young hoodlums (Stefano Patrizi, Benjamin Lev, Max Delys) go on
a crime spree, and it's up to a dogged police commissioner (Tomas
Milian) to bring them down...
is a mash-up of the juvenile delinquent melodrama with the Italian
poliziotteschi subgenre that was so popular in the 1970s.
Certainly its pedigree promises something worthwhile — the script
was penned by Fernando Di Leo, whose The
Italian Connection and Caliber 9
represent high water marks in the subgenre, while it was directed
by Romolo Guerrieri, whose The Sweet Body
of Deborah (1968) offered an early example of the giallo.
Alas, the film emerges as alternately silly and dull... hardly
a winning combination.
Milian stars as the police commissioner looking to save the
day, but this isn't the wild, bug-eyed Milian familiar from
so many spaghetti westerns (Compañeros)
and poliziotteschi (Almost Human).
Milian is unusually dour and flat here, and his performance
typifies the film as a whole. He doesn't embarrass himself,
but neither does he seem interested in investing his (admittedly
sketchy) character with any real substance. Matters aren't helped
by the three young actors cast as his adversaries. Charisma-challenged
Stefano Patrizi would go on to star in Riccardo Freda's subpar
swansong Murder Obsession (1980),
and he's no better here than he was in that later effort. Patrizi
comes off well, however, compared to Benjamin Lev, who can most
charitably be described as irritating as the 'loose cannon'
of the group. Max Delys fares somewhat better, but his mopey
character doesn't give him much to do, anyway. Pretty Eleonora
Giorgi, best remembered for dying to the strains of Verdi in
Dario Argento's marvelous Inferno
(1980), is cast as Delys' concerned girlfriend. Giorgi does
as well as she can under the circumstances, but she seems somewhat
wooden in her more emotive moments.
script by Di Leo isn't one of his better efforts, though it is
admittedly vastly superior to his completely mercenary work on
the likes of, say, Frankenstein '80
(1972). The social commentary is superficial at best, with a token
nod towards parental responsibility and tolerance towards the
younger generation, but ultimately it's basically a springboard
for plenty of violence and sadistic thrills. Alas, Guerrieri's
staging is pedestrian at best and he fails to maximize the potential
of the film's big action scenes. The ending is mildly effective
in that '70s downer sort of way, but it's too little, too late.
Even talented cinematographer Erico Menczer (The
Cat O'Nine Tails) seems to be on autopilot, with
the film looking no better than the average TV production of the
is hardly the worst film of its type, but it's unlikely to win
any new converts to the genre, either. Diehards may want to check
it out just for the heck of it; more casual viewers would do well
to dust off their copies of The Italian
Connection or Street
Law or Rabid Dogs or The
Boss... you get the picture.
new NTSC release of Young, Violent, Dangerous
isn't one of their better offerings. The film is presented letterboxed
at 1.85 and has not been enhanced for widescreen TVs. Print quality
is good, with some limitations, but there is obvious drawbacks
in detail and clarity. Color appears to be accurately rendered,
however, and the film appears to be fully uncut. The mono soundtrack
is offered in either English or Italian. The latter is preferable,
given the rather wooden dubbing on the former, though both tracks
lack much in the way of punch. Extras include an interview with
Guerrieri, as well as a biography and filmography on the director;
other materials are accessible via computer. 4/26/12