on July 11, 2013
Italian Film maker Fernando Di Leo turns his director reins over to Director Romolo Guerrieri and scribes Raro Video's latest crime release 'YOUNG VIOLENT DANGEROUS' aka 'LIBERI ARMATI PERICOLOSI'- 1976 , a film posing as a poliziottesci genre film from the DVD box cover art but emerges as a routine juvenile delinquent film which Hollywood B-movie makers cranked out during the late fifties. This time the violence is more prolific but the main leads are purely one dimensional as we are asked to convey emotion to three spoiled misfits who go on a violent killing crime spree( which is never explained but the film tries to blame the parents of the trio for their lack of communication and guidance) climaxing in a violent showdown within their clique. Actor Tomas Milian, who to me will always be the Italian Al Pacino, takes back stage to the three leads as the inspector and the beautiful Eleanora Giorgi plays one of the trio's girlfriend and hostage and provides the eventual gratuitous topless scene which aids them during their chase. Director Guerrieri who directed a few Spaghetti Westerns such as my favorite '10,000 DOLLARS FOR A MASSACRE' aka '10,000 DOLLARI PER UN MASSACRO'-1967 and the underrated Giallo 'THE SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH' aka 'IL DOLCE CORPO DI DEBORAH'-1968 moves the film at a breezy clip using on-location shots throughout. The only real thorn in the side is the up beat Harmonica oriented music score by Enrico Pieranunzi which throws off the feel of the film. Raro Video releases it in a 1.85 transfer with slight green speckles and a blatant blue line showing up dead center during a shot but overall is quite nice and could almost pass as a 1080P Blu-Ray release. Extras are slightly skimpy with a documentary 'RAGAZZI FUORI' including a great interview with Director Guerrieri and his thoughts on the film and his actors , a director biography and filmography and a Bonus Rom RDM/PDF file containing a booklet on the film which Raro Video usually provides in the slip case but which is absent here. Recommended to Euro Crime fans only.
1976's Italian crime opus "Young, Violent, Dangerous" fits squarely into the exploitation market of that period which glorified random and realistic violence with gleeful amorality. While the picture is well made and well acted, though, its characters are such ciphers that it becomes hard to develop any genuine connection to the film or its outcome. That's not to say that I didn't like it, because I did on a superficial level. I just wanted to care about ANY of the individual characters (didn't we root for "Bonnie and Clyde," wasn't the couple in "Badlands" eerily identifiable?) in a meaningful way. After watching "Young, Violent, Dangerous," though, I didn't feel like I knew any of the principles at all and so the emotional impact lacked punch. The central premise of the movie revolves around three affluent young men who go on a murderous crime spree with no apparent reason. The screenplay offers little in the way of actual development, and the brief moralizing that society and their parents created such monsters is really just a sociological platitude with no basis in anything else the film presents.
But still, as I said, the performers (though largely unexplored) are charismatic and talented. The movie opens with a young lady turning her boyfriend into a local police commissioner (Tomas Milian, who despite top billing is more of a supporting player) for a robbery that has yet to happen. She feels he's fallen in with the wrong element and wishes to protect him. The police stake-out the intended target and the resultant confrontation turns our trio of badboys into murderers on the lam for their lives. As they day progresses, they will get deeper and deeper into criminal mischief (including abducting the girlfriend) as the police close in. The boys are the expected character types: The cold-blooded leader, the daft and enthusiastic henchman, and the conflicted outsider (the aforementioned boyfriend, he only drives). Although it seems they have dwelled in the arena of petty and non-violent crime, no one even blinks when things are ratcheted up to the next level.
Stefano Patrizi is interesting and enigmatic as the gang's leader, his detachment seems well suited to the piece. Max Delys is likable as the conflicted driver, but doesn't have a lot to work with--mainly he just looks pained. Eleonora Giorgi, as the girlfriend, perhaps has the meatiest role. And, for my taste, Benjamin Lev is a bit over-the-top as the slow, but trigger-happy, partner. In truth, "Young, Violent, Dangerous" doesn't offer much new in this genre and you know where it's headed at every moment. It's certainly easy enough to watch, it just doesn't compare to some of the more significant and memorable films that it will call to mind. Still, if it sounds like it would appeal to you, give it a try. It's not bad, I just wanted to be more connected with what I was watching on an emotional level. A lot of potential, but only about 3 1/2 stars for leaving me somewhat apathetic. KGHarris, 3/12.