Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Frightfest 2012: Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the '70s

Eurocrime is a documentary that looks at the police thrillers made in Italy (or by Italian’s) during the 1960’s to the 1980’s. It covers the hits, the misses, the good, bad, and ugly, as well as the mafia involvement, and the sometimes difficult cast members.

Eurocrime is one of the best, most addictive film based documentaries for some considerable time. With a running time of over two hours, it manages to remain fresh and compelling throughout. The film is broken down into 7 chapters, and covers the inception of the police crime thriller (poliziotteschi) through to its sudden and somewhat untimely demise. 

Whether you are new to Italian exploitative/horror/thriller, or an veteran of this much loved and much misunderstood genre, Eurocrime provides a unique insight into the world of both the genre of crime, and the whole low budget end of their cinema output. From explaining how money is raised, to the explanation of why so many Italian movies are dubbed, even when you can clearly see they are talking in English.

The documentary includes conversations with some of the biggest names in the genre, including Joe Dellasandro, Michael Forrest, Richard Harrison, Franco Nero, Antonio Sabata, John Steiner, Henry Silva and John Saxon. The addition of these “talking heads” adds some unexpected humour, as the different characters (unaware of each others conversations) contradict each other’s stories.

The central point has some fairly raw material to keep the viewer interested, from killing kids, to beatings, rapes and penis mutilation.

Eurocrime could very easily have been a depressing little feature, but director Mike Malloy keeps the momentum going throughout. Eurocrime is a lot of fun, and a great way to learn more about the genre, and for newcomers a valuable resource to opening up a new world of cinema.

Spencer Hawken @Views From The Edge

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