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Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the '70s (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Action, Crime | 30 March 2012 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »

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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 Anonymous

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Trivia

In 2012 when co-producer Michael A. Martinez met with Michael Forest in a Hollywood coffee shop to hand him an edit of the film, actress Barbara Bouchet (who is mentioned in much detail in the film) walked in and introduced herself, purely coincidentally. Bouchet and Forest casually knew each other as guest stars on episodes of "Star Trek" in addition to their work in Italian films. See more »

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References Death Rage (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Everything you always wanted to know about "Poliziotesschi" … but never thought about asking!
14 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

Move over "Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!" because I have a new favorite genre film documentary. It was actually destined that I would love this one, since I'm literally obsessed with Italian exploitation cinema from the seventies, and two sub genres in particular: the giallo and the poliziotesschi! Mike Malloy's masterwork unfolds exactly like you would expect from a documentary that is basically just a love-letter written by a devoted fan and addressed to his beloved genre. It's professional, well-structured and informative, with testimonials of the genre's (still living) main contributors, clips & footage of the biggest classics as well as more obscure gems and plentiful of great – and admittedly geeky – trivia!

I've been gazing and deep-diving into "Poliziotesschi" movies for many years already, and of course I already knew most things about the genre's historical background, trademarks and particularities that Mike Malloy brings forwards here in great detail, but – in all honesty – I was also expecting and even hoping to see this and received exactly what I wanted: personal heroes of mine (John Saxon, Henry Silva, Franco Nero, …) who are talking just as passionately and enthusiastically about untamed film-making as I would, even though 95% of the rest of the world either doesn't know these titles or looks down upon them. "Eurocrime! Etc…" exists of chronological chapters, starting with the symbolical birth of the genre in the early '70s and ending – in chapter 8 – with the exciting news that the "Poliziotesschi" is currently going through a sort of revival and how most of "old & trashy" movies are being rediscovered by a new generation of fans. The chapters in between cover a variety of fascinating insights, like an ode to the main contributors (directors as well as actors), the influence of the contemporary political and social climate, the rather discriminating role of women in these stories, the often thin connection with the real Mafia and other criminal organizations (like Red Brigade) and the regrettable downfall of genre together with the Italian cinematic culture in general.

But, arguably the most exhilarating chapter handles about everything that makes this exploitation sub genre truly unique: the unseen brutality and cruel depiction of violence, the guerrilla-style methods that were used to shoot the infamous car chase sequences, the unorthodox stunt work and the innovative tricks that allowed each Italian director to deliver up to three or four films per year. I could easily write half a novella on how brilliantly everything is captured in the slightest detail, but instead I should just be encouraging everyone to track down the documentary and get overwhelmed by it yourself. In order to be 99% complete and 1% objective, I should add that there are a few things missing as well. A few people are missing, in fact. Even though they all get briefly mentioned at one point or another, Mr. Malloy maybe should have given slightly more attention to people like Fernando Di Leo, Ray Rovelock, Stelvio Massi, Marino Girolami and a few others. Also, although admittedly they primarily excelled in other genres – notably horror – and each only made one "Poliziotesschi" classic, some love for Lucio Fulci ("Contraband"), Mario Bava ("Rabid Dogs") and Rugero Deodato ("Live like a Cop, Die like a Man") would have been nice…

9/10 for the documentary itself, but upgraded to 10/10 because of the 30+ original trailers that feature as a fantastic extra feature on the DVD.


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