A documentary concerning the violent Italian 'poliziotteschi' cinematic movement of the 1970s which, at first glance, seem to be rip-offs of American crime films like DIRTY HARRY or THE ...
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Just out of prison, ex-con Ugo Piazza meets his former employer, a psychopathic gangster Rocco who enjoys sick violence and torture. Both the gangsters and the police believe Ugo has hidden... See full summary »
Fernando Di Leo
When a shipment of heroin disappears between Italy and New York, a small-time pimp in Milan is framed for the theft. Two professional hitmen are dispatched from New York to find him, but ... See full summary »
Carlo Antonelli, an engineer from Genoa, gets mugged and decides to take justice into his own hands. At first the muggers seem to get the upper hand, but then he's helped by Tommy, a young robber who takes his side.
The hero-worship that Simone has for a pop singer is built to a crescendo until she passes out when she finally sees him up-close in a crowd of fans pushing him for autographs. She is later... See full summary »
The Case of the Scorpion's Tail begins with the mysterious death of a millionaire and spirals into the murder of his suddenly rich wife, which draws the attention of a dogged investigator, who follows a trail of blood to the bitter end.
Alberto de Mendoza
Cigarette smugglers in Naples run into problems with cocaine operations being set up by a rival smuggler. Full of violence, including a women's face being burned off with a blow torch and a... See full summary »
Archaeologists investigating some Mayan ruins come across a blob-like monster. They manage to destroy it with fire, but keep a sample. Meanwhile, a comet is due to pass close to the Earth -... See full summary »
A documentary concerning the violent Italian 'poliziotteschi' cinematic movement of the 1970s which, at first glance, seem to be rip-offs of American crime films like DIRTY HARRY or THE GODFATHER, but which really address Italian issues like the Sicilian Mafia and red terrorism. Perhaps even more interesting than the films themselves were the rushed methods of production (stars performing their own stunts, stealing shots, no live sound) and the bleed-over between real-life crime and movie crime.Written by
The reason for Ottaviano Dell'Acqua having the hairstyle that he does is that his interview was done while he had just finished as Tom Hanks's stunt double in Angels & Demons (2009). His interview was done in the hotel courtyard outside the 2009 Chiller Theater convention in Parsippany, NJ while they were having a retrospective on Italian horror movies. A fellow convention guest and alumnus of Italian horror films, Silvia Collatina was kind enough to act as translator and interpreter during his interview. See more »
Excellent documentary on an excellent subject (and no QT in sight)
Any fan of the 1970's Eurocrime genre will obviously enjoy this documentary, which features plenty of clips from this wonderful genre of (mostly) Italian films as well as interview clips from a lot of the major players like Franco Nero, Luc Merenda, Antonio Sabato, and director Enzo Castellari. I liked this doc a little better than some of the more recent ones though because instead of mixing in "fan-boy" interviews to handle the more in-depth analysis of the genre, the filmmakers actually did the heavy lifting themselves while wisely keeping the fan-boy gushing behind the scenes. Nor were there the typical pandering interviews of more well-known modern-day celebrities who may have been "influenced by" but really had nothing to do with the genre. (To be specific, the filmmakers didn't seek out Quentin Tarantino, who would served as BOTH a gushing fan-boy and a bit of celebrity pandering).
There is no denying the knowledge of some fan-boys like Tarantino, but this documentary still manages to impart a book-like knowledge of the genre by editing the player interviews into a kind of "power point" presentation. The documentary does a good job of explaining, for instance, the period and conditions where these movies were made, in a country which was at the time ridden with crime, corruption, violent mafiosi, and left-wing revolutionaries, but also one where people literally went to the movies 4-5 weeks on average and had an endless appetite for this kind of fare. You wouldn't think most of these movies would be any good given the rushed and impoverished conditions under which they were made, but they're actually MORE interesting on average than most of the over-produced Hollywood crapola you see these days, and it was no mistake that these cheap films also made up a lot of the America grindhouse filler that Tarantino et. al. spend so much time worshiping today.
I appreciated especially the interviews with the English dubbers like Michael Forrest and. I have personally said many bad things about these kind of guys over the years (especially when they managed to turn a serious Italian film into half-ass comedy), but they clearly had a difficult job and they took it a lot more seriously than perhaps I've really ever appreciated.
The only downside of this documentary is they missed a few of the major players like Tomas Milan (who I guess IS on the DVD extras), Barbara Bouchet, who really shouldn't have been that hard to find, and Fabio Testi. But I suppose that can't be helped. And obviously a lot people like director Fernand Di Leo are no longer with us. They do pay homage to Maurizio Merli (who is also dead) and Umberto Lenzi (who just refuses to do interviews with anybody), but I would have like to see more with Sergio Martino, who--whether he was available for an interview or not--was a lot more essential to the genre than Antonio Sabato or Joe Dallesandro. Still, these are minor quibbles. I would definitely recommend this overall.
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