HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nightwing
Shadow of the Hawk
Month of Single Frames, A
Last Moment of Clarity
Fukushima 50
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Violent Rome Vigilantism, Italian Style
Year: 1975
Director: Marino Girolami
Stars: Maurizio Merli, Richard Conte, Silvano Tranquilli, Ray Lovelock, John Steiner, Daniela Giordano, Attilio Duse, Giuliano Esperanti, Marcello Monti, Consalvo Dell’Arti, Luciano Rossi
Genre: ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rome, 1975, where la dolce vita has gone very sour indeed. Armed thieves hijack a crowded bus, killing an eighteen year old youth before making their escape. Outraged Inspector Betti (Maurizio Merli) resolves to crack down on such callous criminals. His skull-cracking methods earn him the enmity of his pen-pushing superiors but that doesn’t stop him bashing a succession of killers, robbers and rapists to a bloody pulp. Yet the city seems caught in a vicious cycle. Purse-snatchers batter a woman to death. Another armed gang hold-up a supermarket, killing a hostage during their getaway. Betti’s partner is shot in the back during a bank robbery while the thief machineguns innocent schoolchildren to cover his escape. Upon taking revenge, Betti is kicked off the force but his crime-busting crusade does not end there.

Violent Rome was the film that brought stardom to macho moustachioed Maurizio Merli and typecast the actor as a tough, uncompromising cop. Italian workhorse Marino Girolami - best known for Zombie Holocaust (1980), though he directed over two hundred films in various genres - made this in response to his son Enzo G. Castellari’s trend-setting High Crime (1972), but established the pattern followed by subsequent poliziotteschi pictures. Heavily episodic, the plot goes from one violent atrocity to another while Betti’s outrage boils like a kettle. Early on an an old woman asks: “Why don’t you hang all those criminals?” which sums up the tone. Its central thesis more or less implies Rome would be a lot safer where cops and vigilantes allowed to wipe criminal scum off the streets without those pen-pushing beaurocrats whining about civil rights. Admittedly, this reflected the frustrations of many Italian citizens at the time and the film conveys a sense of powerlessness that makes such reactionary reasoning understandable, if not admirable.

Girolami’s direction lacks the urgency of Umberto Lenzi who handled the sequel then launched a separate series of poliziotteschi thrillers with Merli. To his credit however, Girolami ensures Violent Rome lacks the heavy-handed sentimentality and hypocrisy that mars much of Lenzi’s work. By having Betti trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of crime and retribution, the film conveys a sense of futility, at least acknowledging that simply beating up crooks is no solution to a complex problem. On the other hand, that does not stop the action from growing rather repetitive. In fact the real plot doesn’t kick in until the sixty minute mark. Thrown off the force, Betti is approached by lawyer Sartori (Richard Conte, in his final role) who enlists him as part of a vigilante forced comprised of past victims of crime. Suddenly the film stops aping Magnum Force (1973) and switches to Death Wish (1974). Betti and his vigilantes partol the streets at night, catch crooks in the act then whomp ’em. Inevitably the criminals strike back, invading Sartori’s house and raping his daughter - because it wouldn’t be an Italian crime thriller unless some woman was brutally raped. The vigilantes take revenge, then yet another group of crooks invade a restaurant and so it goes, on and on, although maybe that is the point.

Merli was a limited actor yet he conveys the right mix of rage, compassion and sadness. He monopolizes the screen despite choice roles for Euro-cult favourites Ray Lovelock as the resourceful undercover cop who comes to a tragic end and John Steiner as the almost comically callous crook. The film’s big action set-piece is a rip-roaring car chase that while modelled a little too closely on the celebrated one from The French Connection (1971) proves impressive nevertheless and his deftly handled by Girolami. Oddly events don’t reach a climax so much as fizzle out while the ambiguous coda, which invites the viewer to decide whether it is real or only occurring in another character’s mind, carries less power given Betti returned in Violent Naples (1976).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1895 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Marino Girolami  (1914 - 1994)

Italian director who over a 40-year career dabbled in most genres - like many of his fellow countrymen, his film-making choices were informed by whatever was popular in Hollywood at the time, from historical epics to westerns, sex comedies to action. Girolami frequently used the pseudonym Frank Martin for international releases, and is best known by horror fans for his hilarious 1979 gorefest Zombie Holocaust. Father of the equally prolific Enzo G. Castellari, and a European boxing champion in his pre-film career.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: