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: ITALIAN CRIME FILMS: An Overview & Reviews  ( 106846 )
Arizona Colt
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« #270 : 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.


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« #271 : 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.


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« #272 : 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.


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« #273 : 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.


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« #274 : 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.


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« #275 : 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.


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« #276 : 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


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« #277 : 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 


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« #278 : 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 Totò's burgling clinic in Big Deal on Madonna Street).  6\10


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« #279 : 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.


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« #280 : 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

« : March 28, 2011, 12:37:12 AM titoli »

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« #281 : 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


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« #282 : 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


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« #283 : 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    

« : May 01, 2011, 08:23:50 AM titoli »

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« #284 : 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 (Sabàto) 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.


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