Often neglected, but well worth seeing Italian crime flick
Ever since Clint Eastwood delivered that immortal speech in Dirty Harry, Italy; king of cheap rip-off films, began production on a number of cheap crime films; many of which were stylish comic book affairs; but not this one. Despite its rather silly title; Luciano Ercoli's Killer Cop is actually an entirely serious Italian crime thriller (or 'Poliziotteschi'), that handles themes such as murder and terrorism. My main reason for seeing this film was because it's directed by Luciano Ercoli; the same underrated director behind the unfairly criticised 'Death Walks at Midnight', and the supremely sexy 'The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion'. However, I'm also becoming a big fan of Italian crime films (already a big fan of Giallo), and this is one of the best that I've seen. Typically for Italian cinema, the plot is overly complicated; and it picks up after the explosion of a bomb in a hotel lobby. We then follow the convoluted investigation into the bombing through the eyes of a young police detective.
Luciano Ercoli only directed a handful of films, and that's a shame as he did a really good job with his Giallo's, and this film makes a mark too. It can be a bit irritating at times, as several plot threads that don't really go anywhere creep into the plot; but Ercoli orchestrates it well, and several scenes; such as the end shoot-out in a train station and an earlier pivotal scene in a hotel room are tense and exciting. Ercoli does well in implementing a good gritty atmosphere, which bodes well with the idea of someone callously blowing up a hotel lobby. The investigation into the crime is well rounded, and although there is too much emphasis on the police procedure at times, the film mostly manages to stay away from boredom for its ninety minute duration. Claudio Cassinelli puts in a good lead performance and receives good feedback from a host of lesser known actors; although unlike most Italian films, this one doesn't feature much female flesh; and it's a shame that there's no role for Ercoli's muse, Susan Scott. Overall, while this isn't a top quality Italian film - it's certainly good enough to warrant tracking down and comes recommended to fans of Italian cinema.
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