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Fernando Di Leo
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Although pretty much forgotten, The Last Round aka Il Conto é Chiuso is a good example of a familiar story made fresh by the quality of its execution, as a stranger drifts into a decaying Italian industrial looking to settle an old score. But this violent modern-day (well, 1976) poliziotteschi is closer to Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest than the first two films it inspired, Yojimbo and Fistful of Dollars, set in its own Italian Poisonville divided between two rival gangs that he soon sets against each other. Surprisingly, despite being directed by the sometimes more adequate than inspired Stelvio Massi, it's shot with striking visual imagination and remarkably fluid camera-work from Franco Delli Colli. The two leads are impressive too, with Luc Merenda a wonderfully effective and dapper villain and undefeated middleweight champion boxer and offscreen wife-beater and murderer Carlos Monzon a surprisingly effective leading man in the mould of a young Charles Bronson.
NoShame's R1 DVD of this impressive little sleeper boasts an exceptionally good transfer, as well as one of the more surreal DVD extras of recent years a 35-minute tour of Merenda's Paris antique shop.
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