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  #21  
Old 19th March 2022, 05:57 PM
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Highway Racer (1977)

Maurizio Merli, minus tache and looking more like a cross between Will Ferrell and the newly botoxed Tim Allen in Christmas with the Kranks, plays a police driving ace with a reputation for risk taking - seriously you don't want to be his partner in this one - who goes undercover driving for mobster Il Nizzardo.

My final watch from the Years of Lead box set and possibly i unknowingly saved the best till last as i thought this was terrific. More a popcorn action fest than ever before, this has stunts and car chase sequences that are insane thanks to the brilliance of stunt driver Rémy Julienne, especially when two cars descend at speed Rome's famed Spanish Steps, flipping over half way and crashing down the rest of the steps. How they got away with that i'll never know. Outrageous and wonderfully thrilling as is the finale which was jaw dropping.

Anyone who wants to watch a real car chase film needs to see this, done for real no CGI of course. Makes The Fast and the Furious look like the cartoon it is.

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  #22  
Old 23rd April 2022, 05:56 PM
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Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

I've only seen this and The Tenth Victim from Elio Petri's body of work and from what i've seen so far he's an excellent director. Some of the fluid camera work obviously influenced Dario Argento, especially thinking of a scene where the camera moves around the bottom of a spiral staircase moving up it taking in all the people gawping down at the police investigation below, the camera replacing the gaze of Gian Maria Volonte's police inspector.

The film is a classic Italian police procedural thriller at heart, although it must be said with a huge difference. The story involves said newly promoted inspector Volonte killing his mistress then covering up his involvement with the crime. However he also insinuates himself in with the murder via other methods. At one point a colleague tells him the only prints on the scene of the crime were the inspectors. On the door handle, on a glass, on drawers, in the bedroom, in the shower. It becomes almost farcical as the lower ranked officer has all the clues and then says but it couldn't have been you, you probably just became careless whilst investigating the scene.

The way the film then plays out is both gripping and absurd. I won't go into detail so as not to spoil it for any potential viewers. But will say it's a perverse satirical look at police methods and how power corrupts.

I was talking with @Justin on another thread about the film this week prior to seeing it and he suggested that my description of the film as a Poliziotteschi wasn't really accurate. I see now what he meant. It's still a Poliziotteschi for me but certainly not a typical example. It's like the film takes place utilizing the police officials ranked above the 'all action inspectors' played by the likes of Maurizio Merli and Luc Merenda. These cops aren't in it at all. The nearest example of a Poliziotteschi i've seen so far is No, the Case Is Happily Resolved (1973) in the way it deals with those seemingly above the law and the ludicrousness of the justice system.

A special mention of star Gian Maria Volante. He gives an absolutely mesmerizing performance. I couldn't take my eyes off him he's that good. In fact the same can be said of the film as a whole.

You won't be able to take your eyes away. It's that good!

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  #23  
Old 2nd June 2022, 08:27 PM
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The Boss. 1973.

A hitman finds himself in a war between to mafia families.

One film I came across by chance and didn't realise it was part of a trilogy, This has a explosive start...literally, Henry Silva uses a rocket launcher to take out a group of people in one building and from there we see Silva bringing his acting methods to the screen without any hesitation. The plot of the story does get a bit slow and stop at some moments then goes back on the rails again. Richard Conte plays the Don of a family and has a bit more screen time than what he did in The Godfather. Some good twists and turns that makes it enjoyable.

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  #24  
Old 6th June 2022, 10:51 PM
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Almost Human. 1974.

The daughter of a wealthy business man is kidnap and a homicide detective who works on his own rules goes after the kidnappers.

A nicely shot, good paced action, crime feature from Umberto Lenzi, Thomas Milan plays the local petty criminal who plans on retiring with a load of cash and kidnaps a girl and demands a ransom that he can live off. Henry Silva plays the detective who has been trying to bring down the criminal.

This one I have always enjoyed, a nice game of cat and mouse, a bit of Russian Roulette with a chandelier, watching Thomas Milan become more off the rails with paranoia. Henry Silva actually playing a good guy who goes off the rails himself with determination, from start to finish this is one big enjoyable ride of a movie.

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  #25  
Old 7th June 2022, 11:46 AM
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The Heroin Busters (EG Castellari)

Fabio Testi and David Hemmings?
Sold.
Why I left this one so long beggars this demon. A hoot.
A shenanigan concerning the trade of that white powdery stuff and the sorts who oppose this most fervently.
Plus Testi's boots are to die for
Recommended. Highly.
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  #26  
Old 12th June 2022, 11:29 PM
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Young, Violent and Dangerous. 1976.

Three young men embark on a robbery and murder spree while the police race to stop them.

This was a interesting movie, the young ones seem to come from a wealthy background and obviously think they can get away with anything, except when Tomas Milan is wanting them stopped. Milan plays the police commissioner and only in this for a short appearance, maybe that was why he was reluctant to do the film.

The trio can be innocent one minute then go full blown psychopaths the next and some times just become annoying, this was pretty suspenseful and have good moments of tension in it as your basically hoping the police will catch up and stop them in their quest of sadism and brutality rampage. This was entertaining.

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  #27  
Old 20th June 2022, 06:26 PM
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The Bloody Hands Of The Law. 1973.

A crime boss is killed and witnesses to the killing are being killed off, a detective decides to go off the rule book and find out who is behind it all.

This was a blind watch for me and had no idea what I was getting into with this film, Klaus Kinski plays a member of the hit squad and seems to be a easy role for him, look menacing (like he doesn't already) look smart and don't say a word, he has really no dialogue. Phillippe Leroy plays the tough no nonsense detective who is assigned to the case and told to keep his hands clean.

The acting and direction was good even with a good car chase but the plot itself seems a bit all over the place and at times seems very uninteresting but does speed up a bit towards the end. I would say this one you need to have a open mind and have no distractions to try and enjoy it.

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  #28  
Old 30th June 2022, 07:58 PM
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A Special Cop In Action. 1976.

A crime syndicate starts a wave of robberies in Turin, at a bank hold up the robbers kidnap a civilian that turns out to be a undercover cop, Inspector Betti and his partner go on the trail for their partner.

Maurizio Merli at his best as the police Inspector who goes a bit off the rails trying to find his partner and come down hard on the syndicate by any means he can. Right from the start to finish the was on top form that never goes off the rails except Meril and never slows down, even when John Saxon shows up and tries to take a plaster off his leg. Certainly worth the watch.

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  #29  
Old 10th September 2022, 07:20 PM
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The Heroin Busters (1977)

Enzo G. Castellari's pacy crime drama sees Fabio Testi's undercover cop trying to stop a drugs ring whilst getting not too much help from David Hemmings of Interpol.

Castellari has always been good at action and he shows it here with a terrific final half hour showdown utilising motorbikes, light aircraft and a lot of bullets whilst Goblin provide a highly enjoyable score.

All that let's the film down in a way is a lack of joint screen time for Testi and Hemmings, the film could have been an all time great buddy cop movie (possibly) but Testi is too often on his own, he is however very good and looks f*cking awesome in his cool 70's attire.

Although i've seen this a few times before courtesy of Blue Underground's dvd the recent Arrow Blu-ray looks really impressive and gives this cracking crime film a whole new dimension.


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  #30  
Old 3rd November 2022, 04:03 PM
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Blood & Diamonds. 1977.

Safe cracker Guido is arrested and sent down for five years after a botched heist. After leaving prison and his girlfriend is killed, he sets out on a path of revenge and going against his former boss.

Cladio Cassinelli seems to have one facial feature during this...very moody but I don't think you can blame him for doing a small stint, watching his loved one die and seeking revenge. Martin Balsam plays mobster Rizzio who is trying to keep his hands clean and shows respect to to Guido even though he has threatened to kill his former boss. Barbara Bouchet plays the love interest to...a few people and can be seen as the Femme Fatale who knows how to control men. The film may not be at it's best at times but does have some good twists and turns and a nice bit of a tense moment towards the end. Decent enough to watch for the acting and direction.

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