This moderately entertaining crime thriller by Stelvio Massi is pretty much a violent updating of YOYIMBO (1962) or A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964). Star of the show is former middle-weight boxing champion Carlos Monzón, a drifter who arrives in town looking for a job, but doesn't seem entirely serious about his future and starts looking for trouble immediately. Within ten minutes, he wipes the floor with a whole gang of motley henchmen at the gates of some factory where he wanted to apply for a job. Apparently, they don't like Southerners (he just arrived from Sicily) and turned him down (at the gates, the old days). This scene provides the viewer with some social commentary as well, stating it's not good when people are turned down because they look a bit scruffy or come from the South. Some other workers claim the union should put a stop to this and that it's not right banging up poor workers for no reason. Damn right they are. Turns out the owner of the factory in question is Gino Manzetti (Luc Merenda), who also happens to be the head of a murderous crime ring and a pretty good shot as well, we learn later on the film. Now, Carlos Monzón starts working for him, but plays out every bad guy in town in the process, or something.
Carlos Monzón is not the greatest of actors, to put it mildly. He is clearly there for his ... well, physique, or his fighting skills, or probably both, but he got what it takes to kick some serious ass, but after a while he kind of bored me. Director Stelvio Massi knows how to stage some effective slow-motion fight scenes. Problem is, the story is not very original and after 50 minutes or so, the film kind of lost my attention. It's attractively shot and starts out well, but the story loses much of its momentum halfway when the promising plot is dropped almost completely, with the second half of the film consisting of an endless array of nightly shootouts, fight scenes and lots of skulking in the dark between the various parties involved. Practically the entire second half of the film is devoted to a seemingly endless showdown between all kinds of rival factions whose interests were completely beyond my grasp. But, perhaps that's just me.
One thing I will remember about this charade is the score. No Shame's release came with a separate CD containing some seriously groovy tracks, that I've been playing in my car for the last week. Pretty funky. We also get an extensive 37 minute interview with Luc Merenda by some boot-licking Italian guy, which consists of an extensive tour of his Paris-based antique shop and a mere 5 minutes or so about his films.
Camera Obscura --- 6/10
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