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Arizona Colt
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« Reply #15 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.

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« Reply #16 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.

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« Reply #17 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?

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Arizona Colt
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« Reply #18 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

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« Reply #19 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.

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« Reply #20 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.

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« Reply #21 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.

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« Reply #22 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.


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« Reply #23 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).

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« Reply #24 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.

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« Reply #25 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!

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« Reply #26 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.

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« Reply #27 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.

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« Reply #28 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.

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« Reply #29 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.

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