|Director:||Alberto de Martino|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|08.29.06||Internet|| heartily recomended, this co-production between Canada and Italy proves to be more than just a Dirty Harry knock-off. For one, I get a sense that this cop is way more batshit crazy than partner-toxic Harry Callahan... For one I don't think Dirty Harry would shoot a helicoptor down IN THE MIDDLE OF A GODDAMN METROPOLITAN CITY... maybe Callahan saw the infamous Twilight Zone movie clip on the internet but I'm pretty damn sure that Captain Saitta didn't. I mean that is hard boiled right there... Good think Saitta didn't have a sequel in the 80s... he would've rocket launcher'd whole city blocks to death... as long as there's some jewel fence suspect hiding out somewhere in the blast radius. I guess that guy is SERIOUS. But after all, the dude did pull a knife on a baby. You don't do that and get away; not even in a helicoptor.|
This movie has me getting ahead of myself.
So Martin Landau plays a suspect doctor, Gayle Hunnicutt plays a suspect slutty friend type, Mia Farrow's sister plays a blind girl, John Saxon plays a non-suspect cop, and the entire rest of the cast is subject to Stuart Whitman's no-nonsense harassment in this semi-mystery story about a cop investigating his sister's death by poisoning.The Canadian element is in here (it looks cold) and so is the Italian (it's gonzo and sleazy)... Whitman barrels around willy nilly, shooting robbery suspects in the chest and pushing transvestites around until he gets to the bottom of things... which is where I sort of lost the thread of the movie because I was so caught up in how much of a man he was. Actually there's a very decent mystery going on here with an ending that does a few things most giallos that I've seen dont: a) it makes sense, and b) it's actually rewarding. Even before the whole shoot-down-the-helicoptor-in-the-middle-of-a-city thing.
So what kind of man is Captain Saitta? He's the type of man to say "respecable." He also strikes me as the first character on screen that actually seems capable of hot curling someone to death. This movie has these occasional scenes that are just... they are just crazy. Like what are these scenes doing in this movie? Dirty Harry didn't have these scenes... What is going on!?
At one point, after shaking down a porn shop clerk for locations of transvestites, he walks into this weird-ass... I guess it's some sort of penthouse. It's either a penthouse or a gym... because it's on the top floor of this building and you actually have to walk by a pool, go outside onto a balcony, then back in through a sliding glass window to get to any sort of living area... even though that's just a couple of chairs and a makeshift desk. So there's these crossdressers there... getting made up as celebrities... and Saitta walks in and the first thing he does his grab one of them and push him around saying he needs information. So one of them gets cross and throws a bottle at him, which you just don't do to Captain Saitta. Don't these trannies know how's a little tense!? I guess that's later on in the movie when he goes to check out a locker at a bus station and someone taps him on the shoulder. Anyway, these transvestites go at him with karate, straight razors, and building ledges... but eventually wear out under the constant pheromonal thrush of Saitta's testosterone, which is when he proceeds to kick one in the balls, throw one into a wall (like for real, you see him hit his head hard. it looks painful and concussing) and outfit one with a hot curler suppository. That's the Tony Saitta way.
I think Dirty Harry would've just shot them. Pansy.
Later on in the film, Saitta hides in a dark corner of a hospital room waiting for the killer to reveal him- or her-self. What does he do when the murder appears? Does he yell "stop! Police!" or leap into a tackle or step from behind a curtain and brain them with a lamp? No, he THROWS A FREAKIN TABLE ACROSS THE ROOM. I don't think those other options even enter his mind to tell you the truth. He sees the table, he sees how far away it is from the sick woman in the bed and how he'd have to throw it OVER her in order to hit the perp... and that just makes perfect sense. Perfect plan. It's good because it's simple.
...and there's also one scene with a midget named Dutch.
So... with all this going on, I still kinda remember it being a bit slow in parts. I think a big reason why this movie comes off so positively is its ending. Not only is there that whole helicoptor thing to end with, but before that... the resolution to the giallo aspects of the film are pretty cool since there's actually two or three characters who are believable as the killer, and then you have this little chase sequence with the knife and the baby and whatnot... but also you have the final puzzle piece to the mystery of what all was going on with Saitta's sister fall into place in the form of slow-motion breast-jangling. I don't know about you but if I was gonna put something at the end of a film to reward the audience for sticking around... that'd be pretty high on my list. Of course it's also a cool resolution on the story level... but they made they did go with slow-motion nudity and i won't complain about that.
Another thing I really liked about this is the score. Mostly it's a brassy downtempo jazz type of thing but they also use this keyboard synthesizer... I don't know if it's a mellotron or what... and it is kind of borderline annoying about half the times they use it, but the other half is really great. It's reminiscent of the band AIR's instrumental stuff... although they are clearly reminiscent of stuff exactly like this.
and I end with the car chase. I THINK this is the car chase on one of the Alamo pre-show discs... I know there's one on there that's long and amazing and pretty much every time i've seen it play it gets random applause from people after it ends... which I don't think ever happens with pre-show stuff. Laughter sure, but not really applause so much. Anyway, I think it's one and the same because they're both awesome. It's in a city, down city streets with people around, cars going absolutely nuts... tires squealing everywhere... hills and dead ends and turns and evasive maneuvers... but then it seems like the car chase itself takes a freebase hit of crack or something because all of a sudden the cars are going down like 40 degree grade hills into gravel pits and they're running sidecar motorcyclists into random piles of stacked boxes and they're offroadin and they're both jumping over a train in the same shot and both cars are beat to shit and finally they both flip over and both of them get out and have a routine interrogation scene. Very much like in that Mamet movie State and Main where Alec Baldwin has a car accident, hops out and says "wow, that happened." and goes on with his day. They play the interrogation scene like he's just pulled him over at a stoplight or something. crazy. Sure it doesn't have one car flipping over onto another car and that other car still driving around until it makes a sharp turn and flips the upside down car back over and onto the road but... it definitely has its moments.
So yeah... ended the night with a good one. Cool movie.