Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Muddled but fairly entertaining thriller.
'Fire Power' is typical of a lot of 70's thrillers which rely more on plot and character than the Jerry Bruckheimer extravaganzas that we get nowadays. In a nutshell, Sophia Loren's husband is murdered because he is a witness to the drug dealings of a powerful drug lord who lives in the Caribbean. Loren suggests that James Coburn, her former lover and bounty hunter, be the man to head down to the Caribbean to catch her husband's murderer. Along the way, there are lots of plot twists and turns- for example, whose side is Loren really on? And indeed, Who is really this mysterious drug lord?
Michael Winner was a director of numerous 70's thrillers, most famously with Charles Bronson (The 'Death Wish' films). He is a competent director who was dismissed by critics because his films were overtly violent and straight forward in their execution. The film probably has too many plot twists and characters, with the action changing from the Caribbean to the U.S too often and confusingly. The film is certainly not boring and you do get the glamorous Loren and the always good Coburn on screen together which can't be a bad thing.
Overall, a little too ambitious for its own good but if you are a fan of 70's films and thrillers in particular then this one is worth searching for. A Region 1 DVD release will hopefully appear some time in the near future.
I guerrieri dell'anno 2072 (1984)
Entertaining but not a 'good' Fulci film .....
The name Lucio Fulci is synonymous with the Zombie epics he made in the late 70's and early 80's (Zombie, The Beyond, City Of The Living Dead, House By The Cemetery). The success of those films, especially among gorehounds, painted Fulci as the 'godfather of gore'. The fact is that Fulci made films in a number of different genres as diverse as Westerns, Gialli, Sword and Sorcerer and even comedies in the early days.
'The New Gladiators' is a futuristic Sci-Fi film that seems inspired by the success of films like Escape From New York or even The Road Warrior. Obviously made on a limited budget, we get some appalling leggo like modelling of a futuristic Rome as well as some abysmal special effects which come across as fairly 'cheesy' and laughable. Despite that, the film is still remarkably entertaining and will certainly keep your interest up. Just don't go in expecting a masterpiece or even top notch Fulci. If you want Fulci at his best, watch one of his early gialli like 'Don't Torture a Duckling'.
It's a shame that Fulci became known as a guy who simply directed gore epics because his films are varied and his best films are outside the well known Zombie films. During the latter half of his career, he was plagued by low budgets and time constraints and the quality of his work suffers. The New Gladiators is an example of this. Entertaining enough but not a good representation of his best work.
Not Bad Lenzi Giallo
One of the other posters (Babycarrot67) has summed up quite nicely the film and the confusion between this film and another Lenzi title.
I recently saw this on a Japanese DVD (Italian language only) and it's a good if unremarkable entry to the genre. I personally think that the other gialli Lenzi made around the same time ('Knife Of Ice', 'So Sweet...So Perverse') were better films. If you are looking for some of the trimmings that occur in some of the more outrageous films in the giallo genre (like 'Torso' or even Lenzi's own 'Eyeball') you might be disappointed. This is very much a talky and plot driven film and relies less on murder set-pieces and gratuitous nudity than many films in the genre. It's always good to see Carroll Baker in the lead role- she gives a solid performance as do the other cast. The plot is not bad throwing in some interesting twists along the way.
So a solid but unremarkable entry to the genre. I would only suggest this one to people who have seen the better entries to the genre (like from Argento or Martino) only but I do hope it gets an English DVD edition some time in the future. If you are interested in Lenzi gialli the Region 1 versions of 'Spasmo' and 'Seven Blood-Stained Orchids' would be a better place to start.
Il coltello di ghiaccio (1972)
One of Lenzi's Best Films....
Umberto Lenzi was a prolific director making more than some 70 films throughout his career. I guess he could be described as part of the B-grade Italian tradition where they would make numerous films in many different genres (Western, Horror, Giallo, Crime and even Cannibal films) with low budgets and heavy time constraints. Other than a couple of his Euro-Crime films (like 'Almost Human'), this is the best film of his I've seen.
This film relies totally on its central mystery to keep you involved and intrigued....and what an excellent mystery it was. It certainly kept me guessing through the whole film. Basically, Carroll Baker place a mute women who suffered an horrific trauma in the past (the death of her parents). She now lives in Spain with her grandfather. Her sister comes to visit and dies at the hand of what the Police believe to be a sex maniac. Or is it? Lots of red herrings are thrown in along the way to help keep you guessing as well as numerous plot twists. The film is also helped by an unusual but effective score and some beautiful cinematography as well as a fine central performance by Baker.
Those who are familiar with the 'giallo' genre should be warned that this film doesn't contain some of the more lurid trappings of the genre (nudity and violence) that other films like 'Torso' for example have. This film lives and dies solely on the central mystery and Baker's performance.
I saw the film on the expensive but quite nice Japanese DVD which is the only official release I know of worldwide. If you are a 'giallo' fan then this one is definitely worth a look.
Mesmerizing Film For Euro-Cult Enthusiasts.....
'Death Smiles At Murder' is an intriguing and interesting film for those who like cinema of the strange and bizarre. If anything, it reminds me of Mario Bava's equally strange 'Lisa And The Devil' with its dreamlike plot and sinister and foreboding atmosphere. Beautifully shot by the director himself Ariste Massacessi- (usually known under the pseudonym Joe D'Amato) and featuring a weird and convoluted plot, you will be tempted to re-watch the film to get your head around what indeed the film was about.
This is not to say that the film will be for all tastes. If your one who likes films to follow logic and have carefully spelled out plots then you might give this a miss. The best way to describe it is as a period 'giallo' with the usual beautiful and sometimes naked protagonists thrown in. It's a shame that the director later ended up making hard core pornography because he really was a talented director and cinematographer on the evidence of this film.
I saw it on a Dutch DVD that I picked up from a European export company.
Highly recommended for lovers of strange film or Euro-Cult buffs.