Violence For Kicks
Here's another film by the director of STREET KILLERS, Sergio Grieco. Antonio Sabato plays a
cop whose city is under siege by a gang of rapists and thugs. They scar a woman's face with
barbed wire and then rape her. They end up hooking a girl on drugs and then rape her at their
conveniance. A mix of DIRTY HARRY and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
3 NIGHT OF VIOLENCE (1966)-FIRST TIME WIDESCREEN AND IN HD, ENGLISH SUBS. Walter, a journalist who recently lost his job, is feeling a bit down, and gets even more depressed when his fiancée, Lisa, vanishes. She had recently taken up with a friend of theirs, a rich older doctor. As Walter (Brett Halsey) peels away each layer of the disappearance, he digs deeper and deeper into a world of crime and corruption and he gets into more and more trouble. Director Nick Nostro (familiar to some for his "gladiator" films starring Dan Vadis) keeps the action moving fast, yet manages to focus on Walter's state of mind also. Although the film is not wall-to-wall fights, some of them are quite over the top and show Nostro's roots in the peplum genre. In one scene where Halsey is in a car chase with a suspicious character, another car cuts in front of him to stop him. Halsey gets out of the car to get into a fight with the crooks following him, and one of them belts him so hard he flies across the hood of the car! Margaret Lee is also present as a friend, Christina, who has always had feelings for Halsey but never put the move on him because of his engagement to Lisa. What is her motivation? Watch the film and see. As Italian crime-mysteries circa 1966 go, this one is quite good. With a strong leading man such as Halsey, a mystery angle that keeps the viewer guessing, and lots of action, 3 NIGHTS OF VIOLENCE is definitely worth watching.
BLACK TURIN (1974)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Mino and Lello, two sons of a worker wrongly accused of murder, try to find out evidence of his innocence and begin to investigate mafia business in Torino. Marcel Bozzuffi, Bud Spencer and Francoise Fabian star.
Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsborough, Paul Nicholas in french with english subs
Jane Birkin sure gets naked in this French crime film starring and directed by
her husband, Serge Gainsbourg. He plays a corrupt cop who is involved in a huge scam to steal
a large shipment of drugs. He and Birkin are soon on the run from a tough cop (Curd Jurgens)
and is old partner (Paul Nicholas). Birkin is stunning to look at and oh yeah, nude a lot too in
this violent crime thriller.
I’LL SEE YOU IN HELL (1960)-In Italian with English subs, letterboxed print. John Drew Barrymore, Eva Bartok and Moira Orfei star in this atmospheric Black and White thriller by Piero regnoli. here we have a caper/crime movie that becomes a ghost story! While it is no lost classic, this unlikely hybrid plays much more successfully here; that said, the supernatural events are given a twist which might be considered a cop-out (though I predicted something to that effect much earlier). The film starts off immediately with the robbery or, rather, the ingenious idea to sound the alarm of the targeted establishment beforehand so that the police arrive on the scene in vain and the caretaker, almost in shame, turns it off for the rest of the night. No sooner has he done this that the criminals pounce on him and, typically, he ends up killed in the ensuing fracas – but, no, he is not the ghost in question. When the gang meets to divide the proceeds (a cache' of diamonds), their true natures emerge and soon start bickering, with one of them eventually drowning in the nearby swamp! The other two decide to lie low in the country but do not really trust each other – especially since the leader (an intense John Drew Barrymore) is obviously a psycho. His partner (Massimo Serato) is actually a respectable businessman who, on the night of the job, even creates a solid alibi for himself by literally bumping into the Police Commissioner at a nightclub! At this point, a girl (Eva Bartok) enters into the picture; soon after, Barrymore starts being haunted by his dead associate (in the form of whispered calls, writings and even the planting of a photo among his killer's things)! The catch is that this female 'intruder' is not as naïve as she lets on and, to complicate matters, Serato falls for her while the misogynistic Barrymore attempts to rape the girl! Anyway, it all concludes with a return to the fateful swamps and another drowning (guess who gets to go under this time around?). The boggy atmosphere and level of suspense are adequate for a clearly low-budget effort – though, in the end, it is the bearded Barrymore's histrionics which make the film worthwhile.
THE FRENCH CONSPIRACY (1972)-In Italian with eng subs, letterboxed. AT LAST! This is the uncut version of THE FRENCH CONSPIRACY. This version is almost 30 minutes longer! The film stars Gian Maria Volonte, Jean-Louis Trintignant, jean Seberg, and Michel Piccoli, directed by Yves Boisset. L'Attentat is a political thriller based largely on a true story (the Ben Barka affair), which recounts how the French government and the American CIA connived to have a socialist in exile murdered before he could return to his homeland and start a revolution. Darien, a French journalist (Jean-Louis Tritignant), lures his friend Sadiel (Gian Maria Volonte) from his safe refuge in Geneva to appear on an American-made TV show. In doing so he is, perhaps unwittingly, setting him up for murder. Captured at the border by the French police, Sadiel is given over to a mysterious general from another country who tortures him to try to find out who his supporters are.
VULTURES OVER THE CITY (1980)-In Spanish with English subs. Maurizio Merli plays the part of a journalist investigating the Mafia, and Hugo Stiglitz is his photographer sidekick. Despite a number of fights, car chases and explosions, for the first half of the film, the action is not at the usual level of Italians police flicks, with little blood spilled and punches thrown that look more like badminton serves. The last half of the movie is decidedly more interesting, with several brutal scenes. The journalist gets savagely beaten while elsewhere his girl is captured and raped. Merli then switches into action hero mode. In one scene he comes busting right through a wall, gun blazing, and eventually resorts to kidnapping and torture to get his revenge against the bad guys. The tone of reactionary vigilantism in the film almost seems to wish for a return to the old Fascist regime, when at least organized crime could not get a foothold. Vultures Over the City was evidently shot back to back with Umberto Lenzi's Incubo sulla città contaminata (Nightmare City), and features many of the same actors, crew and locations, plus a familiar sounding score from Stelvio Cipriani.
THE COP (1970)-In French with English subs, letterboxed print. Yves Boisset's "Un condé" (from the French slang for cop) is a sort of Gallic "Dirty Harry", a police thriller that raises awkward questions about how far across the line the good guys can step in order to clear up society's mess. Inspector Favenin (Michel Bouquet) undoubtedly goes too far. When his idealistic but ineffectual partner is killed pursuing the culprits of a gang revenge attack (a pursuit instigated by Favenin himself), the embittered cop, realising that conventional police methods won't work, takes matters into his own hands. Just a kick ass film co-starring Gianni Garko, Francoise Fabian and Michel Constatin.
Slap the monster on the front page (1972)-in Italian with English subs, letterboxed print, directed by Elio Petri. After a punchy start, the political banners of a coming election across Milanese streets and a leftist demonstration that leads to fire bombing the news paper office where editor Gian Maria Volonte is quick to take advantage of the story, this one weaves through what looks like it will be a complicated account of class warfare but ends up being a simple minded polemic. It's hard to swallow an editor personally intimidating the guilty party into silence for his own purposes. However this is the Volonte of L'ATTENTAT and INDAGINE SU UN CITTADINO, dominating the screen with a stops out performance and just watching him is worth the ticket price. Laura Betti, as the party faithful he makes look as if she has betrayed her cause, can go head to head with him. No one else stands much of a chance. There is a great Morricone sounding score and expert camera-work - zooming down passage ways to provide menace. The use of a working newspaper as background is particularly effective.
Don’t shoot at children (1978)-Here’s a rare Italian crime film (and you have to appreciate the title’s advice!) starring Giancarlo Prete. Dino (Giancarlo Prete, STREET LAW) and Marco (Marco Gelardini, CONVOY BUSTERS) are two brothers who live alone with their sick father (Giampiero Albertini of ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH). Marco is on drugs, and Dino becomes involved with a gang of dangerous criminals and is roped into pulling a bank heist with them. The heist goes bad, the criminals flee, and they hide in a nursing school and take the children hostages, directed by Gianni Crea.
THE KILLER (1972)-In French with English subs. A minor yet solid film from a minor yet experienced director (from Denys de La Patellière, try to see Un taxi pour Tobrouk, probably his best movie) who has the significant interest of confronting Jean Gabin to Fabio Testi. The old star of french crime films versus the future icon of italian crime film. Also with a young Gérard Depardieu in a small part. The movie is quite a bit reactionary, as plenty of other crime film made at that time. You'll heard plenty of times speak about those poor cops who doesn't have the means they need to work properly. On this aspect, "Le tueur" is the exact opposite of the clearly left-sided Revolver that Testi will make with Sollima the next year. Strangely, you can feel some empathy for Testi's character anyway and his relationship with the prostitute played by Uschi Glas - who knows there's no future for the two of them together but needs to believe there is one - is seriously told.
FOUR FOR ALL (1975)-Italian/Turkish trash starring Richard Harrison and Gordon Mitchell. A bunch of criminals try to hide in a rich man's house. They rape & kill his wife in front of him and kick his child like a ball. Then they go away. Our hero will findthree old friends and the four together they get a bloody revenge!! Very violent thriller starring Irfan Atasoy, Gordon Mitchell, Erol Tas, Richard Harrison and Olga Petrova. Cheesy and highly entertaining Turkish-Italian co-production produced by Bruno Vani.
THE PROTECTOR (1974)-In French with English subs. A man's daughter is kidnapped, and sold into prostitution in Paris brothels. The old man doesn't take too kindly to that career move, and makes his objections well know. Not wonderful, but certainly worth a watch. Watch out for Beppo Manzoni, a particularly nasty slimy shit. Directed by actor Roger Hanin, who also co-stars, features Georges Geret, Robert Hossein, Helga line and Bruno Cremer.
WITHOUT WARNING (1973)-In French with English subs, interesting French thriller from the early 70s. Sans Sommation" is one of the movies classified as neo noir -movies which started to show up after the Hollywood golden age. 70's were the time when the dark movie landed to Europe and among Francois Truffaut and Jean-Pierre Melville - just to mention a couple - some other smaller directors made their versions of the moody atmospheric stories. Bruno Gantillon's adaption is very faithful detective story where an old detective gets a new chance as he's been stuck between a bottle and bored wife for a long time. The writing is good and Gantillon successfully finds the old dark times mixed with some political lightning. The final conclusion is almost perfect, pure genre movie. This is a tense and under acknowledged French/Italian co-production, co-written by Roberto Infascelli who directed La Polizia Sta a Guardare - and features a dynamite headlining cast of Mario Adorf, Bruno Cremer and Maurice Ronet.
DEFEAT OF THE MAFIA (1970)-Crazy 70s Italian crime film with a strange structure, the film is narrated by a woman murdered by the mob! An American cop is assigned to investigate a Mafia drug smuggling operation transporting drugs from New York to Rome. He discovers that the drugs are being hidden in corpses packed in coffins that are shipped to Italy. The drug runners discover this nosy cop and want to use his body as a smuggling vessel. An occasionally brutal example of this genre. Stars Victor Spinetti, Maria Pia Conte, and Luciano Pigozzi.
THE VALLANSCANZA GANG (1978)-In Italian with English subs, crazy Italian crime film by Mario Bianchi. This grimy crime-thriller begins as convict Roberto (Enzo Pulcrano) murders a guard and escapes from jail with his cellmate. Roberto joins a group of gangsters and, after his cellmate is killed in a police shootout, becomes a professional hitman. The bulk of the action involves the gang's abduction of pretty Antonella (Stefania D'Amario) and the resultant psychological games between her and the gangsters. When a particularly depraved criminal named Pino (Franco Garofalo) attacks Antonella, Roberto shoots him and takes his captive to an abandoned farm house, only to die along with Antonella in a shootout with the vengeful mob. Director Mario Bianchi's typical low-budget entry is filled with sadistic psychosexual innuendo, repulsive characters, and a bad disco.
The Sicilian Cross (1976)-Beautiful widescreen print. Roger Moore, Stacy Keach. This very nice action packed gangster movie of 1976 directed by Maurizio Lucidi and Guglielmo Garroni , starring: Roger Moore , Stacy Keach and Fausto Tozzi. It is about a cross from a sicilian church brought to america with heroin inside , the drugs get lost and Roger and Stacy are after the men who get the stuff waiting to their client who wants to sell the drugs . Shootouts , car chases , and fistfights the way we like italian gangster movies so much are the point of the deal here . Uncut !!!
The Detective (1969)-Throw away all those shitty versions under the title RING OF DEATH , this is a beautiful widescreen print. Commisssario Stefano Belli (Franco Nero) is looking to make some easy money by helping lawyer Fontana (Adolfo Celi). Fontana wants Belli to get rid of his son Mino's golddigging girlfriend Sandy (Delia Boccardo) and to check out Romanis, one of his son's potential business partners. But Romanis is found dead and Belli finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation...
High Crime (1973)-Very nice quality letterboxed print of this seminal Italian crime film by Enzo Castellari and starring Franco Nero. An Italian police inspector matches wits with a powerful European drug ring. As he comes closer to the top of the underworld organization, his odds of survival decrease. James Whitmore, Fernando Rey, Delia Boccardo, and Edy Galleani.
The iron commissioner (1978) ltbx and eng subs. Finally the last Maurizio Merli/Stelvio Massi film now available in English with Janet Agren. This Film seems to be some kinda sequel to the Hunted City. Comissario Ferro comes from Rome to Milan. The violence is at a all time high. Gangsters dress up with some bizarre Carnival-masks. They use this outfit to liquidate some opponents. Ferro is no friend of such behavior and so he uses his gun the traditional way and lightens their masses a little bit. Even though the ending is a bit disappointing, the film contains a great fight in a plastic-factory with lots a white plastic bottles. Visually nice!
NAPOLI SERENADES VIOLENCE (1977)-In Italian with English subs, letterboxed print. For fans of Italian crime films, here is an obscure title now accessible via English subs. Mario Meroli is the former Don trying to breakaway from the mob with vicious results. Directed by Al Brescia. Ria De Simone co-stars.
PALERMO MILANO ONE WAY (1995)- Here was the Italian crime film of the nineties and it moved director Claudio Fragasso into the big leagues. As a latter day crime film, this one of the best - building on credible Italian crime dramas such as La Piovra and La Scorta. This is a bit more exploitative though, lots of violence, melodrama and action as Bova heads an escort team gone wrong from Palermo to Milano. A kind of crime road movie ensues, with likable and engaging characters along the way. Giannini is great as the corrupt banker being escorted, and Ricky Memphis is great as a police sidekick. Also features Stefania Sandrelli and a score by Pino Donaggio.
TOUGH GUYS (1974)-Eurotrash meets Blaxploitation in this great crime film by Duccio Tessari. The film stars Lino Ventura, Fred Williamson and Issac Hayes. Isaac Hayes stars as Lee, a framed Chicago ex-cop who teams up with Father Charlie played by Lino Ventura. Together they fight for answers and revenge in a million dollar bank heist. Fred Williamson in a rare villain role plays Snake. This is a very entertaining film. While set in Chicago and the mob playing second fiddle to the plot, the film is very Italian. It has the feel of an Italian poliziotti film with in your face action and seedy locales. There are many veterans of Italian action films including Jess Hahn and William Berger. Lino Ventura is great as Father Charlie, the priest who can fight and does not hesitate in resorting to violence.