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Arthur Allan Seidelman
I don't understand why Brigade Mondaine got a so low rating on the IMDb. Bearing in mind that fact, I had approched this sleazy cop flick with no great hopes and, maybe for the same reason, had a better result and enjoyed the movie much more than expected. Of course, we're not talking of a masterpiece of the polar subgenre, no Melville or Jacques Deray here, this one appeals more to B-movie aficionados, and could be well inserted between some of the trashiest Italian gialli like Nude per l'Assassino and Trhauma for the bizarre atmosphere and sleaziness and some polizieschi like La Polizia chiede Aiuto or a tutte le auto della Polizia for the topic. At the very beginning we have a beautiful girl shot with a gun by a leather-masked killer in a dreamy sequence underlined by the disco score by the master of the genre himself, Cerrone. And the police investigation immediately begins. The game is played by the Vice Squad (as the girl killed was a prostitute) versus a long haired, handsome and brash playboy who lure, with his charm (and drugs), beautiful young girls to his pleasure. But he is only the arm, not the brain. A rich, mysterious, old man oversees all operations as the girls have to become objects for his own desire, doped or not. But is not so easy 'cause the Vice Squad is behind his back, the leather- masked kills and kills again and some girls are difficult to treat, even if it excites him much more. The movie never loses rhythm and you can feel, maybe for some haircuts and for the soundtrack, that the '80 are coming somewhere, but this is not necessarily a defect. Also, there's enough uncovered skin to satisfy most sleazehounds, homicides are quite bloody, do you want more? The final orgy at the manor, interrupted at the beginning by the police (cavalry has never been so punctual ), anticipates Eyes Wide Shut by twenty years. Once again, the space-disco score by Cerrone is perfect to me and gives an original touch emphasizing sensually the sex scenes. Recommended for crime/giallo B- lovers.
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