Category Archives: Italian Cinema

Cop Game (1988)

“You’re saying Shooman is a KGB agent, out at the front, countering Vietcong attacks! Sounds like science fiction!” Sure does, but you know what else it sounds like? A Bruno Mattei movie! The fact that it was Romano Puppo who spit out this bit of soft-headed, hard-boiled dialogue only confirms it! (Puppo  (Escape from the Bronx, 2019: After the Fall of New York) spends most of his scenes chewing out Brent Huff for calling him “Skipper” prompting the classic line, “this isn’t a goddamn yacht club!”) Continue reading

Inferno (1980)

There’s some pretty poor decision making going on in Dario Argento‘s Inferno. The dippy woman who tries to steal the most evil book this side of the Necronomicon? Be glad you only got murdered later on and didn’t get your face shoved in the pot of boiling gunk the dude with the monster claws was using to fix books with. Next time try using your library card! Continue reading

Grand Slam (1967)

This may come as something as a shock to many of you, but sometimes even the most minutely planned diamond heist can go horribly wrong. Grand Slam follows the formula to the letter right down to the doublecross at the end of things that you pretty much had to see coming, if only as a way to explain one character’s sudden change in behavior during the middle of the movie. The only way the movie could have turned out that would have genuinely surprised me was if the big steal was pulled off without a hitch and everyone got their fair share of the booty. Continue reading

Ursus, the Rebel Gladiator (1962)

Made back in 1962, Ursus, the Rebel Gladiator most likely was lumped in with all the other musclehead movies coming out of Italy at the time. Audiences then can be forgiven if they thought this one was interchangeable with the latest entry in the Hercules, Goliath, Maciste, Samson, Atlas, Ursus and Ulysses film series.

It is also precisely because of this glut of pretenders that I’m going to cut the Academy a little slack for failing to recognize Ursus, the Rebel Gladiator with the Oscar for Best Picture that year. And lest you think this some artless attempt at being obtusely droll, all I’m saying is that if they can give this movie five Oscars when it came out again in 2000, then it was a shame that the participants in the first one languish in obscurity. Continue reading

Giallo a Venezia (1979)

Giallo a Venezia gets criticized quite a bit for generally being a disgusting piece of trash. Normally, I’m inclined to dismiss claims such as this as the ravings of oversensitive bluenoses, but after suffering through this one though, I am reluctantly inclined to agree wholeheartedly. After all, who can argue that the presence of naked dudes in this movie isn’t completely gratuitous and has no place in an otherwise upstanding and sleazy slice-n-dice? Continue reading

Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977)

Once there was a movie called simply enough, Emmanuelle. Released in 1974, it starred Sylvia Kristel as a horny French gal living in Bangkok. Sporting such a powerful plot, the movie easily spawned about seven legitimate sequels. But this isn’t our Emmanuelle. You see our Emanuelle is known as the Black Emanuelle and if she had to sacrifice an “M” in her name to avoid being sued, she more than made up for it by ditching the French softcore style of the original for an even more trashy Italian style! Continue reading