Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

July 23, 2011

Movie Review: Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (1976)

On the heels of their Fernando Di Leo crime collection (Caliber 9/ The Boss/ Italian Connection/ Rulers of the City), Italian cult film specialists Raro DVD are continuing their run of Polizia DVDs with their recently released, Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man. Written by Di Leo and directed by the controversial and always fearless Ruggero Deodato, Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man ventures many places most police films don't.

Buy Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man on DVD

It really doesn't take very long for the viewer to get a clear indication as to where Deodato is going to take Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man. In actuality, the first ten minutes hit you quick and hard with some surprising brutality and a thoroughly impressive manic motorcycle chase . French actor, Marc Porel and Ray Lovelock (Violent City, Django, Kill!) play Alfredo and Tony, two crime-fighting pretty-boys who have a knack for killing criminals before a crime has been committed. With the help of their boss (Adolfo Celi, Thunderball) these guys take apart Italian crime, in a very unorthodox fashion.

They've unfortunately met their match in gangster, Roberto Pasquini (Renato Salvatori, Indian Summer). Never fear though, because Alfredo and Tony are as ruthless as the bad guys they dispose of regularly. They kill without remorse and they crack occasionally funny jokes along the way as well. Imagine Starskey and Hutch mixed with a little Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon. Oh, and they also ride a kick-ass motorbike together. You don't get more badass then that.

(Brief spoilers)

The violence in Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man has been referred to as being "extreme". It's definitely that, it's just not overly gory - but boy it can be pretty mean-spirited. We see women beaten on a few occasions, a service dog meets his fate via motorcycle tires and one unlucky purse victim gets dragged till her head is split open by a light post. Deodato and Di Leo bring together what should be an uncomfortable mix of humor and ultra-violence and deliver a fun action packed feature. Performances are great by Porel, Celi and Lovelock and we're also treated to an excellent soundtrack throughout. These tunes will be ringing in your ears not long after your first viewing.

Raro Video has restored Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man from its original negative, and it shows. This might be one of the best looking releases I've seen all year (including Blu-ray).The color is vibrant and the materials used are near pristine quality. This version of the film is not the American dub, thankfully, it's in its native Italian language with well-written subtitles. And yes, it's completely uncut.

The big extra feature on the DVD is the documentary "Poliziotti Violent" (40 minutes). It's a series of interviews edited together of Lovelock, Deodato, Al Cliver and others. There really are some great story's about production told by these gentleman. Cliver was asked initially to star in the film but he felt it was too violent. He later regretted it after the film became a huge hit. Lovelock talks about his great chemistry with Porel which had reportedly been shaky. Deodato also chats about the sequel that never happened.

A few other extras of note on the disc include: A TV advertisement directed and commented by Ruggero Deodato, a Director filmography and biography, a fully illustrated booklet containing an overview of the feature by writer Robert Firsching. Overall it's a very generous helping of bonus features that will thrill fans of the film.

Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man is a definite winner from Raro Video and is essential viewing for Euro-crime enthusiasts.

No comments:

Post a Comment