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Il poliziotto è marcio (1974)
Great crime thriller - a must for fans of the genre!
Funky soundtracks, delicious 70's fashion styles, macho men living life in the fast lane and dames so exquisite even you might consider a life of crime. There are many reasons to love the Italian crime movies of the 70's. They have a certain lovable charm. They can be funny but they can also be nihilistic and grim.
You never know who will live or die. In the world of Italian gangster flicks no-one is safe. The love interest, the children, the parents, even the hero himself and everyone who is around him are in constant danger of meeting a cruel and painful death at any moment. Because of this you get very tense and unforeseeable plots that will have you sitting on the edge of the seat until the credits roll down the screen.
"Shoot first, die later" is also one of the better titles of the genre. So you should definitely check it out. It might be a little talky for some people but it never gets boring. The plot is simple but perfectly executed and there is always something exiting happening to keep my interest.
There are a couple of nice car-chases, a few explosions and some standard gunfare but the true excitement lies in the tense and emotional plot. Luc Merenda is no Fabio Testi but he delivers a solid performance as the corrupt cop who get tangled in a increasingly bleak situation that might be the end for both himself and those who stand him near. He is actually quite perfect for movies of this type. Di Leo, probably the best director in the genre, have once again delivered a great crime movie that should be seen by everyone who is even remotely interested in the world of Italian action-thrillers.
I love these movies and if you are into this stuff you should definitely check out the two volumes of Fernando Di Leo crime collection (amongst others this movie is found in this collection) put out on both DVD and blu-ray by Raro Video. The Blu-rays look and feel great and they are reasonably cheap to buy. So i would absolutely recommend those collections even for newcomers. Now i am of to watch another one and dream of the next GTA title paying homage to the Itallian crime genre ala Vice City for "Scarface" and "Miami Vice". I can tell you that i would be first in line to get a taste of that. It could be titled something like "GTA: Roma Violencia"... ooooh i would like that.
The Burning (1981)
Easily one of the best slashers ever made.
The movie begins at Camp Blackfoot where some kids decide to scare the living hell out of the infamous caretaker Cropsy. The prank goes wrong and Cropsy ends up getting a first hand lesson why people should be careful with fire. After five years of intensive care the severely disfigured Cropsy steps out of the hospital and head back to the camp area to seek his revenge. One by one unsuspecting campers get cut up by Cropsys Hedge clippers as he prowls the dark woods.
The Burning is clearly one of the many Friday the 13th ripp-offs that plagued the 80s cinema screens, however this one is probably one of the best in the genre.
The Burning have everything that makes a slasher great, gory kills created by the genius Tom Savini, realistic and lovable characters, excellent music, great mood and lots of suspense. Many Famous faces such as Jason Alexander (George in Seinfield!) and Holly Hunter are seen in the movie, this makes it even more fun to watch.
As a fan of the slasher genre i love The Burning and have seen it repeated times on VHS, however i saw it on DVD last night.
MGMs DVD release of the Burning is close to flawless and totally uncut. The picture on the disc is as clear as DVD gets and it is presented with almost no artifacts and print damage. There is also some fun extras like a excellent behind the FXs segment with Savini. If you like the genre and have missed The Burning i command you to get this DVD right away. If you have seen the movie or have it on a older DVD i suggest that you upgrade to the excellent MGM release as it really give the movie what it deserves.
Underrated and funny
This is one hell of a Great movie. All of the characters are nice in some way and the actors does a OK but most certainly not a excellent job. In a Scooby Doo like style the movie is more a comedy than a real horror movie, and for a change it works well. Some minor gore is also in here, including torn out hearts and gory skeletons but those scenes are not much worse than the ones in any Indiana Jones movie. What i like so much about it is that it have this Hammer feeling into it but yet it stays fairly fresh and never gets boring with some typical 80s feeling mixed into the blend. i definitively recommend this to all those who like cheezy Italian movies and horror comedies.