLT .38 SPECIAL SQUAD (1976), ROMA VIOLENTA (1975) a film that is notable for being Maurizio Merli's first crime film and Deodato's interesting LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN (1975) are just a few examples. But which ever film was indeed responsible for the polizio explosion, the films similar in style, tone and plot to HIGH CRIME outweigh those that are similar to LA POLIZIA RANGRAZIA. I only wish now I had picked this curious film up when I had the opportunity.

The most famous of these earlier crime films would have to be Fernando Di Leo's 'mileau' trilogy which began with the seminal MILAN CALIBRE 9 (1971) then continued with MANHUNT (1972) and concluded with THE BOSS (1973). This fascinating series of films was very different from those that followed in that these were soley, and almost exclusively, about the Mafia. Di Leo's modern day DOLLARS trilogy featured such actors as Mario Adorf (AND FOR A ROOF, A SKY FULL OF STARS) Gastone Moschin, Richard Conte (both THE GODFATHER 2), Henry Silva (MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE), Woody Strode (THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE) and Gianni Garko (SARTANA). The first film is widely considered to be the finest example of the Italian crime genre.

One of the most surprising aspects of this series is the performance of Mario Adorf. He was Guiliano Gemma's goofy partner in AND FOR A ROOF... but here, he is frighteningly convincing as the psychotic lead henchman for the mob. In the second film, his performance is even more different. A very versatile actor.

During the shooting of this initial trilogy, Di Leo began writing a second trilogy. This next series consisted of the polizio parody LOADED GUN (1974), NICK THE STING (1975) and concluded with RULERS OF THE CITY (1976). Jack Palance, Woody Strode, Mark Porel and Ursula Andress featured in these films. This second trilogy is not as interesting as the first at least not to me and I have yet to watch NICK THE STING all the way through but the first and second films did nothing for me.

Meanwhile, Castellari was asked again and again to direct more crime films in the wake of his first two hits. He would not return to the genre until 1977s THE BIG RACKET and THE HEROIN BUSTERS both starring Fabio Testi. Since he had seemingly no interest in contributing to the genre further, another popular director would step in and make the crime film his own. That man would be the great Umberto Lenzi. Lenzi, who is best remembered for his down and dirty cannibal-jungle adventures and ultra violent horror pictures, did his best work in the crime and war genres. Castellari would also direct DAY OF THE COBRA (1980) starring Franco Nero and Sybil Danning.

Lenzi began his polizio tenure with the 1973 film MILANO ROVENTE aka GANG WAR IN MILAN starring Antonio Sabato and Phillip Leroy. American gangster Bobby Baroni also starred in this film about three crime bosses vying for control of Milan. Lenzi followed this up with one of the best entries in the genre ALMOST HUMAN (1974). Tomas Milian gives the performance of his life here (his personal favorite role) as a sleazy small time hood involved in an ever escalating series of violent acts that culminates in a great final confrontation with the determined and persistant detective played coldly by Henry Silva. Originally Silva was to play the bad guy but Milian was adamant about taking the role as he'd yet to portray such a violent and sadistic character. Silva would get to play a villain in a later Lenzi crime flick called FREE HAND FOR A TOUGH COP (1976). Even though he is absent from much of the film, he gets to deliver some great lines. Silva would become one of the most recognizable faces in these movies and also appeared in WEAPONS OF DEATH (1977), CRIMEBUSTERS (1976) and the superbly sleazy CRY OF A PROSTITUTE (1974).

Milian would become a regular in these movies often playing villains and he seemed to enjoy essaying antagonists even moreso than protagonists. He would play a character named Rambo (taken from the original novel FIRST BLOOD) in the 1975 film SYNDICATE SADISTS also starring Joseph Cotten. Here, Rambo is a motorcycle riding anti-hero who comes to town to visit a friend who has recently become a cop. His friend is killed in the line of duty so Rambo steps in and sets about turning the two rival crime syndicates responsible against each other.

That same year, producer Luciano Martino wanted a Franco Nero look-alike to headline a series of crime thrillers. The actor that won this honor was newcomer Maurizio Merli. The film was ROMA VIOLENTA (1975) aka VIOLENT ROME. The film was a huge success and cemented Merli as Italy's new action star of the time. Since Merli did in fact resemble Nero, his critics never took him or his films seriously proclaiming that his success rested soley on his similarities to Nero. This bothered Merli to no end but one thing is certain; Merli was a better athlete than Nero could ever hope to be. Merli performed most of his own stunts and never appeared wooden in his action scenes. Merli would be a favorite of director Lenzi along with Milian. Although the two could not get along, Merli and Milian did at least two movies together, the classic THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST (1976) and the follow-up ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH (1977) which featured Milian as a vengeful hunchback....

CONTINUED BELOW...

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 08, 2007, 11:32:38 AM
CONTINUED FROM ABOVE...

Merli, while not the best actor, was efficient in the role of the embittered cop who despises a legal system that protects the guilty allowing the innocent to suffer without much hope of legal justice. He seldom got to show any other emotions besides those of anger and an often times sarcastic and callous attitude towards his superiors. But then this type of character suited Merli perfectly and he played it as such but he never escaped the Nero mold created for him despite his desire to do other types of movies to show that he could do something besides shoot a gun and bitch slap the bad guys senseless. He did get to showcase a more subdued cop in Lenzi's final polizio FROM CORLEONE TO BROOKLYN (1979). Here, his character follows the rules and never resorts to excessive force to accomplish his goals. Even with a less violent Merli, the film is still very exciting with action and suspense from start to finish.

However, in IL COMMISSARIO DI FERRO (1977; roughly translated as THE COMMISSIONER OF IRON) Merli gets to display a wide range of emotions for a change in relation to its ironic title. He plays a stoic cop who slowly loses his grip when his son is kidnapped by some criminals. One of the best Massi movies save for the final scene which seems rushed for scheduling reasons which I believe was the case with this film.

Another popular actor who featured quite regularly in Italo crime movies was French model Luc Merenda. Merenda would appear along with frequent American star Richard Conte in Sergio Martino's fine film THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS (1973). This film features a damn fine car chase-smash up during the opening. In several later films, bits of stock footage culled from this chase sequence would be pilfered for other polizio's. Merenda was also discounted by critics but not because of a resemblance to any particular actor, but that he was considered too good looking. Some notable Merenda flicks are NAPOLI SI REBELLA (1977; A MAN CALLED MAGNUM), GAMBLING CITY, THE LAST ROUND (1976; starring boxer Carlos Monzon) and Fernando Di Leo's classic THE KIDNAP SYNDICATE (1975). Merenda also did not get along with Tomas Milian and the two still do not speak kindly of one another.

In 1977 Milian would appear in a dual role again as a hunchback and also as an off kilter mechanic with a curly fro in Lenzi's LA BANDA DEL GOBBO 1976; aka BROTHERS TILL WE DIE. Good use of split screen is utilized here. Milian would also star in his most famous role in Italy. SQUADRA ANTISCIPPO 1976; aka COP IN BLUE JEANS. A series of 11(!) films all starring Milian. Only the first film is serious although I haven't seen the others, I hear the next couple of entries aren't completely deprived of seriousness. All are directed by Bruno Corbucci.

Scores of other cop movies were popping up all over the place such as Massimo Dallamano's COLT .38 SPECIAL SQUAD (1974), THE BLOODY PAYROLL (1978) starring Claudio Cassinelli, THE BLOODY HANDS OF THE LAW (1973) which featured a suitably nasty turn by Klaus Kinski, Ruggero Deodato's sole entry LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN (1975) which is considered to be the most violent of all Italo crime movies even with the scene of the eyeball removal no longer in existence. EMERGENCY SQUAD (1974) starring Gastone Moschin and Tomas Milian, Sergio Grieco's VIOLENCE FOR KICKS (1975) hands down one of the slimiest movies of any genre and the same directors BEAST WITH A GUN (1976) starring Richard Harrison and Helmut Berger. Grieco is without doubt one of the least subtle directors and redefines the word exploitation.

Guiliano Gemma also did a handful of these movies including A MAN ON HIS KNEES (1979) from Damiano Damiani, A MAN TO RESPECT (1973) also starring Kirk Douglas from Michele Lupo, THE BASTARDS (1968) with Kinski as Gemma's brother(!) from Tessari and I AM THE LAW (1977) also starring Claudia Cardinale

One of the best is YOUNG, VIOLENT & DANGEROUS (1976) directed by Castellari's cousin Romolo Gurrieri who also directed numerous bandwagon movies. Here, Tomas Milian plays a detective (in a very unusual character turn) out to arrest three young men who have begun a crime wave in Rome that becomes more and more violent by the day. Written by the master Fernando di Leo, the film follows a similar pattern set down by the previous years VIOLENCE FOR KICKS but does it with a much more professional hand and although it's very violent, the sleaze elements never quite reach the level achieved by the Grieco film.

One film in particular, A SPECIAL GUN FOR TONY SAITTA (1976) aka BLAZING MAGNUM is as good as any introduction to the genre. An Italian & Canadian co-production, the film is wholly unrealistic but is bolstered by a jaw droppingly vicious performance by Stuart Whitman. Martin Landau and John Saxon also star. Saxon, a regular in these movies, is totally wasted as Whitman's partner. Whitman is so nihilistically insane in this movie that your mind wanders from all the illogical situations. Highly recommended for its sheer refusal to adhere to any form of realism and a totally outlandish 7 minute car chase that's one of the best ever seen.

One of the most notable aspects of the genre was that, despite there similarities to American crime flicks, many of these films were based on real incidents that were going on at the time in Italy. Sometimes criminal activity was involved in the films release. A producer was kidnapped and remained missing for a number of years over an unreleased movie called LA BONIDITA-THE BIG RIP-OFF. The film was recently discovered in a box full of Japanese movie reels and was released as a special feature from NoShame on their double disc release of COLT .38 SPECIAL SQUAD.

Meanwhile, Merli would appear in one of his best movies, PAURA IN CITTA' aka FEAR IN THE CITY (1976). Here, Merli goes to extremes not seen in his earlier cop thrillers getting revenge on a crime boss and his gang after the deaths of his family. Guiseppi Rosati directs this surpringly well made movie and is further enhanced by the presence of James Mason. Merli would then participate in a couple of crime flicks with former DP Stelvio Massi such as IL COMMISSARIO DI FERRO (1977) and CONVOY BUSTERS (1978). Around this time, Merli felt that the cop genre had run its course and wanted to try something different. Merli appeared in his first and only western MANNAJA (1977).

However, Merli and Lenzi would collaborate one last time for the final crime movie of both mens careers in FROM CORLEONE TO BROOKLYN (1979). One of the best examples of the genre it is quite surprisingly, a very subtle venture when compared to Umberto Lenzi's other cop movies. It concerns Merli trying to get a witness to testify in America against a powerful Mafia boss. But first, they must get there and go from one obstacle to another to make it to court alive. The somewhat downbeat ending assures that more trouble lies ahead for Merli.

The genre was coming to a close about this time with a few forgettable releases here and there like DOUBLE GAME (1980) starring George Hilton and KILLER VS KILLERS (1985) starring Henry Silva. The genre had its best moments a few years earlier but the genre itself threatens to re-emerge with a new film starring Maurizio Merli's son Matteo. The film is as yet unfinished.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 09, 2007, 12:11:06 PM
Watched three of these last night......

NAPOLI VIOLENTA (VIOLENT NAPLES) 1976

Maurizio Merli, John Saxon, Barry Sullivan

Merli plays Inspector Betti who has been assigned to the crime infested Naples where he brings his police brutality methods with him. At the opening he finds an old enemy of his The Commandante (Barry Sullivan) is around as well as another crime boss Capuono (john Saxon) who plans to do in the big boss Commandante and take over his various protection rackets and other assorted criminal activities. Betti, has no intention of allowing either one to go free much longer.

The film moves along at a brisk pace and is chock full of action and extreme violence that is inherent in this genre. There're bloody shootouts, murdered informants, rape, one helluva chase on motor bikes and one cool setpiece on top of a tram.

Betti's methods ultimately get him into trouble when many undercover officers are killed with one tied to the end of a bowling lane while the Commandante goes for a "strike".

Another striking scene of violence occurs during the tram scene. One of the villains has a female hostage and pushes her head out the window repeatedly bashing her face into the tram on the other side as it passes just before Betti takes him out.

At the finale, Betti uses probably the most unorthodox method imaginable to finally get rid of all the principle villains. Earlier he had turned in his resignation to be placed in his desk should his superior ask for it and Betti, after so many innocent people have been slain, decides to call it quits. As he's leaving he comes to a stop light and sees the little boy he had befriended earlier in the film, now a cripple, trying to cross the street (a trick the kid played at the films opening but was faking it then). Betti tells his friend to take him back to the station.

Director Umberto Lenzi who has directed his fair share of sleaze cinema appears more assured directing these kinds of movies as his direction is very slick compared to other films he has done. He is quite at home doing the action scenes and pulls off some exciting set pieces. He does, however, revel in several instances of extreme violence that was a staple of his films and this genre.

Merli who later appeared in MANNAJA, A MAN CALLED BLADE, is perfect for these kind of roles. Looking a bit like Franco Nero but more adept in the action scenes, he carries a mostly mean and mad look on his face the duration of the film and he's so good at it you can't help but cheer him on each time he nails one of the bad guys. If you've never seen one of these Italian Crime films this is a good place to start.

Merli died in 1989 when he apparently overexerted himself during a tennis match and collapsed. He was 49.

His son Maurizio Matteo Merli has taken up acting and stars in the new Italian cop film COP ON FIRE.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 09, 2007, 12:42:16 PM
Next up is.....

MILANO ODIA: LA POLIZIA NON PUO SPARARE (ALMOST HUMAN) 1974

Thomas Milian, Henry Silva, Ray Lovelock, Anita Strindberg

Guilio Sacchi (Thomas Milian in his favorite role) at the opening of the film, is the driver for a bank robbery. When a police man approaches him to move his car he impulsively shoots the cop thus introducing us to one of the slimiest cinematic character portrayals in film ever. The crooks don't want Guilio around anymore so he shacks up with his girlfriend (Strindberg WHO SAW HER DIE?, LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN) and through her spies a very pretty girl from a rich family. Guilio plans to kidnap the girl and hold her for ransom killing her if the father doesn't pay up. Guilio eventually gets the girl but along the way commits some extremely distasteful acts such as when they trace the girl to a house in the woods where they torture and machine gun the inhabitants kids included. The group holes up in an abandoned boat while they wait for their money. Meanwhile, Inspector Grandi (Silva) tries to find them and convince the father they will not let his daughter go even if he pays them. It all ends badly for the principle cast members in one of the most violent films I've ever seen regardless of genre.

Milian owns this movie and turns in his best performance ever. On the 30 minute interview with him on the disc he says this is his favorite performance and initially, he was to play the cop role but opted for the sleazy villain instead as the film is surprisingly, built around the villain for the most part. You really grow to hate his character and want to see him get his in the end.

The angelic Ray Lovelock is suited at Milian's side as he is drawn into Guilio's world and becomes (although on a much smaller scale) a psychopath as well.

Henry Silva, veteran screen heavy is somewhat subdued here as Inspector Grandi and his stone faced, almost inhuman expressions suit the film well as he ultimately succumbs to unorthodox methods to bring Guilio down in a great final scene that is symbolic of the Guilio character.

Umberto Lenzi directs again and pulls off another great little film. There is only one car chase but what an exciting one it is. The remainder of the film is built around Guilio and the evil tactics he uses to survive caring nothing for anyone or anything. The film plays almost like a horror film and if I remember correctly this is how it was marketed on video here.

If you're a Milian fan this release is highly recommended to see him chew through so much scenery.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 09, 2007, 01:04:09 PM
The final one I viewed last night/this morning is......

IL CINICO, L'INFAME IL VIOLENTO (THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST) 1977

Leonardo Tanzi (Maurizio Merli) has a hit put on him by The Chinaman (Thimas Milian) recently released from prison. The hit isn't successful but Tanzi goes along with it faking his death and goes into hiding which lasts for maybe five minutes when he learns Chinaman is working with another mob boss Frank DiMaggio (John Saxon). Tanzi sets about avenging some relatives, busting some of their criminal activities and ruining some of their operations in secret eventually setting the two against each other culminating in a final confrontation between the combatants.

Merli again turns in another tough as nails performance and actually smiles a bit in this one displaying even more charisma. He gets a love interest this time out in the form of Gabriella Lapori.

John Saxon is surprisingly vicious as the NY mob Boss Dimaggio who in one scene does in a suspected informer using golf balls and two big hungry dogs. Saxon, as in the above VIOLENT NAPLES, dubs his own voice. He is equally at home playing nasty villains as he is portraying heroic roles (lots of cops) in his American films.

Milian is again, very, very nasty as the Chinaman although not quite as sleazy as his role in the above film ALMOST HUMAN. He is quite the patient smart-ass and evokes laughter in one scene (of many) where he gives a failed operative the choice of having his left leg or right leg broken in the calmest of voices.

Another fine action crime thriller from Lenzi this one however, has a smattering of humor (some of it black) amidst the many scenes of carnage and is recommended also.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 10, 2007, 12:24:16 PM
QUELLI DELLA CALIBRO 38 (1976) COLT 38 SPECIAL SQUAD

Marcel Bozzuffi, Ivan Rassimov, cameo by Grace Jones(!)

The film begins with a blazing gun battle between Captain Vanni (Bozzuffi) and some crook with high powered artillery. Vanni and his men take out the bad guys one of them the brother of the Marseillaise (Ivan Rassimov) who goes by the name the Black Avenger. The Marseillaise then goes to Vanni's home and executes his wife phoning him afterwards and proclaiming "we're even". Vanni, ready to resign, is given the okay to form a squad of pseudo vigilantes armed with unregistered .38's and go about bringing down the bad guys including the Black Avenger who is wreaking havok blowing up buildings and markets with with illegal dynamite and it's up to Vanni and his group to put an end to the Marseillaise and his men for good.

This was the final film for director Massimo Dallamano who was a good hand at giallo's WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLANGE? and WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS? the two that come to mind at the moment. Spaghetti Western fans will know him as he was the cinematographer for the DOLLARS films. His career was cut short shortly after finishing this movie when he was killed in a car accident.

As for the movie itself, it is nothing special however, it benefits from some beautiful Italian locations and the photography is noteworthy. The stunts are
exceptional particularly the finale when Vanni must reach the airport before the villain and he pulls off some breathtaking moves in one of those small
European cars on a treacherous dirt road and a train. There are the usual startling scenes of violence and bloodshed that Dallamano handles very well.

The downside and what hurts the film is the storyline and characters. The main thrust of Vanni getting his hands on the Marseillaise is handled rather limply and even the final confrontation is a bit disappointing particularly after the marvelous stunt display that precedes it. The characters are never properly fleshed out most particularly the squad of vigilantes. Amazingly, you never even learn their names save for one, Nico, and even he is underutilized in the characterization department.

Marcel Bozzuffi (THE FRENCH CONNECTION) is a fine actor and convincing in the role of the embittered policeman and he never resorts to the angry mugging that most other actors do in these movies (not a bad thing though).

Rassimov (MAN FROM DEEP RIVER) is suitably vicious as the Black Avenger and his almost satanic visage suits the vilain role well. He gets to do several nasty things to various cast members to make you hate him if only the final moments had been more dramatic it would have been a more satisfying experience.

Grace Jones has a cameo in the disco scene.

The score by Stelvio Cipriani is a fine piece of 70s funky phsychedelia and may in fact be better than the movie which has enough good moments as well as some really nice shots and cinematography to make for a decent timewaster.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 10, 2007, 12:28:11 PM
UOMINI SI NASCE POLIZIOTTI SI MUORE (1976) LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN

Marc Porel, Ray Lovelock, Adolfo Celi

Fred (porel) and Tony (Lovelock) are two young undercover cops whose specialty is excessive force or more accurate, kill first and never have to ask
questions later. They foil a robbery and piss off a crime lord, The Boss (Celi) who has their partner gunned down in front of the police station. The two
rogue policemen then go about breaking up his operations as well as going to his home and setting ablaze his guests vehicles. The two cops eventually have a hit put out on them and get the chance to dispatch more of the Boss's gang until a somewhat weak but surprise finale involving the superior of the twovigilante cops.

Ruggero Deodato's warm up before his notorious cannibal flick THE LAST CANNIBAL WORLD which led to much publicized scandal with the subsequent classic CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Here Deodato, as usual, shows a keen eye for action and setting up shots. The many accusations that this is the nastiest of the POLIZIOTTESHI is a bit exagerrated. While there is numerous violent scenes and much nudity it seems a bit tame compared to Fulci's CONTRABAND with Fabio Testi. Possibly in lieu of the reception given CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST did this film garner its reputation.

One scene is according to Deodato, lost forever where one of the failed minions of the Boss has his eye gouged out and is summarily squashed underfoot in close up. All you see is the bad guy digging into the socket as it cuts away but the way Deodato describes the scene it was apparently shot almost verbatim in Tarantino's KILL BILL 2.

The two leads are fine although they are completely unsympathetic as they at times are more sadistic than the villains themselves! They both are at the same time arrogant and charming but when the time comes to dispatch crooks they become just as murderous. Marc Porel, a french actor is a dead ringer for Michael Pare and co-star/singer Lovelock contributes a couple of songs to the soundtrack. One thing I noticed and it is confirmed in the 40 minute documentary is the similarities to Porel and Lovelock to the American show STARSKY & HUTCH. One is blonde and the other dark haired as well as wearing similar clothing although Porel-lovelock ride a motorcycle. Lovelock makes mention of this stating that the show had yet to premiere on Italian TV but wondered if the producer had already seen it and incorporated it into the script.

The film was written by Fernando Di Leo who was already a well known director of Italian crime cinema with his Milieu trilogy that featured Henry Silva and
Woody Strode among others.

Deodato's then wife Sylvia Dionisio (as well as her sister; both very pretty) is on hand as well.

The movie is fine if a bit over-rated and has enough original elements to rise above other entries in this genre.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on January 14, 2007, 10:58:23 AM
Lots of interesting leads Arizona.Did you ever bother with any of the Flatfoot series with Bud Spencer (i've only seen trailers)or are they a bit lightweight for your tastes?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 14, 2007, 12:39:10 PM
My tastes have no bounds Banjo, some I prefer over others but I'm open to everything. Haven't seen any of those (FLATFOOT series) but lately I have been eyeballing the many Bud and Terence comedies they did in the 70s-80s. Some of the trailers for them look silly but fun little movies. I'll be checking these out in the near future. I found an italian war picture with Gemma  and another one I've been curious about for a while now with Garko and Kinski called FIVE FOR HELL along with about 10 more Crime pictures that sound great. I'm becoming a huge Maurizio Merli fan now thanks to VIOLENT NAPLES and CYNIC THE RAT & THE FIST. Not to mention being floored by Milian's over the top villainous performances in these. He plays heroes too.

One I watched a couple of nights back had him playing a hero named Rambo(!) 7 years before Sly did FIRST BLOOD. The film was SYNDICATE SADISTS from Lenzi and it had Joseph Cotten as the big crime boss.

BTW, did you get the Wild East REASON TO LIVE....it has a different opening than another widescreen "uncut" version I have. The new prologue is a bit rough but afterwards the picture is great. I'm sure WE booted from the recent European release from last year and it's damn fine quality too.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 15, 2007, 01:21:34 PM
IL GIUSTIZIERE SFIDA LA CITTA- SYNDICATE SADISTS (1975) aka RAMBO'S REVENGE

Rambo (Tomas Milian) a motor cycle riding tough guy comes to town to visit an old friend of his, a cop who is working on busting up mafia activity in the city. His friend tries to get him to become a cop because of his skills but Rambo refuses. When Rambo's friend and girlfriend is killed by the mob, Rambo takes matters into his own hands and goes about setting the two crime families against each other one of which is holding a rich man's son (who is rescued not once, but twice!) for ransom.

One of the mob leaders, Paterno, (Joseph Cotten) knows Rambo and warns him "You should not have come back." (The real reason for his statement isn't revealed until the finale).

Milian is really good here as the gruff and bearded Rambo who is kind to children, even supporting his friend's family after he is murdered and a one man army when dealing with the mob during many action scenes and chases. Milian got the idea for the character when he picked up a copy of the novel FIRST BLOOD, seven years before Stallone would play the character.

Joseph Cotten is also good as the tragic crime boss who fears for his son played by Adolfo Lastretti. Cotten plays the villain a bit differently then the usual crime boss found in these movies.

Director Lenzi again shows much flair in the action department and again, seems to possess a more professional and polished hand doing these kinds of movies as opposed to his more well known giallo's and cannibal adventures.

This US release features a brief interview with Lenzi (in which he states he wanted the name RAMBO in the original italian title but the producer did not like it) and an audio commentary by him as well.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 15, 2007, 02:01:25 PM
ROMA A MANO ARMATA- ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH (1976) aka ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON aka BRUTAL JUSTICE

Maurizio Merli, Tomas Milian, Arthur Kennedy, Ivan Rassimov, Maria Rosaria Ommagio

Inspector Tanzi (Maurizio Merli who played the same character in CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST) is driven over the edge by the rampant violence and bloodshed from the criminal elements in Rome. Crooks he catches are released for various reasons- lack of evidence, his soft hearted psychologist girl friend (Maria Rosaria Ommagio). Tanzi, meanwhile, has his hands full with The Hunchback (Tomas Milian) and a rapist kidnapper (Ivan Rassimov) whom Tanzi has much trouble nailing them for their crimes. It all comes to an incredibly violent finale when the Hunchback commandeers an Ambulance just moments after Tanzi has killed off crooks robbing a bank. An impressive chase sequences follows where the Hunchback goes about mindlessly shooting people in the streets to escape Tanzi's grasp.

One of the least subtle action films you'll ever see, Lenzi is in total over the top, take no prisoners mode with the violence so overdone it becomes comical. The film never slows down for a minute and is an adrenaline rush of bloody shootouts, car chases and grimy criminals having their way with society.

Merli, reprising his role of Leonardo Tanzi, is brimming with even more Machismo here than ever before as he goes about knocking off the bad guys by any means necessary. Particularly pissing off his boss played by Arthur Kennedy (LAURENCE OF ARABIA) in the process making for a couple of humorous bits betweent the two actors.

Milian again puts in another sinister villain role as the Hunckback, whose character, although not quite as viciously sadistic as his role in ALMOST HUMAN, is suitably nasty as are most of the cast on hand.

Arthur Kennedy, whose later years consisted of much European productions including the excellent horror picture LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE and THE ANTICHRIST with Mel Ferrer is a long way from his Hollywood roles like THE MAN FROM LARAMIE and the aforementioned LAURENCE OF ARABIA. He did several of these cop thrillers among numerous Italian productions.

Released here as BRUTAL JUSTICE and ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON on video as part of SYBIL DANNING'S ADVENTURE VIDEO. The film was senselessly cut and re-edited.

While not as polished or as sleek as VIOLENT NAPLES but definitely a high octane action film with numerous memorable moments and funny dialog exchanges.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on January 16, 2007, 08:26:50 AM
My tastes have no bounds Banjo, some I prefer over others but I'm open to everything. Haven't seen any of those (FLATFOOT series) but lately I have been eyeballing the many Bud and Terence comedies they did in the 70s-80s. Some of the trailers for them look silly but fun little movies. I'll be checking these out in the near future. I found an italian war picture with Gemma  and another one I've been curious about for a while now with Garko and Kinski called FIVE FOR HELL along with about 10 more Crime pictures that sound great. I'm becoming a huge Maurizio Merli fan now thanks to VIOLENT NAPLES and CYNIC THE RAT & THE FIST. Not to mention being floored by Milian's over the top villainous performances in these. He plays heroes too.

One I watched a couple of nights back had him playing a hero named Rambo(!) 7 years before Sly did FIRST BLOOD. The film was SYNDICATE SADISTS from Lenzi and it had Joseph Cotten as the big crime boss.

BTW, did you get the Wild East REASON TO LIVE....it has a different opening than another widescreen "uncut" version I have. The new prologue is a bit rough but afterwards the picture is great. I'm sure WE booted from the recent European release from last year and it's damn fine quality too.
The Bud & Terence comedies(a mixed bag in quality) are the only non-western Italian films i've seen apart from The Girl & The General which is an anti-war movies set during WW1 starring Rod Steiger and with a Morricone score-i created a thread about this awhile ago.
I'm open to all genres from Italian cinema including horror but i'd be intrigued to hear Titloli's opinions about the titles you've brought to our attention here. ::)
Yes i'm aiming to pick up that Wildeast release at some point!
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 16, 2007, 10:52:24 AM
There was a nice italian 2 disc release of ALMOST HUMAN and VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS but the US disc of AH from NoShame had some really nice special features on it. The features on the italian 2 disc set had commentaries but no english subs. I'm sure Titoli has seen the thread but apparently he's not interested or else he would have replied by now. That was the only reason I went through the trouble of typing up the italian titles in the hopes that he would partake in the thread.

The genre itself apparently came to be after the big success of HIGH CRIME (1973) from Castellari and starring Franco Nero. The Crime films exploded after that although I can't help but wonder how much influence films like DIRTY HARRY, THE GODFATHER, FRENCH CONNECTION and most importantly DEATH WISH had on the genre as the italian crime films share much similarities although they often are way more over the top and violent. Pretty much every big spaghetti star did some of these at some point between 73-81.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 22, 2007, 12:26:08 PM
PAURA IN CITTA'- FEAR IN THE CITY (1976)

Maurizio Merli, James Mason

Inspector Murri is removed from the police force because of his use of excessive force and when Lettieri, a mob boss, escapes from prison, crime escalates until the police force has no choice but to reinstate Murri much to the chagrin of his commissioner played by James Mason. At first Murri does fine but later in the picture he begins to go over board and in one cool scene three crooks kidnap a priest and Murri hides in the trunk of the getaway car. He later mows the villains down with machine gun fire and even guns one of them down execution style when the crook's gun is jammed. Murri just looks at him for a moment then kills him. The dialog exchange between Murri and the priest is priceless-

"May God forgive you my son, and may you live in peace with your conscious."

"I'm at peace with myself. Not so sure about these corpses. They're the ones who need to be forgiven. Go hit'em with a couple of 'hail mary's'."

Every so often you see a scene in slow motion depicting a beautiful woman and a little girl. It's not difficult to guess this is Murri's wife and daughter but you don't see what happens to them until the final moments in the damn fine finale between Murri and Lantierri.

One of my favorites so far and one of Merli's best. He's incredibly cold and vicious (when the need arises) here more so than the other films I've seen him in. (He was particularly brutal in ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH also). Merli gets to do more than rough up bad guys. He gets a love interest in the form of Silvia Dionisio, who I believe was married to Ruggero Deodato at the time.

James Mason is in several scenes but it seems his bits were probably done over the course of 2 days. His screen time is memorable especially when he stead fastly refuses to reinstate Murri only to receive a phone call from his boss mere seconds later demanding he put Murri on the Lantierri case.

Mason, who is probably best remembered from 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA also did IMO, the scariest vampire movie ever made, SALEMS LOT and starred alongside Perry King, Susan George and Ken Norton in the 1975 hit MANDINGO where Mason plays a slave trader who uses little black boys to relieve his rheumatism among other shocking scenes.

FEAR IN THE CITY boasts fine direction from Guiseppi Rosati who did several other poliziotteshi films and I believe directed the slightly disappointing THOSE DIRTY DOGS! A spaghetti western starring Gianni Garko.



Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 22, 2007, 12:55:44 PM
MILANO TREMA: LA POLIZIA VUOLE GIUSTIZIA- THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS (1973)

Luc Merenda, Richard Conte

Former model Merenda plays another suspended detective (Lt. Giorga) whose boss and friend is killed so he goes undercover and infiltrates the mob taking matters in his own hands. He impresses one of the mob bosses (Conti) and is given a job as a driver for a bank heist. Things go wrong on the job and Giorga is forced to show his hand culminating in him bringing down the crime ring.

The first 10-15 minutes of this film are tense and very violent but the remainder of the film never quite reaches the level of the opening sequence although there is a very exciting car chase later in the film that seems to pop up in small bits in later poliziotteshi films.

Merenda is really good here more so than later roles, in this, his first stab at a DIRTY HARRY type character. Merenda would eventually tire of doing these kind of films and later opened up an antique shop in Italy. Merenda appeared in the spaghetti MAN CALLED AMEN and also RED SUN. He also did movies in nearly every italian genre including a nunsploitation picture!

Conti, perfectly cast here was also in THE GODFATHER, VIOLENT ROME and Fernando Di Leo's THE BOSS the third in his "Mileu" trilogy if I am not mistaken.

Written by spaghetti writer-director Ernesto Gastaldi (7 GUNS FOR MACGREGORS & 7 WOMEN...)

Sergio Martino turns in a fine directorial job showing how adept at action he can be. Martino would specialize in action pictures throughout his career directing MAN CALLED BLADE (1977) with Merli, 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK (1983), BIG ALLIGATOR RIVER (1979) and HANDS OF STEEL which was the last film of Italian actor Claudio Cassinelli who was killed in a helicopter crash during the filming.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 22, 2007, 02:34:15 PM
SQUADRA VOLONTE- EMERGENCY SQUAD (1974)

Tomas Milian, Ray Lovelock, Gastone Moshin

Milian plays Inspector Ravelli, an interpol agent who stalks the gang responsible for the daylight shooting of his wife who got in the way of a robbery. When bullet casings taken from a heist match those from the scene of his wife's murder, Ravelli identifies the leader as the "Marseilles" (Moshin from GODFATHER 2). Ravelli throws away his badge and hunts down the Marseilles and his gang.

The film is more character driven than most in this genre and Milian is quite good as the dour and embittered police inspector. He seems closed off from everyone else save for his girlfriend and his son who survived the earlier shooting. Milian delivers a strong, albeit emotional and quiet performance with occassional burst of brutality and even a lighter more comical side when he visits a hippie commune and mingles with the pot heads until the police arrive. Also Milian sports a small cigar for the entire picture but never lights it until the end.

Gastone Moshin is very good as the villain who, unlike other villains in these movies is more humanistic than usual. There are even some subtle editing techniques from director Stelvio Massi that link the protagonist and antagonist in character traits. Also the Marseilles devotion to his girlfriend is unusual for the typically mysogynistic attitude the bad guys have in these movies. The finale is handled quite well and is similar to a showdown in a spaghetti western.

Milian needs no introduction as he became a staple of these films with his most popular role in Italy being the COP IN BLUE JEANS series which spans 11 films and all directed by Bruno Corbucci if I am not mistaken. Milian moved to America in 1985 after finishing the final BLUE JEANS COP film.

Director Stelvio Massi directed some fine examples of the genre and this is one of them. Different in some areas it appears fresh and there are some nice touches done with the cinematography that help the movie stand out. Not recommended for newbies however, but once you have seen some of the more known titles, this one is a nice change of pace.

This DVD, as are all of No Shame's releases, is packed with special features. Massi's final interview before his death contains several humorous bits one refers to an american director who sent him a letter saying what a big fan he was of his movies but Massi could not remember the name. His wife chimes in- "Tarantino".

Another interview with Milian, a still gallery and a generous Massi gallery, there usual informative booklets that accompany the releases, trailers and a director's intro.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 22, 2007, 02:56:42 PM
NAPOLI SI REBELLA- MAN CALLED MAGNUM (1977)

Luc Merenda, Enzo Cannavale

Dario Mauri (Merenda) a Milanese cop transferred to Naples to bring down a crime boss named Laurenzi who is at war with a psychotic independent operator named Dogheart. Not to mention some of Laurenzi's own people are conspiring against him and the only clues for stopping the bad guys are some drawings from Laurenzi's daughter.

This is a decent if unspectacular entry in the genre but has enough good moments to recommend it. I really enjoyed Merenda's sidekick Capece (Cannavale) who provides comic relief which may seem out of place for this genre but I found it very welcome. The english dubbed voice for Capece reminded me a bit of Inspector Clouseau's sidekick Ju Ju from the INSPECTOR cartoons, spun off from the PINK PANTHER cartoons. His scenes are quite amusing and outside of a couple of well staged set pieces is the reason to watch.

Merenda is serviceable here but as he states in the interview on the disc he was becoming increasingly tired of doing these movies but he does show off in a couple of good action set pieces including a car-train chase.

Michele Massimo Tarantini is remembered to genre fans for the laughably so-bad-it's-good romp MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY (1986) and his earlier LADY COP films.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on January 23, 2007, 05:32:36 AM
VIOLENT NAPLES-Maurizio Merli
ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH-Tomas Milian
SYNDICATE SADISTS
FEAR IN THE CITY
LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN
DOUBLE GAME-George Hilton
EMERGENCY SQUAD-Tomas Milian
BLOODY HANDS OF THE LAW
COLT 38 SPECIAL SQUAD
CONVOY BUSTERS- Maurizio Merli
THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST-Tomas Milian
ALMOST HUMAN -Tomas Milian
THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS
THE LAST ROUND -Luc Merenda
A MAN CALLED -MAGNUM Luc Merenda
NAPOLI VIOLENTA-Maurizio Merli, John Saxon              VIOLENT NAPLES
NAPOLI SI REBELLA- Luc Merenda                   A MAN CALLED MAGNUM
IL CONTE E CHIUSO- Luc Merenda                   THE LAST ROUND
QUELLI DELLA CALIBRO 38- Ivan Rassimov              COLT 38 SPECIAL SQUAD
LA BIDONATA- Walter Chiari, Nieves Navarro             THE RIP-OFF
PAURA IN CITTA- Maurizio Merli, James Mason             FEAR IN THE CITY
SQUADRA VOLANTE- Thomas Milian             EMERGENCY SQUAD
UN POLIZIOTTO SCOMODO- Maurizio Merli, Olga Karlatos            CONVOY BUSTERS
UOMINI SI NASCE POLIZIOTTI SI MUORE- Ray Lovelock          LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN
IL CINICO L'INFAME IL VIOLENTO- Thomas Milian, Maurizio Merli, John Saxon         THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST
TORINO VIOLENTA- George Hilton        DOUBLE GAME
TONY, L'ALTRA FACCIA DELLA TORINO VIOLENTA- George Hilton       DOUBLE GAME (Sequel to above film. No longer exists. Taken from directors personal 35 mm print)
ROMA A MANO ARMATA- Maurizio Merli, Thomas Milian, Arthur Kennedy             ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH
LA MANO SPIETATA DELLA LEGGE- Klaus Kinski, Philippe Leroy             BLOODY HAND OF THE LAW
IL GIUSTIZIERE SFIDA LA CITTA- Thomas Milian, Joseph Cotten           SYNDICATE SADISTS
MILANO ODIA: LA POLIZIA NON PUO SPARARE- Thomas Milian, Henry Silva          ALMOST HUMAN
MILANO TREMA: LA POLIZIA VUOLE GIUSTIZIA- Luc Merenda, Richard Conte           THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS
 
From what source are you getting these Arizona and can they be had quite cheaply?
Also have you come across any great Morricone scores so far?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 23, 2007, 10:10:52 AM
I bought all from xploitedcinema although some of them are in Best Buy. Some of them are the Italian based US branch of NoShame video, Raro Video from Italy (R2 discs), Media Blasters, Blue Underground, and the Alfa Digital label (these are not legitimate releases) carries many of the english versions that are not present on the Italian discs. There were a few of the Italian DVDs I really wanted because of the wealth of special features but sadly no engish subs.

The US NoShame discs are loaded down with features however.

I highly recommend these titles of the ones I've seen so far-

VIOLENT NAPLES $15.
ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH $15.
FEAR IN THE CITY $15.
SYNDICATE SADISTS $15.
THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST $15.
ALMOST HUMAN $15.
THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS $15.
EMERGENCY SQUAD (For the performances and nice twists to the often similar storylines) $15.
REVOLVER (Highest recommendation; Sollima at his finest; came paired with GRAND SLAM) $15.
THE BIG RACKET $15.
STREET LAW $15.

The others are good too, but these are really good whether from dynamite performances, action or outlandish violence. The prices for the Italian R2 dvds are around $23.00
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 23, 2007, 10:57:50 AM
REVOLVER- BLOOD IN THE STREETS (1973)

Oliver Reed, Fabio Testi

Vito Cipriani (Reed) is a violent prison warden whose wife is kidnapped. The abductors demand he release a prisoner, Milo Ruiz (Testi), if not, his wife dies. The big catch is that Milo has no idea who it is that wants him released from prison. Ultimately, a major conspiracy is revealed that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld. To say too much would reveal the many twists and turns the story takes not to mention a shocker of an ending.

Oliver Reed is in top form here displaying rage and at times emotionally drained in his attempts at getting his wife back. He goes a little overboard in some scenes but it fits within the parameters of his character. He, along with the finale, is easily the films most memorable aspect.

Fabio Testi turns in a fine performance as well, much better than usual. I find him to be an under-rated actor considering his good looks which seems to be the reason for his casting in other films but here, he gets to act and also displays some emotional moments particularly during the opening.

Director Sergio Sollima delivers probably his best film (of the few I've seen) aside from FACE TO FACE which this film shares the reversal of character motif from the western film. There are some intriguing cinematographical flourishes,  wonderful twists (especially the finale) and a good rapport between the two central leads. Of his four directed films I've seen (not counting the peplums he did) this is the best.

The musical score by Morricone is wonderful. Very beautiful and poetic during the opening and closing moments.

Although this movie is an Italian Crime film, it doesn't fall completely in the same category as the above enties. This movie is more of a suspense thriller sprinkled with an occassional action scene. Well worth your time and I can't believe I had this film for as long as I did and never watched it until now. The highest recommendation even if you've not seen any of Sollima's westerns.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 31, 2007, 02:59:43 PM
LA MANO SPIETATA DELLA LEGGE- THE BLOODY HANDS OF THE LAW (1973)

Phillipe Leroy, Klaus Kinski

An old crime boss is assassinated in his hospital bed and is spotted by a yong woman. Her roommate urges her not to tell the police but she does so anyway and is murdered for her trouble. Her roommate is also murdered along with her boyfriend. The identities of the killers are found out but the police have a difficult time making arrests as anyone who is a witness or knows anything at all are killed. It is eventually found out that a large criminal organization is at work with links to the police force itself, and they're not about to allow themselves to be discovered.

Phillipe Leroy is serviceable as Lt. Carmine who, as the film progresses, gradually goes over the deep end as he tries to bring the crooks to justice but is foiled at nearly every turn. Not sure if I've seen him before but he is an agile actor who appears to do his own stunts.

Kinski is evil as hell here as the silent assassin who tortures and murders the various people who learn a bit too much info even blow torching the genital region of one of his greasy underlings for raping one of the victims. Kinski never speaks in this one although when he is caught, he is nearly beaten to death by Leroy who finally gets him to confess but you never see it. Why Kinski never got lines here is unknown. But he is deliciously evil in this role by his facial expressions.

The movie itself is decent. There is little action but lots of violence and torture. The ending is anti climactic. Upon learning the criminal organization is run by an international group of stock brokers(!), Leroy learns of the big bosses whereabouts and boards a train to go get him. The end credits roll over his blank yet nearly crazed visage after having lost his beautiful wife and his sanity after trying to destroy crime that the court system is obliged to protect.

One of the most surprising aspects of the movie is that NONE of the villains are killed by the good guys but are rubbed out by the villains they work for when they've revealed information about their employers after being beaten to a pulp by the police.

It's a sleazy, downbeat little movie and probably the best film by Mario Gariazzo.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on February 01, 2007, 02:13:36 PM
UNA MAGNUM SPECIAL PER TONY SAITTA- BLAZING MAGNUM (1976)

Stuart Whitman, Martin Landau, John Saxon, Tisa Farrow

Detective Saitta (Whitman) along with Detective Matthews (John Saxon) investigates the murder of Saitta's sister who was poisoned on her college campus. The crime involves the theft of an expensive necklace from the Orient. At first evidence points to Doctor Tracer (Landau) but it's found through a long chain of events that the actual killer is close to home.

I've never been much of a Stuart Whitman fan but he's great here showing lots of spunk and energy in the action scenes doing most if not all of his own
stunts. Saxon is also good as Whitman's partner but sadly, he doesn't get to do much during the action scenes. It's Whitman's showcase and he gives it his all especially in a showstopping 7 minute(!) bravura car chase sequence at the 57 minute mark. The movie opens with a bang when Saitta foils a robbery and putting down the crooks with his magnum, destroying several cars and businesses as a result.

Another highlight is a comical scene where Saitta must question a group of transvestites(!) and ends up duking it out with them destroying the apartment in the process and Saitta himself is tossed over the balcony(!) but climbs back up and continues fighting even jamming a hot curling iron up one of the drag queens rectum! The ending is a nice capper as the real killer tries to make an escape in a helicopter and Saitta puts his magnum to good use.

Tisa Farrow plays a blind girl who figures into the plot and even gets involved in a suspensful scene where the killer enters her apartment to kill one of
her friends then goes after her. She makes her way into the street where cars zip past her nearly running her over. Farrow apparently did this dangerous
piece of stunt work herself.

This is the first modern action film I've seen from Alberto De Martino (THE ANTICHRIST) and I'd like to see more. This is a Canadian-Italian co-production.
I must say "BLAZING" is amazing and contains all the elements that make these movies such fun to watch. Whitman's "good guy" is a bit more crazy than usual if you can believe that. There's lots of action, bloodshed, nudity, wild plot devices and the exhilarating 7 minute car chase is worth seeing the film on its own.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on February 01, 2007, 02:15:37 PM
I VIOLENTI DI ROMA BENE- VIOLENCE FOR KICKS (1975)

Antonio Sabato

Inspector Gregorio is on assignment trying to capture a gang of thugs responsible for a spate of robberies, rapes and eventually murder. The main culprit is found to be a young man who comes from a wealthy family making it difficult for Gregorio to nail him. In fact, all members of the gang are young. As the
violence escalates Gregorio gets the evidence he needs and goes after the gang.

One of the sleaziest and most mysogynistic and unsettling films I've seen. Not surprising coming from sleaze merchant, director Sergio Grieco (BEAST WITH A GUN). One scene has the gang repeatedly grate a woman's face across barb wire before raping her. Copious amounts of violence and nudity. For pure
exploitation value the film excels, but none of the characters are developed very well.

Antonio Sabato isn't very memorable as Gregorio who also is a Karate black belt and gets to shows his stuff in a decent martial arts scene when crooks
wearing hoods (the young gang) attack him and his girlfriend in a gym. One of the crooks even rips away Gregorio's girlfriends blouse revealing her breasts. All the women in the film end up defiled, raped or murdered often all three. Definitely a 42nd street item.

I don't recognize any of the other cast members and the soundtrack sounds like a porn flick of the time but one piece is very reminiscent of the Jimmy Page music he did for the memorable DEATH WISH 2 soundtrack.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on February 01, 2007, 02:17:28 PM
MILANO VIOLENTA- BLOODY PAYROLL (1976)

Claudio Cassinelli, Sylvia Dionisio

Cassinelli is Raoul, nicknamed 'The Cat', a criminal who plans a robbery involving the payroll for a big company. The robbery, which opens the film, doesn't
go completely as planned and the crooks are forced to split up. The two that get away with the loot decide to keep it all for themselves and go about offing the few others that were in on it. Raoul eventually catches up with them and is injured. He ends up with the hooker-girlfriend (Dionisio) of one the crooks' contacts who helps nurse him back to health. The police are are at a loss. Whenever they get a lead it's "disposed of". The cops have Raoul at a couple of occassions but prefer to wait for him to lead them to the remaining criminals and the money. It all ends badly for the bad guys as they end up killing each other off but Raoul gets away and is pursued by the police through the woods behind a large villa.

Cassinelli is excellent as the somewhat honorable leader of the criminals. During the opening robbery, he doesn't kill any hostages when the opportunity
arises and even allows two females to be set free. He doesn't want to kill unless he is pushed into the situation. The same cannot be said for the other
villains.

Dionisio is fine as the hooker who ultimately helps the police nab the crooks but falls in love with Raoul late in the game. She also shows some skin here as well.

Mario Caiano shows a more assured hand here than his spaghetti westerns delivering some fine action scenes.

Cassinelli is also good starring in two other genre films- Sergio Martino's MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD (1978) with Ursula Andress and Stacey Keach, and Sergio Martino's BIG ALLIGATOR RIVER (1979) with Barbara Bach, Mel Ferrer and Richard Johnson. It was released here straight to TV after a limited spotty release as THE GREAT ALLIGATOR. Cassinelli would be killed in a helicopter crash during the filming of another Martino action film HANDS OF STEEL (1983).
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on February 01, 2007, 02:42:05 PM
DA CORLEONE A BROOKLYN- FROM CORLEONE TO BROOKLYN (1979)

Maurizio Merli, Van Johnson, Mario Merola, Biagio Pelligra, Venantino Venantini

A big time crime boss heads to NY after some of his goons assassinate his rival in the streets of Corleone. Lt. Berni finds out his whereabouts and when Beressi (Merola) learns the cops in NY are on to him as well he decides to put a hit on the two people left who can put him away for good- the man who carried out the assassination (Pelligra) and Beressi's girlfriend. Berni just misses saving the girlfriend but captures the hit man and plans to go to NY along with his prisoner to testify. Along the way Beressi's men try and take the two out and once they reach NY the obstacles become bigger. Berni just barely gets his witness to court in time (and alive) with the ending foreshadowing more trouble ahead.

Merli is in top form here and surprisingly subdued. He doesn't play his usual hard nosed, shoot first, ask questions later type bad ass but plays it by the rules in this one.

Frequent polizo actor Pelligra gets to play a different kind of bad guy here. One that eventually decides to help Berni nail Beressi. His part is meatier than he is usually offered.

Van Johnson is the American detective working with Berni on the case.

Venantino Venantini, a character actor who pops up in dozens of italian films of various genre gets a good supporting role during the Corleone sequences as Lt. Danova, working with Berni.

The soundtrack by Franco Micalizzi is quite good and contains a vocal track for the main theme that plays over the end credits.

This was apparently Umberto Lenzi's final cop action film and he himself is quite restrained compared with some of his other polizio thrillers like ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH, SYNDICATE SADISTS and ALMOST HUMAN. There is lots of violence here as well but not quite the levels of sadism and mysogynism found in most of his other films. Lenzi would go back to doing his graphic horror pictures like NIGHTMARE CITY, EATEN ALIVE! and the notorious CANNIBAL FEROX which became a grindhouse and drive-in staple under its US moniker MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on February 08, 2007, 03:39:12 PM
being timed on the library computer so I'll post what I purchased...

Day of the Cobra
Emergency Sqaud
Street Law
To Kill a Judge


I viewed my copy of "Almost Human" and thought it was a classic!
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on February 08, 2007, 03:41:00 PM
You really grow to hate his character and want to see him get his in the end.




On the contrary, I was hoping he would get away with it.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on February 08, 2007, 04:49:59 PM
EMERGENCY SQUAD is good but I would only recommend it after seeing these--

THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST
FEAR IN THE CITY
VIOLENT NAPLES
SYNDICATE SADISTS
BLAZING MAGNUM

also--

REVOLVER
ASSASSINATION (1967) with Henry Silva are both excellent crime thrillers.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on February 09, 2007, 09:16:17 AM
hey you never made a review for "Street Law". Either that or I missed it.


I didn't buy the titles (except for "Almost Human") I rented them from blockbuster on line. They have a good deal now...

They ship all the movies you want to your house for only 9 dollars a month.


Also have some italian horror films coming my way.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on February 09, 2007, 02:00:58 PM
I only made reviews for the recent ones and I haven't watched them all yet. STREET LAW is good. An italian DEATH WISH with Franco Nero in the Bronson role. THE BIG RACKET is even better with Fabio Testi and Vincent Gardenia (who was also in DEATH WISH 1 &2) and Romolo Pupo. Probably Castellari's most violent movie.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on April 10, 2007, 10:05:00 PM
I only made reviews for the recent ones and I haven't watched them all yet. STREET LAW is good.



Saw this tonight and I liked it. Castellari makes good use of action scenes although the final gunfight in the warehouse is a bit bland.

My fav scene was Nero getting chased by the car. Some good slow-mo stunts there.

Great opening with a fantastic title theme by the De Angelis brothers.

A bit too melo-dramatic in some places but a good view.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 07, 2007, 03:27:51 PM
This is too cool!

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/attori-mano-armata-book-p-11726.html
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on May 08, 2007, 09:36:37 AM
This is too cool!

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/attori-mano-armata-book-p-11726.html


 :o

Cheap price for such a collection!
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 08, 2007, 03:48:00 PM
REVOLVER- BLOOD IN THE STREETS (1973)

Oliver Reed, Fabio Testi

Vito Cipriani (Reed) is a violent prison warden whose wife is kidnapped. The abductors demand he release a prisoner, Milo Ruiz (Testi), if not, his wife dies. The big catch is that Milo has no idea who it is that wants him released from prison. Ultimately, a major conspiracy is revealed that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld. To say too much would reveal the many twists and turns the story takes not to mention a shocker of an ending.

Oliver Reed is in top form here displaying rage and at times emotionally drained in his attempts at getting his wife back. He goes a little overboard in some scenes but it fits within the parameters of his character. He, along with the finale, is easily the films most memorable aspect.

Fabio Testi turns in a fine performance as well, much better than usual. I find him to be an under-rated actor considering his good looks which seems to be the reason for his casting in other films but here, he gets to act and also displays some emotional moments particularly during the opening.

Director Sergio Sollima delivers probably his best film (of the few I've seen) aside from FACE TO FACE which this film shares the reversal of character motif from the western film. There are some intriguing cinematographical flourishes,  wonderful twists (especially the finale) and a good rapport between the two central leads. Of his four directed films I've seen (not counting the peplums he did) this is the best.

The musical score by Morricone is wonderful. Very beautiful and poetic during the opening and closing moments.

Although this movie is an Italian Crime film, it doesn't fall completely in the same category as the above enties. This movie is more of a suspense thriller sprinkled with an occassional action scene. Well worth your time and I can't believe I had this film for as long as I did and never watched it until now. The highest recommendation even if you've not seen any of Sollima's westerns.
I'm quite surprised that Sollima's Violent City(i don't have this) hasn't come up on this thread AC which also has
a Morricone score AND Charles Bronson. :)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 09, 2007, 02:59:16 PM
I have it, but I don't see it in the same field as one of the "Italian Polizio thrillers" even though it is. I guess I perceive it as just a Bronson movie and a damn good one, too.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 10, 2007, 06:11:45 AM
I have it, but I don't see it in the same field as one of the "Italian Polizio thrillers"
Do you mean because ,based on the reviews i've read,there are no cops in this movie?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 10, 2007, 01:08:33 PM
No. I guess it's because there are no main characters that are Italian actors.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 10, 2007, 02:48:10 PM
No. I guess it's because there are no main characters that are Italian actors.
Thats a shame :(

Funnily enough i stumbled upon the end of an Italian swashbuckler today on the Movies4Men Channel which has been treating us to some sw's  this week.The movie was Blackie The Pirate starring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer,George Martin and the guy who played Moreno in Sartana plus a few other familiar faces.

I'm hoping they repeat it real soon. :)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 11, 2007, 05:50:43 AM
AC have you seen this Best Foreign Film Oscar winner starring Gian Maria Volonte?

http://imdb.com/title/tt0065889/
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 11, 2007, 11:48:39 AM
No, but there is a dvd for it. I think this is the same one. Volonte was in an italian crime picture from the early 70s.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 11, 2007, 02:17:42 PM
It says something on the imdb.com page that only an Italian language dvd is available without any subtitles. :(

Anyhow i just found a pan and scan English version on Ebay together with a bonus Italian horror from the same director and starring Franco Nero called A Quiet Place In The Country.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/INVESTIGATION-OF-A-CITIZEN-ABOVE-SUSPICION-Bonus-Film_W0QQitemZ120118666536QQihZ002QQcategoryZ35024QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I'm gonna have to try and pick the right moment to try and sweet talk Mrs Banjo. :-\
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Poggle on May 15, 2007, 07:39:38 PM
I've steered clear of crime movies but now I'm interested. How are Valerii and Sollima's crime films?

Are there any Italian crime films on the level of something like Le Cercle Rouge?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on May 15, 2007, 08:15:16 PM
I've steered clear of crime movies but now I'm interested. How are Valerii and Sollima's crime films?

Are there any Italian crime films on the level of something like Le Cercle Rouge?


Arizona Colt has already made a thread of this genre. Unfortunatly most of AC's threads are ignored.


here's the link to AC's thread...


http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=4763.0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 16, 2007, 04:10:52 AM
Unfortunatly most of AC's threads are ignored.
Not for much longer as i've just received 8 Italian crime thrillers to get my teeth into. :)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on May 16, 2007, 11:13:33 AM
Why are Arizona Colt's threads ignored?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 16, 2007, 01:49:26 PM
I've steered clear of crime movies but now I'm interested. How are Valerii and Sollima's crime films?

Are there any Italian crime films on the level of something like Le Cercle Rouge?

Valerii didn't do any that I am aware of. These movies more often than not followed a pattern set down by THE GODFATHER, THE FRENCH CONNECTION, DEATH WISH and DIRTY HARRY only the italian ones upped the violence level considerably. Also, much of what goes on in the italian crime movies was going on in real life in Italy during the time, especially in Naples. If you're looking for high art, you shouldn't even bother although Sollima's REVOLVER and Emilio Miraglia's ASSASSINATION are both extremely stylish and suspenseful. Umberto Lenzi undoubtedly directed the best of these films and along with his war pictures, was the genre he seemed most adept and comfortable. It's just a shame that in interviews no one wants to talk about these with him.

Some fine examples are--

ALMOST HUMAN
THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST
FEAR IN THE CITY
BLAZING MAGNUM
THE BLOODY PAYROLL
THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS
VIOLENT NAPLES
SYNDICATE SADISTS
REVOLVER
ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH
YOUNG, VIOLENT & DANGEROUS
ASSASSINATION
REVOLVER
THE BIG RACKET
STREET LAW
LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN
THE LAST ROUND
A MAN CALLED MAGNUM
FROM CORLEONE TO BROOKLYN
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 16, 2007, 02:00:09 PM
Why are Arizona Colt's threads ignored?
Maybe not so much ignored as many members not having any of these movies in order to respond.

AC is doing a very admirable job in bringing these different genres to everyones attention and i'm intending to investigate many of his recommendations.

And i'm thinking of merging this thread with AC's existing Italian crime thread.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 16, 2007, 02:43:49 PM
REVOLVER- BLOOD IN THE STREETS (1973)

Oliver Reed, Fabio Testi

Vito Cipriani (Reed) is a violent prison warden whose wife is kidnapped. The abductors demand he release a prisoner, Milo Ruiz (Testi), if not, his wife dies. The big catch is that Milo has no idea who it is that wants him released from prison. Ultimately, a major conspiracy is revealed that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld. To say too much would reveal the many twists and turns the story takes not to mention a shocker of an ending.

Oliver Reed is in top form here displaying rage and at times emotionally drained in his attempts at getting his wife back. He goes a little overboard in some scenes but it fits within the parameters of his character. He, along with the finale, is easily the films most memorable aspect.

Fabio Testi turns in a fine performance as well, much better than usual. I find him to be an under-rated actor considering his good looks which seems to be the reason for his casting in other films but here, he gets to act and also displays some emotional moments particularly during the opening.

Director Sergio Sollima delivers probably his best film (of the few I've seen) aside from FACE TO FACE which this film shares the reversal of character motif from the western film. There are some intriguing cinematographical flourishes,  wonderful twists (especially the finale) and a good rapport between the two central leads. Of his four directed films I've seen (not counting the peplums he did) this is the best.

The musical score by Morricone is wonderful. Very beautiful and poetic during the opening and closing moments.

Although this movie is an Italian Crime film, it doesn't fall completely in the same category as the above enties. This movie is more of a suspense thriller sprinkled with an occassional action scene. Well worth your time and I can't believe I had this film for as long as I did and never watched it until now. The highest recommendation even if you've not seen any of Sollima's westerns.
OK this is my first taster of Italian Polizioteschi and it really is a first rate thriller and definately one of the best i've seen Oliver Reed in.Curiously Reed adopts an (not too convincing) American accent  i guess to fit in with all the other American accents even though this movie was mainly set in Milan.

The plot is very griping throughout but i need to sit through it again to fully understand all the twists and turns,especially the ending :-[ ,and the action is as hard hitting as any top American thriller with added nude totty  here and there,say noooo more! :D

Yes the Morricone theme which opens and closes the movie is lovely,in between theres the sort of rhythmic up tempo stuff you'd expect from this sort of movie.

I would'nt like to suggest that this is Solimma's best film because i'm so fond of his sw's but i'd give it a 9 out of 10 rating. O0

Can't wait to seeing Violent City. :)

 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on May 16, 2007, 03:08:40 PM
Maybe not so much ignored as many members not having any of these movies in order to respond.

AC is doing a very admirable job in bringing these different genres to everyones attention and i'm intending to investigate many of his recommendations.

And i'm thinking of merging this thread with AC's existing Italian crime thread.

Oh ok, got ya. I thought he did something wrong and everyone was ignoring him. haha
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 16, 2007, 03:58:36 PM
Its all one thread now! :)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 25, 2007, 03:27:23 PM
Got these on the way...

COP IN BLUE JEANS- Bruno Corbucci's first of 11 crime movies starring Milian. The only serious entry in the series.
MILAN CALIBRE 9- 2 disc set. De Leo's Mileu trilogy (see next two titles) featuring Henry Silva and Woody Strode
MANHUNT
THE BOSS
KILLER VS KILLERS
YOUNG, VIOLENT & DANGEROUS- Milian as a cop again. Have a dupe of this. This is a legit release.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 27, 2007, 07:31:42 AM
The final one I viewed last night/this morning is......

IL CINICO, L'INFAME IL VIOLENTO (THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST) 1977

Leonardo Tanzi (Maurizio Merli) has a hit put on him by The Chinaman (Thimas Milian) recently released from prison. The hit isn't successful but Tanzi goes along with it faking his death and goes into hiding which lasts for maybe five minutes when he learns Chinaman is working with another mob boss Frank DiMaggio (John Saxon). Tanzi sets about avenging some relatives, busting some of their criminal activities and ruining some of their operations in secret eventually setting the two against each other culminating in a final confrontation between the combatants.

Merli again turns in another tough as nails performance and actually smiles a bit in this one displaying even more charisma. He gets a love interest this time out in the form of Gabriella Lapori.

John Saxon is surprisingly vicious as the NY mob Boss Dimaggio who in one scene does in a suspected informer using golf balls and two big hungry dogs. Saxon, as in the above VIOLENT NAPLES, dubs his own voice. He is equally at home playing nasty villains as he is portraying heroic roles (lots of cops) in his American films.

Milian is again, very, very nasty as the Chinaman although not quite as sleazy as his role in the above film ALMOST HUMAN. He is quite the patient smart-ass and evokes laughter in one scene (of many) where he gives a failed operative the choice of having his left leg or right leg broken in the calmest of voices.

Another fine action crime thriller from Lenzi this one however, has a smattering of humor (some of it black) amidst the many scenes of carnage and is recommended also.
This is the 2nd Italian thriller i've seen and while its not as powerful as Sollima's Revolver its still a very enjoyable movie and its great to see so many regular sw faces in another film genre.

I'm totally sold on Maurizio Merli who can rival any tough guy actor i've seen,very charismatic ,great in the action/fight sequences and i like his humour in this one too.

Milian is also excellent as the Chinaman but i think someone else may be overdubbing his lines.

 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 27, 2007, 10:57:02 AM
No, that is not Milian's voice. CYNIC...is Lenzi's favorite of his cop films. For me it's a toss up between this one and FROM CORLEONE TO BROOKLYN.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 28, 2007, 03:59:06 PM
I saw VIOLENT CITY yesterday and though it has some slow draggy segments (theres quite a bit of re-inserted subtitled footage which i'm not always sure enhances the movie) its an excellent Charles Bronson thriller but he's not a particularly likeable character.Like REVOLVER this is quite a melancholy movie and maybe this is a bit more downbeat but theres some cool trademark Bronson action and a thrilling tropical island car chase.These Italian thrillers are harder work to follow than sw's i notice and i feel i need to watch VIOLENT CITY again especially as much of it is told in a series of flashbacks.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 02, 2007, 01:37:43 PM
Banjo, I got these today. The casts in these are excellent! Can't wait to check them out! When you receive the YOUNG VIOLENT & DESPERATE I sent you, let me know how long it is. This one might be longer. Those greek releases are often missing footage anyway.

Here's the cast list...

COP IN BLUE JEANS- Milian, Jack Palance
MILAN CALIBRE 9- Gastone Moschin, Barbara Bouchet, Mario Adorf, Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, Phillipe Leroy, Lionel Stander
MANHUNT- Mario Adorf, Henry Silva, Woody Silva, Adolfo Celi, Luciana Paluzzi
THE BOSS- Henry Silva, Richard Conte, Gianni Garko
KILLER VS KILLERS- Henry Silva
YOUNG, VIOLENT & DANGEROUS- Milian (in a good guy role)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 02, 2007, 03:41:17 PM
See what you mean about the casts.

Milian and Palance sounds a great prospect, especially. :)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 03, 2007, 11:31:02 AM
Palance is also in another one entitled RULERS OF THE CITY which I don't have...yet.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 03, 2007, 12:38:09 PM
MILAN CALIBRE 9- 1972 aka MILANO CALIBRO 9

Gastone Moschin, Barbara Bouchet, Mario Adorf, Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, Phillipe Leroy, Lionel Stander

Someone has ripped off $300,000 from the Macotto Family and Ugo Piazza (Moschin) has just been released from prison. The Macotto's henchmen put pressure on Ugo believing he knows where the money is stashed. The police are also pressuring Ugo so as to finally put the Macotto's away for good. A double twist ending brings the film to an end.

A fitfully entertaining and extremely well shot movie from probably the most famous crime director/writer Fernando de Leo. There's enough twists here to fill a bag of pretzels. The first chapter in de Leo's "Milieu" trilogy is quite different from the polizio movies that would attack Italian movie houses after 1973s HIGH CRIME from Castellari. These along with another earlier and equally good thriller, ASSASSINATION (1967), are more noir-crime movies. Those that followed were more the DIRTY HARRY-DEATH WISH school.

Moschin (GODFATHER 2) is very good as Ugo and displays lots of emotion in a character he wouldn't normally play. You can really see his despair in his face even without going overboard when the Macotto's trail him and the police hassle him. Moschin would also be the bright spot along with Tomas Milian in Stelvio Massi's crime film EMERGENCY SQUAD where he played the gang leader against Milian's somewhat laid back but relentless cop.

Barbara Bouchet, from numerous giallos as well as one of the best of the original STAR TREK episodes, plays Ugo's girlfriend and is an exotic dancer here who has little to do besides look beautiful.

Mario Adorf from AND FOR A ROOF, A SKY FULL OF STARS delivers a dynamite performance as the psychotic gangster Rocco, the lead henchman of the Macotto's. The opening scene is worth the price of the DVD alone where Rocco and some of his cronies brutally torture three betrayers before tying them together inside a small cave then blowing them up! Adorf steals the movie in every scene he's in. He is also in the other 2 films in this trilogy.

Frank Wolff delivers the best performance I've yet seen him in as the police commissioner. He is almost unrecognizeable with his facial hair shaved. His rally talks are highpoints of the film especially his beratement of his assistant Mercuri played by a very subdued Luigi Pistilli. His cruel jokes against Mercuri and his methods are very amusing although it would seem Mercuri has the right ideas and possesses the patience to pull them off. This must have been Wolff's final movie as it was shot in 1971 but not released until the following year. Wolff, as everyone here knows, killed himself in Rome in late 1971. Pistilli would also take his own life in 1996.

Phillipe Leroy is also good as Chino, a sympathetic underworld man who is hesitant at first to help his old friend Ugo but relents. There's a great conversation between Chino, Ugo and Chino's blind friend. "There are no Mafia in Milan. Only hoodlums..." Leroy would appear in several other crime movies including the sadistic BLOODY HAND OF THE LAW (1973) with Kinski and Lenzi's GANG WAR IN MILAN (1973).

This is the Raro Italian 2 disc set. The film is presented in Italian, Italian with removeable english subs and the english dubbed version which is one of the best I have ever seen. The picture quality is gorgeous. There is a thank you before the film as Quentin Tarantino (among others) was somehow responsible for getting this released. QT even has a quote on the front--"The greatest Italian noir ever made".

The second disc is loaded with documentaries on the film itself, de Leo and the Italian poliotteschi movies in general. Sadly, none of the extras have english subtitles. An amazing movie gets royal treatment in both presentation and extras. Highly recommended if you enjoy these kinds of movies, not just Italian crime films, but thrillers in general.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 05, 2007, 02:36:18 PM
ROMA A MANO ARMATA- ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH (1976) aka ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON aka BRUTAL JUSTICE

Maurizio Merli, Tomas Milian, Arthur Kennedy, Ivan Rassimov, Maria Rosaria Ommagio

Inspector Tanzi (Maurizio Merli who played the same character in CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST) is driven over the edge by the rampant violence and bloodshed from the criminal elements in Rome. Crooks he catches are released for various reasons- lack of evidence, his soft hearted psychologist girl friend (Maria Rosaria Ommagio). Tanzi, meanwhile, has his hands full with The Hunchback (Tomas Milian) and a rapist kidnapper (Ivan Rassimov) whom Tanzi has much trouble nailing them for their crimes. It all comes to an incredibly violent finale when the Hunchback commandeers an Ambulance just moments after Tanzi has killed off crooks robbing a bank. An impressive chase sequences follows where the Hunchback goes about mindlessly shooting people in the streets to escape Tanzi's grasp.

One of the least subtle action films you'll ever see, Lenzi is in total over the top, take no prisoners mode with the violence so overdone it becomes comical. The film never slows down for a minute and is an adrenaline rush of bloody shootouts, car chases and grimy criminals having their way with society.

Merli, reprising his role of Leonardo Tanzi, is brimming with even more Machismo here than ever before as he goes about knocking off the bad guys by any means necessary. Particularly pissing off his boss played by Arthur Kennedy (LAURENCE OF ARABIA) in the process making for a couple of humorous bits betweent the two actors.

Milian again puts in another sinister villain role as the Hunckback, whose character, although not quite as viciously sadistic as his role in ALMOST HUMAN, is suitably nasty as are most of the cast on hand.

Arthur Kennedy, whose later years consisted of much European productions including the excellent horror picture LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE and THE ANTICHRIST with Mel Ferrer is a long way from his Hollywood roles like THE MAN FROM LARAMIE and the aforementioned LAURENCE OF ARABIA. He did several of these cop thrillers among numerous Italian productions.

Released here as BRUTAL JUSTICE and ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON on video as part of SYBIL DANNING'S ADVENTURE VIDEO. The film was senselessly cut and re-edited.

While not as polished or as sleek as VIOLENT NAPLES but definitely a high octane action film with numerous memorable moments and funny dialog exchanges.

Watched this today and  i agree totally that whilst not as good as VIOLENT NAPLES its still a very top notch Italian thriller.
I'm very much reminded of the Dirty Harry films with this one with Tanzi sharing equally unorthadox brutal methods of dealing out justice, and like the Eastwood character Tanzi is seemingly the only one who fully understands or cares whats happening in the Rome underground ,and is fighting against his boneheaded superiors as well as the bad guys.

Highly recommended.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 05, 2007, 02:43:18 PM
One of the most frightening aspects of some of these Italian crime movies is that many of them are based on actual gang warfare going on at the time. I have a couple of them that never got released in Italy because the producer was killed or some other criminal activity. Even though they were more like the US films GODFATHER, FRENCH CONNECTION, DIRTY HARRY and DEATH WISH, they resonate with real events happening in Milan, Naples or Rome at the time. The de Leo movies are brilliantly conceived and executed and are much different from the films that followed.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 05, 2007, 02:53:23 PM
IL GIUSTIZIERE SFIDA LA CITTA- SYNDICATE SADISTS (1975) aka RAMBO'S REVENGE

Rambo (Tomas Milian) a motor cycle riding tough guy comes to town to visit an old friend of his, a cop who is working on busting up mafia activity in the city. His friend tries to get him to become a cop because of his skills but Rambo refuses. When Rambo's friend and girlfriend is killed by the mob, Rambo takes matters into his own hands and goes about setting the two crime families against each other one of which is holding a rich man's son (who is rescued not once, but twice!) for ransom.

One of the mob leaders, Paterno, (Joseph Cotten) knows Rambo and warns him "You should not have come back." (The real reason for his statement isn't revealed until the finale).

Milian is really good here as the gruff and bearded Rambo who is kind to children, even supporting his friend's family after he is murdered and a one man army when dealing with the mob during many action scenes and chases. Milian got the idea for the character when he picked up a copy of the novel FIRST BLOOD, seven years before Stallone would play the character.

Joseph Cotten is also good as the tragic crime boss who fears for his son played by Adolfo Lastretti. Cotten plays the villain a bit differently then the usual crime boss found in these movies.

Director Lenzi again shows much flair in the action department and again, seems to possess a more professional and polished hand doing these kinds of movies as opposed to his more well known giallo's and cannibal adventures.

This US release features a brief interview with Lenzi (in which he states he wanted the name RAMBO in the original italian title but the producer did not like it) and an audio commentary by him as well.


Wow Tomas Milian really can play anything and after seeing him as a scheming hunchback in ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH and psychotic mafia fugitive in CYNIC,THE RAT & THE FIST,its great to see him in a good guy role for a change in this genre.
I had no idea that the Rambo character had been borrowed from the FIRST BLOOD novel,Milian is equally as convincing as Stallone in the fighting stakes and all the action scenes are excellent.

This film is recomendable to all sw addicts as the storyline involving Rambo initially playing off two rival gangs of crooks against each other(who eventually team up against Rambo) would work equally well as a western,and there is never a dull moment throughout.

For the feelgood factor i've probably enjoyed this polizioteschi the most out of the five that i have seen so far. :) 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 05, 2007, 02:55:58 PM
One of the most frightening aspects of some of these Italian crime movies is that many of them are based on actual gang warfare going on at the time. I have a couple of them that never got released in Italy because the producer was killed or some other criminal activity. Even though they were more like the US films GODFATHER, FRENCH CONNECTION, DIRTY HARRY and DEATH WISH, they resonate with real events happening in Milan, Naples or Rome at the time. The de Leo movies are brilliantly conceived and executed and are much different from the films that followed.
I spent ages on the internet trying to find any book about this Italian film genre but drew a total blank.

Can you recommend a decent book that at least partly covers these movies AC?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 05, 2007, 02:58:43 PM
Yes, there are a couple. There's a new book on actor Luciano Rossi who did many, many polizio movies. There's also a digest sized book called BLAZING MAGNUMS named after that super sleazy chaotic classic of the same name starring Stuart Whitman, Martin Landau and John Saxon. I didn't know you saw VIOLENT NAPLES yet. I thought I sent that one with this second package?

I'll find links for the books.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 05, 2007, 03:02:48 PM
Here...

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/attori-mano-armata-book-p-11726.html

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/blazing-magnums-p-7776.html

This one is from Fabpress in your neck of the woods. They make the best film books period. I have a handful of them. This book comes out in Oct.

http://www.amazon.com/Violent-Professional-Luciano-Classics-Collection/dp/1903254485/ref=sr_1_2/102-3918095-1043309?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181080408&sr=1-2

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 05, 2007, 03:05:20 PM
Yes, there are a couple. There's a new book on actor Luciano Rossi who did many, many polizio movies. There's also a digest sized book called BLAZING MAGNUMS named after that super sleazy chaotic classic of the same name starring Stuart Whitman, Martin Landau and John Saxon. I didn't know you saw VIOLENT NAPLES yet. I thought I sent that one with this second package?

I'll find links for the books.
I'm still waiting for VIOLENT NAPLES.

So far iI've only seen THE CYNIC,THE RAT & THE FIST,    ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH,SYNDICATE SADISTS,REVOLVER and VIOLENT CITY.

Theres a book called ITALIAN FILMS by somebody BUSS that i'm going to check out in my local library.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 05, 2007, 03:09:45 PM
Milian's most famous role in Italy is the COP IN BLUE JEANS character. I have the first film. There are 11 of these all directed by Bruno Corbucci. The first is the only serious one. There's two others I want to see although sadly there is no english track. One has Milian as a vengeful hunchback again where he plays two roles. This one is called BROTHERS TILL WE DIE from Lenzi. The other is a Merli movie called EL COMMISARRIO DE FERRO I think is the name. It's from Stelvio Massi. I think it means THE BRUTAL COMMISSIONER.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 05, 2007, 03:15:11 PM
Here...

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/attori-mano-armata-book-p-11726.html

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/blazing-magnums-p-7776.html

This one is from Fabpress in your neck of the woods. They make the best film books period. I have a handful of them. This book comes out in Oct.

http://www.amazon.com/Violent-Professional-Luciano-Classics-Collection/dp/1903254485/ref=sr_1_2/102-3918095-1043309?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181080408&sr=1-2


BLAZING MAGNUMS looks like a magazine?

But $10 looks very attractive and it includes Hill & Spencers first cop comedy,CRIME BUSTERS. O0

Yes i've seen that CD/book before-very tempting too! :)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 05, 2007, 03:17:58 PM
If it's like the two GIALLO SCRAPBOOKS then it is digest sized. A friend has the former. They basically offer reviews and discussions on the genre itself. Perfect for a newbie.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 05, 2007, 03:23:55 PM
How many poliziotteschi's are there AC?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 05, 2007, 03:28:12 PM
I'm not sure although there were hundreds of them. They only lasted from 73-80 in terms of there mass production although there were a handful before then. Many of them had 7 day schedules if you can believe that. The genre kickstarted with the release of Castellari's HIGH CRIME (1973) with Franco Nero.
Gemma did some as did many of the spaghetti guys. Hilton did as well. I have one or two of his although they are not great.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 05, 2007, 03:37:43 PM
I'm not sure although there were hundreds of them. They only lasted from 73-80 in terms of there mass production although there were a handful before then. Many of them had 7 day schedules if you can believe that. The genre kickstarted with the release of Castellari's HIGH CRIME (1973) with Franco Nero.
Gemma did some as did many of the spaghetti guys. Hilton did as well. I have one or two of his although they are not great.
Like sw's i assume they all vary widely in quality? :-\
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 06, 2007, 04:53:42 AM
Yes. Although I don't think there were as many of them as the westerns though.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 06, 2007, 03:25:57 PM
MANHUNT- 1972 aka LA MALA ORDINA

Mario Adorf, Henry Silva, Woody Strode, Luciana Paluzzi

Two hitmen from NY are sent to Milan to take out Luca Canalli, a small time pimp. Only he doesn't know why the Mob wants him dead. The truth comes out late in the film and the finale between Canalli and the hitmen in a junk yard brings the proceedings to a close.

The sequel to MILAN CALIBRE 9 is just about as good as its predecessor. It doesn't miss it by much though. There is lots to like here. Silva (Dave) and his partner Frank (Strode) work very well together. At first it seems Dave has forgotten the mission as he spends his first few scenes trying to bed down various Italian women including Paluzzi, their guide. Later on, Dave becomes even more vicious than his partner. Make no mistake, Silva and Strode are the villains here in addition to the various mob characters.

Silva gets some great lines and Strode is damn HUGE here looking like a black terminator. This movie was marketed as a blaxploitation film in some markets back in the 70s.

Mario Adorf is really a very versatile actor. Having done a few westerns then his memorable turn as the sadistic mafia cronie in MILAN CALIBRE 9. Here, although he runs prostitutes, he takes care of his family. He is a rather interesting character. When he becomes embroiled in some dirty deals with the mob, he reacts about the way anybody else would in the situation especially when his family is threatened. You never find out just why he's wanted by both the Italian and the NY branch of the Mafia until near the end.

Adorf even did his own stunts. One especially dangerous car chase that ends up with Adorf first hanging from the door of the car then onto the front while it speeds down a narrow alleyway and the street. The violence is upped just a bit from last time as well. There's also a touching bit at the end in the junkyard when the hitmen are searching for Canalli and a small kitten he was petting keeps following him around.

There's also an unusually high amount of nudity on display although Paluzzi never gets undressed. Future wife of Ruggero Deodato Sylvia Koschina plays Adorf's wife here in a small role. This is probably the only movie I've seen with her where she also kept her clothes on.

Another exciting De Leo movie gets a great presentation from Raro of Italy. There's a documentary on the film but no english subs. The biography and filmography has both italian and english text.

I watched a bit of the third film entitled THE BOSS with Silva, Richard Conte and Gianni Garko. It starts off quite violently with SIlva blowing up a theater full of mobsters watching porn movies using rockets. Garko is the commissioner assigned to the case.

One thing I've noticed about De Leo's crime movies or at least this series, is that they are about the mob itself as opposed to just criminals or crime bosses as in numerous other polizios.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 07, 2007, 04:02:58 AM
Mario Adorf is really a very versatile actor. Having done a few westerns then his memorable turn as the sadistic mafia cronie in MILAN CALIBRE 9. Here, although he runs prostitutes, he takes care of his family. He is a rather interesting character.
Yes i've just looked him up in Weissers A-Z and he starred in at least 7 sw's including AND FOR THE ROOF A SKYFUL OF STARS and THE SPECIALISTS but having not watched either of these for several months i can't picture who he is exactly. :-[

Silva however is hard to forget from his western performances and of course the inclusion of Woody Strode makes MANHUNT sound like a must!!
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 07, 2007, 04:40:54 AM
He's Gemmas goofy partner in ROOF.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 07, 2007, 02:54:38 PM
Next up is.....

MILANO ODIA: LA POLIZIA NON PUO SPARARE (ALMOST HUMAN) 1974

Thomas Milian, Henry Silva, Ray Lovelock, Anita Strindberg

Guilio Sacchi (Thomas Milian in his favorite role) at the opening of the film, is the driver for a bank robbery. When a police man approaches him to move his car he impulsively shoots the cop thus introducing us to one of the slimiest cinematic character portrayals in film ever. The crooks don't want Guilio around anymore so he shacks up with his girlfriend (Strindberg WHO SAW HER DIE?, LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN) and through her spies a very pretty girl from a rich family. Guilio plans to kidnap the girl and hold her for ransom killing her if the father doesn't pay up. Guilio eventually gets the girl but along the way commits some extremely distasteful acts such as when they trace the girl to a house in the woods where they torture and machine gun the inhabitants kids included. The group holes up in an abandoned boat while they wait for their money. Meanwhile, Inspector Grandi (Silva) tries to find them and convince the father they will not let his daughter go even if he pays them. It all ends badly for the principle cast members in one of the most violent films I've ever seen regardless of genre.

Milian owns this movie and turns in his best performance ever. On the 30 minute interview with him on the disc he says this is his favorite performance and initially, he was to play the cop role but opted for the sleazy villain instead as the film is surprisingly, built around the villain for the most part. You really grow to hate his character and want to see him get his in the end.

The angelic Ray Lovelock is suited at Milian's side as he is drawn into Guilio's world and becomes (although on a much smaller scale) a psychopath as well.

Henry Silva, veteran screen heavy is somewhat subdued here as Inspector Grandi and his stone faced, almost inhuman expressions suit the film well as he ultimately succumbs to unorthodox methods to bring Guilio down in a great final scene that is symbolic of the Guilio character.

Umberto Lenzi directs again and pulls off another great little film. There is only one car chase but what an exciting one it is. The remainder of the film is built around Guilio and the evil tactics he uses to survive caring nothing for anyone or anything. The film plays almost like a horror film and if I remember correctly this is how it was marketed on video here.

If you're a Milian fan this release is highly recommended to see him chew through so much scenery.
Just finished ALMOST HUMAN and its the best one from this genre i've seen so far including REVOLVER.

Tomas Milian is outstanding,outstanding,OUTSTANDING from when either he's grovelling on the ground for his life,conning the police with his crocodile tears,manically machine gunning down his victims-in fact he brilliantly conveys so many emotions in his role as the most despicable villain i've seen in this type of thriller.
EASILY Milians best performance in anything i've seen including my much loved sw's.

I agree with AC about Silva's understated performance,you find yourself waiting for him to kick into top gear but it never quite happens even with the surprise ending,but i'm not taking anything away from this brilliant movie,its got the best Morricone score so far in this genre and i have no hesistation in giving this one top marks of 10 out of 10. O0 O0 O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 07, 2007, 03:01:16 PM
Initially Silva was to play the villain but Milian agreed to do it only if he could be the bad guy. The entire film revolves around him. I love the scene where Milian has the balls to go to the police station looking for his girlfriend not long after he's just murdered her! The look on Silva's face speaks volumes.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 07, 2007, 03:19:06 PM
I'm reluctant to criticise ALMOST HUMAN but i guess ever movie has its flaws.Silva undoubtably has some charisma but i'm not so convinced when he plays the good guy,and i think a more imposing figure like Maurizio Merli would've been slightly better in this role.

Yes that was a great scene,Milians character was so horribly ahead of the game throughout the movie that what happened in the  ending was truly the only way that he was ever gonna lose.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 08, 2007, 01:07:13 PM
Yes, but this film was totally about the villain. The hero took a back seat to everything else. I love the last shot when Silva finally turns into a murderer and guns Milian down in the street right in a pile of TRASH...so very symbolic of Milian's character.

THE BOSS is the boss! Awesome movie. Silva gets some excellent lines. I'll post a review either today or tomorrow.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 09, 2007, 03:39:10 AM
Yes, but this film was totally about the villain.
Yes i agree.

Interestingly its mentioned in the special features that Henry Silva was originally lined up to play Sacchi and Milian was gonna play the cop.I don't think it would've been anywhere near as good,and Milian never plays second fiddle to anyone.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 12, 2007, 05:27:53 PM
Here...

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/attori-mano-armata-book-p-11726.html

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/blazing-magnums-p-7776.html

This one is from Fabpress in your neck of the woods. They make the best film books period. I have a handful of them. This book comes out in Oct.

http://www.amazon.com/Violent-Professional-Luciano-Classics-Collection/dp/1903254485/ref=sr_1_2/102-3918095-1043309?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181080408&sr=1-2


AC out of the 2 xploited items which is the most informative?

Did you ever pick up Howard Hughes "Once Upon A Time In The Italian West" which is easily the best sw read?

I ask this because i saw and picked up today Hughes latest book which is a guide to Crime Thrillers with detailed chapters covering 20 top movies from that genre including OUATIA,but sadly nothing in the way of poliziotteschi.In the sw book he makes several references to Italian cinema including sword n sandels,horror,crime thrillers so i find it very surprising that he's virtually ignored Italian films altogether in his latest book other than mentioning VIOLENT CITY as a string of movies Bronson starred in. A great shame. :( 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 13, 2007, 03:09:59 AM
I did Hughes a slight diservice here because on closer inspection he mentions ILUSTRIOUS CORPSES as the finest Italian Crime Thriller from the seventies with "Lino Ventura playing Inspector Rogas,investigating a labyrinthine series of murders of the judiciary".

http://imdb.com/title/tt0074262/

Also in the chapter about DIRTY HARRY,he mentioned amongst the "dozens of European imitators" FEAR IN THE CITY(1976),BLAZING MAGNUMS(1976) and FORCED IMPACT(1976) but he gave no further details about these movies.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 13, 2007, 04:31:39 AM
Yes I have the hughes western book. I don't have any of the italo crime books yet. My info came from personal experience and talking with my italian friend who is a fan of the films.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 14, 2007, 04:32:25 AM
Haven't heared of ILLUSTRIOUS CORPSES. Among fans and reviews I found the di Leo trilogy is generally considered the finest examples of the genre. Maybe Hughes hasn't seen these, but they're the best of all the ones I've seen thus far.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 14, 2007, 04:35:19 AM
IL, BOSS- 1973 aka THE BOSS

Henry Silva, Richard Conte, Gianni Garko, Antonia Santilli

A hitman named Lanzetta kills a number of mob bosses in a private movie theater. In retaliation, Rina Daniello, the daughter of a rival crime family is kidnapped. Lanzetta is then sent to retrieve her. An ultimate plan to remove opposition in Don Corrasco's (Richard Conte) path is devised to leave only one "Family" in charge but this also includes Lanzetta who could be a major threat in the future.

Fernando di Leo's final film in his Mileau trilogy is the most violent and one of the best movies about the mafia ever made. This trilogy is di Leo's GODFATHER series. Only these films are separate entities with each film independent of the others. The first film dealing with the whereabouts of stolen mob money complete with a great double twist at the end, the second about a fall guy on the run from mob hitmen not knowing why they want him dead. And finally, the third about deceipt and treachery within the criminal organizations as well as the police force itself with the cunning and extremely intelligent hitman at the center of it all.

This third film almost didn't get released at all as di Leo brazenly used names of real individuals involved in criminal activity at the time one even being a religious figure. The names were changed only by adding or taking away a letter so people knew who was being referred to. The film went out anyway.

The opening is effectively brutal as Lanzetta sneaks into the private theater and kills the bosses with a grenade launcher! He then blows a couple of other guys up before taking a few more out with his silencer pistol. 

Henry Silva delivers one of his best roles I've seen as the seemingly unstoppable Lanzetta. He delivers a swaggering coolness to his character complete with many great lines of dialog. He is constantly one step ahead of the game but di Leo masterfully films the movie in such a fashion that you, the audience, are never quite sure what will happen next or if Lanzetta is truly going to survive.

He is Don Corrasco's head man and trusts him fully. Lanzetta has yet to fail him on a job. Corrasco is pressured by the other members of the syndicate to either make peace with his lead rival, or eliminate him completely. Corrasco decides there isn't enough room for both of them and decides to eradicate his rival and all his boys. When the hit is bungled, Corrasco is faced with eliminating Lanzetta to save face for attacking the other big boss. However, Lanzetta has plans of his own.

Once Silva has rescued the girl, he realizes what a drunken whore she is. In a scene prior she is seen enjoying the criminals taking turns having their way with her. After Lanzetta whisks her off to his apartment, her charms begin to work on him as well. After Lanzetta learns of the scheme to get him out of the way, he prepares for a final showdown with Corrasco and at the same time, deals with the crooked and corrupt Commissario Torri (Garko). Another double twist at the finale ends with a "continued..." title on the screen.

Conte (THE GODFATHER) is perfect as the mafia head Don Corrasco. He would die later that year. Conte also played a mafioso in Sergio Martino's classic THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS (1973).

Spaghetti western star and Robert Redford look-alike Gianni Garko is also good if a little hammy as the slightly loony Commissario Torri assigned to busting the "Family". He is secretly under the Mobs' employ. His scenes with his superior are very funny. Garko and Silva share one of the most memorable scenes together.

Santilli is also very good as the nymphomaniac daughter of one of the syndicate heads. She stays naked or in stages of undress through much of the movie.

Another film is included on a separate DVD entitled KILLER VS. KILLERS aka DEATH COMMANDO from 1985 and also directed by Fernando di Leo. The film was unreleased and is offered here in italian with english subs only. By this time, italian cinema had run its course and nearly all genre films whether it be action or horror was a lifeless shell of its former self. Judging by the first few minutes of KILLER VS. KILLERS (also starring Silva) it's not very good.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 14, 2007, 03:29:55 PM
Watched three of these last night......

NAPOLI VIOLENTA (VIOLENT NAPLES) 1976

Maurizio Merli, John Saxon, Barry Sullivan

Merli plays Inspector Betti who has been assigned to the crime infested Naples where he brings his police brutality methods with him. At the opening he finds an old enemy of his The Commandante (Barry Sullivan) is around as well as another crime boss Capuono (john Saxon) who plans to do in the big boss Commandante and take over his various protection rackets and other assorted criminal activities. Betti, has no intention of allowing either one to go free much longer.

The film moves along at a brisk pace and is chock full of action and extreme violence that is inherent in this genre. There're bloody shootouts, murdered informants, rape, one helluva chase on motor bikes and one cool setpiece on top of a tram.

Betti's methods ultimately get him into trouble when many undercover officers are killed with one tied to the end of a bowling lane while the Commandante goes for a "strike".

Another striking scene of violence occurs during the tram scene. One of the villains has a female hostage and pushes her head out the window repeatedly bashing her face into the tram on the other side as it passes just before Betti takes him out.

At the finale, Betti uses probably the most unorthodox method imaginable to finally get rid of all the principle villains. Earlier he had turned in his resignation to be placed in his desk should his superior ask for it and Betti, after so many innocent people have been slain, decides to call it quits. As he's leaving he comes to a stop light and sees the little boy he had befriended earlier in the film, now a cripple, trying to cross the street (a trick the kid played at the films opening but was faking it then). Betti tells his friend to take him back to the station.

Director Umberto Lenzi who has directed his fair share of sleaze cinema appears more assured directing these kinds of movies as his direction is very slick compared to other films he has done. He is quite at home doing the action scenes and pulls off some exciting set pieces. He does, however, revel in several instances of extreme violence that was a staple of his films and this genre.

Merli who later appeared in MANNAJA, A MAN CALLED BLADE, is perfect for these kind of roles. Looking a bit like Franco Nero but more adept in the action scenes, he carries a mostly mean and mad look on his face the duration of the film and he's so good at it you can't help but cheer him on each time he nails one of the bad guys. If you've never seen one of these Italian Crime films this is a good place to start.

Merli died in 1989 when he apparently overexerted himself during a tennis match and collapsed. He was 49.

His son Maurizio Matteo Merli has taken up acting and stars in the new Italian cop film COP ON FIRE.
I watched VIOLENT NAPLES today and its a totally brilliant movie and all the more remarkable as i understand from AC in a pm that Lenzi usually shot these movies in just 7 days.

I think this Italian brand of crime thriller is easily as powerful as the famous American equivalents like Dirty Harry or French Connection plus like the westerns these Italians like to up the excitement levels with added violence.Absolutely never a single dull moment in Violent Naples,and Maurizio Merli even does his own stunts like the dangerous tram scene.

9 out of 10 rating O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on June 15, 2007, 04:01:09 PM
Revolver "SPOILERS"








What was the significance of Reed pretending never to have seen the kidnapper's corpse at the very end of the picture? It was late and I must have missed something. ???










SPOILERS END



Great movie though! Don't care for the scenes in the mountains. Slows the picture down.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 16, 2007, 02:36:44 PM
What was the significance of Reed pretending never to have seen the kidnapper's corpse at the very end of the picture? It was late and I must have missed something. ???
Yes it left me feeling confused so hopefully it'll become clear 2nd time around. :-\
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 17, 2007, 09:02:42 AM
The police were behind the whole deal and to save himself, Reed covered everything up.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on June 17, 2007, 05:29:41 PM
The police were behind the whole deal and to save himself, Reed covered everything up.


Of course! Thanks AC.But wouldn't the cop who showed him the corpse know he was lying?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 18, 2007, 04:17:26 AM
Well, they'd frame him up as well should he talk.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 19, 2007, 02:20:58 PM
UNA MAGNUM SPECIAL PER TONY SAITTA- BLAZING MAGNUM (1976)

Stuart Whitman, Martin Landau, John Saxon, Tisa Farrow

Detective Saitta (Whitman) along with Detective Matthews (John Saxon) investigates the murder of Saitta's sister who was poisoned on her college campus. The crime involves the theft of an expensive necklace from the Orient. At first evidence points to Doctor Tracer (Landau) but it's found through a long chain of events that the actual killer is close to home.

I've never been much of a Stuart Whitman fan but he's great here showing lots of spunk and energy in the action scenes doing most if not all of his own
stunts. Saxon is also good as Whitman's partner but sadly, he doesn't get to do much during the action scenes. It's Whitman's showcase and he gives it his all especially in a showstopping 7 minute(!) bravura car chase sequence at the 57 minute mark. The movie opens with a bang when Saitta foils a robbery and putting down the crooks with his magnum, destroying several cars and businesses as a result.

Another highlight is a comical scene where Saitta must question a group of transvestites(!) and ends up duking it out with them destroying the apartment in the process and Saitta himself is tossed over the balcony(!) but climbs back up and continues fighting even jamming a hot curling iron up one of the drag queens rectum! The ending is a nice capper as the real killer tries to make an escape in a helicopter and Saitta puts his magnum to good use.

Tisa Farrow plays a blind girl who figures into the plot and even gets involved in a suspensful scene where the killer enters her apartment to kill one of
her friends then goes after her. She makes her way into the street where cars zip past her nearly running her over. Farrow apparently did this dangerous
piece of stunt work herself.

This is the first modern action film I've seen from Alberto De Martino (THE ANTICHRIST) and I'd like to see more. This is a Canadian-Italian co-production.
I must say "BLAZING" is amazing and contains all the elements that make these movies such fun to watch. Whitman's "good guy" is a bit more crazy than usual if you can believe that. There's lots of action, bloodshed, nudity, wild plot devices and the exhilarating 7 minute car chase is worth seeing the film on its own.

I watched BLAZING MAGNUM today and AC has described it so well that there's little that i can add,other than this is the first polizio i've seen that wasn't based in Italy(Montreal in fact),it doesn't appear to have any Italian actors(well none that i can recognise),all the big names are American and this movie has a definate feel of an American cop movie than an Italian polizo -the only giveaway being the Italian names in the credits.

Still, a brilliant crime thriller which i give 9 out of 10. O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 19, 2007, 02:33:16 PM
This one definitely needs a legit DVD release. I love that 7 minute car chase/ bang up that tears up much property. When Whitman gets ahold of the guy he simply says--

"I want some information..."

and the guy is like--

"Why didn't you say that in the first place." ;D
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 19, 2007, 02:57:30 PM
Whitman  certainly showed ALOT of fitness for an old geezer. ;D

That car chase is definately one of the most spectacular from that decade and the fight with the 3 transvestites was very funny.

Yes i'd like to see a legit dvd too,with more scenes maybe O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 19, 2007, 02:59:59 PM
7 minutes long that chase was.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 21, 2007, 02:50:16 PM
PAURA IN CITTA'- FEAR IN THE CITY (1976)

Maurizio Merli, James Mason

Inspector Murri is removed from the police force because of his use of excessive force and when Lettieri, a mob boss, escapes from prison, crime escalates until the police force has no choice but to reinstate Murri much to the chagrin of his commissioner played by James Mason. At first Murri does fine but later in the picture he begins to go over board and in one cool scene three crooks kidnap a priest and Murri hides in the trunk of the getaway car. He later mows the villains down with machine gun fire and even guns one of them down execution style when the crook's gun is jammed. Murri just looks at him for a moment then kills him. The dialog exchange between Murri and the priest is priceless-

"May God forgive you my son, and may you live in peace with your conscious."

"I'm at peace with myself. Not so sure about these corpses. They're the ones who need to be forgiven. Go hit'em with a couple of 'hail mary's'."

Every so often you see a scene in slow motion depicting a beautiful woman and a little girl. It's not difficult to guess this is Murri's wife and daughter but you don't see what happens to them until the final moments in the damn fine finale between Murri and Lantierri.

One of my favorites so far and one of Merli's best. He's incredibly cold and vicious (when the need arises) here more so than the other films I've seen him in. (He was particularly brutal in ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH also). Merli gets to do more than rough up bad guys. He gets a love interest in the form of Silvia Dionisio, who I believe was married to Ruggero Deodato at the time.

James Mason is in several scenes but it seems his bits were probably done over the course of 2 days. His screen time is memorable especially when he stead fastly refuses to reinstate Murri only to receive a phone call from his boss mere seconds later demanding he put Murri on the Lantierri case.

Mason, who is probably best remembered from 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA also did IMO, the scariest vampire movie ever made, SALEMS LOT and starred alongside Perry King, Susan George and Ken Norton in the 1975 hit MANDINGO where Mason plays a slave trader who uses little black boys to relieve his rheumatism among other shocking scenes.

FEAR IN THE CITY boasts fine direction from Guiseppi Rosati who did several other poliziotteshi films and I believe directed the slightly disappointing THOSE DIRTY DOGS! A spaghetti western starring Gianni Garko.




Wasn't aware that Rosati did THOSE DIRTY DOGS which i agree is only OK.

Anyway finished watching FEAR IN THE CITY and its another superb Maurizio Merli crime thriller.I noticed a few DIRTY HARRY parallels with this one.Both inspectors have lost their wives and are haunted by this so immerse themselves in their cop work to fill the void.They both have immediate superiors to do their utmost to hamper their unorthodox methods,but Merli's character goes one further than Harry by executing unarmed villains.Theres also several similar sub plots where the inspectors get sidetracked into tackling whichever criminals are unfortunate enough to cross their brutal pathways.Finally i couldn't help but notice a big similarity in the jazzy musical score to DIRTY HARRY especially the downbeat organ parts.

Mason was top class,as was Franco Ressel who played Merlis slimy interfering superior.

Quite derivative but nevertheless excellent with typically added extra Italian brutality and the gorgeous unclad girl which Merli gets to bed.

My rating 9 out of 10. O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 21, 2007, 02:57:07 PM
That girl was Sylvia Dionisio. She was married to Ruggero Deodato at the time. She made a career out of undressing. She is also in husband Deodato's crime film LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN. A movie that is called the most violent of all italo crime movies. It is violent as all hell even with the eyeball scene no longer in the movie (or existence) but I think there are others that are a bit more nasty. Although for what this one implies such that the two cops (who strangely resemble Starsky & Hutch which had not been released yet in Italy or even seen apparently) would commit brutal acts of violence and brutality just as sadistic as the criminals they pursue.

Anyway, what did you think of that line Banjo in FEAR...? I loved the ending where you finally see the full flashback with Merli's wife and child.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 21, 2007, 03:36:34 PM
That girl was Sylvia Dionisio. She was married to Ruggero Deodato at the time. She made a career out of undressing. She is also in husband Deodato's crime film LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN. A movie that is called the most violent of all italo crime movies. It is violent as all hell even with the eyeball scene no longer in the movie (or existence) but I think there are others that are a bit more nasty. Although for what this one implies such that the two cops (who strangely resemble Starsky & Hutch which had not been released yet in Italy or even seen apparently) would commit brutal acts of violence and brutality just as sadistic as the criminals they pursue.

Anyway, what did you think of that line Banjo in FEAR...? I loved the ending where you finally see the full flashback with Merli's wife and child.
Very cool line  O0  ,is the Italian dialogue the same dya know?

Yes those flashbacks remind of Leones technique of showing you a little bit more at a time . O0

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 22, 2007, 05:20:43 AM
Not sure. There is an italian dvd of it.

Here's the new ones I got...

LA BANDA DEL GOBBO- 1977 aka BROTHERS UNTIL WE DIE

Tomas Milian, Sal Borgese, Nino Pazzafini

Milian in a dual role playing criminals one a hunchback, the other with an afro and beard. Italian language only.

IL COMMISSARIO DI FERRO- 1978

Maurizio Merli, Janet Agren

Italian language only

ROMA VIOLENTA- 1975

Maurizio Merli, Richard Conte

Merli's first foray in the Italian crime genre. Italian language only

I PADRONI DELLA CITTA'- 1976 aka RULERS OF THE CITY aka MR. SCARFACE

Jack Palance, Al Cliver, Edmund Purdom, Gisela Hahn

Third in Fernando di Leo's second trilogy of crime-noir films. English and Italian with english subs.

LA CITTA' SCONVOLTA: CACCIA SPIETATA AI RAPITORI- 1975 aka THE KIDNAP SYNDICATE

Luc Merenda, James Mason

Italian with english subs.

COLPO IN CANNA- 1974 aka LOADED GUN

Ursula Andress, Woody Strode, Marc Porel

First in di Leo's second trilogy. English and Italian with english subs.

THE HEROIN BUSTERS- 1977

Fabio Testi, David Hemmings

English version

MILANO ROVENTE- 1973 aka GANG WAR IN MILAN

Philippe Leroy, Antonio Sabato, Marisa Mell

Umberto Lenzi's first crime movie. Italian with english subs
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 24, 2007, 09:31:22 AM
Hey this thread is just what the doctor ordered,i've been looking all over the net for such an informative read but theres hardly anything.I was thinking AC,with your knowledge and the quality of your reviews for this obscure genre you'd be the perfect guy to do a Pocket Essentials Guide To Italian Crime Thrillers.Just a thought!  :)

By huge co-incidence i won a HIGH CRIME aka MARSEILLES CONNECTION video tape from Ebay today and i'm looking forward to it even more now.  O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 09:46:42 AM
Thanks Banjo, but if I were going to take on such a task (which I'd love to do) I'd have to hunt down the rights holders for photos and set up interviews with stars and directors to do the subject justice. It's been a dream for a couple of years to interview Umberto Lenzi about these films he did. Maybe one day that can be a reality.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 24, 2007, 02:47:19 PM
Thanks Banjo, but if I were going to take on such a task (which I'd love to do) I'd have to hunt down the rights holders for photos and set up interviews with stars and directors to do the subject justice. It's been a dream for a couple of years to interview Umberto Lenzi about these films he did. Maybe one day that can be a reality.
The Pocket Essential series never included photo's or interviews as far as i am aware.I've only got Howard Hughes guide which is 96 pages long,theres several small introductory articles( covering the emergence of sw's,italian cinema,different types of sw's,its stars,composers,decline etc)followed by reviews covering 31 well known sw's(including story synopsis and film background) and finally a reference list of books,cd's and further films.



Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 02:49:19 PM
Well maybe I could look into something like this. There's a publishing company near me called McFarland Press. They've got hundreds of film reference books. I have a handful of them.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 24, 2007, 03:03:05 PM
Check this out AC :)

http://www.pocketessentials.co.uk/whoweare.php
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Kurug3n on June 24, 2007, 03:18:19 PM
Nice work AC O0 I will be definetly checking out some of those titles you mentioned.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 03:26:55 PM
kurug3n, many are available through netflix at least the NoShame region 1 releases. I've bought about 90% of the 43 titles I have from xploitedcinema. Hopefully, NoShame US will release more but I heard the other day they are having distribution problems as they seem to have fallen off the radar for a good while now.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 24, 2007, 03:53:49 PM
Do not throw stones at me. I am not an expert or a fan of the genre. Still I thought that the first poliziottesco was this:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069109/

I saw the movie at a theatre and I remember that all sort of movies with "polizia" in the title started invading the screens after this was a huge hit.

 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 03:58:47 PM
The earliest one I know of was ASSASSINATION directed by Emilio Miraglia from 1967. I mention this in the thread. The Castellari film is credited (by him) as being the first. In a sense, it was the title most responsible for the flood of DEATH WISH and DIRTY HARRY clones that were popping up all over.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 04:00:46 PM
Titoli, check the third paragraph. There I mentioned earlier examples of the genre although these were more suspense-noirish thrillers. Fernando di Leo is, to my knowledge considered the master of the genre. An italian friend of mine is a great fan of these movies.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 24, 2007, 04:05:15 PM
Maybe like FISTFUL OF DOLLARS(not the first sw but the one that kick started the craze),HIGH CRIME was the catalyst for the explosion of polizio films?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 24, 2007, 04:09:13 PM
I was simply referring to this:

Quote
In 1973 a film entitled HIGH CRIME was released to Italian movie theaters which officially began the Poliziotteschi movies that would be popular there for a good 6-7 years.

I will check with a friend who is a connoisseur (got them all) but as I was there and I was a movie-goer at the time, I am 99 % sure of what I'm saying. 

Banjo, the catalyst was the one I'm referring to.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 04:11:36 PM
I understand you were there but if you read further I specified that there were other similar films before the 73 picture. As early as 1967. I have nearly all the films I spoke of.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 24, 2007, 04:14:01 PM
HAve you got La polizia ringrazia?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 04:16:52 PM
No but I do have the earliest known polizia that I know of--ASSASSINATION (1967)

Here is a review from IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061367/

I never claimed to be an expert but if you had read further down on my piece you would have answered your own question.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 24, 2007, 04:22:04 PM
The fact of me being there it means not that I saw these movies (actually I saw High Crime for the first time only a few months ago on tv) but only that I remember distinctly that movies with "polizia" in the tile (which is why the genre was called, demeaningly,
Quote
poliziottesco
) started invading the screens after this movie was a hit I remember that phaenomenon. Andf I bet that if you see La polizia ringrazia you will understand how it was the first of the genre which I doubt could be this Assassination, which didn't start a trend anyway. 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 04:29:49 PM
I never said it started a trend. I SAID THAT THERE WERE EARLIER EXAMPLES OF THE GENRE THAN THE ONE YOU SPEAK OF. Di Leo's MILANO CALIBRO 9 was before the film you mentioned and it was also rather popular. In fact, MILANO CALIBRO 9 must be preferred over the film you state since Raro Video gave it a 2 disc release along with the other two films in the trilogy.

I'VE NEVER HEARD OF THE FILM YOU MENTIONED. I NEVER SAID HIGH CRIME STARTED ANYTHING.

AGAIN, IF YOU READ FURTHER IN MY POST YOU WILL HAVE ANSWERED YOUR OWN QUESTION. Saying HIGH CRIME begat the numerous Merli films and others is from Castellari and Franco Nero's statements made in an interview so if YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS THEN TAKE IT UP WITH THEM.

You said not to throw any rocks, but it seems YOU have brought some gravel with you to throw MY way. PLEASE READ MY POSTS CAREFULLY AND COMPLETELY BEFORE YOU COMMENT BACK TO ME.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 24, 2007, 05:15:05 PM
If you read even superficially what I wrote you will see that you're off track.

1) the fact that Milano Calibro 9 was released in a double dvd means only that it was released in double dvd. (BTW, I've got it). It is not a "poliziottesco", but a crime story, a noir (actually it is Tarantino who considers it the best italian noir). It is based mostly on gangland, though the policeman played by Frank Wolff does all those tedious conferences on society and all.   

2) The fact that Castellari said that his movie was the one which started a fad means that Castellari has a weak memory. Or maybe it's me. We'll see.

3) That there were forerunners to this specific genre has nothing to do with the fact that there was a specific movie which started a trend, defining the basic rules of it and giving it a name. You're read that it is not the one I'm referring to. You might be right. Tomorrow I will know for sure.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 05:19:24 PM
Again, you have misinterpreted me. IF YOU READ THE FULL POST, I PLAINLY REFER TO MILANO CALIBRO 9 AS A CRIME FILM. THAT IT IS MORE ABOUT THE MAFIA THAN THE LATER FILMS. I DO CALL IT A NOIR.

BUT IT IS WITHIN THE PARAMETERS OF THE ITALIAN CRIME-POLICE GENRE. IT WILL FOREVER BE INCLUDED WITH THE LIKES OF FILMS SUCH AS HIGH CRIME, ROMA VIOLENTA AND YOUNG, VIOLENT & DANGEROUS (also written by di Leo).
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 24, 2007, 05:21:49 PM
I own 43 of these movies and most all are the original italian DVDs some without subs or english tracks. If your friend has all of the italian crime films I would be most interested in paying him for copies or trading. I'm sure there are some releases I am not aware of. Most of these movies are available from Greece but the quality is awful.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 25, 2007, 01:22:24 AM
My friend has just confirmed what I said about La polizia ringrazia.
I'll let you know, in case, about the rest in a PM.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 25, 2007, 04:36:35 AM
Interesting. Regardless of which was first, it is possible this movie was shot in 1972 but released after HIGH CRIME. Both Franco Nero and Castellari confirm their film began the style of crime film that followed it. Considering this information came from two individuals that actually made these movies I'm inclined to believe them. Either way, it is HIGH CRIME that is noted for the explosion of films after 1973.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 25, 2007, 08:29:40 AM
No, believe me. This movie was the first and really, if Castellari and Nero said what you wrote, they're in bad faith. But words are useless. You watch the movie and then will be talking about it again.   

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 25, 2007, 02:38:29 PM
Well, it doesn't matter to me who was first. Over the years there have been many films that used ideas that other creators have taken credit for. I looked up the movie you mentioned and I have seen this DVD before. Sadly, I was not very interested in this kind of film at the time. The DVD which is from Japan is now out of print. It sounds like a very good film. If you would like, I can send you the interview with Nero and castellari where they say this. Or Banjo can send it to you as I sent him a copy of it.

I only wrote that because that was what the two had said and considering that they were involved in the making of numerous crime films, that they would know what they were talking about. Also, LA POLIZIA RANGAZIA seems to have no recognizeable names nor a familiar director so that may be why this film has been 'swept under the rug' so to speak but yes, I would be most delighted to see this movie.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 25, 2007, 02:54:40 PM

I PADRONI DELLA CITTA'- 1976 aka RULERS OF THE CITY aka MR. SCARFACE

Jack Palance, Al Cliver, Edmund Purdom, Gisela Hahn

I saw that dvd today on Amazon selling for less than Ģ1,and upon searching the net for info,its suggested to be influenced the THE GODFATHER with Palance playing the Don.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 25, 2007, 02:58:05 PM
FC informed me he's got this coming from Blockbuster but its a BCI release so I don't know about the quality. I have the italian Raro release.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 25, 2007, 03:04:15 PM
The earliest one I know of was ASSASSINATION directed by Emilio Miraglia from 1967. I mention this in the thread. 
I saw this today and it seems to be more of an espionage thriller than some of the other cop movies i've seen,and has a less Italian feel about it due to the New York and Hamburg locations.Certainly the Iron Curtain finale setting and downbeat style of the storyline reminded me of the Harry Palmer movie FUNERAL IN BERLIN.The storyline is slow,quite confusing until the finale,but engaging and Henry Silva plays a very cool and calculating character.

My rating 8 out of 10 :)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 25, 2007, 03:07:44 PM
Excellent Banjo. My review was brief as was yours. Saying too much about this nifty MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE style italian thriller would reveal too much of the story.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 25, 2007, 03:11:46 PM
Here's my brief capsule review from my ACTION-ADVENTURE..70s thread...

ASSASSINATION 1967-Italian-French crime movie stars Henry Silva about to be put to death in the electric chair. His death is faked and is trained as an assassin to be used to bust open a criminal organization. Silva has his own agenda in addition to his mission. Excellent production all around.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 25, 2007, 03:17:11 PM
Heres the UK Amazon link.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mister-Scarface-REGION-1-NTSC/dp/B0000DC14L/ref=sr_1_1/202-2551570-0241412?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1182809276&sr=1-1

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 25, 2007, 03:18:23 PM
That looks like a dupe.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on June 25, 2007, 03:26:19 PM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NT0X1KVNL._AA240_.jpg)


This reeks of bootleg.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 25, 2007, 03:35:30 PM
BCI (formerly Brentwood) supposedly went legit a couple of years ago. Strangely, everything they've put out has already been released in another country yet reviewers praise them for their remastering jobs :o. Their HE-MAN and SHE-RA sets were already out in Britain. The recent KAGE NO GUNDAN release of season 1 had just come out in Japan. The only thing BCI did was apply subs. The recent Paul Naschy releases from BCI are simply ports from the spanish releases that have no english subs.

There was a HUGE STINK about BCI last year when they released the original ULTRAMAN show. Some dirty dealings going on with that one.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 25, 2007, 03:55:05 PM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NT0X1KVNL._AA240_.jpg)


This reeks of bootleg.
You mean transfered from an old video tape?

Still at that price a complete steal!
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on June 25, 2007, 03:56:58 PM
You mean transfered from an old video tape?

Still at that price a complete steal!


as long as it looks half-way decent.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 25, 2007, 03:59:26 PM

as long as it looks half-way decent.
I picked up a HIGH CRIME video from Ebay yesterday which works out alot cheaper than buying the dupe DVD which i found out is sourced from the same video tape edition. 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 25, 2007, 04:04:50 PM
I would've liked to have seen a bit more action though.

Maybe i'm used to seeing all these high octane Maurizio Merli thrillers. ;D
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 25, 2007, 04:07:45 PM
Yes, but ASSASSINATION is so well made and Miraglia builds the suspense so well. I love how Silva pretends to be...well that will give away a major plot point. LA would probably like this. The ending is great and I love Silva's last line. It rings very true shortly thereafter.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 25, 2007, 04:27:09 PM
Quote
Also, LA POLIZIA RANGAZIA seems to have no recognizeable names nor a familiar director so that may be why this film has been 'swept under the rug' so to speak but yes, I would be most delighted to see this movie.

The director is more famous for his comedies, but in Italy he's more of a name than Castellari. Salerno was very famous in Italy, also for being the voice of Eastwood in his Leones.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 26, 2007, 03:18:26 PM
Being a fan of Salerno in Italian westerns i quite keen on catching LA POLIZIA RANGAZIA O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 26, 2007, 03:37:32 PM
Banjo, I meant to tell you that Yul Brynner did at least one poliziotteshi entitled DEATH RAGE (US title). QT has the reels for this one.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 27, 2007, 04:31:50 AM
I can imagine that Brynner would've been well suited to this genre.

Will have to do some research.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: mezcal on June 28, 2007, 07:45:05 PM
i'm disappointed that no-one has commented on Roma 79 by enzo zamboni. I've heard its a classic and features a famous rock bass player.....
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 29, 2007, 04:11:59 AM
I'm curious about this one Mezcal but can't find anything on IMDB.

Do you have a link?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 29, 2007, 04:40:25 AM
i'm disappointed that no-one has commented on Roma 79 by enzo zamboni. I've heard its a classic and features a famous rock bass player.....

Well if you're going to discuss the BAND called ROMA 79, then you're in the wrong thread.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: mezcal on June 29, 2007, 06:33:09 PM
just my little joke  :)
In spinal tap, the bass player shows the director the 'film he was in', where he plays a hit man who dies before the opening credits. For any non-north americans, a zamboni is the machine that cleans the ice on hockey arenas. I think this just goes to show the level of detail christopher guest and co go to in their films.

Spinal Tap A to Zed
Roma 79: Film made by director Marco Zamboni in 1976 that featured Derek dressed completely in white, playing a trained assassin who is gunned down by the film’s protagonist before the opening credits. Other Zamboni films include "I Siciliani," "Swarthy Like Me," and "Fusilli For Two." Marty DiBergi filmed scenes in which Derek showed a Beta video of his role in the film on the tour bus, but they were cut from the final version of "This is Spinal Tap." (As DiBergi watches Derek’s performance, David and Nigel pull their bass player aside to tell him that he’s "missing something in terms of thrust" in his "power zone," which prompts the zucchini solution.) See Aluminum Foil.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 29, 2007, 11:03:50 PM
"Zamboni" could be translated as "big (pork) gams".
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on June 30, 2007, 02:35:03 AM
I picked up last week a cheap video of this HIGH CRIME under the MARSEILLES CONNECTION title,and though the tape has seen better days it didn't detract too much from my enjoyment of this brilliant movie which i understand is largely instrumental in inspiring the explosion of Italian crime thrillers.

Franco Nero is Commisioner Belli(not the pen pushing type,definately a street cop) who along with his boss have been for years gathering evidence to nail a large drugs ring.There are two gangs in operation ,and the newer of the two,including a murderous mole from the older gang,is trying to take over the territory.Theres also an insider in the police force.
Belli's boss is murdered ,his family are at serious risk,but he's determined to totally nail these gangsters.Theres car chases galore,excellent fight scenes, long shoot-outs and Nero turns in a superbly convincing performance as Belli.The musical score by the De Angelis brothers is effective and similar to their brilliant score to STREET LAW.

This movie needs a decent dvd release.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on June 30, 2007, 04:25:22 AM
There is/was an Italian release but as yet, no US DVD release.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 30, 2007, 08:50:18 AM
Quote
which i understand is largely instrumental in inspiring the explosion of Italian crime thrillers.

It was not.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 01, 2007, 08:03:26 AM
MILANO ROVENTE 1973- aka GANG WAR IN MILAN

Antonio Sabato, Phillippe Leroy, Antonio Casagrande, Marisa Mell

Toto Cangemi (Sabato) is a wealthy crime lord who is behind Milan's biggest prostitute ring. The police cannot touch him but lie in wait for him to make just one mistake. Enter Le Capitaine, the Frenchman (Leroy) and a big time dealer in drugs who wants to form an alliance with Cangemi...whether he wants to or not. The Frenchman tries to force Cangemi's hand resulting in Toto bringing in an American gangster, Billy Baroni to take care of the Frenchman. Baroni tries to convince Cangemi that violence is not the answer but "diplomatic violence" will solve the problems. Several of Cangemi's hookers are found murdered but after Le Capitaine kidnaps and tortures Lino, Cangemi's right hand man (in a very excrutiating fashion) Baroni devises a plan to bring "final peace" between all the gangsters.

Umberto Lenzi's first foray into Euro Crime shows an adeptness for the material that is not as prominent in some of his later efforts which is not discounting any of those at all. Here, Lenzi appears to be channeling di Leo in style although the violence is more sleazy than in any of di Leo's films I have seen. There is a lot of torture in this movie and Lenzi proved throughout his career to be a master at depicting sadism onscreen. The double twist ending is slightly reminiscent of the one in di Leo's classic MILANO CALIBRO 9. It features a foreboding final line that hints at more violence lies ahead.

Sabato is very good here. Much better than anything else I've seen him in. He really plays the part well and reminds me of Mario Adorf's performance in LA MALA ODIA (1972). He is a criminal in every sense of the word, but at times, you get the feeling that a decent man resides within him. Coming from nothing, living in the streets then becoming a powerful crime figure he doesn't exhibit the nasty and brutally persistant methods of the Frenchman. Sabato displays genuine concern when his close friend Lino is captured and viciously tortured by the Frenchman and his henchmen.

Sabato also played a cop in Sergio Grieco's supremely nasty VIOLENCE FOR KICKS (1975). And only Grieco could make his good guy come off as a greasy unlikeable thug or just plain unlikeable as in Richard Harrison's character in Grieco's BEAST WITH A GUN (1977).

Phillippe Leroy who also starred as a maniacal cop in the same years BLOODY HANDS OF THE LAW (also starring Kinski), is all the while calm but incredibly ruthless when the need arises. Leroy is quite subdued here as opposed to his manic performance in the above mentioned film.

Casagrande as Baroni is what you would expect a stereotypical American gangster to look like. He has a scar under his left eye and smokes huge cigars. He also pulls the strings of Cangemi's organization. When Toto acts on impulse, Baroni is there to keep him under control only this plays against Toto later in the film.

Marisa Mell as Jasmine is as alluring as ever as Cangemi's woman whom he falls head over heels for. Amazingly, this being a Lenzi movie, she being the main female character, she escapes any indignities towards her character.

The finale is VERY similar to HK director Chang Cheh's style along with its themes of brotherhood among men whether they be good or bad.

Again, a fine first outing for Lenzi. Initially I had put off buying this because there wasn't a Merli or Milian in the film but after seeing it, this no longer matters.

This release from Dagored is in Italian with English subtitles and appears to be sourced from video tape. The packaging is very nice but the film presentation reeks of bootleg. No matter, the print is decent enough and it least it's available.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 01, 2007, 08:03:59 AM
I PADRONI DELLA CITTA' 1976- aka RULERS OF THE CITY aka MR. SCARFACE

Two young friends initiate themselves into a gang to get close to big time crime boss Mr. Scarface (Palance) to get revenge for a childhood murder and destroy his mob.

Fernando di Leo's third chapter in his second Euro Crime trilogy is a disappointing affair. The film starts out strong but slowly peters out after that and never regains steam until the final 15 minutes when the friend lure Scarface's mob into an abandoned factory where a ferocious gun battle complete with explosions takes place. There are very few action scenes other than numerous fist fights and nothing at all similar to other entries in the genre. Maybe I'll give it another view later but as of now, it's a big letdown considering reviews amp up the sleaze factor and aside from one brief bit of a gangster hanging by a meathook from his throat, the film is tame in comparison to other di Leo movies. No one even bleeds when they are shot.

The documentary on the Raro disc is very interesting (moreso than the film) including reminisces from di Leo himself. He says it is a film that gets regular play on Italian television.

Although Palance is featured prominently on the cover as well as the poster, he's barely in the movie. In fact, the US title of MR. SCARFACE is a bit of a misnomer. Palance figures in the nicely done opening but then disappears for large chunks of the film and is even killed off before the big confrontation.

Al Cliver is actually the films real star as he is the child that figures in the opening gundown. But it is Harry Bauer, a German actor, who gets the bulk of the screen time. One scene after another he engages in pseudo martial arts fights with various henchmen leading up to he and Cliver's big gun battle in the run down factory at the conclusion.

Edmund Purdom is also on hand but has even less to do than Palance. He plays Palance's lead rival and exits the film rather quickly and gets no time to shine.

Another beautful restoration from Raro with a fine documentary with subs. The film can either be viewed in Italian, Italian with english subs or the English dub itself. If only the numerous earlier releases from Raro had English tracks or subs.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 01, 2007, 08:04:26 AM
LA BANDA DEL GOBBO 1976- aka THE BAND & THE HUNCHBACK (literal translation) aka BROTHERS TILL WE DIE

Tomas Milian (dual role as Vincenzo & Monnezza), Nino Pazzafini, Sal Borgese

Vincenzo, a hunchback, plans a robbery of an armored police van with his gang. Once the job is pulled, his gang attempt to kill him and the band absconds with the loot. Vincenzo hides in the sewers before looking up his loony friend Monezza whom the police later interrogate for his involvement with vincenzo. Meanwhile, Vincenzo goes about getting revenge on his gang by knocking them off one at the time in various brutal fashion. He locks one in a freezer, lures Borgese away before putting a big hole in his head and greets one of them in the dentist office and performs some surgery with a big drill among other things.

The movie is very different from Lenzi's other cop movies. Humor is prevalent here often times somewhat dark. Milian owns this movie and is apparently playing characters from previous movies. Monnezza from LA BANDA DEL TRUCIDA and Vincenzo I assume from ROMA A MANO ARMATA. I do not speak Italian but understand some of it. Some of the scenes are quite humorous what I could make out. One involves Monnezza scarfing down lots of marijiuana as the police close in. He is taken into custody and upon being taken into an interrogation room, he sees a hippy and assumes it's Jesus come to take him away. There is even a line referring to a Claudia Cardinale movie!

It would be really interesting to know everything that is being said, but from what I gathered, some of the humor would be lost in translation. Another funny bit involves Monnezza inside a mental institution.

As a movie, the film is very average. There is very little action and in these scenes it would appear that Lenzi had little to no time to pull off convincing set pieces. The sole reason to watch is of course Milian. And not just one Milian performance but two. Also, it is most unusual to see a Lenzi Crime movie, much less a Lenzi movie period that features very little violence and what there is is often times offscreen anyways. The final battle between the crooks and the police is done well enough to make up for the shortcomings in the other brief action bits. The final scene with Vincenzo escaping on a bridge only to have a black cat cross his path proves hauntingly poetic.

This DVD from Federal Video is very good quality and the film has obviously been remastered. Recommended only for Milian's double performance and those that don't mind watching a movie in which they cannot totally understand the language.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 01, 2007, 11:00:40 AM
It was not.
Well the fact that Franco Nero/Commissioner Belli  lookalike Maurizio Merli was brought in to star in many of these movies following HIGH CRIME is just a co-incidence i take it?

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 01, 2007, 01:24:30 PM
I'm not even remotely an expert, Banjo. But, believe me, the wave of these movies started with the Steno's movie.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 01, 2007, 01:31:27 PM
I'm no expert either but from what i've seen or read its probably fair to say both movies had significant degrees of influence over this genre even if the Salerno film was the one that really kickstarted it all.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 01, 2007, 01:44:11 PM
I don't know about influence. Maybe.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 04, 2007, 09:36:32 AM
Review of Enzo Castellari's THE BIG RACKET(1976)

Fabio Testi is in brilliant form here playing Inspector Nico Palmieri,a ruthless cop with unorthodox methods trying to break up an violent protection racket that is wreaking chaos among the businesses of Rome.A particularly nasty group of heavys from the racket are in some cases even smashing or burning down shops/restaurants , raping innocent young girls simply to set an example before any money is extracted.

Palmieri has his work cut out because whenever he comes close to nailing down the bad guys he is either thwarted by shop owners being too petrified to testify,or the crooked defence lawyer again and again getting the bad guys off the hook.And early on in the movie whilst trying to track them,he just about survives being pushed of a cliff edge by the sadistic gang.

When a foiled police ambush results in the death of his partner,Palmieri decides on going to further extremes by MAGNIFICENT SEVEN style,recruiting various civilian victims or criminal victims all of which have a grudge or motive of defeating the organisation and typically for a Castellari movie,the climax ended in a tremendous shootout out where the Palmieri's "dirty half-dozen" open fire where all the racket big-wigs are holding a meeting in a factory.
 
This movie is maybe not as thought provoking as Castellari's landmark HIGH CRIME but makes up for it by being faster paced and including much more violence and action.Like HIGH CRIME and STREET LAW this contains a score from the De Angelis Brothers though this uptempo electric guitar music is totally unlike the wonderfully moody and atmospheric scores in those films.

Highly recommended,and i'm looking forward to catching Castellari's DAY OF THE COBRA shortly.

My rating 9 out of 10. O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 04, 2007, 11:13:08 AM
Fine review Banjo! I don't think I ever did one for this film. But you summed it up nicely. It should also be mentioned that Vincent Gardenia from DEATH WISH appeared here in a big role alongside Testi.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 04, 2007, 11:40:24 AM
LA CITTA' SCONVOLTA: CACCIA SPIETATA AI RAPITORI 1975- aka KIDNAP SYNDICATE

Luc Merenda, James Mason

Two young boys are kidnapped from school, one belonging to a wealthy industrialist named Fillipini(Mason), the other from Mario Corelli, a poor mechanic (Merenda). The criminals ask for billions in lire for their return. Fillipini would rather negotiate a cheaper deal for the exchange while Corelli would give up everything he has for his son. Soon after, the crooks become annoyed and murder one of the boys and only then does Fillipini pay what they want. Corelli, meanwhile, takes the law into his own hands.

Another fine crime film from master director Fernando di Leo. Luc Merenda is very, very good here and di Leo gets an emotional performance out of him here that contrasts nicely with Mason's coldness of his character. One dialog exchange sums up both characters perfectly. Corelli yells to Fillipini he would gladly give up everything he owns for the safe return of his son. Fillipini's response is simply--"But you have nothing."

Mason is in the film for a few scenes but once Merenda goes after the criminals he's not seen again. The finale is suitably violent where Corelli machine guns the bad guys in the top level of a business highrise then casually walks out gun in hand to get the sole remaining villaine where  the final confrontation takes place in a closed fairground. The last dialog exchange between Corelli and the last crook is excellent accompanied by the sounds of many sirens in the background.

Vittorio Caprioli is great as Commissioner Mangrini turning in another fine performance here. It's much more emotionally charged than his sarcastically agitated gig in the classic MILANO CALIBRO 9.

The only problem I have with the film is a problem in many of di Leo's movies. A minor quibble, but during the scene where Corelli executes the crooks in the building with the machine gun, there's no blood at all. No squibs save for the last guy. It's just jarring when you see holes erupt in walls but nothing on the people being shot especially when they're wearing bright colored clothing. All of di Leo's movies I've seen are like this. There's many scenes of startling violence but seldom use of squibs. I don't know why. di Leo's production schedules were longer than his fellow crime directors so I don't understand why squibs weren't employed more often. Anyway, a minor complaint nonetheless.

The documentary on this Raro release is very informative and runs nearly 30 minutes. The actual film is discussed little while NICK THE STING, another di Leo movie featuring Merenda is talked about more. Also SHOOT FIRST, DIE LATER is discussed. A great view and features some anecdotes from the man himself which must have already been shot (di Leo died in 2004). He gives an amusing bit of info about directors that did political spaghetti westerns (he doesn't reveal names but di Leo apparently had no love for said directors).

Some good action scenes, a very good Merenda performance and a well thought out storyline.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 04, 2007, 03:36:50 PM
UOMINI SI NASCE POLIZIOTTI SI MUORE (1976) LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN

Marc Porel, Ray Lovelock, Adolfo Celi

Fred (porel) and Tony (Lovelock) are two young undercover cops whose specialty is excessive force or more accurate, kill first and never have to ask
questions later. They foil a robbery and piss off a crime lord, The Boss (Celi) who has their partner gunned down in front of the police station. The two
rogue policemen then go about breaking up his operations as well as going to his home and setting ablaze his guests vehicles. The two cops eventually have a hit put out on them and get the chance to dispatch more of the Boss's gang until a somewhat weak but surprise finale involving the superior of the twovigilante cops.

Ruggero Deodato's warm up before his notorious cannibal flick THE LAST CANNIBAL WORLD which led to much publicized scandal with the subsequent classic CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Here Deodato, as usual, shows a keen eye for action and setting up shots. The many accusations that this is the nastiest of the POLIZIOTTESHI is a bit exagerrated. While there is numerous violent scenes and much nudity it seems a bit tame compared to Fulci's CONTRABAND with Fabio Testi. Possibly in lieu of the reception given CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST did this film garner its reputation.

One scene is according to Deodato, lost forever where one of the failed minions of the Boss has his eye gouged out and is summarily squashed underfoot in close up. All you see is the bad guy digging into the socket as it cuts away but the way Deodato describes the scene it was apparently shot almost verbatim in Tarantino's KILL BILL 2.

The two leads are fine although they are completely unsympathetic as they at times are more sadistic than the villains themselves! They both are at the same time arrogant and charming but when the time comes to dispatch crooks they become just as murderous. Marc Porel, a french actor is a dead ringer for Michael Pare and co-star/singer Lovelock contributes a couple of songs to the soundtrack. One thing I noticed and it is confirmed in the 40 minute documentary is the similarities to Porel and Lovelock to the American show STARSKY & HUTCH. One is blonde and the other dark haired as well as wearing similar clothing although Porel-lovelock ride a motorcycle. Lovelock makes mention of this stating that the show had yet to premiere on Italian TV but wondered if the producer had already seen it and incorporated it into the script.

The film was written by Fernando Di Leo who was already a well known director of Italian crime cinema with his Milieu trilogy that featured Henry Silva and
Woody Strode among others.

Deodato's then wife Sylvia Dionisio (as well as her sister; both very pretty) is on hand as well.

The movie is fine if a bit over-rated and has enough original elements to rise above other entries in this genre.
I've just finished watching this movie today and  was struck by the Starsky & Hutch similarities with regard to their appearance and the obvious very close bonding between the two cops.At one point,they even take turns bedding the same woman.Though undoutably both Porel and Lovelock possess some charm,with their cold detached criminal tendencies they aren't actually very likeable yet maybe that was the directors intention here.
However from the polizio's i've seen so far for leading characters neither cut it as well as the likes of Merli,Milian,Saxon,Silva,Testi,Nero all of whom convince as charismatic hard men in the Dirty Harry tradition and for me Lovelock was more effective as the impressionable guy who was unfortunate to be taken under Milians wing in ALMOST HUMAN.
Anyway as regards the rest of the movie,its OK with the spectacular opening motorcycle chase easily being the highlight of the movies but unfortunately the finale is disappointingly one huge unsatisfactory anti-climax.I didn't even think it was that violent so i'm left to conclude that this movie is overated and as such i give it a 6 out of 10 rating. ???
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 05, 2007, 04:23:19 AM
SQUADRA ANTISCIPPO 1976- COP IN BLUE JEANS

Tomas Milian, Jack Palance, Maria Rosaria Omaggia, Franco Garafolo

Nico Giraldi (Milian) heads a group of motorcycle police officers that are in the process of busting up a wave of robberies. When one of the crooks rips off a brief case containing 5 million US from an American mobster named Shelley (Palance), the Mob goes after them. Milian uses one of the small time thieves to lure out Shelley.

A wonderful crime movie with a large smattering of humor that retains its seriousness. I have heard the remaining ten sequels are straight comedies. Bruno Corbucci handles the numerous action scenes and stunts well and displays a knack for such sequences.

Milian, in his most memorable role in Italy, is obviously having a grand time as the swaggering, unkempt Giraldi. One funny scene in a discoteque has Milian wearing a hat with his real name written all over it. Apparently, Milian patterns his unshaven, dirty look after Pacino in SERPICO. There are numerous posters for the film all the walls in Giraldi's apartment. Milian sported this look previously in Lenzi's SYNDICATE SADISTS the previous year.

As mentioned earlier the stunts are fine and exciting for their time, but on more than a few occassions it's most obvious Milian is being doubled in both the fight scenes and the scenes involving him on his motorcycle. But then, Milian is an actor, not a fighter. Milian also showcases a closet full of wool hats with a myriad of different designs. He also has a pet mouse that pops up from time to time. The final scene is both cute and funny.

Palance is very good as the mobster Shelley who also doubles as a diplomat for the American Embassy in Italy. He's not in the film very much but his scenes are memorable. He's first seen disposing of one of his subordinates and is absent for most of the film until the extended finale where Giraldi chases him on his motorbike.

Omaggia is eye candy here and becomes Giraldi's girlfriend. She provides a bit of nudity and is seen in skimpy attire on a couple of occassions. She figures amusingly in the disco scene where Giraldi tries to get information from a homosexual who keeps feeling him up. Omaggia also shows ample skin in Umberto Lenzi's action packed, ultra-violent and gory zombie horror film NIGHTMARE CITY (1980).

This is the Raro DVD and it contains both the Italian and the English versions and a 15 minute doc on Milian which is conspicuous by his absence. Sadly, there are no subs on this documentary. The print used here has not been remastered as pristinely as previous Raro releases. From what I've found out Corbucci directed the remaining films in this series. I wonder if they are all as good as this one?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 05, 2007, 04:26:00 AM
ROMA VIOLENTA 1975- aka VIOLENT ROME

Maurizio Merli, Richard Conte, Ray Lovelock, John Steiner

I understand very little Italian so this synopsis is from what I could make out as this DVD had no english track nor subtitles.

Commissioner Betti (Merli) transfers to Rome to help quell the abundant crime and violence in the city. His methods prove to be as destructive as the criminals themselves. He is relieved of duty and is ultimately hired out by a rich business man (Conte) to lead a private group of vigilantes to eliminate as much scum as possible.

Maurizio Merli's first euro crime actioner is one mean mother and an outstanding start that would produce close to a dozen more violent Italo crime pictures. Merli commands your attention in every scene he is in and only needs to give an intimidating scowl to let you know somebody is about to get hurt. Merli, the king of the bitch slap gets to dole out mucho punishment here and director Marino Girolami (father to Enzo Castellari) gives him ample opportunity to do so.

The fight scenes are very good for a change and aren't as telegraphed as they are in so many Italian action films especially their westerns. Some of them are quite brutal such as the one where two men (including polizio regular Luciano Rossi) are caught after brutally raping Conte's daughter. Merli and his group viciously beat the two men with chains, baseball bats and crowbars. The beating Merli dishes out on a bus is also memorable.

The one scene that stands out most of all involves Merli chasing some crooks who have robbed a grocery store and murdered a woman and gunned down Betti's friend (Lovelock) in the process. Merli relentlessly chases the two men all over Rome. When they fail to lose him, they machine gun some women and children on the street in an attempt to get Betti to stop and see to the civilian casualties. Amazingly, Betti continues with the chase which ends up on the Freeway where the two villains attempt to lose Betti in the traffic. Needless to say, things end badly for the bad guys in what appears to be a modernized take on the famous gun duel seen in so many westerns. Merli would reprise his role as Betti in Lenzi's sequel NAPOLI VIOLENTA (1976).

Conte isn't in the film until 53 minutes in but his presence is welcome as he had become a regular face in these movies usually playing Mafia types similar to his portrayal in Coppola's GODFATHER.

Lovelock plays a character called 'The Blonde'(?) He takes a great deal of punishment throughout the movie for helping Betti nail the bad guys. The ending is a bit strange as Betti leaves Lovelock in the rest home and he foresees Betti gunned down in the street. As Betti turns the corner, we see a car approaching from behind him as the screen freezes before the credits roll.

An excellent Merli movie that desperately needs a US DVD release or at least a subtitled release from somewhere. There is an interview with Ray Lovelock here as well as a 7 minute doc on Italian crime movies by Daniele Magni and Silvio Giobbio who have apparently written a book on the subject bearing the title of Lenzi's THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST also starring Merli. The doc is specifically about Merli and shows shots from HIGH CRIME probably in lieu of the producers wanting a Nero look-alike for similar movies. Sadly, like the movie, none of these features have english subtitles.

There is a poster in the crime doc for a Merli movie entitled ITALIA A MANO ARMATA from 1976 with John Saxon that was made before Lenzi's ROMA A MANO ARMATA. Haven't heard of the former. Some other Merli movies which are listed on this DVD which I may know under a different name are POLIZIOTTO SENZA PAURA (1977), POLIZIOTTO SPRINT (1977 this may be the Merli movie where he is a motorbike racer), UN POLIZIOTTO SCOMODO (1978) SBIRRO, LA TUA LEGGE E LENTA...LA MIA NO! (1979) and POLIZIOTTO SOLITUDINE E RABBIA (1980). Any information on these others would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 05, 2007, 10:59:55 AM
IL, BOSS- 1973 aka THE BOSS

Henry Silva, Richard Conte, Gianni Garko, Antonia Santilli

A hitman named Lanzetta kills a number of mob bosses in a private movie theater. In retaliation, Rina Daniello, the daughter of a rival crime family is kidnapped. Lanzetta is then sent to retrieve her. An ultimate plan to remove opposition in Don Corrasco's (Richard Conte) path is devised to leave only one "Family" in charge but this also includes Lanzetta who could be a major threat in the future.

Fernando di Leo's final film in his Mileau trilogy is the most violent and one of the best movies about the mafia ever made. This trilogy is di Leo's GODFATHER series. Only these films are separate entities with each film independent of the others. The first film dealing with the whereabouts of stolen mob money complete with a great double twist at the end, the second about a fall guy on the run from mob hitmen not knowing why they want him dead. And finally, the third about deceipt and treachery within the criminal organizations as well as the police force itself with the cunning and extremely intelligent hitman at the center of it all.

This third film almost didn't get released at all as di Leo brazenly used names of real individuals involved in criminal activity at the time one even being a religious figure. The names were changed only by adding or taking away a letter so people knew who was being referred to. The film went out anyway.

The opening is effectively brutal as Lanzetta sneaks into the private theater and kills the bosses with a grenade launcher! He then blows a couple of other guys up before taking a few more out with his silencer pistol. 

Henry Silva delivers one of his best roles I've seen as the seemingly unstoppable Lanzetta. He delivers a swaggering coolness to his character complete with many great lines of dialog. He is constantly one step ahead of the game but di Leo masterfully films the movie in such a fashion that you, the audience, are never quite sure what will happen next or if Lanzetta is truly going to survive.

He is Don Corrasco's head man and trusts him fully. Lanzetta has yet to fail him on a job. Corrasco is pressured by the other members of the syndicate to either make peace with his lead rival, or eliminate him completely. Corrasco decides there isn't enough room for both of them and decides to eradicate his rival and all his boys. When the hit is bungled, Corrasco is faced with eliminating Lanzetta to save face for attacking the other big boss. However, Lanzetta has plans of his own.

Once Silva has rescued the girl, he realizes what a drunken whore she is. In a scene prior she is seen enjoying the criminals taking turns having their way with her. After Lanzetta whisks her off to his apartment, her charms begin to work on him as well. After Lanzetta learns of the scheme to get him out of the way, he prepares for a final showdown with Corrasco and at the same time, deals with the crooked and corrupt Commissario Torri (Garko). Another double twist at the finale ends with a "continued..." title on the screen.

Conte (THE GODFATHER) is perfect as the mafia head Don Corrasco. He would die later that year. Conte also played a mafioso in Sergio Martino's classic THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS (1973).

Spaghetti western star and Robert Redford look-alike Gianni Garko is also good if a little hammy as the slightly loony Commissario Torri assigned to busting the "Family". He is secretly under the Mobs' employ. His scenes with his superior are very funny. Garko and Silva share one of the most memorable scenes together.

Santilli is also very good as the nymphomaniac daughter of one of the syndicate heads. She stays naked or in stages of undress through much of the movie.

Another film is included on a separate DVD entitled KILLER VS. KILLERS aka DEATH COMMANDO from 1985 and also directed by Fernando di Leo. The film was unreleased and is offered here in italian with english subs only. By this time, italian cinema had run its course and nearly all genre films whether it be action or horror was a lifeless shell of its former self. Judging by the first few minutes of KILLER VS. KILLERS (also starring Silva) it's not very good.

Watched this today,an utterly brilliant film and as good as anything i've seen so far in this genre.

I enjoyed Henry Silva in HILLS RUN RED and ASSASSINATION but i'm now a huge fan and like AC says Lanzetta(Silva) is compelling as  the cool hard-faced hitman who  outwits everyone and is ruthlessly efficient in dealing with his would be assassins.

Yes Gianni Garko with his greased back hair and waving arms is surprisingly goofy as the crooked police commisioner but the scenes shared with Silva are priceless.

And Conte makes for a better Godfather than Brando.

Great storyline.

My rating,10 out of 10 O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 08, 2007, 11:04:35 AM
THE HEROIN BUSTERS 1977- LA VIA DELLA DROGA

Fabio Testi, David Hemmings

Two cops go deep undercover to bust open a Heroin smuggling ring.

Probably Castellari's most cold movie I've seen of his. It's not all that good although there are several directorial flourishes that you are not used to seeing from the man. Castellari could be quite inventive when he wanted to. One need look no further than his classic 1976 gothic western KEOMA. Here, the tone is also very grim but even more bleak because it deals with a very real problem that is still relevant today and will probably be relevant until the end of time.

Of the two main actors Hemmings is the most memorable with his many Merli inspired temper tantrums but he is not a presence in the action department which is left up to a very thin Fabio Testi. He sleepwalks through this one. Testi has a good look but he seems to not be all that interested in being in this movie. It also appears to have been shot with live sound even though the many italian actors are dubbed. The actor (whose name I cannot remember) that played in Castellari's hilarious JAWS rip-off THE LAST SHARK as the resort owner who refused to close the beaches, here plays the main drug king pin and he isn't very memorable either. He never really does anything to make him a strong villain. He seems more like a simple thug than anything else.

There are numerous occassions where the film could explore its possibilities further involving the deep cover cops played by Testi and Hemmings but the film misses these opportunities at every turn and opts instead for numerous scenes of people shooting up and action set pieces. There's more of the former than the latter but when there's action, it's done very well. Castellari is in his element directing action and he doesn't disappoint here. The finale features a nifty motorcycle chase that culminates with an airplane duel which seems to go on for a bit longer than need be. According to Castellari on the commentary track, the long shots of the planes were all remote control planes.

The film has some good bits but not enough for me to really recommend it although I will look at it again to hear the complete commentary track.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 08, 2007, 11:05:12 AM
LOADED GUNS 1974- aka COLPO IN CANNA

Ursula Andress, Woody Strode, Marc Porel

Even though there is an english version on this disc from Raro, I honestly cannot describe what this movie is supposed to be about. An empowered and sexually liberated woman (Andress) who is an airline stewardess by day and maneating vixen by night sets two gangs against each other in a Euro Crime parody of the genre in another tired redux of FISTFUL OF DOLLARS.

First, the crooks are never explained as to what it is that makes them crooks in the first place. If it is, I missed it. Woody Strode is the main "villain" yet he never seems to leave the one room you see him in the duration of the picture until the end when the film becomes a modern day TRINITY spectacle without any of the imagination or ingenuity.

Strode seems to be uncomfortable appearing in this and seems to have died and then brought back to life as he lumbers around like the Frankenstein monster. He is seen so little, that I had forgotten that he was in the movie. That would be due to the many numerous scenes of undress Andress finds herself in. In fact, if there were one reason to sit through this torture, it would be to watch the various times Ursula strips down for the camera. After about the third or fourth time she disrobes I said to myself, di Leo was obviously very horny when writing and directing this movie. And that was somewhat confirmed in the 20 minute doc on the DVD. Incidentally, the doc is miles away better than the film.

According to the makers, di Leo fantasised about Andress for years and only he and one other person wanted her for the role. No one else did as most of the crew felt she was "over-the-hill". In a funny bit one of the crew reminisces about Andress's crows feet and cellulite. She is still very attractive here and she is not at all shy about bearing it all. Also on the doc, the makers seem embarrassed to be associated with this movie and some of them try vainly to find something good to say about the whole affair. Yes, the notion of an independent and sexually empowering woman was risque in Italy at the time, but when the film with a character such as this is done so poorly as this one, this story arc is rendered useless.

Porel is here more or less to bed down with Andress when she feels like it in between making the other cast members swoon and turn to jelly which seems to happen wherever she goes. Romolo Puppo falls for it twice in the same scene! Some of the comedy is funny and viewing the italian version is better and funnier than the dub track but it improves the experience little.

The ridiculous finale featuring a near 15 minute fight between the two gangs is one of the most poorly and shoddy excuses for a fight sequence I have ever seen. If only this scene was a parody of the far too many bad fight scenes in Italian westerns and action movies then this scene would be the funniest bit of the entire flick. Sadly, I don't think that was the intention.

The english release title LOADED GUNS perfectly sums up Andress's endowment and would have been a perfect title to market this as a sexploitation movie since it succeeds more on that level than it does as a Euro crime picture. There's nary a gun in sight save for one or two (brief) glaringly out of place scenes of violence.

The repetitive and vaudevillian score is from Luis Bacalov.

I've tried to find something in the film to recommend and the only thing there is to warrant a view would again, be the numerous times you see Andress naked and they must have spent a bundle on costuming because when she isn't stepping out of her clothes, she's changing into some other revealing or sexy outfit. That's the only recommendation I can give on this one.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 08, 2007, 01:00:34 PM
Quote
Watched this today,an utterly brilliant film and as good as anything i've seen so far in this genre.

I couldn't disagree most. I saw it some months ago and found it goofy, badly directed and cheap both in production values and ideas which should make up for them.   
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 09, 2007, 04:41:44 AM
Are there any movies from this genre which you enjoy Titoli?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 09, 2007, 05:25:49 AM
Well, I did see a handful, maybe. Steno's movie, I liked it very much when I saw it, but I was a teenager, don't know if I would now. Castellari's first I saw it a few months ago and surely liked it better than this. I have some Merli waiting for me, but I still haven't found the guts to watch them. Of course, I like and see often the later Milian's, but as they are comedies, they can appeal (and they still do) only to italian audiences.
The problem with this genre is that when these movies were produced there were other american products which were better played, produced, directed and generally tought up. I saw all these italian products for what they were: cheap b-productions.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 09, 2007, 02:25:24 PM
I've found another euro crime movie with the exact same plot as LA POLIZIO RANGRAZIA only this one was released the year before.

Cheap B productions? I find the loose fashion in which people use the term funny. No one here seems to know what a 'B' film really is.

But yes these movies were less expensive copies of American product. That doesn't make them any less good. Who says a movie has to have 100 million dollars to be good?

Nearly all these spaghetti westerns and many of the AMerican westerns that are slathered over here are as you say- "cheap B productions", to use the term in the manner in which you did.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 09, 2007, 03:05:22 PM
YOUNG, VIOLENT & DANGEROUS 1976- aka LIBERI, ARMATI E PERICOLOSI

Tomas Milian, Eleonora Giorgi, Stefano Patrizi

Three young men go a crime spree that escalates into an out of control binge of violence that results in a manhunt for the young murderers headed by a determined commissioner (Milian).

Romolo Guerrieri (cousin of Enzo Castellari) directs this Fernando di Leo scripted movie based on a novel by Giorgio Scerbanenco. He also did the spaghetti western 10,000 BLOOD MONEY and a couple of the post nuke movies that were briefly popular in the 80s including the awful EXTERMINATORS FROM THE YEAR 3000. I've seen his name on numerous peplums as an AD I think.

Milian is quite different here and extremely "mature" and controlled in his role of the persistent police commissioner out to arrest the junior criminals. Those expecting another madcap, over-the-top performance will either be surprised or disappointed.

A very well made Euro crime thriller that contains some hidden connotations between the relationships of the two principle crooks and Patrizi's girlfriend. There is also much to think about for the younger generation of the time in Milan considering the criminality that was rampant during the 70s all over Italy. Also the issue of the criminals parents is brought to light considering they're all rich and repercussions from years of neglect being responsible for their cruel behavior may seem a bit extreme for such a rampant murder spree but it does give you something else to think about aside from the near constant diatribes on the legal system of the day.

A very similar movie was released the year prior entitled VIOLENCE FOR KICKS but that film was pure exploitation and had no redeeming values whatsoever. That's not a bad thing mind you, but Sergio Grieco's direction in the other film is no match for Guerrieri's here.

American filmmaker Penelope Spheeris must have seen this movie while making THE BOYS NEXT DOOR (1986) starring Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caulfield which had a similar plot to this film. Here, it was two hoodlum friends who were social outcasts and a weekend in the city proves deadly when one of them goes further and further over the deep end until the two are surrounded inside a mall after hours.

I haven't watched the doc on this disc from Raro yet, but there seems to be some kind of homo-erotic tendencies between the two main crooks, the mastermind behind the group and the driver whose girlfriend (Giorgi) is constantly at war with him to stand on his own two feet.

There is also a line that reveals that the gang leader is impotent and one scene involves their near discovery by helicopter and the leader grabs the girl and lays her down half naked in a field to try and throw the cops off their trail. This could also be seen another way. That he was trying to prove that he could become excited by the touch of a woman's flesh. I'm sure the doc will speak on this subject. There are several scenes where the leader looks at Patrizi with near lustful eyes that gives the impression the reason for his "impotence", is that he is not turned on at all by women.

A fascinating movie just the same with a great unexpected ending.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 09, 2007, 03:27:05 PM
Here's a bit about the other movie that has the same plot as RANGRAZIA...

Kill (aka Kill!, 1971)
WIDE-SCREEN PICTURE
ENGLISH LANGUAGE WITH FINNISH SUBTITLES
Directed by Romain Gary, France / Italy / Spain / West Germany
Drugs are taking over Italy, and the police feel like they're fighting a losing battle and a ready to give up. James Mason is in charge of a special unit designed to break up the drug rings. Stephan Boyd is an assassin out to kill whoever is working undercover. A hard-edged crime film that pulls no punches! With Curd Jürgens and Jean Seberg and an amazing score by Berto Pisano.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 09, 2007, 03:29:11 PM
Quote
Nearly all these spaghetti westerns and many of the AMerican westerns that are slathered over here are as you say- "cheap B productions",

Actually, most of the spags I'm reviewing can be bestowed the letter B only by convention. Actually they are any letter form s to z.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 10, 2007, 04:30:20 AM
Other than the DIRTY HARRY films and FRENCH CONNECTION and the odd Bronson movie i can't think of any American crime thrillers from  that period which i enjoy and watch regularly.Money doesn't always equate to quality and just like the sw's improved on and kept me into westerns into adulthood,i prefer the crime thrillers of Castelalari and Di Leo for the  added ingrediants included in their movies.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 10, 2007, 09:04:47 AM
The opening is effectively brutal as Lanzetta sneaks into the private theater and kills the bosses with a grenade launcher! He then blows a couple of other guys up before taking a few more out with his silencer pistol. 
That sublime opening scene from ILL BOSS  O0

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hh-xR-OE824
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 10, 2007, 09:32:30 AM
This was a good one:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070672/

Another:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071259/


Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 10, 2007, 10:16:52 AM
This was a good one:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070672/

Another:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071259/



Thanks Titoli,the dvd from thetop link,THE SEVEN UPS(1973) comes at a nice price too.  :)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 10, 2007, 10:38:13 AM
Let me know if they are any good as I remember them.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 10, 2007, 10:39:40 AM
Another came to mind:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070022/
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 10, 2007, 10:51:34 AM
And another:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069761/
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 10, 2007, 02:35:26 PM
Let me know if they are any good as I remember them.
Thanks Titoli and i may very well check some of these out. O0

Seems to me that you may be a closet fan of this genre ;)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 10, 2007, 03:00:51 PM
MANHUNT- 1972 aka LA MALA ORDINA

Mario Adorf, Henry Silva, Woody Strode, Luciana Paluzzi

Two hitmen from NY are sent to Milan to take out Luca Canalli, a small time pimp. Only he doesn't know why the Mob wants him dead. The truth comes out late in the film and the finale between Canalli and the hitmen in a junk yard brings the proceedings to a close.

The sequel to MILAN CALIBRE 9 is just about as good as its predecessor. It doesn't miss it by much though. There is lots to like here. Silva (Dave) and his partner Frank (Strode) work very well together. At first it seems Dave has forgotten the mission as he spends his first few scenes trying to bed down various Italian women including Paluzzi, their guide. Later on, Dave becomes even more vicious than his partner. Make no mistake, Silva and Strode are the villains here in addition to the various mob characters.

Silva gets some great lines and Strode is damn HUGE here looking like a black terminator. This movie was marketed as a blaxploitation film in some markets back in the 70s.

Mario Adorf is really a very versatile actor. Having done a few westerns then his memorable turn as the sadistic mafia cronie in MILAN CALIBRE 9. Here, although he runs prostitutes, he takes care of his family. He is a rather interesting character. When he becomes embroiled in some dirty deals with the mob, he reacts about the way anybody else would in the situation especially when his family is threatened. You never find out just why he's wanted by both the Italian and the NY branch of the Mafia until near the end.

Adorf even did his own stunts. One especially dangerous car chase that ends up with Adorf first hanging from the door of the car then onto the front while it speeds down a narrow alleyway and the street. The violence is upped just a bit from last time as well. There's also a touching bit at the end in the junkyard when the hitmen are searching for Canalli and a small kitten he was petting keeps following him around.

There's also an unusually high amount of nudity on display although Paluzzi never gets undressed. Future wife of Ruggero Deodato Sylvia Koschina plays Adorf's wife here in a small role. This is probably the only movie I've seen with her where she also kept her clothes on.

Another exciting De Leo movie gets a great presentation from Raro of Italy. There's a documentary on the film but no english subs. The biography and filmography has both italian and english text.

I watched a bit of the third film entitled THE BOSS with Silva, Richard Conte and Gianni Garko. It starts off quite violently with SIlva blowing up a theater full of mobsters watching porn movies using rockets. Garko is the commissioner assigned to the case.

One thing I've noticed about De Leo's crime movies or at least this series, is that they are about the mob itself as opposed to just criminals or crime bosses as in numerous other polizios.
I've just finished watching MANHUNT and as good as Di Leo's movies are it was great for once to be able to watch this one through without having to keep pausing and rewinding(i'm gonna watch MILAN CALIBRE 9 through again before commenting).

Yes Mario Adorf (as Canalli) seems like a very unlikely hero/leading man  and at the start of the movie he comes across as this despicable slimeball pimp,and initially  i found myself hoping that Dave(Silva) and Frank(Strode) manage to nail him.But as it transpires that Canalli has been set up,loses his wife and kid and spends the whole movie frantically fighting for his survival whilst not knowing why he's a marked man,i found myself rooting for him in the end.

Dave and Frank are undoubtably the cool characters in this movie but unfortunately only really feature heavily during the beginning and finale.Adolfo Celi(Largo in THUNDERBALL) with dyed brown hair is excellent as the obnoxious Milan mafia Don who'll ruthlessly gun down his own men on a whim.

Out of the trilogy i'd say this is probably the least remarkable,though not to say its not excellent and its definitely contains the most action .The other two are considerably more talky with MILAN CALIBRE 9 possibly too much so.

I enjoyed the extra nude totty and i happily give this one an 8 out of 10 rating. O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 10, 2007, 03:03:57 PM
I didn't find MILAN CALIBRE 9 talky at all. Maybe it was just my mood at the time. It's a shame that both discs of special features on the MILAN special edition have no subs.

Did you notice the similarities between Silva and Strode to Travolta and Jackson in PULP FICTION?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 10, 2007, 03:07:41 PM
I didn't find MILAN CALIBRE 9 talky at all. Maybe it was just my mood at the time. It's a shame that both discs of special features on the MILAN special edition have no subs.

Did you notice the similarities between Silva and Strode to Travolta and Jackson in PULP FICTION?
It may have seemed that way because i watched it very late two nights ago and i kept nodding off while trying to take in Frank Wolfs lengthy political exchanges with Luigi Pistilli,so a 2nd viewing may give me a completely different outlook on the movie.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 10, 2007, 03:08:33 PM
Did you notice the similarities between Silva and Strode to Travolta and Jackson in PULP FICTION?
Hey now you mention it! ;)
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 10, 2007, 03:11:39 PM
It may have seemed that way because i watched it very late two nights ago and i kept nodding off while trying to take in Frank Wolfs lengthy political exchanges with Luigi Pistilli,so a 2nd viewing may give me a completely different outlook on the movie.

I think the speeches between Wolff and Pistilli was to show there characters from the point of view of where they came from, one being from the 'North' and the other from the 'South'. Also the gradual transformation Wolffs character becomes towards the end in reference to the way he perceives Wolff.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 10, 2007, 03:22:36 PM
I think i need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed to appreciate this next time around. :-[

I actually found Wolffs ranting a little irritating and OTT and was more interested in seeing how the wrongly accused man(as we're led to believe) was progressing in tracking down the real culprit.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 11, 2007, 05:48:08 AM
Quote
Seems to me that you may be a closet fan of this genre

I saw them all at the theatre when they were released. Saw them again in the '80's on TV and no more since. Maybe now I'd find they are just as crappy as the italian ones, still I loved them at the time for the way they pictured urban realities, expecially NYC. The photography is what I liked most (which is strange, as in Italy we had the best operators but the photography of italian police movies doesn't come up as dirty as that of the american movies, though our cities are just as dirty as NYC was at the time). Now our cities are dirtier and NYC clean, after the Giuliani's years. They'd make a good scenary for police stories, but all we have is tv serials of clean looking policemen and, puah, policewomen. 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 12, 2007, 07:00:16 AM
I particularly enjoy the change of scenery Rome,Milan,Genoa,Naples etc in these films as opposed to NYC or San Francisco and all those small Italian cars. :)

Its a shame to hear that some of your cities are now geting a bit worse for wear now. :(
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on July 12, 2007, 07:49:33 AM
Review for DAY OF THE COBRA(Enzo Castellari,1980)

Franco Nero is Larry "Cobra" Stanziani,dressed in a "Columbo" mack and matching beige hat, he's a struggling private investigator based in the USA.He is contacted by Goldsmith(William Berger) from the narcotics bureau to investigate the criminal activities of Serge Kandinsky,a mysterious limping black clad figure with a huge heel on one boot but we never see his face.In the opening scene we see a frantic chase involving two men culminating in Kandinsky stabbing the chased man with a blade hidden in his walking cane before extracting a key taped to the dead mans body.We learn that Stanziani has just come out of prison after being made a scapecoat resulting from a previous attempt to nail Kandinsky.

Stanziani is offered money and his old position back with the bureau so immediately flies over to Genoa .He soon finds out a bunch heavies are onto him as he's persues his old nemesis,and often ends up ducking and diving while being shot at or getting into various well choreographed fisticufs including a great violent scrap with a transvestite at a nightclub.

As Stanziani's investigations continues it seems that the motives of his employer and Genoa associates are not quite what they seemed,and that he and his son(Genoa is the Cobras hometown)
are being used as pawns in a very dangerous game.

Though nowhere near reaching the heights of either HIGH CRIME or STREET LAW,this movie still manages to deliver the all the suspense,action, and neat finale twist of a Castellari/Nero thriller .But there's also being plenty of humour thrown in for good measure including a scene with a half naked Nero standing in a dry cleaners after hitting the deck while being covered by tons of fish.And to cap it all, a pretty decent bass driven musical score.

My verdict,a recommended 7 out of 10. O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 12, 2007, 03:10:59 PM
La polizia ringrazia will be on TV next week, late at night. I'll try to make a recording and be back at you. In that movie there's a very pretty girl showing her tits which is the only scene I remember from the movie.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on November 26, 2007, 03:03:41 PM
For those who are interested I amended the EURO CRIME overview adding some additional info and correcting some mistakes I found. I had to break it up into two posts though.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Franks Harmonica on November 27, 2007, 03:22:26 AM
I PADRONI DELLA CITTA' 1976- aka RULERS OF THE CITY aka MR. SCARFACE

Two young friends initiate themselves into a gang to get close to big time crime boss Mr. Scarface (Palance) to get revenge for a childhood murder and destroy his mob.

Fernando di Leo's third chapter in his second Euro Crime trilogy is a disappointing affair. The film starts out strong but slowly peters out after that and never regains steam until the final 15 minutes when the friend lure Scarface's mob into an abandoned factory where a ferocious gun battle complete with explosions takes place. There are very few action scenes other than numerous fist fights and nothing at all similar to other entries in the genre. Maybe I'll give it another view later but as of now, it's a big letdown considering reviews amp up the sleaze factor and aside from one brief bit of a gangster hanging by a meathook from his throat, the film is tame in comparison to other di Leo movies. No one even bleeds when they are shot.

The documentary on the Raro disc is very interesting (moreso than the film) including reminisces from di Leo himself. He says it is a film that gets regular play on Italian television.

Although Palance is featured prominently on the cover as well as the poster, he's barely in the movie. In fact, the US title of MR. SCARFACE is a bit of a misnomer. Palance figures in the nicely done opening but then disappears for large chunks of the film and is even killed off before the big confrontation.

Al Cliver is actually the films real star as he is the child that figures in the opening gundown. But it is Harry Bauer, a German actor, who gets the bulk of the screen time. One scene after another he engages in pseudo martial arts fights with various henchmen leading up to he and Cliver's big gun battle in the run down factory at the conclusion.

Edmund Purdom is also on hand but has even less to do than Palance. He plays Palance's lead rival and exits the film rather quickly and gets no time to shine.

Another beautful restoration from Raro with a fine documentary with subs. The film can either be viewed in Italian, Italian with english subs or the English dub itself. If only the numerous earlier releases from Raro had English tracks or subs.




AC I loved this film! I watched a 35mm print of Mr. Scarface last week with a sold out crowd and although not the quality of DiLeo's earlier films .... it defintely had everything that I needed to cheer! The issue with the film is that you have to like the buggy boy and get into his character ... otherwise you wind up hating the film!
A funny fact a friend of mine brought up was that they probably only had Palance for 3 days of shooting b/c throughout the film Palance only wears 3 different suits! No crime boss would wear the same suit twice in a month!
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Franks Harmonica on November 27, 2007, 04:26:22 AM
Tony Arzenta -AKA- No Way Out- AKA- Big Guns

1973

Dir: Duccio Tessari

Italy / France

Alain Delon ...  Tony Arzenta
 Richard Conte ...  Nick Gusto
 Carla Gravina ...  Sandra
 Marc Porel ...  Domenico Maggio
 Roger Hanin ...  Carré
 Nicoletta Machiavelli ... Anna Arzenta


No Way Out's plot plays out like many films weve seen before, but this one comes attached with the over the top style of the genre great Duccio Tessari and the cool charisma of Alain Delon in it.

Delon plays international Hitman Tony Arzenta who After many years of working for Mob Boss Nick Gusto (Conte) has a change of heart and wants out.
This obviously doesnt sit well with the Bosses and after a meeting its decided to do blow up their former ice-cold  employee. 
Whoops! The bosses boff this one and Tony Arzenta now has a personal Vendetta against every one of his old bosses!

The death scenes in "No Way Out" are absolutely ridiculous! Each death is staged like a Giallo and youll find yourself shouting out loud with each action packed scene! But the best part of this film are the car chase scenes .... Fantastico!

Tessari was no slouch when he tackled this project as he had already made his mark in the Spaghetti Western genre (A Pistol for Ringo, The Return of Ringo)  and The Giallo  (The Bloodstained Butterfly, Death Occured Last Night) so he naturally stepped right into the uber popular Crime films of the time, but he did so with a mighty bang!

This was a big step in the Euro-Crime films as Italy and France teamed up for this co-production bringing international superstar Alain Delon to Italy!

WIth the fantastic supporting cast of  Nicoletta Machiavelli, Carla Gravina, Marc Porel, and Erika Blanc (Kill Baby Kill) This is one of my top 3 Italian Crime films of all time.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Franks Harmonica on November 27, 2007, 04:33:15 AM
I purchased a couple of 16mm Italian Crime films starring Antonio Sabato titled EYE OF THE SPIDER also with Klaus Kinski, and BLACK LEMONS. I have yet to watch these films, and was curious if anyone had seen either film before?

By the way AC .... fantastic thread! Its hard to find anyone that has even heard or seen most of these films.
For my taste ... I think that the 70's Italian Crime films are right on par with the American Film Noir's of the 40's and 50's!
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on November 27, 2007, 06:29:56 AM
I saw Black Lemons in a theatre at the time of release. Boring. And I hate Sabato.

I finally saw again La polizia ringrazia and found it too verbose and didascalic (the journalist bus scene is absurd). Still worth a watching for historic value and Salerno.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on November 27, 2007, 11:30:00 AM
I purchased a couple of 16mm Italian Crime films starring Antonio Sabato titled EYE OF THE SPIDER also with Klaus Kinski, and BLACK LEMONS. I have yet to watch these films, and was curious if anyone had seen either film before?

By the way AC .... fantastic thread! Its hard to find anyone that has even heard or seen most of these films.
For my taste ... I think that the 70's Italian Crime films are right on par with the American Film Noir's of the 40's and 50's!


Thank you Frank, I have about 36 reviews total posted on another forum that specializes in Euro cult movies. I gave up posting them here as so few people seemed interested in them. Many of the guys there have seen far more of these than me and know a lot more about them. Many of those guys buy the multitude of releases without English options. I have a few of those myself as well as a fair handful of fan dubs/subs.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on February 11, 2009, 06:50:54 AM
I PADRONI DELLA CITTA' 1976- aka RULERS OF THE CITY aka MR. SCARFACE

Two young friends initiate themselves into a gang to get close to big time crime boss Mr. Scarface (Palance) to get revenge for a childhood murder and destroy his mob.

Fernando di Leo's third chapter in his second Euro Crime trilogy is a disappointing affair. The film starts out strong but slowly peters out after that and never regains steam until the final 15 minutes when the friend lure Scarface's mob into an abandoned factory where a ferocious gun battle complete with explosions takes place. There are very few action scenes other than numerous fist fights and nothing at all similar to other entries in the genre. Maybe I'll give it another view later but as of now, it's a big letdown considering reviews amp up the sleaze factor and aside from one brief bit of a gangster hanging by a meathook from his throat, the film is tame in comparison to other di Leo movies. No one even bleeds when they are shot.

The documentary on the Raro disc is very interesting (moreso than the film) including reminisces from di Leo himself. He says it is a film that gets regular play on Italian television.

Although Palance is featured prominently on the cover as well as the poster, he's barely in the movie. In fact, the US title of MR. SCARFACE is a bit of a misnomer. Palance figures in the nicely done opening but then disappears for large chunks of the film and is even killed off before the big confrontation.

Al Cliver is actually the films real star as he is the child that figures in the opening gundown. But it is Harry Bauer, a German actor, who gets the bulk of the screen time. One scene after another he engages in pseudo martial arts fights with various henchmen leading up to he and Cliver's big gun battle in the run down factory at the conclusion.

Edmund Purdom is also on hand but has even less to do than Palance. He plays Palance's lead rival and exits the film rather quickly and gets no time to shine.

Another beautful restoration from Raro with a fine documentary with subs. The film can either be viewed in Italian, Italian with english subs or the English dub itself. If only the numerous earlier releases from Raro had English tracks or subs.


I put off watching this for a while after reading this but i have to say that i quite enjoyed it! ;D Yes compared to the first trilogy this is tamer stuff but i thoroughly enjoyed Bauer's (and his accomplices) fun performance of continually taking apart Palance's henchmen and it made a change from Di Leo's usual downbeat movies in this genre.My copy is an appallingly bad pan and scan video sourced dvd which because of some choppy editing i suspect is heavily cut(running time 84 minutes) so it never seemed that Palance(very good indeed as Scarface) was too far away from the action.My only gripe is that he died a bit prematurely for my liking. Also thought that Bacalov's very spare piano/bass/flute/percussions was excellent.

With a better print i could see myself giving this a 7 out of 10 rating.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on February 11, 2009, 01:27:55 PM
Despite the climactic bike chase in that abandoned warhouse I really didn't care for this much.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on February 11, 2009, 02:41:46 PM
I put off watching this for a while after reading this but i have to say that i quite enjoyed it! ;D Yes compared to the first trilogy this is tamer stuff but i thoroughly enjoyed Bauer's (and his accomplices) fun performance of continually taking apart Palance's henchmen and it made a change from Di Leo's usual downbeat movies in this genre.My copy is an appallingly bad pan and scan video sourced dvd which because of some choppy editing i suspect is heavily cut(running time 84 minutes) so it never seemed that Palance(very good indeed as Scarface) was too far away from the action.My only gripe is that he died a bit prematurely for my liking. Also thought that Bacalov's very spare piano/bass/flute/percussions was excellent.

With a better print i could see myself giving this a 7 out of 10 rating.

The Italian dvd runs 92 minutes and Palance really isn't in the movie that much despite being featured prominently on the poster. Palance is much better in SQUADRA ANTISCHIPPO aka COP IN BLUE JEANS.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on February 12, 2009, 05:49:04 PM
Despite the climactic bike chase in that abandoned warhouse I really didn't care for this much.

Not exactly action packed admittedly but i still found this much more fun and exciting than some of the talk only polizio's like BAD COP CHRONICLES  which i'm in no hurry to see again.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on February 12, 2009, 06:25:01 PM
Like the sig from Hitch Hike Banjo O0
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on February 12, 2009, 06:55:39 PM
I'll have to rewatch it to see what Franco Nero was saying to Corrine Clery! :D
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on February 13, 2009, 12:01:40 AM
Does this thread belong in this section?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on February 13, 2009, 12:08:33 AM
Does this thread belong in this section?

Don't think so, but I don't recall putting it here in the first place. ;D
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Novecento on September 21, 2009, 07:35:17 PM
IL GIUSTIZIERE SFIDA LA CITTA- SYNDICATE SADISTS (1975) aka RAMBO'S REVENGE

Rambo (Tomas Milian) a motor cycle riding tough guy comes to town to visit an old friend of his, a cop who is working on busting up mafia activity in the city. His friend tries to get him to become a cop because of his skills but Rambo refuses. When Rambo's friend and girlfriend is killed by the mob, Rambo takes matters into his own hands and goes about setting the two crime families against each other one of which is holding a rich man's son (who is rescued not once, but twice!) for ransom.

One of the mob leaders, Paterno, (Joseph Cotten) knows Rambo and warns him "You should not have come back." (The real reason for his statement isn't revealed until the finale).

Milian is really good here as the gruff and bearded Rambo who is kind to children, even supporting his friend's family after he is murdered and a one man army when dealing with the mob during many action scenes and chases. Milian got the idea for the character when he picked up a copy of the novel FIRST BLOOD, seven years before Stallone would play the character.

Joseph Cotten is also good as the tragic crime boss who fears for his son played by Adolfo Lastretti. Cotten plays the villain a bit differently then the usual crime boss found in these movies.

Director Lenzi again shows much flair in the action department and again, seems to possess a more professional and polished hand doing these kinds of movies as opposed to his more well known giallo's and cannibal adventures.

This US release features a brief interview with Lenzi (in which he states he wanted the name RAMBO in the original italian title but the producer did not like it) and an audio commentary by him as well.


Was just reading about this in the book "Tomas Milian: The Tough Bandit, The Rough Cop and the Filthy Rat in Italian Cinema" (http://www.ibs.it/code/9788889886205/duranti-pierpaolo-mucciacito-erminio/tomas-milian-the-tough.html). The following caught my attention:

"Umberto Lenzi here is willingly directing a crime movie version of Sergio Leone's 'Per un pugno di dollari' ('A Fistful of Dollars') and there's definitely a bond with the world-famous Spaghetti Western in terms of style."
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on December 16, 2009, 05:41:37 PM
Got the FLATFOOT 4 dvd box set yesterday and have watched the first 3 already.I have to say that certainly for the first two movies in the series FLATFOOT and FLATFOOT IN HONG KONG,these have to rate among the best stuff that Bud Spencer has been involved in.I've been rewatching alot of Italian crimes flicks just recently and these 2 movies(FLATFOOT IN AFRICA ain't that great) fall comfortably among the better polizieschi in that genre even allowing for the odd helping of happy slapping we come to expect from a Bud Spencer movie.The plots are surprisingly good and Spencer  is brilliantly charismatic as Inspector Rizzo aka Flatfoot and faces  the same harsh realities of drug syndicates and police corruption etc as the likes of Harry Callaghan(DIRTY HARRY) or Commionsioner Belli(HIGH CRIME) and likewise Flatfoot has his own unique way of dealing with it,including using his fists instead of a gun and upon catching the odd petty thief turning a blind eye figuring (perhaps likely)that a resulting prison sentence would only serve to churn out a much more formidable breed of criminal. The fight scenes in HONG KONG rank amongst the best i've seen from any Hill/Spencer flick which is why i rate it slightly higher than the first in the series.


My ratings FLATFOOT 8/10
                FLATFOOT IN HONG KONG 9/10
                FLATFOOT IN AFRICA 5/10

I'll be checking out FLATFOOT IN EGYPT shortly.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 16, 2009, 07:04:25 PM
Got the FLATFOOT 4 dvd box set yesterday and have watched the first 3 already.I have to say that certainly for the first two movies in the series FLATFOOT and FLATFOOT IN HONG KONG,these have to rate among the best stuff that Bud Spencer has been involved in.I've been rewatching alot of Italian crimes flicks just recently and these 2 movies(FLATFOOT IN AFRICA ain't that great) fall comfortably among the better polizieschi in that genre even allowing for the odd helping of happy slapping we come to expect from a Bud Spencer movie.The plots are surprisingly good and Spencer  is brilliantly charismatic as Inspector Rizzo aka Flatfoot and faces  the same harsh realities of drug syndicates and police corruption etc as the likes of Harry Callaghan(DIRTY HARRY) or Commionsioner Belli(HIGH CRIME) and likewise Flatfoot has his own unique way of dealing with it,including using his fists instead of a gun and upon catching the odd petty thief turning a blind eye figuring (perhaps likely)that a resulting prison sentence would only serve to churn out a much more formidable breed of criminal. The fight scenes in HONG KONG rank amongst the best i've seen from any Hill/Spencer flick which is why i rate it slightly higher than the first in the series.


My ratings FLATFOOT 8/10
                FLATFOOT IN HONG KONG 9/10
                FLATFOOT IN AFRICA 5/10

I'll be checking out FLATFOOT IN EGYPT shortly.

So are these comedies, or do they take a more serious slant towards the material? They sound good. I know Bruce Le did a movie or two with Spencer if I remember right.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on December 17, 2009, 07:29:08 AM
I'd say the first two films are semi-serious with bombings,assassinations,drug peddling to school children giving them that distinctive polizieschi vibe.Bud Spencer plays it straight (but of course with wisecracks aplenty) throughout the whole series but for the last two films the slapstick takes over somewhat with more attention being given to silly sidekicks including an annoying African kid who Flatfoot adopts.I did enjoy both AFRICA and EGYPT(my rating 6/10) which i'd recommend to Spencer fans only but not as much as the first two .

I'm intrigued about the Bud Spencer/Bruce Lee team ups! :o
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 17, 2009, 03:36:36 PM

I'm intrigued about the Bud Spencer/Bruce Lee team ups! :o

Not Lee, but Bruce Le, one of numerous Bruce Lee clones that enjoyed a brief popularity during the 70's.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on December 17, 2009, 06:09:49 PM
Sorry without thinking i took "Le" as a misspelling. :-[ Now that i know that the real Bruce Lee movie fights were heavily choreographed to make him look good including a double for the acrobatic stuff,who know's for sure that Bud Spencer wouldn't have sorted him out in his own inimitable way. :D

I'd like to think so. ;D
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 18, 2009, 02:53:40 PM
Spencer and Nero are in an upcoming Euro Crime film titled Mafia.
I don't know if it's a comedy.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on December 20, 2009, 06:52:53 AM
Spencer and Nero are in an upcoming Euro Crime film titled Mafia.
I don't know if it's a comedy.

It's probably serious as Spencer must now be way too old for the fisticuffs/slapstick stuff. Anyway i'll be very interested to see this.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 20, 2009, 09:36:02 AM
I don't think, at his age, he'd be obligated to do anything physical. Even if it is a comedy.
Seems like they'd use him for marquee value.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Dust Devil on April 19, 2010, 09:00:45 AM
LA BANDA DEL GOBBO 1976- aka THE BAND & THE HUNCHBACK (literal translation) aka BROTHERS TILL WE DIE

Tomas Milian (dual role as Vincenzo & Monnezza), Nino Pazzafini, Sal Borgese

Vincenzo, a hunchback, plans a robbery of an armored police van with his gang. Once the job is pulled, his gang attempt to kill him and the band absconds with the loot. Vincenzo hides in the sewers before looking up his loony friend Monezza whom the police later interrogate for his involvement with vincenzo. Meanwhile, Vincenzo goes about getting revenge on his gang by knocking them off one at the time in various brutal fashion. He locks one in a freezer, lures Borgese away before putting a big hole in his head and greets one of them in the dentist office and performs some surgery with a big drill among other things.

The movie is very different from Lenzi's other cop movies. Humor is prevalent here often times somewhat dark. Milian owns this movie and is apparently playing characters from previous movies. Monnezza from LA BANDA DEL TRUCIDA and Vincenzo I assume from ROMA A MANO ARMATA. I do not speak Italian but understand some of it. Some of the scenes are quite humorous what I could make out. One involves Monnezza scarfing down lots of marijiuana as the police close in. He is taken into custody and upon being taken into an interrogation room, he sees a hippy and assumes it's Jesus come to take him away. There is even a line referring to a Claudia Cardinale movie!

It would be really interesting to know everything that is being said, but from what I gathered, some of the humor would be lost in translation. Another funny bit involves Monnezza inside a mental institution.

As a movie, the film is very average. There is very little action and in these scenes it would appear that Lenzi had little to no time to pull off convincing set pieces. The sole reason to watch is of course Milian. And not just one Milian performance but two. Also, it is most unusual to see a Lenzi Crime movie, much less a Lenzi movie period that features very little violence and what there is is often times offscreen anyways. The final battle between the crooks and the police is done well enough to make up for the shortcomings in the other brief action bits. The final scene with Vincenzo escaping on a bridge only to have a black cat cross his path proves hauntingly poetic.

This DVD from Federal Video is very good quality and the film has obviously been remastered. Recommended only for Milian's double performance and those that don't mind watching a movie in which they cannot totally understand the language.

La banda del gobbo (1978)

Yeah, far from a crime masterpiece, but then again a thoroughly likeable naivete. Hardly Lenzi's finest hour; basic filming locations, cheap sets, etc. Couple of good car chasing moments there. Tomas Milian very good and fun to watch, the rest of the cast also. The often dark humor is really its greatest asset, rude too on more than one occasion. I don't think the traduction would work in this case, at all.


6.75/10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on April 19, 2010, 05:40:09 PM
I have an English dubbed version of that movie now. I think it's one of those films that speaks more to Italian sensibilities, or ones more familiar with the cultural differences. There are several other movies where Milian plays both of these characters so he was apparently quite popular as Monezza. These other films are moderately better.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on April 19, 2010, 05:48:53 PM
For anyone interested, I completely redid the Overview from scratch as I don't like the one at the start of this thread. Here are the first three chapters of the new one with the fourth coming soon....

The first chapter is on the political crime films and there relation to the times...

http://www.coolasscinema.com/search/label/Italian%20Crime%20Cinema%20Overview%20Part%20One


The second continues with the political crime films, there connection to actual violence in the cities and segues into the Mafia movies....

http://www.coolasscinema.com/search/label/Italian%20Crime%20Cinema%20Overview%20Part%20Two


The third continues with the Mafia movies with a spotlight on Di Leo's first trilogy and segues into the Violent Cop style of film...

http://www.coolasscinema.com/search/label/Italian%20Crime%20Cinema%20Overview%20Part%20Three


Then a bunch of reviews with lots of pics....

http://www.coolasscinema.com/search/label/Italian%20Crime%20Movies


And then just Merli reviews by themselves. I think there's five of his here so far including some of the lesser discussed ones....

http://www.coolasscinema.com/search/label/Maurizio%20Merli
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Dust Devil on April 19, 2010, 10:22:21 PM
I have an English dubbed version of that movie now. I think it's one of those films that speaks more to Italian sensibilities, or ones more familiar with the cultural differences. There are several other movies where Milian plays both of these characters so he was apparently quite popular as Monezza. These other films are moderately better.

Well it's certainly funnier, but it doesn't really add to the complexity of the movie that much, if that's what you thought. The fact is there is no story behind, and the main hit in the beginning is as lame as it gets. The rest of the movie runs on jokes and Milian, on certain occasions you can literally bite the pointlessness (yeah, I'm talking 'bout the scene in the disco).

This is the only one in the series I've seen. I've noticed his character (Monnezza) is slightly uneven and at times not well defined. I might check them out if I get the chance.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Dust Devil on May 08, 2010, 07:20:29 PM
MILANO ROVENTE 1973- aka GANG WAR IN MILAN

Antonio Sabato, Phillippe Leroy, Antonio Casagrande, Marisa Mell

Toto Cangemi (Sabato) is a wealthy crime lord who is behind Milan's biggest prostitute ring. The police cannot touch him but lie in wait for him to make just one mistake. Enter Le Capitaine, the Frenchman (Leroy) and a big time dealer in drugs who wants to form an alliance with Cangemi...whether he wants to or not. The Frenchman tries to force Cangemi's hand resulting in Toto bringing in an American gangster, Billy Baroni to take care of the Frenchman. Baroni tries to convince Cangemi that violence is not the answer but "diplomatic violence" will solve the problems. Several of Cangemi's hookers are found murdered but after Le Capitaine kidnaps and tortures Lino, Cangemi's right hand man (in a very excrutiating fashion) Baroni devises a plan to bring "final peace" between all the gangsters.

Umberto Lenzi's first foray into Euro Crime shows an adeptness for the material that is not as prominent in some of his later efforts which is not discounting any of those at all. Here, Lenzi appears to be channeling di Leo in style although the violence is more sleazy than in any of di Leo's films I have seen. There is a lot of torture in this movie and Lenzi proved throughout his career to be a master at depicting sadism onscreen. The double twist ending is slightly reminiscent of the one in di Leo's classic MILANO CALIBRO 9. It features a foreboding final line that hints at more violence lies ahead.

Sabato is very good here. Much better than anything else I've seen him in. He really plays the part well and reminds me of Mario Adorf's performance in LA MALA ODIA (1972). He is a criminal in every sense of the word, but at times, you get the feeling that a decent man resides within him. Coming from nothing, living in the streets then becoming a powerful crime figure he doesn't exhibit the nasty and brutally persistant methods of the Frenchman. Sabato displays genuine concern when his close friend Lino is captured and viciously tortured by the Frenchman and his henchmen.

Sabato also played a cop in Sergio Grieco's supremely nasty VIOLENCE FOR KICKS (1975). And only Grieco could make his good guy come off as a greasy unlikeable thug or just plain unlikeable as in Richard Harrison's character in Grieco's BEAST WITH A GUN (1977).

Phillippe Leroy who also starred as a maniacal cop in the same years BLOODY HANDS OF THE LAW (also starring Kinski), is all the while calm but incredibly ruthless when the need arises. Leroy is quite subdued here as opposed to his manic performance in the above mentioned film.

Casagrande as Baroni is what you would expect a stereotypical American gangster to look like. He has a scar under his left eye and smokes huge cigars. He also pulls the strings of Cangemi's organization. When Toto acts on impulse, Baroni is there to keep him under control only this plays against Toto later in the film.

Marisa Mell as Jasmine is as alluring as ever as Cangemi's woman whom he falls head over heels for. Amazingly, this being a Lenzi movie, she being the main female character, she escapes any indignities towards her character.

The finale is VERY similar to HK director Chang Cheh's style along with its themes of brotherhood among men whether they be good or bad.

Again, a fine first outing for Lenzi. Initially I had put off buying this because there wasn't a Merli or Milian in the film but after seeing it, this no longer matters.

This release from Dagored is in Italian with English subtitles and appears to be sourced from video tape. The packaging is very nice but the film presentation reeks of bootleg. No matter, the print is decent enough and it least it's available.


Milano rovente (1973)

Yeah this compared to La banda del gobbo tastes much more like the work of a professional and expert on the subject, without the low budget, we're-going-camping, indie-amateur feel. There's no Tomas Milian but the constellation of rough-looking mean hillbillies compensates this and makes it look much more authentic. Solid poliziottesco with some hard-boiled ā la European moments.


7.2/10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Dust Devil on May 08, 2010, 07:24:47 PM
One thing I particularly like in these movies is that filthy whores really do look like filthy whores.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 09, 2010, 09:17:31 PM
Well it's certainly funnier, but it doesn't really add to the complexity of the movie that much, if that's what you thought. The fact is there is no story behind, and the main hit in the beginning is as lame as it gets. The rest of the movie runs on jokes and Milian, on certain occasions you can literally bite the pointlessness (yeah, I'm talking 'bout the scene in the disco).

This is the only one in the series I've seen. I've noticed his character (Monnezza) is slightly uneven and at times not well defined. I might check them out if I get the chance.

FREE HAND FOR A TOUGH COP (1976) and DESTRUCTION FORCE (1977) are two others where he plays the 'Trash' character. I believe he plays this character in some of his comedy cop flicks. I have two or three of those, but have only seen the first (COP IN BLUE JEANS) thus far.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on May 09, 2010, 09:19:58 PM
Milano rovente (1973)

Yeah this compared to La banda del gobbo tastes much more like the work of a professional and expert on the subject, without the low budget, we're-going-camping, indie-amateur feel. There's no Tomas Milian but the constellation of rough-looking mean hillbillies compensates this and makes it look much more authentic. Solid poliziottesco with some hard-boiled ā la European moments.


7.2/10

Lenzi was an ace at this genre. Some of best work, in my opinion. He was at his sleaziest with some of his Calabresi inspired 'Violent Cop' thrillers.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on August 10, 2010, 12:57:24 PM
Il commissario di ferro I've finally found the guts to watch this movie and I must say that it was better of what I expected, which was nil. The plot is very simple and that helps. What it's not working in my opinion (apart from some stupid plot turns which maybe can be caught only from Italian viewers, like the detention waiting for trial which, at the time, made sound 2 years in that condition like something extraordinary: now is much worse. Or the shot in the Police station, with all the policemen being satisfied with their colleague's explanation that the shot was fired by mistake) is Maurizio Merli: I couldn't understand at the time (and now even more) how he could be taken seriously on this role. His only distinctive traits are the blonde hair and the blue eyes. But he can't act, he's not good in the fight scenes and is not impressive physically. Bah...6\10       
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on August 10, 2010, 06:27:44 PM
Il commissario di ferro I've finally found the guts to watch this movie and I must say that it was better of what I expected, which was nil. The plot is very simple and that helps. What it's not working in my opinion (apart from some stupid plot turns which maybe can be caught only from Italian viewers, like the detention waiting for trial which, at the time, made sound 2 years in that condition like something extraordinary: now is much worse. Or the shot in the Police station, with all the policemen being satisfied with their colleague's explanation that the shot was fired by mistake) is Maurizio Merli: I couldn't understand at the time (and now even more) how he could be taken seriously on this role. His only distinctive traits are the blonde hair and the blue eyes. But he can't act, he's not good in the fight scenes and is not impressive physically. Bah...6\10       

This isn't one of his better movies, but the title itself is ironic in light of Merli's character. He is supposed to be this "Iron Commissioner" of the title, and yet, as the film progresses, he becomes weak after his son is kidnapped. Sadly, the production ran out of money at the end resulting in the abrupt finale. I'd be curious to hear what you thought of such later films like POLIZIOTTO, SOLITUDINE E RABBIA (1980) and SBIRRO, LA TUA LEGGE E LENTA...LA MIA NO!

Both of those are departures for the actor and the former especially allows him to emote on a level unlike his previous movies. In this film, Merli is a retired cop who infiltrates a secret society of international assassins responsible for the deaths of a number of wealthy entrepreneurs. Interestingly, there's an assassination in this movie that seems to be modeled on the Calabresi shooting from the early 70's.

The latter is a fascinating and convoluted political thriller wherein Merli secretly works with a mobster (Francisco Rabal) in an effort to solve a number of assassinations of property owners. The prime suspect being Mario Merola, the ending was pretty shocking and perfectly captures the title of the film. One of my favorites with him is PAURA IN CITTA (1976), a sequel to LA POLIZIA INTERVIENE: ORDINE DI UCCIDERE and a typical revenge film with one of the best dialog exchanges I've ever heard in one of these movies.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on August 11, 2010, 12:25:16 AM
but the title itself is ironic in light of Merli's character. He is supposed to be this "Iron Commissioner" of the title, and yet, as the film progresses, he becomes weak after his son is kidnapped. 

Yeah, he only hi-jacks a train then a car and about punches to death the kidnapper.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on August 11, 2010, 07:37:31 PM
What I meant is his character has something of a breakdown after his child is taken. He is not the stern, controlled policeman from earlier in the movie.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on August 11, 2010, 07:49:19 PM
Probably. But I can't see a significant change. Actually he, rather insanely, reproaches his pards for not having done more to save his son not taking into consideration the risk the kid was running.   

Anyway, it's just that I can't take Merli seriously. I can take Milian or Testi seriously, but Merli is just ridiculous. Though probably I'm alone there.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on November 30, 2010, 01:32:25 AM
IL CINICO, L'INFAME IL VIOLENTO (THE CYNIC, THE RAT & THE FIST) 1977. I've bought a dozen of these '70's italian poliziotteschi at  the price of 1 euro each. I think that's what they're worth. If this is one of the best movies of the genre I can only remain assured in my conviction that these movies are crap. Here the plot is ridiculous, as it plays on some genre's commonplaces which simply have no relationship to italian reality (for example, the fake death at the start is unimaginable. Not to talk of the relase of Saxon's from jail). What is gritty and acceptable in spaghetti-western because is a fantasy world at the start anyway, here cannot be taken by the viewer (at least this viewer) just as easily because he compares it to everyday reality and just doesn't click.  Here the only good thing is Milian's comic strain which will be developed later in the bruno corbucci's films. 4\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 06, 2010, 09:19:21 AM
LA BANDA DEL GOBBO aka BROTHERS TILL WE DIE (1976). I continue to hurt myself with this cure of crappy italian crime movies. This is worthwhile only for the comedic part of it. Actually only for the lunatic asylum scene where Monnezza does the "word association" test with the doctor. that had me rolf but it gets completely lost on foreign viewers, I guess. The plot is so amateurish that it was probably thought out in a couple of afternoons. I saw an interview with Lenzi and he comes up as a better person than director. 4\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Dust Devil on December 06, 2010, 01:39:04 PM
LA BANDA DEL GOBBO aka BROTHERS TILL WE DIE (1976). I continue to hurt myself with this cure of crappy italian crime movies. This is worthwhile only for the comedic part of it. Actually only for the lunatic asylum scene where Monnezza does the "word association" test with the doctor. that had me rolf but it gets completely lost on foreign viewers, I guess. The plot is so amateurish that it was probably thought out in a couple of afternoons. I saw an interview with Lenzi and he comes up as a better person than director. 4\10

I guess this is fair, but I enjoyed it to a good extent. Taking it for what it is, of course.

Yeah, the jokes wouldn't work in another language, I noticed that too.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 07, 2010, 01:09:14 AM
I'm with Titoli, I've seen about two dozen of these things (most being "the best the genre has to offer") and only Di Leo's MANHUNT can be described as a great movie.
The Merli films can be fun, when not bogged down by talky segments or politics, but overall they're unsubstantial fare.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 07, 2010, 02:04:05 AM
I'm with Titoli, I've seen about two dozen of these things (most being "the best the genre has to offer") and only Di Leo's MANHUNT can be described as a great movie.
The Merli films can be fun, when not bogged down by talky segments or politics, but overall they're unsubstantial fare.

How do you explain Tarantino's raving?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 07, 2010, 10:57:25 AM
I'm with Titoli, I've seen about two dozen of these things (most being "the best the genre has to offer") and only Di Leo's MANHUNT can be described as a great movie.
The Merli films can be fun, when not bogged down by talky segments or politics, but overall they're unsubstantial fare.



That's odd. You weren't saying this kind of thing before. MANHUNT a great movie? It's hardly great when compared with MILAN CALIBER 9, in my view, the classiest of the three. A good movie, yes. I don't find them unsubstantial. They're escapist entertainment at best with an occasional nod towards the controversial cop they are based on, Luigi Calabresi. I have a few Italian friends who absolutely adore Merli having seen his movies in the theater. It's all down to perception, but it makes no sense for you to tell me you LIKE a movie, then cater to anothers whim by calling it UNSUBSTANTIAL. You either like it or you don't.

As far as QT goes, the two hitmen (one white, one black) from the American film BONNIE'S KIDS (1973) are far more close to the PULP FICTION duo than Silva and Strode in MANHUNT. Even down to dialog and some of the scenes.

Movies like CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN, HOW TO KILL A JUDGE, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WIFE, ALMOST HUMAN and SILENT ACTION are anything but junk. Pretty much anything Di Leo was involved in was good save for that other loose trilogy he did.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Dust Devil on December 07, 2010, 01:15:21 PM
Another thing is that they probably look exotic to you Americans. Hell, they look exotic to us Europeans.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 07, 2010, 01:20:57 PM
That's odd. You weren't saying this kind of thing before. MANHUNT a great movie? It's hardly great when compared with MILAN CALIBER 9, in my view, the classiest of the three. A good movie, yes. I don't find them unsubstantial. They're escapist entertainment at best with an occasional nod towards the controversial cop they are based on, Luigi Calabresi. I have a few Italian friends who absolutely adore Merli having seen his movies in the theater. It's all down to perception, but it makes no sense for you to tell me you LIKE a movie, then cater to anothers whim by calling it UNSUBSTANTIAL. You either like it or you don't.




Maybe "unsubstantial" was the wrong word but I don't think they are on par with the other genres the Italians were putting out during that time.
The Merli movies, for me, are as I said they are. Bogged down by a bunch of stuff that gets in the way of the action. The Merli films should be escapist fun but they always seem to turn into something else. At least the ones I've seen.

MILAN CALIBRE 9 I couldn't finish to be honest.
MANHUNT, I've always liked. The "one man against the world" concept is one I always enjoy and this is a great example of it.
The final climax in the dump is a little sketchy because the stuff with the crane doesn't really work (almost as if they didn't get much coverage that day) but it hardly hinders the rest of the movie.

IL BOSS's opening sequence is fantastic, fake dummies and all(!), but the middle is mostly a talky affair with a character (Silva) that is hard to get behind.
The climax with Garko and Silva is tense though.

SYNDICATE SADISTS is pretty solid all around and is a good example of how most of these things should be. Light entertainment.

Thanks for reminding me of ALMOST HUMAN, I had almost forgotten about it. It's really good and possibly my favorite of the bunch.

Other than those notables the rest  (probably around a dozen) I've seen range from mediocre (BROTHERS TIL WE DIE) to really bad (VIOLENCE FOR KICKS).

I'm surprised you're rushing to their defense as you yourself have said in the past that it is no wonder that the genre has been forgotten as most of the entries are a bunch of stinkers.

Mike Malloy's doc on the subject is a lot more entertaining than the films themselves.

But this is up to preferences anyway.
It seems that most people who dig the Spaghetti Westerns don't care for these films and vice versa.
My evidence stems from my own feelings and all those guys over at Lovelockandload who love the shit out of these movies but think little for the Westerns.
There are people in the middle but they're in the  minority.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 07, 2010, 01:22:59 PM
HOW TO KILL A JUDGE


I heard that this was mostly boring.
I found the political intrigue to be very suspenseful and refreshing.
When this sort of thing is done in the Merli movies it feels tacked on but here we have a film 100% about the subject.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 07, 2010, 01:50:38 PM
I forgot to mention some others that are very good.

Sollima's Revolver
Castellari's Big Racket and Street Law

I don't care for his High Crime.
For many reasons, one being Nero seems overly silly as the firery commissioner.
Nero was best suited for the stoic gunslinger roles as he has a tendency to overact in anything else.
There is a surprsing amount of restraint in his lighter roles for Westerns (Companeros,Johnny Ears) so it seems to me he was most comfortable trying new things, and succeeding, in that genre than any other.
He himself told me the same thing in his own words.

I have the three Lee Van Cleef starring vehicles.

Perfect Killer- Very gritty/violent/mean spirited and a solid piece of work.

Mean Frank and Crazy Tony- flip flops from being a silly comedy to a really violent movie. Worth a look. It isn't bad.

The Squeeze- late period Italo crime movie. It's a heist movie with a ho-hum heist in the middle portion but the first and last act are really good.
It also features some of the best acting Van Cleef ever did.

Have you seen The Last Desperate Hours?
Apparently it's Sabato's finest hour.
I'd like to see it.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 07, 2010, 04:22:03 PM

Maybe "unsubstantial" was the wrong word but I don't think they are on par with the other genres the Italians were putting out during that time.
The Merli movies, for me, are as I said they are. Bogged down by a bunch of stuff that gets in the way of the action. The Merli films should be escapist fun but they always seem to turn into something else. At least the ones I've seen.

MILAN CALIBRE 9 I couldn't finish to be honest.
MANHUNT, I've always liked. The "one man against the world" concept is one I always enjoy and this is a great example of it.
The final climax in the dump is a little sketchy because the stuff with the crane doesn't really work (almost as if they didn't get much coverage that day) but it hardly hinders the rest of the movie.

IL BOSS's opening sequence is fantastic, fake dummies and all(!), but the middle is mostly a talky affair with a character (Silva) that is hard to get behind.
The climax with Garko and Silva is tense though.

SYNDICATE SADISTS is pretty solid all around and is a good example of how most of these things should be. Light entertainment.

Thanks for reminding me of ALMOST HUMAN, I had almost forgotten about it. It's really good and possibly my favorite of the bunch.

Other than those notables the rest  (probably around a dozen) I've seen range from mediocre (BROTHERS TIL WE DIE) to really bad (VIOLENCE FOR KICKS).

I'm surprised you're rushing to their defense as you yourself have said in the past that it is no wonder that the genre has been forgotten as most of the entries are a bunch of stinkers.

Mike Malloy's doc on the subject is a lot more entertaining than the films themselves.

But this is up to preferences anyway.
It seems that most people who dig the Spaghetti Westerns don't care for these films and vice versa.
My evidence stems from my own feelings and all those guys over at Lovelockandload who love the shit out of these movies but think little for the Westerns.
There are people in the middle but they're in the  minority.

No, you have told me you liked the Merli movies and yet to different people, your opinion changes towards whomever it is you are "talking to". It makes no sense to kiss one persons ass then pucker up for the dude behind him as well. If you're going to make an intelligent/pseudo intelligent assessment regarding a movie, make it stick from one person to the next for gods sake. This isn't about critical opinion of Maurizio Merli, or "rushing to his defense", it's about what you've said to me and the confoundedly different opinions given to somebody else which I assume is so you can score more DVD-R's instead of actually buying anything.

Which Merli movies "Turn into something else?" His first handful of movies were virtually the same damn movie with minor differences. It's those very films that people misleadingly appropriate as DIRTY HARRY clones, when in fact they weren't. It wasn't till later that his movies "Turned into something else". It's obvious to anyone with even a modicum of interest in the genre that if you watch Merli's films post CYNIC, RAT & FIST, he was trying for something totally different--

Comedy in FEARLESS FUZZ as well as not being the tough cop of other movies (he gets his ass kicked for crying out loud and you get a very naked Joan Collins on more than one occasion). THE REBEL is without doubt one of his best movies period. It's an international intrigue film about a clan of assassins Merli infiltrates and is light on action, but high on character and conspiracy. HUNTED CITY is another interesting movie that melds political underpinnings with a cop on the edge who must work with an aging mobster to solve a series of killings involving rich businessmen. Have you seen those? THOSE TURN INTO SOMETHING ELSE. Outside of ALMOST HUMAN, which I recall being the one who recommended it to you, which movies HAVE YOU SEEN ACTUALLY?

I never stated the Merli films were "Great". Do I think a number of them are some of the best of the genre? Yes, I do, but within the context of being escapist entertainment. To many Italians of the time, they needed a hero to identify with after the turmoil of the Calabresi controversy (not counting the Red Brigades, Ordine Nuovo, kidnappings, bombings, lower class youth gangs and other violence going on at the time) and Merli's movies were that cure brought about after the wild success of Castellari's HIGH CRIME (1973) with Nero. I assume you have seen that one?

Fernando Di Leo and Damiano Damiani are the masters of the genre in my opinion and truly delivered some great movies which a lot of people dislike because they don't have all the car crashes and shootouts of the violent cop thrillers. For every CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN, or VIOLENT NAPLES you have a dozen RICCO, THE MEAN MACHINE's and KNELL, THE BLOODY AVENGER's.

Which are your notables, then? THE BOSS (1973) is another one that's good. A fine Mafia picture made all the better in that it connects and even names individuals involved in corruption at the time which makes for an even better experience. I liked the "talky" stretches. This movie is about Silva's character and he commands attention when he's on screen.

There are some 300 of these movies, Eric. To say most of them stink still leaves a good number of great, good and average entries left to enjoy. And I don't recall saying MOST of them stink, I believe I said A LOT of them. I haven't seen enough stinkers to say MOST OF THEM. Mike Malloy's documentary......I'm sure it's very enlightening, but how brazen is that to literally BEG fans to help you finish your movie when you, the filmmaker fail to secure the financing for YOUR OWN PROJECT?!?!?!?! As I said, I'm sure it's a very good documentary.

Regarding Italian cult cinema, I've seen close to 200 peplums. Do a lot of them stink? Yes, they do, but that doesn't mean some of the stinkers are void of any entertainment value. Some of those movies are truly worth watching and worth singing their praises as well. We're not talking Hollywood here and $40 million budgets, but movies made with what little they had to work with. Some turned grit to gold and others weren't so good at it. The spaghetti westerns you mention fall into exactly the same mire as the crime flicks. Just as many, if not MORE of those STINK to high heaven especially since there were twice as many of them. How many towns must get robbed of their gold, or how many times must we suffer through Anthony Steffen's lousy non acting, or how many times must one see George Hilton grin from ear to ear before enough is enough? I'd say there's about 100 truly great to good SW's and at least 50 truly great to good Italian crime pictures. We have had this conversation before. I'm not running to anyone's defense here.

Again, the main point here was your "Changing of the Guard" with your opinion. I remember what you said about CYNIC, that you liked it till they it turned into a jewel heist movie momentarily. ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH is another one I recall you stating you enjoyed quite a lot. Where does this Merli vehicle TURN INTO SOMETHING ELSE? What exactly is this SOMETHING ELSE???
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 07, 2010, 04:52:45 PM

My evidence stems from my own feelings and all those guys over at Lovelockandload who love the shit out of these movies but think little for the Westerns.


Interesting you mention "those guys", when it's "those guys" who ran to Malloy's aid to help fund his documentary when he couldn't do it himself. Not running to THEIR defense, but calling it like I see it.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 07, 2010, 05:23:17 PM
No, you have told me you liked the Merli movies and yet to different people, your opinion changes towards whomever it is you are "talking to". It makes no sense to kiss one persons ass then pucker up for the dude behind him as well. If you're going to make an intelligent/pseudo intelligent assessment regarding a movie, make it stick from one person to the next for gods sake. This isn't about critical opinion of Maurizio Merli, or "rushing to his defense", it's about what you've said to me and the confoundedly different opinions given to somebody else which I assume is so you can score more DVD-R's instead of actually buying anything.

Which Merli movies "Turn into something else?" His first handful of movies were virtually the same damn movie with minor differences. It's those very films that people misleadingly appropriate as DIRTY HARRY clones, when in fact they weren't. It wasn't till later that his movies "Turned into something else". It's obvious to anyone with even a modicum of interest in the genre that if you watch Merli's films post CYNIC, RAT & FIST, he was trying for something totally different--

Comedy in FEARLESS FUZZ as well as not being the tough cop of other movies (he gets his ass kicked for crying out loud and you get a very naked Joan Collins on more than one occasion). THE REBEL is without doubt one of his best movies period. It's an international intrigue film about a clan of assassins Merli infiltrates and is light on action, but high on character and conspiracy. HUNTED CITY is another interesting movie that melds political underpinnings with a cop on the edge who must work with an aging mobster to solve a series of killings involving rich businessmen. Have you seen those? THOSE TURN INTO SOMETHING ELSE. Outside of ALMOST HUMAN, which I recall being the one who recommended it to you, which movies HAVE YOU SEEN ACTUALLY?

I never stated the Merli films were "Great". Do I think a number of them are some of the best of the genre? Yes, I do, but within the context of being escapist entertainment. To many Italians of the time, they needed a hero to identify with after the turmoil of the Calabresi controversy (not counting the Red Brigades, Ordine Nuovo, kidnappings, bombings, lower class youth gangs and other violence going on at the time) and Merli's movies were that cure brought about after the wild success of Castellari's HIGH CRIME (1973) with Nero. I assume you have seen that one?

Fernando Di Leo and Damiano Damiani are the masters of the genre in my opinion and truly delivered some great movies which a lot of people dislike because they don't have all the car crashes and shootouts of the violent cop thrillers. For every CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN, or VIOLENT NAPLES you have a dozen RICCO, THE MEAN MACHINE's and KNELL, THE BLOODY AVENGER's.

Which are your notables, then? THE BOSS (1973) is another one that's good. A fine Mafia picture made all the better in that it connects and even names individuals involved in corruption at the time which makes for an even better experience. I liked the "talky" stretches. This movie is about Silva's character and he commands attention when he's on screen.

There are some 300 of these movies, Eric. To say most of them stink still leaves a good number of great, good and average entries left to enjoy. And I don't recall saying MOST of them stink, I believe I said A LOT of them. I haven't seen enough stinkers to say MOST OF THEM. Mike Malloy's documentary......I'm sure it's very enlightening, but how brazen is that to literally BEG fans to help you finish your movie when you, the filmmaker fail to secure the financing for YOUR OWN PROJECT?!?!?!?! As I said, I'm sure it's a very good documentary.

Regarding Italian cult cinema, I've seen close to 200 peplums. Do a lot of them stink? Yes, they do, but that doesn't mean some of the stinkers are void of any entertainment value. Some of those movies are truly worth watching and worth singing their praises as well. We're not talking Hollywood here and $40 million budgets, but movies made with what little they had to work with. Some turned grit to gold and others weren't so good at it. The spaghetti westerns you mention fall into exactly the same mire as the crime flicks. Just as many, if not MORE of those STINK to high heaven especially since there were twice as many of them. How many towns must get robbed of their gold, or how many times must we suffer through Anthony Steffen's lousy non acting, or how many times must one see George Hilton grin from ear to ear before enough is enough? I'd say there's about 100 truly great to good SW's and at least 50 truly great to good Italian crime pictures. We have had this conversation before. I'm not running to anyone's defense here.

Again, the main point here was your "Changing of the Guard" with your opinion. I remember what you said about CYNIC, that you liked it till they it turned into a jewel heist movie momentarily. ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH is another one I recall you stating you enjoyed quite a lot. Where does this Merli vehicle TURN INTO SOMETHING ELSE? What exactly is this SOMETHING ELSE???


Again, the main point here was your "Changing of the Guard" with your opinion.

You seem to forget that it has been a long time since we've spoken and years since I've discussed anything about these movies to you or anyone.
Does it occur to you that I've caught up with a lot of these titles since those days?
Is it at all possible that I have not liked most of these titles?
Certainly, and it's the truth.
So my original assessment of the genre isn't as rosey as it used to be.

I have not changed my opinion of Cynic and Teeth (although I like the alternate cut Assualt with a Deadly Weapon better). It's the other Merli films that I don't care for all that much.
It has been so long that I've seen any of them that I can't recall all the titles save for some of the more popular ones like Violent Naples and the other two of the "trilogy".

I just seem to feel that those 3 have been sold wrong to me.
They said they were action fests but had little action in it.
Naples and its companion pieces, always seem to turn into political intrigue/conspiracy movies or films that don't center around the exploits of Merli the policeman (then again, save for some of the violent set pieces, I don't recall much from them and could be wrong about the details of the subplots).
This is one of the reasons I prefer French Connection 2 to the original.
It centers around popeye.

Mike Malloy's documentary......I'm sure it's very enlightening, but how brazen is that to literally BEG fans to help you finish your movie when you, the filmmaker fail to secure the financing for YOUR OWN PROJECT?!?!?!?!

The film's main $20,000 budget was secured through investors.
The $10,000 raised through kickstarter was needed for film rights.
It wasn't begging. The people who put up the money were investors and will be compensated like any other investor.


The spaghetti westerns you mention fall into exactly the same mire as the crime flicks. Just as many, if not MORE of those STINK to high heaven especially since there were twice as many of them.

But the fact remains that I still enjoy them a whole lot more.
I think out of the 500+ films they made during that cycle (of which I've seen maybe 300 of) about 150 range from watchable to excellent pictures.
I'm having trouble getting through the first 20 of the Poliziotteschi that I've seen without wanting to give up.
It's down to personal preference.

I've already mentioned HIGH CRIME in the previous post.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 07, 2010, 05:28:51 PM
Interesting you mention "those guys", when it's "those guys" who ran to Malloy's aid to help fund his documentary when he couldn't do it himself. Not running to THEIR defense, but calling it like I see it.

You make finding funding for a picture sound so simple.
It ain't. Especially not about Italian Crime films that nobody cares to remember.

I didn't mean for the wording of "those guys" to be derogatory, if it came off as such I apologise.

Again, they are investors like any other. There is nothing different about physically meeting these people at a restaurant and asking them to invest in a picture than there is doing it over the internet.

This will be the last time I approach the subject.


So you haven't seen the Sabato film?
Titoli? Anybody?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 07, 2010, 05:39:13 PM


I have not changed my opinion of Cynic and Teeth (although I like the alternate cut Assualt with a Deadly Weapon better). It's the other Merli films that I don't care for all that much.
It has been so long that I've seen any of them that I can't recall all the titles save for some of the more popular ones like Violent Naples and the other two of the "trilogy".

I just seem to feel that those 3 have been sold wrong to me.
They said they were action fests but had little action in it.
Naples and its companion pieces, always seem to turn into political intrigue/conspiracy movies or films that don't center around the exploits of Merli the policeman (then again, save for some of the violent set pieces, I don't recall much from them and could be wrong about the details of the subplots).
This is one of the reasons I prefer French Connection 2 to the original.
It centers around popeye.

Mike Malloy's documentary......I'm sure it's very enlightening, but how brazen is that to literally BEG fans to help you finish your movie when you, the filmmaker fail to secure the financing for YOUR OWN PROJECT?!?!?!?!

The film's main $20,000 budget was secured through investors.
The $10,000 raised through kickstarter was needed for film rights.
It wasn't begging. The people who put up the money were investors and will be compensated like any other investor.


The spaghetti westerns you mention fall into exactly the same mire as the crime flicks. Just as many, if not MORE of those STINK to high heaven especially since there were twice as many of them.

But the fact remains that I still enjoy them a whole lot more.
I think out of the 500+ films they made during that cycle (of which I've seen maybe 300 of) about 150 range from watchable to excellent pictures.
I'm having trouble getting through the first 20 of the Poliziotteschi that I've seen without wanting to give up.
It's down to personal preference.

I've already mentioned HIGH CRIME in the previous post.

There is either NO or VERY LITTLE political intrigue/conspiracies in those Merli movies you mentioned. They focus around Merli the cop and accentuate the violence over anything else. VIOLENT NAPLES and ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH are action packed movies. So you prefer the Aquarius Releasing cut as ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON???? A movie that makes absolutely zero sense and shuffles scenes around??? where did you see this as there is no DVD of this title I am aware of. Did you rent the old OOP VHS tape from Thriller Video?? The one with Sybil Danning doing an Elvira shtick before and after the movie??

The conspiracies/intrigue and "all that boring stuff" is in the OTHER Merli movies I mentioned. The ones with SOMETHING ELSE.

Yes, the contributors are compensated with a credit and a free copy of the doc when it's released a decade from now.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 07, 2010, 05:41:10 PM


So you haven't seen the Sabato film?
Titoli? Anybody?

Yes, I own it. But you wouldn't like it. It's filled with a lot of that boring stuff. Political intrigue and things like that. If you didn't like the non stop violence and sleaze of VIOLENCE FOR KICKS, or the action oriented Merli movies, or the upper class Damiani movies, which ones do you enjoy, then?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 07, 2010, 05:49:18 PM
where did you see this as there is no DVD of this title I am aware of. Did you rent the old OOP VHS tape from Thriller Video?? The one with Sybil Danning doing an Elvira shtick before and after the movie??

No, the copy I saw was just the film.
I think Mike Malloy burned me a copy of it.
The conspiracies/intrigue and "all that boring stuff" is in the OTHER Merli movies I mentioned. The ones with SOMETHING ELSE.

It's quite possible I'm getting confused with those then (Malloy burnt me a good portion of his Merli collection which I have yet to sit through 100% of) but I distinctly remember not caring for the Naples trilogy.


Yes, the contributors are compensated with a credit and a free copy of the doc.

So? They knew what they were getting into.
We didn't hold them at gunpoint.

And it was a lot more than that.



released a decade from now.

Again, nothing about filmmaking is easy.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 07, 2010, 05:56:23 PM
No, the copy I saw was just the film.
I think Mike Malloy burned me a copy of it.
It's quite possible I'm getting confused with those then (Malloy burnt me a good portion of his Merli collection which I have yet to sit through 100% of) but I distinctly remember not caring for the Naples trilogy.


So? They new what they were getting into.

And it was a lot more than that.



Again, nothing about filmmaking is easy.

Right. And Malloy got his copies "From those guys at lovelockandload". while his doc was still in production.

I have a friend working on a low budget flick at Warner. He can't finish it and the studio won't give him anymore money. Maybe he can get funding from the people? There's been lots of unfinished movies. Maybe EUROCRIME will start a trend?
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 08, 2010, 01:45:17 AM
So you haven't seen the Sabato film?
Titoli? Anybody?

No, I haven't. I have a friend who's got the whole bunch so i wouldn't have any problem watching them, but I don't like Sabato (I find him even more ridiculous than Merli).
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 08, 2010, 01:53:23 AM
ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH - Roma a mano armata (1977) This has the advantage of an episodic structure, so the screenplay is a little more acceptable than those having a linear plot, a task which seems beyond the capacity of the people involved in creating these kind of movies. Still it falls often into the ludicruous, with Merli apparently being always in the place where a crime is committed (or maybe these crimes were so many that Rome must have been a hell of a place to live in in the '70's). Merli makes me laugh each time he goes into action, he's so incapable of acting. 5\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 08, 2010, 11:36:30 AM
MILANO ODIA: LA POLIZIA NON PUO SPARARE - (ALMOST HUMAN) 1974

In the italian dvd there's an extra feature with three reviews written when the film first came out. Well, I think they exactly mirror the opinion most people had at the time and later. And also mine. This is Milian's worst performance: He acts over the top and has the wrong mimicry and the wrong gestures continuously. His character has no logic: sometime he acts like a evil genius, sometime like a crazy, imbecile man. And that reflects on the plot, which is really embarrassing as to logic. F.E. Milian decides the best way to kidnap a girl is to use his own girlfriend's car. Does this makes sense? Of course not but most of the plot hinges on this moronic decision. I could add tons of inverosimilitudes to this (the way he got hold of the weapons: can a dealer be such an imbecile? And the way the ransom is paid. And  the man who admits the frightened girl into his home forgetting to close the door. I stop here). Still the movie can be seen for some reasons: the car chase, the final scene (but a bar near the trash heaps? Come on...), Laura Belli and Morricone's score (not exceptional but good). The Martino production probably is the reason why Lenzi's direction looks as such. 6\10     
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 09, 2010, 01:15:53 AM
No, I haven't. I have a friend who's got the whole bunch so i wouldn't have any problem watching them, but I don't like Sabato (I find him even more ridiculous than Merli).


I don't care for him either but apparently that one title is really good.
Let me know when and if you see it.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 09, 2010, 01:32:16 AM
Yes, I own it. But you wouldn't like it. It's filled with a lot of that boring stuff. Political intrigue and things like that. If you didn't like the non stop violence and sleaze of VIOLENCE FOR KICKS

Non-stop violence?
There is that barbed wire stuff and I think a shootout in a factory?
Saw it once a long time ago and I never plan on revisiting it again which is pretty much how I'll treat the others I've seen that I didn't care for.

or the upper class Damiani movies,

You're not paying attention.
I said I liked How To Kill A Judge.
That's twice now I've had to repeat an opinion of my mine (the first being my feelings on High Crime)
You sure you're reading ALL of my posts?


which ones do you enjoy, then?

Now I know you haven't been paying close attention.
I've given my preferences but overall I don't enjoy the majority.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 09, 2010, 01:39:38 AM
and Morricone's score (not exceptional but good).

I found the score to be one of the few things that didn't catch my attention.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 09, 2010, 01:46:31 AM
Maybe he can get funding from the people?

Ask Chris Alexander, head editor of FANGORIA.
He sent a mass message to all of his email pals "begging" for money to fund a project.
Last I checked he was using Kickstarter to fund that same project that presumably will have the magazine's name over the title.

All I'm saying is there is nothing low about it.
Even the big guys (compared to us) use it.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 09, 2010, 09:32:18 AM

You're not paying attention.

You sure you're reading ALL of my posts?


Now I know you haven't been paying close attention.


LOL, no, I am paying CLOSE attention. You opinion changes on a whim depending on who it is you're talking to.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 09, 2010, 09:40:26 AM

Even the big guys (compared to us) use it.

The "Big Guys" go asking fans to finish their movies?

What is "compared to us"? I assume your role has expanded since we last talked which was something like a year or two ago when this documentary was going on...well, silly me, it's still going on since it still hasn't even come out yet. You said you merely got a location provided by some rich gay man you know. Are you a full fledged producer now? Congratulations if so and it may partially explain your alternate personality perception of these movies.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 09, 2010, 01:08:04 PM
LOL, no, I am paying CLOSE attention. You opinion changes on a whim depending on who it is you're talking to.

Nope, you're just not paying attention.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: The Firecracker on December 09, 2010, 01:24:00 PM
The "Big Guys" go asking fans to finish their movies?

Again, Chris Alexander is asking for funding the same way we were.
And his project is a Fangoria one.
I won't be repeating this anymore as it's all there for you to read in my previous post.

What is "compared to us"? I assume your role has expanded since we last talked which was something like a year or two ago when this documentary was going on...well, silly me, it's still going on since it still hasn't even come out yet. You said you merely got a location provided by some rich gay man you know. Are you a full fledged producer now? Congratulations if so and it may partially explain your alternate personality perception of these movies.

"Compared to us" meaning we're the little guy.
Much smaller than Chris Alexander who himself isn't that big of a fish.
His project will probably cost somwhere in the vicinity of $900,000 to $5,000,000.
Eurocrime cost less than a College tuition.

I have a associate producer's credit for reeling in Franco Nero, using the rich gay man who is a friend of Franco's, and Chris Mitchum as well as providing B-camera for several interviews.


Congratulations if so and it may partially explain your alternate personality perception of these movies.

I don't see how if I would probably have to pretend to like them if I have an important credit on a doc about them.

There is nothing alternate about my perception of the movies.
When I praised them I had only seen a few that were good.
I've seen a lot more now and I'm finding it very difficult to find good things to say about the new ones.
It's a case of the bad outweighing the good.
You've used my few comments to turn this into a page long charade for no apparent reason (and I've allowed it because apparently I'm stupid) and have thus wasted enough of my time as well as your own.
I won't continue with this senseless banter especially if it's going to continue to derail the thread.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 10, 2010, 12:10:13 AM
Ask Chris Alexander, head editor of FANGORIA.
He sent a mass message to all of his email pals "begging" for money to fund a project.
Last I checked he was using Kickstarter to fund that same project that presumably will have the magazine's name over the title.

All I'm saying is there is nothing low about it.
Even the big guys (compared to us) use it.

Believe me, I am paying attention. There's nothing in your above paragraph that denotes Chris Alexander as one of the "Big Guys", and no, Fangoria isn't a MAJOR MOVIE STUDIO, it's a HORROR MAGAZINE who dabbled in a few direct to video horror movies back in the early 90s and they went nowhere. I don't read them anymore so if they're doing movies again, bully for them, but they are not the "Big Guys" when it comes to producing MOVIES which is what we were talking about. Apparently you are not paying attention to what you yourself are typing.

If you've seen "A lot more of them", please enlighten us as to what they are, or better yet, DON'T, because your opinion will change a month from now if the topic comes up with someone else and they have some DVD-R's you wish to acquire. You can't even recall but a few and have ODDLY confused some titles you displayed a liking to barely a year ago. It's extremely difficult to take anything you say seriously when one minute you like a movie and then the next minute you've got a pompous attitude about it.

You sent me a PM on the third of December asking if anything had changed or if the "Usual suspects were still assholes" and the only thing that has changed is your "political motives" towards a handful of flicks and your sudden disdain for them. So from here on out, any opinion I read from you that changes a month or so from when you initially proclaim it, I will just assume there's a coveted DVD-R you're after.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 10, 2010, 12:57:25 AM
Okay, here's some of your inconsistencies and bewildering statements regarding some of your "opinions". Below is your statement regarding THE BOSS from another site and you reference in the first sentence, "NOT BETTER THAN THE FIRST TWO IN THE TRILOGY"

THE BOSS

Not better than the first two in the trilogy. Oh well.
My favorite scene is the beginning where Silva blows up a bunch of, embarassingly obvious, mannequins with a trusty grenade launcher. After that the film becomes an interesting, but overly talky crime movie.


Now, here's your statement from a page or two back regarding MILAN CALIBER 9....

MILAN CALIBRE 9 I couldn't finish to be honest.
MANHUNT, I've always liked. The "one man against the world" concept is one I always enjoy and this is a great example of it.
The final climax in the dump is a little sketchy because the stuff with the crane doesn't really work (almost as if they didn't get much coverage that day) but it hardly hinders the rest of the movie.


So which is it? HAVE YOU SEEN THE DAMN MOVIE, OR HAVEN'T YOU?????

Another oddball comment is this remark regarding CYNIC, RAT, FIST from another site....

I think I prefer this one to ROME, ARMED TO THE TEETH. It's more jokey and the final confrontation is handled better (the Hunchback "getting it" in the back at the end of ROME is kind of a cop out).
The only thing wrong with this entry is the fifteen minute segment where it becomes a heist picture.
That scene came totally out of left field.


And this one from here....

I have not changed my opinion of Cynic and Teeth (although I like the alternate cut Assualt with a Deadly Weapon better). It's the other Merli films that I don't care for all that much. It has been so long that I've seen any of them that I can't recall all the titles save for some of the more popular ones like Violent Naples and the other two of the "trilogy". I just seem to feel that those 3 have been sold wrong to me. They said they were action fests but had little action in it. Naples and its companion pieces, always seem to turn into political intrigue/conspiracy movies or films that don't center around the exploits of Merli the policeman (then again, save for some of the violent set pieces, I don't recall much from them and could be wrong about the details of the subplots).

So which is it? DO YOU LIKE THE DAMN MOVIE, OR DON'T YOU?

This is from you a page or two back.....

I'm with Titoli, I've seen about two dozen of these things (most being "the best the genre has to offer") and only Di Leo's MANHUNT can be described as a great movie.
The Merli films can be fun, when not bogged down by talky segments or politics, but overall they're unsubstantial fare.

Maybe "unsubstantial" was the wrong word but I don't think they are on par with the other genres the Italians were putting out during that time.
The Merli movies, for me, are as I said they are. Bogged down by a bunch of stuff that gets in the way of the action. The Merli films should be escapist fun but they always seem to turn into something else. At least the ones I've seen.


OKAY, THAT'S FINE AND ALL, BUT THERE'S NO POLITICAL BOGGING IN EITHER OF THOSE MERLI MOVIES YOU GUSH OVER BEFORE, BUT SLIGHT AFTER....

I must admit, though, you were pretty consistent with the likes of REVOLVER, the LVC crime flicks, CONTRABAND and ALMOST HUMAN, but since Titoli has stated his distaste for it (as per his opinion of the Merli films that now magically matches your own), you're likely to despise it now as well.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 10, 2010, 01:45:53 AM
A quick Merli guide off the top of my head with the "Political Bogging" you mention specified where available.

VIOLENT ROME 1975--Merli plays Betti, a cop dealing with muggers, the mob and bank robberies who eventually sides with Richard Conte and his vigilante hit squad to sweep scum off the street after hours. His first Calabresi styled role and no POLITICAL BOGGING, BUT HAS A LOT OF ACTION.

FEAR IN THE CITY 1976--Sequel to LEFT HAND OF THE LAW with Leonard Mann. Merli plays Murri who revenges for the death of his family at the hands of a crime boss recently let out of prison who is knocking off the informers that put him in prison. Calabresi again and no POLITICAL BOGGING, BUT QUITE A BIT OF ACTION.

SPECIAL COP IN ACTION 1976--Merli is Betti who goes after a gang of crooks that have hijacked a busload of children. Meanwhile, gang activity continues and Betti kills a big Mobsters subordinate and ends up going to prison over it and has to deal with a bunch of crooks he put in there. Calabresi again, LOTS OF ACTION & NO POLITICAL BOGGING.

VIOLENT NAPLES 1976--Merli is Betti sent to Naples to where he uses his excessive force tactics to bust up money protection rackets, sociopaths on a murder spree and the Mob. Merli is playing Calabresi again. LOTS OF ACTION, NO POLITICAL BOGGING.

CYNIC, RAT, FIST 1977--Tanzi is pursued by 'The Chinaman' whom he put in prison. He fakes his death, then goes after Chinaman in secret and eventually sets Chinaman against Dimaggio, a big time crime boss. More Calabresi from Merli and LOTS OF ACTION, NO POLITICAL BOGGING.

ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH 1977--Very little plot, just LOTS OF ACTION WITH NO POLITICAL BOGGING as Tanzi goes after The Hunchback and his gang, another drug dealing rapist played by Ivan Rassimov and a youth gang of thugs. One of the most famous of these movies bar none and probably Merli's finest Calabresi impersonation.

HIGHWAY RACER 1977--Merli shaves the mustache and plays a fun loving speed racer cop who smiles and jokes a lot out to stop a race driving criminal and his gang. LOTS OF ACTION, CAR CHASES, CRASHES, EXPLOSIONS, BUT No POLITICAL BOGGING IN SIGHT.

FEARLESS FUZZ 1977--Merli is 'The Fox' a private detective who is sent to Austria to find a missing girl and uncovers a prostitution ring and conspiracy headed up by Joan Collins who sheds her clothes on two occasions. A BIT OF COMEDY, MERLI GETS HIS ASS KICKED FOR A CHANGE, A SMALL DOSE OF ACTION AND A WEE BIT OF POLITICAL BOGGING.

CONVOY BUSTERS 1978--Merli is Olmi, who after solving a double murder, exposing corruption within the law and accidentally killing an innocent citizen, takes a break in a small seaside town where he inadvertently uncovers a gun smuggling ring. A BIT OF ACTION, VERY SLOW, NOT MUCH POLITICAL BOGGING. Merli is once more Calabresi in this movie I don't care much for.

FROM CORLEONE TO BROOKLYN 1979--Merli is Berni assigned to get an assassin of a Sicilian mobster from Italy to NY to testify against the Mob boss that hired him now residing in Brooklyn. The trick is to make it to America alive with his key witness. LOTS OF ACTION, NO POLITICAL BOGGING.

HUNTED CITY 1979--Merli is Ferro who tries to solve a series of shootings involving wealthy land owners. Linked to a former mobster, Ferro sides with an elder Mafioso to try and solve the mystery. A BIT OF ACTION, A LOT OF POLITICAL BOGGING.

THE REBEL 1980--Merli is Rossi, a retired cop who gets back in the game to solve an international conspiracy regarding assassinations of wealthy entrepreneurs. A bit of action, very different location, A LOT OF POLITICAL BOGGING.

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 19, 2010, 04:19:42 PM
The Violent Professionals (1973) This is famous for the car chases. And rightly so. They make the movie worth watching in spite of the rather muddled plot. Actually the last chase is very well dramatically inserted in the movie and well above the usual amateurishness of the screenplay and of the awful dialogues. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 19, 2010, 04:26:04 PM
Without Trace (A tutte le auto della polizia...) (1975) This is not a poliziottesco but a solid police procedural based on a novel, with the added value of many young girls showing lots of skin. Some dialogues are annoying and the finale is rather stupid, but Salerno and the girls make it a good 7\10.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 28, 2010, 11:51:33 AM
Napoli si ribella (1977) Tolerable flick mostly for good action scenes, but of little interest otherwise. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 28, 2010, 12:01:44 PM
Gambling City (1975) A gangster movie with an awful, intruding melodrama not so "sub" plot. An interesting premise (a card cheater career) completely badly wasted. Only Salerno's performance saves it from total dullness. 4\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 29, 2010, 01:24:46 AM
Ransom! Police Is Watching (The Great Kidnapping)(1973) Well, this is better than expected, quite in the line of La polizia ringrazia: not a real poliziottesco (there is little action) but a reflection on how to deal with kidnapping (that was a very common crime in the '70's in Italy). Salerno is good as usual but given an awful make-up. The Cipriani's score is in the Morricone's mould. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 29, 2010, 04:04:14 AM
Crimebusters (1976) This is so over the top that made me laugh a couple of times, especially in the rather violent action scenes. These are the reason for watching it, I think, the plot being so absurd and full of holes (the Emiliano actor in the Trinity movies apparently knows always where to find Silva) that you don't care in the least about it. The De Angelis brothers score is annoying, rarely appropriated to the scenes or, maybe, too much. A Keystone cops or Tex Avery cartoon movie. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 29, 2010, 01:18:49 PM
Double Game (1977) Only good thing of the movie is Annarita Grapputo, unfortunately not showing much. During the vision I thought mostly about something else, couldn't have cared less about what was happening plotwise. No good action scenes. Score barely notable. 4\10 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 31, 2010, 03:28:00 PM
Emergency Squad (1974) As usual Sacchetti's story is quintessential "you've seen it all before", you can tell what's going to happen next. Add to that ludicrous scenes like the hippies (?) pad or those including dialogues between Milian and his sister in law which make your skin cringe because of their mawkishness  and you have very little to be happy about. Still it has 3 major actors like Milian, Moschin (but you never know what his character is about: he is dubbed as il Marsigliese" but he doesn't affect a french pronounce) and Carotenuto (totally miscast, though, as Milian's pard) and the final scene is effective: I would like to know if it is original. So I give it 6\10.
The inteview with Massi included in the dvd is depressing.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:19:39 PM
The Violent Professionals (1973) This is famous for the car chases. And rightly so. They make the movie worth watching in spite of the rather muddled plot. Actually the last chase is very well dramatically inserted in the movie and well above the usual amateurishness of the screenplay and of the awful dialogues. 6\10

This was decent enough. The car chase scene was recycled in a few other movies.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:21:38 PM
Without Trace (A tutte le auto della polizia...) (1975) This is not a poliziottesco but a solid police procedural based on a novel, with the added value of many young girls showing lots of skin. Some dialogues are annoying and the finale is rather stupid, but Salerno and the girls make it a good 7\10.

This was a really good Giallo style police thriller. It reminded me a lot of WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS? by Dallamano.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:23:36 PM
Napoli si ribella (1977) Tolerable flick mostly for good action scenes, but of little interest otherwise. 6\10

I thought this was pretty much crap save for the score and the dubbed dialog from Cannavale.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:26:02 PM
Gambling City (1975) A gangster movie with an awful, intruding melodrama not so "sub" plot. An interesting premise (a card cheater career) completely badly wasted. Only Salerno's performance saves it from total dullness. 4\10

I never finished this one. It's "up" there with NICK THE STING (with Merenda) and LOADED GUN (with Andress and Strode) as pretty much non interesting. The Hong Kong gambling gangster movies (which originated in 1972 with Shaw Brothers THE CASINO) were much better at this sort of storyline in my view.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:27:03 PM
Ransom! Police Is Watching (The Great Kidnapping)(1973) Well, this is better than expected, quite in the line of La polizia ringrazia: not a real poliziottesco (there is little action) but a reflection on how to deal with kidnapping (that was a very common crime in the '70's in Italy). Salerno is good as usual but given an awful make-up. The Cipriani's score is in the Morricone's mould. 6\10

Hmmm. Not sure I have this one. I have several that involve kidnappings, but I don't think this is one of them in my collection.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:28:47 PM
Crimebusters (1976) This is so over the top that made me laugh a couple of times, especially in the rather violent action scenes. These are the reason for watching it, I think, the plot being so absurd and full of holes (the Emiliano actor in the Trinity movies apparently knows always where to find Silva) that you don't care in the least about it. The De Angelis brothers score is annoying, rarely appropriated to the scenes or, maybe, too much. A Keystone cops or Tex Avery cartoon movie. 6\10

This one is braindead fun. Probably the best thing I've seen from Tarantini. About the only movie with a decent score from the de Angelis brothers I can think of is SHARK HUNTER with Nero.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:32:29 PM
Double Game (1977) Only good thing of the movie is Annarita Grapputo, unfortunately not showing much. During the vision I thought mostly about something else, couldn't have cared less about what was happening plotwise. No good action scenes. Score barely notable. 4\10 

This 1978 movie was garbage. I couldn't even finish it and the sequel from 1980 is even worse. Hilton's BLAZING FLOWERS is better, but not by much. Lots of sleaze in that one and little else.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:33:33 PM
Emergency Squad (1974) As usual Sacchetti's story is quintessential "you've seen it all before", you can tell what's going to happen next. Add to that ludicrous scenes like the hippies (?) pad or those including dialogues between Milian and his sister in law which make your skin cringe because of their mawkishness  and you have very little to be happy about. Still it has 3 major actors like Milian, Moschin (but you never know what his character is about: he is dubbed as il Marsigliese" but he doesn't affect a french pronounce) and Carotenuto (totally miscast, though, as Milian's pard) and the final scene is effective: I would like to know if it is original. So I give it 6\10.
The inteview with Massi included in the dvd is depressing.

The ending reminded me of a western. Aside from Milian and Moschin, this was average to me.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:35:47 PM
ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH - Roma a mano armata (1977) This has the advantage of an episodic structure, so the screenplay is a little more acceptable than those having a linear plot, a task which seems beyond the capacity of the people involved in creating these kind of movies. Still it falls often into the ludicruous, with Merli apparently being always in the place where a crime is committed (or maybe these crimes were so many that Rome must have been a hell of a place to live in in the '70's). Merli makes me laugh each time he goes into action, he's so incapable of acting. 5\10

Definitely not on the tier of such movies as CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN (1971) or EXECUTION SQUAD (1971) or MILAN CALIBER 9, but one of the best of the mindless violence crime flicks and one of the most fun Merli movies. Also a signature genre entry that defines what makes the more exploitable films a lot of gruesome fun.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Arizona Colt on December 31, 2010, 08:42:57 PM
MILANO ODIA: LA POLIZIA NON PUO SPARARE - (ALMOST HUMAN) 1974

In the italian dvd there's an extra feature with three reviews written when the film first came out. Well, I think they exactly mirror the opinion most people had at the time and later. And also mine. This is Milian's worst performance: He acts over the top and has the wrong mimicry and the wrong gestures continuously. His character has no logic: sometime he acts like a evil genius, sometime like a crazy, imbecile man. And that reflects on the plot, which is really embarrassing as to logic. F.E. Milian decides the best way to kidnap a girl is to use his own girlfriend's car. Does this makes sense? Of course not but most of the plot hinges on this moronic decision. I could add tons of inverosimilitudes to this (the way he got hold of the weapons: can a dealer be such an imbecile? And the way the ransom is paid. And  the man who admits the frightened girl into his home forgetting to close the door. I stop here). Still the movie can be seen for some reasons: the car chase, the final scene (but a bar near the trash heaps? Come on...), Laura Belli and Morricone's score (not exceptional but good). The Martino production probably is the reason why Lenzi's direction looks as such. 6\10     

Milian counts this as one of his favorite roles and in my view, one of the best and nastiest films in the genre. It's also one of the most respected films of Italian crime films. Arguably Lenzi's best in this style.

Milian's character only cared about himself. What is illogical about using his girlfriends car when he ends up killing her anyways? Sachi only cared about himself and no one else. He is motivated by greed and a seething hatred for his fellow man, those who have what he doesn't. This is blatantly obvious to anyone who has watched the movie. I am really surprised (well, not so much now) that a certain individual isn't expressing an opinion on this since this person raved so much about the film after seeing it.

I found nothing at all illogical here. It's a film about an angry, vicious and cruel man who manipulates everyone he encounters to get what he wants and then summarily does away with those who have inadvertently helped him receiving his just desserts in a symbolic fashion at the end. Silva's great here, too, with what little screen time he has.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on February 04, 2011, 10:31:10 PM
Kidnap Syndicate (1975) The only thing I found of some value is the chase-fight in the middle part, very well timed and edited. For the rest, I think this suffers from miscasting (both Mason and Cortese are too old for the part) and some plot twist quite complicated and rather difficult to believe (like Merenda's managing to trace the kidnappers easily while police does nothing; and the way he trades with the kidnap syndicate about the money). A good twist which I expected could have been having Mason be behind the kidnapping because he wanted his wife's money. But they weren't interested. Bacalov apes his former and famous score for Di Leo's Caliber 9. 5\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on February 07, 2011, 10:29:33 AM
Bloody Payroll (1976) This has got 2-3 scenes worth seeing: a car chase in the beginning with some good, original twist (a bump seen from the inside camera car), the shooting in the cave with Cassinelli's fall. But for the rest is quite tame and boring. The score is hailed as a very popular one but it was the fiurst time I heard it. Silvia Dionisio is pretty as usual. 6\10 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on February 22, 2011, 02:45:03 AM
Destruction Force (1977) The idea was to put together the 2 stars of the moment and the result is you have them doing their own movie quite apart from each other. I wonder what not italian viewers may find in the roman spoken vignettes of Milian whose crass humor (so I'm told) many times got over not roman audiences in Italy too. As usual with Sacchetti there is not a sparkle of originality (the Milian classes are evidently inspired by Totō's burgling clinic in Big Deal on Madonna Street).  6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on March 01, 2011, 03:24:55 PM
Fear in the City (1976) I give it 5\10 only beacuse the motorcycle chase was shot partly in the vicinity of my home (though I wasn't living there at the time of shooting). My home missed being there by two hundred meters.  >:( Also, it features a friend of my sister who died last year.  The fact that Merli kills in cold blood the criminals and that Dionisio offers herself without veils doesn't elevate this from the already seen.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on March 28, 2011, 12:35:46 AM
Blood, Sweat and Fear (1975) This is the first movie about commissary Mark, played by Franco Gasparri, an actor with a sad story like Christopher Reeve's. In the italian dvd there's an interesting interview with the author of the story, Dardano Sacchetti: a pity that his intentions apparently are never well transposed on the screen. Or maybe he is not a good judge of himself. Anyway, this movie is disjointed, the story is not linear but made up of episodes. Some car stunts are good (the car almost hitting the policeman and the homicide of the corrupt highway cop) but some elements purely stink, like all the story about the junkie girl adopted by MArk (!). Gasparri is very handsome: but he can't even start to play badass. 5\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 06, 2011, 11:39:36 AM
Silent Action (1975) You see the money they put into it, but the story is nothing special: you know how it's gonna end. There's a good car chase that makes this worth seeing. The title tune is a rip off from Morricone's Indagine. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 11, 2011, 01:39:13 PM
Mark Strikes Again (1976) This was Gasparri's last movie and that makes me sad, knowing what the future held in store for him. He plays a little bit better than in the first Mark episode but the movie is interesting because it is intricated from start to finish, quite unpredictable (and absurd: just take the scene where Steiner learn from tv who Mark really is while the policeman is upstairs, not counting the crimes Mark takes part to). That makes me grant it a 7\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 12, 2011, 12:57:28 PM
Street Law (1975) Excellent in the the action scenes, is rather mediocre plotwise, especially after Nero meets Prete. A pity. Nero is a living handbook as to how not to be an actor, he always adopts the wrong mimicry and body movements. 5\10    
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 12, 2011, 05:35:22 PM
Have you seen The Last Desperate Hours (1974)?
Apparently it's Sabato's finest hour.

It probably is: but that doesn't mean much as he remains a mediocre actor. The only good actor in the movie is Capponi: but that is no news.  The plot trick is so absurd you could even stop watching it the moment it happens. You have a prostitution boss in Milan (Sabāto) whom a rival gang tries to eliminate. While on the run he enters a kind of research laboratory and manages to be bitten by a guinea pig (!!!!) so developing a mortal infection(!!!!). Instead of going to the next hospital his priority is to eliminate his former gang's members who betrayed him(!!!!). Now, maybe I'm too fastidious about plots but this stinks. The score copies blatantly the themes from Il clan dei siciliani and Milano calibro 9. I give it a generous 5\10 only because there's some attractive female like Mirella Rossi.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 13, 2011, 02:45:49 PM
Hallucinating Strip (1975) I like the italian first half of the title: "Roma drogata". This is a movie which makes you think about all your daily affairs and follow just the images and lull you to slepp if you're tired. I don't know what the plot is about and I don't care. There's a long psychedelic sequence which is similar to tens of others. The american actor playing the lead looks out of place here exctly as he looked in his american movies. Only good thing is some nude, especially Eva Czemerys'. 3\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 16, 2011, 07:50:41 AM
The Boss (1973) One of the worst movies I saw in the last years. It is actually a festival of acting horrors , with a real competition among italian actors as to who plays worse. The plot is crap and the look is cheapie-cheap. The only good thing is the score. 2\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 21, 2011, 09:56:53 AM
The Left Hand of the Law (La polizia interviene: ordine di uccidere) (1975)  It starts with a good car chase ending with a brutal double  murder. But then I yawned till the end, which may come as a surprise to some and has a good dialogue and ending. But if you add Mann sleepy performance you just wonder to what end such a great cast (Mason, Boyd, Salerno) was ever assembled. 4\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 22, 2011, 11:41:16 AM
Rulers of the City (1976) I think this is my favourite Di Leo for a good 3\4 time, quite enjoyable as to dialogues, unpredictability in the plot development (though he doesn't invent anything new) and single scenes. The movie has 3-4 languages spoken (roman, neapolitan and even apulian dialects + italian spoken by Palance and Purdom) main one being roman dialect (which is just a particular pronunciation of italian). It is rare to find a movie where roman language is used so naturally as here, even in the Giraldi\Monnezza movies.  But of course this goes over the foreign audiences. And this goes even in my favourite scene of the movie, the telephone call between Caprioli and Palance, where Caprioli speaks not in neapolitan but with a neapolitanized italian. What I didn't like is the wimpy german Baer, absolutely inadequate to the role and the finale where, again, the "ruler of the city" Palance presides in person to a drug deal. And the final shooting is even longer than FFDM's or GBU's, and more boring. 7\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 23, 2011, 10:55:22 AM
Shadows Unseen (1972) This is not a poliziottesco but rather a police drama, the drama being there is little action (actually, only the final car chase) and lots of talk. It bored me to death. 3\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 24, 2011, 11:15:43 AM
Mark Shoots First (1975) Two plot lines make this rather more solid than the other two movies of the series but it is nothing to lose yoour head about. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on April 28, 2011, 01:41:36 AM
Elimination Force (1977) This has an extreme villain like Giulio Sacchi in Almost Human and it is well played by an actor I detest  but here is credible. There's also the unusual final scene which makes this a must-see for the fans of the genre. I give it a 7\10 in spite of the much padding in the plot, with all that rather boring training of the Elimination Force of the title which is not so central to the plot, led by the continuous challenge between Bozzuffi and Mezzogiorno. 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 01, 2011, 12:28:19 AM
Violent Naples (1976) By far the best movie of the genre I've reviewed so far. It kept me glued to the chair from start to finish, though I have minor quibbles about it. It has the right pace a movie of this genre it  is supposed to have, with great scenes (the motocar races and the funiculė funiculā sequence being the best ones) and secondary plot lines which substitute the love and talkative scenes in the other movies. 8\10


Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: Banjo on May 01, 2011, 02:13:42 AM
Just ordered this from Amazon which it seems includes a chapter on Italian crime thrillers as long as the one on sw's. :)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cinema-Italiano-Complete-Guide-Classics/dp/1848856083/ref=tmm_pap_title_0#_

BTW THE BOSS is one of my favourites and includes Henry Silva's best performance that i've seen so far.Can't remember VIOLENT NAPLES too well as the Maurizio Merli films are so similar but i'm sure i enjoyed this too.I also liked STREET CRIME and FEAR IN THE CITY very much.Again very hazy,but i remember LEFT HAND OF THE LAW being not much good.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 01, 2011, 08:08:06 AM
Banjo, remember to review the Hughes' book in the Groggy's thread.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 04, 2011, 03:21:10 PM
Death Commando (1985) Even Di Leo's staunchiest supporters agree in judging this a minor achievement and I won't be the one to contradict them. 3\10 because of some nude girl.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 05, 2011, 10:22:55 AM
Loaded Guns (1974) Only reason to watch this it's the last fires of Ursula Undress' skin, from a distance, though. Di Leo adds slapstick to crime and the result sucks, predictably, on both counts. 5\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 05, 2011, 01:02:11 PM
Nick the Sting (1976) Di Leo blames Merenda for the movie's faults. I don't know if his original project was any better than the final result but I doubt it. This is simply a The Sting remake and, within limits, it fares well. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 06, 2011, 09:26:50 AM
The Big Racket (1976) For the first half this is good as (or even better) than any cop movie I ever saw. Testi is absolutely on a par with any american counterpart (Eastwood included) though he is dubbed even in italian (he can't but be, considering his accent) and sweeps away any concurrent in Italy in the same role. Problems start with the shooting scene at the railway station (half a mile from where I live) which is so over the top it would make Stallone blush. And the lynching scene is too exaggerated as well. The recruiting in the jailhouse for the final confrontation is absurd, but the final shooting is well made so I give it 8\10. A pity because with a more logical development in the screenplay this could have been a classic in the Dirty Harry slot.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 09, 2011, 07:48:18 AM
Highway Racer (1977) I give this 9\10 in spite of the many defects, namely Merli's inept mimicry (you can easily get aware to it in his duets with a very good actor like Sbragia); the average Stallone hackneyed plot; the miscasting of Infanti as the villain (i think he comes off as too soft). But the car chasing scenes are impressive today like they were at the time and make a movie like Driver or Bullitt pale. Remi Julienne is the real star of the movie and I guess this must have been his masterpiece.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 11, 2011, 11:57:02 PM
Shoot First, Die Later (1974) It starts with a great car chase, duplicated by another not as brilliant toward the end. The story it is interesting at the start but then it becomes too contrived: after Merenda delivers the report to the gang to have killed Caprioli should put things aright. Instead they kill Merenda's father, without having taken the chance to kill his son when he delivered the report. With the consequence of having him go for revenge. The confrontation of Merenda and his father is another melodramatic, inconsistent scene. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 14, 2011, 01:50:26 AM
Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (1976) I missed being in it by inches, as the sequence of the Roco bros. hold up was shot less than a 100 ft. from my high school (probably in winter 1975). I was expecting to appear any second. Anyway this is a solid movie, marred by the usual sex scenes that Di Leo was so fond of (for once I could be though a little more indulgent as Sofia Dionisio, not as pretty as her sister is surely a lot more sexier). I only have minor quibbles about it (the dylanesque OST, some of the sets like Celi's office, the actors, especially Porel) but I give it 8\10 anyway even because of the good finale.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 15, 2011, 11:40:54 AM
Syndicate Sadists (1975)  I find little to criticize here except some too sugary dialogues with the two boys. But it's a minor complaint. I don't know if the transfer was particularly good or it was just because the director of photography's merit but it is a pleasure to watch. Probably this is the best movie I reviewed so far so a 9\10 is in order. 

Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 12, 2011, 03:23:21 PM
I mafiosi (1959) I had never even heard of this movie until it was released on dvd. And rightly so, as it sucks no end. And it's not even about sicilian mafia but about some kind of crime  association finally defeated by the protagonist. 3\10 only because of some landscape (and some western like feature) and some nice looking girl. The good thing is that right after this movie 3 great mafia movies shot in b&w were made: Salvatore Giuliano, Un uomo da bruciare and Mafioso.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 12, 2011, 03:28:35 PM
Rudeness (1975) I give this movie on the rather improbable blackmail activities of a mafia affiliate, finally lost by his sweet tooth for women, a 5\10 because there so much naked female flesh around. The protagonist played Carlo in  The Godfather.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 14, 2011, 02:11:34 PM
Gang War in Milan (1973) Most of the merits of the movie I presume must be ascribed to the Franco Enna's screenplay. Enna was one of the best italian mystery writers before starting a movie career. The flick is quite entertaining, though a bit repetitive: it could last half hour more or half hour less without losing or adding anything. I give it 7\10 because, for once, Sabato (as usual, the loser) is tolerable.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 15, 2011, 03:55:06 PM
The Heroin Busters (!977). Two worthwhile elements in this: the final long chase sequence (great construction site and subway scenes) and the OST by Goblin. That helps it to a 7\10 though the first 2\3 of the movie are quite unoriginal and little entertaining.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 16, 2011, 06:10:14 PM
Crime Boss (1973) This aims too high and you actually never know what it's aiming at. Some of the plot twist are contrived (all the Hamburg scam just to get in touch with Savalas makes little sense: why kidnap a girl? how to justify the stolen drug to resurface?) and then you have Savalas miscast as a mafia boss (he's dubbed with the inevitable sicialian accent ) and Sabato convincing only from time to time. 5\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 18, 2011, 03:23:46 PM
Long Arm of the Godfather (1972) The finale it's quite noirish (though playin in open sea and daylight) and the beginning it's good but once the action movies to Africa it loses momentum and some cut would have been welcome. Celi, a sicilian by birth, is dubbed by a non-neapolitan dubber in neapolitan and that's ridiculous. And he's not a godfather, as he handles his business personally. Worth a vision. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on June 20, 2011, 10:15:40 AM
La polizia č al servizio del cittadino? (1974) Can't find the english title for it. A good thriller with some well made scenes (Pambieri's death, the hospital raid and a couple more). A 10 minute cut would have been beneficial, but it's still a solid 7\10. Great Salerno, great Memmo Carotenuto.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on August 15, 2011, 12:35:57 PM
Gangsters (1977) Run of the Mill anti-racket squad flick, with no trace of originality. 5\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 01, 2011, 04:36:10 PM
Roma l'altra faccia della violenza (The other side of violence)(1976) Unfortunately I saw a fullscreen copy from TV and very bad at that. Still this is one of the best thanx to a tight plot which leaves little respite to viewers. 8\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 08, 2011, 03:16:55 PM
Merciless Man (1976) I suspect they developed the story as the film was being shot: I didn't understand so much. But this is all based on a fast rhythm and action scenes with little respite (courtesy of Maud Adams and Adolfo Celi's dialogues with Lo Bianco). I don't like the actor from the States: he looks gimpy. I give it 5\10, though most aficionados rating is much superior.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 09, 2011, 03:16:25 PM
The Bodyguard (1977) How could I ever have passed over this all these years? This is one of the best political thrillers ever, with the added bonus of GMV's performance, very different from his usual ones in those years, much played on nuances and silences. I think that the first part could have been shorn of a 10 minutes, maybe, but I'll have to rewatch the movie to be more precise. Also, the finale is far from unexpected and rather in contradiction with the idea of smartness the V's character conveys throughout the second part. But this second half kept me (yes, jenkins) on tentherhooks like I can't remember when the last time was.This was never released in Italy on vhs and of course on dvd either (there's a couple of foreign vhs editions of the italian version). But the master from italian public television is first-rate. 9\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 09, 2011, 03:23:28 PM
City Under Siege (1974) Not very original but quite watchable take on policeman Salerno daily vicissitudes. A very good role is played by his journalist friend (director Luciano Salce who, for once, gives the impression that he could give a honest actor performance) who never misses an occasion for an aside on what happens in the plot. Still there's too much preachiness toward the end and some characters look quite fake. 7\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 14, 2011, 03:40:22 PM
Contraband (1980) A Godfather spinoff plotwise, it is well-directed but there's not a single reason to watch it. The final shootdown with the old dons taking matters in hand is ridiculous. 5\10 only because of some female (and halfway, i.e. Ajita Wilson) skin.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 14, 2011, 03:46:44 PM
A Special Cop in Action (1976) This is worth watching for a couple of car chases and only because of those it gets 6\10. Merli is at his worst, just looking at his stony face and punching people made me rofl. Mirella D'Angelo is very pretty, though. And the finale comes unexpected, though unoriginal.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 18, 2011, 04:06:33 PM
From Corleone to Brooklyn (1979) This could be interesting for CJ: lots of NY locales. The story is nothing special, Biagio Pelligra sucks as usual, Merli dubs himself and it's a bit more tolerable than usual. Merola (whom I had the great pleasure of meeting personally, though not introduced to him: didn't care to) looks more of a boss when he's not playing, like here, boss roles. But the rhythm is good some action scene tolerable  and that makes 6\10.
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on May 30, 2012, 02:46:51 PM
The Facts of Murder (1959) This was considered by Germi as the first italian giallo. I don't know if that is correct, but probably no other italian crime movie before was that good. A police procedural, it has maybe too much interiors to suit my taste: still it gets your attention from start to end. 8\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on July 04, 2012, 04:43:32 PM
Napoli... la camorra sfida, la cittā risponde (1979) This has the trick of putting the victims of the racket against the racketeers for a final showdown, as it happened in a Testi's I reviewed some time ago. The movie is watchable, in soite of  its unoriginality. You can also listen to one of the Merola's tearjerking neapolitan songs, 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on September 14, 2012, 02:00:57 PM
Blazing Bullets a.k.a. Blazing Flowers (1978) Melodramatic crime crap unredeemed by the female nudes. 2\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on September 15, 2012, 04:51:46 PM
Young, Violent, Dangerous (1976) This has got everything Almost Human aimed at and didn't. I was surprised the dialogues and the psychology of the characters were so well developed. But then, this was based (by Di Leo, who wrote the movie) on stories by the greatest crime writer we had in Italy in the '60's.  Like a reviewer at IMDB, I find two main faults with this: the score (by one of the best italian jazz pianists) and the little Milian's screen time. But then, you can't have everything. 8\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on September 23, 2012, 01:53:14 PM
Tony Arzenta - Big Guns (1973) Unimaginative revenge story, with few if any merits. Probably only the unusual Copenhagen location. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on September 23, 2012, 01:57:30 PM
Convoy Busters (1978) A compound of all the usual ingredients of the genre, with little to recommend it. 5\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on September 23, 2012, 02:00:23 PM
Strange Shadows in an Empty Room (1976) Great car chases by Remy Julienne, the rest is giallo stuff, rather than poliziottesco. Which is natural as the movie is set in Canada. 6\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on November 13, 2012, 03:06:58 AM
Target (1979) A Turkey. I ought to give it 0\10, but instead go for 1\10  because of some little visible nudity. 
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on November 13, 2012, 05:03:50 PM
The Savage Three (1975) At IMDB there's raving about this movie. I can't see why, as movies with the same theme of normal youngsters turning criminals for fun was better developed were made with more originality in Italy (I reviewed some in this thread). The only thing that made me laugh was an exchange between Salerno and Dallesandro when the first ask the other for a bit of a service with the computer (Dallesandro is working for a computer  company). Dallesandro at first balks, but Salerno convinces him when he points out:"You have 2 mega still available". 5\10
Title: Re: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews
Post by: titoli on December 02, 2016, 07:14:44 AM
What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (La polizia chiede aiuto) (1974)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Ge8y7QtO4

A police procedural with some touches of gory giallo. It keeps you interested for a good 2/3 but then you start wondering what is keeping the cops to make it over. Actually it is full of mistakes and incongruities  in the investigation and in the screenplay, first of all the fact that the first victim's girlfriends are not questioned obviously at the beginning but only in the end: that would make the movie last half an hour. Still a generous 7/10.