Wednesday, January 20, 2010
EUROCRIME IS COMING BACK!
Cool, I just stumbled on the news that this cat Mike Malloy is making a documentary on Poliziotteschi - those gritty Italian crime movies from the 70's. Wild, violent and nasty stuff, like the truly vicious ALMOST HUMAN or the standout revenge flick that puts a positive spin on the term 'potboiler' - LA MALA ORDINA. And consider those ridiculous, yet evocative titles (that Italian genre cinema always offers) such as LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN. Here's the trailer:
Yes, that's John Saxon being interviewed. He deserves his own special corner, somewhere here in cyberspace. Anyway Eurocrime: The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled The ’70s is here too. Ever since IFC did those hour long docs on Shaw Brothers and Spaghetti Westerns, I figured that the crime films would follow. There are docs on Mario Bava, Dario Argento and even Lucio Fulci that cover Italian horror. Now I suppose all that's left are docs on sword and sandal and Italian sex comedies (!?!).
I think a large reason behind the Euro crime film's appeal is how unapologetic they are in their right wing ideology, yet so utterly transgressive in their depravity. That, and all the car chases, gun fights, macho posturing and brutal brawls; sick set pieces like machine gun assassinations and a spike through the throat, etc. A lot of rough stuff going on in Italy then - and I suppose still is - and it's palpable from these films
And I just found out there's yet another book coming out about spaghetti westerns! I'd like to see it, especially since it's from Fab press, who are all about outré cinema. But Alex Cox's 10,000 WAYS TO DIE is hard to beat. It's obsessive, but it's not one of those simple fanboy-type volumes of hype without substance. Cox looks at the films from a filmmaker's perspective and breaks down each film with constructive criticism. That means he tells you that Sergio Corbucci's pre-DJANGO film RED PASTURES "is a bad film" and why. It goes chronologically year to year and is an engaging, conversational sort of read. Don't know much about this new book, but part of the spaghetti western fascination is the fetishization of the mythology, reinforced by these sort of 'studies' (yeah, I use the word study loosely).