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Discover this cult Euro crime thriller from Umberto Lenzi

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Discover this cult Euro crime thriller from Umberto Lenzi

Umberto Lenzi was a man of all genres, chasing any area of ​​exploitation cinema that happened to be popular in Italy at the time. He is probably the most famous (and infamous) abroad for starting the whole cycle of Italian pseudo-ethnographic cannibal films with Man from Deep River from 1972, which he followed with Eaten Alive! and the famous Cannibal Ferox, but he also made erotic thrillers, gialli, spy movies, war movies, horror, aviators and poliziotteschi.

Its versatility in the genre is announced (and satirized) in Free Hand for a Tough Cop. Because if its title rightly suggests a poliziottesco, it opens with five cowboys walking through a desert location reminiscent of Monument Valley, as if we were instead watching another spaghetti western by Lenzi (like Pistol for a Hundred Coffins or All Out).

This western is actually a movie within a movie, watched by a group of inmates – but not until the title appears on screen, as if it were part of the western. It’s almost as if Lenzi is suggesting that his brand of male action storytelling transcends gender, and could also be told as a novel, crime thriller, or even a war movie (later, during a shootout, a character will expressly compare the heavy artillery on the other side to the Cannons of Navarone).

Among the prisoners watching the western is Sergio Marazzi (Tomas Milian), whose nickname “Monnezza” (“Garbage”) clearly signifies his lowlife status. So beloved by viewers, would this sleazeball character prove he would return in Lenzi’s Brothers Till We Die – where Milian also reprized his role as Monnezza’s brother Vincenzo Marazzi, whom he once played in Armed Rome until teeth – and in The Force of Destruction by Stelvio Massi.

Discover This Cult Euro Crime Thriller From Umberto Lenzi - Light Home News

After falsely presenting the start of his film as a western, Lenzi takes the viewer on the wrong foot again, showing Monnezza knocked unconscious and escaped from prison, only for the crook’s aggressor / liberator to be revealed as the commissioner. police the hard Antonio. Sarti (Claudio Cassinell), the “tough cop” in the English title, desperately seeks to exploit Monnezza’s connections to the underworld to solve a case. Antonio rushes to find little Camilla (Susanna Melandri), whose captors have a habit of murdering their captives, and who will die in a matter of days anyway if she does not receive medical attention for her kidney disease. The clock is turning.

“I’m just a cop,” Antonio says, to which Monnezza replies, “Yes, and I’m a bum, that makes us a strange couple.” Sure enough, Lenzi pairs this tough police detective with a lovable new criminal partner for a violent boyfriend comedy, about six years before Walter Hill used a similar premise for 48 hours. The couple quickly recruited a trio of ruthless train thieves (Robert Hundar, Biagio Pelligra, and Giuseppe Castellano) to join them in the hunt for kidnappers, and begin aggressively shaking Rome’s criminal fraternity for clues as to where lies the gang.

There follows a series of reversals. Antonio, who is already in shock for breaking the rules and repeatedly refers to the fact that he was transferred for a while to Sardinia as a punishment for misconduct, finds himself increasingly compromised by the trail of corpses left by his new criminal colleagues. .

Monnezza is a crybaby, crybaby, witty, oddly fatalistic, disguise master whose “heart of gold” quickly draws her to the cause of Camilla’s rescue, even though we are never allowed to. forget he’s also a ruthless murderer (and, at least by implication, a sheep shagger). Antonio’s other three infantrymen are initially motivated by a personal (and falsely grounded) vendetta against Chief Kidnapper Brescianelli (Henry Silva), although the goals and intentions of this happy rape and trigger trio become more complicated and varied as the film continues.

As Monnezza plays the trickster Ulysses to Antonio’s tighter Achilles, Free Hand for a Tough Cop tests out different modes of heroism, all while having fun mixing and matching the key traits of these two characters in their unlikely partnership. but effective. Meanwhile, the action never stops, with endless car chases, shootings, heists and beatings, all marking 1970s Italy as the most dangerous place on the planet. .

The results are vicious, visceral and funny, utterly cynical and yet somewhat sweet to boot. Along the way, virtually all of the eminent poliziotteschi the actor of the day makes an appearance as a gallery of thugs and thieves hamper the future of an innocent and sick girl. Camilla might as well have been called Roma…

Free Hand for a Tough Cop is out on Blu-ray starting November 29th via Fractured Visions.

Reference of the Article-post – lwlies