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The Crime Busters Collection
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Addictive musical themes! (0:00)
New cars smashed to bits with sledgehammers! (5:00)
How (not) to attempt a hold-up using only pointed fingers! (27:45)
Zany police training sequences! (34:35)
Formaldehyde-flavored chewing gum! (40:00)
Sign language not learned anywhere else! (45:45)
A step by step demonstration of how to treat V.I.P.s! (1:06:40)
A full football team versus two men (or is it just one?)!! (1:13:37)
"High class" dinner with a Russian countess and her friend (and a "penguin")! (1:25:15)
Multiple fight scenes with inimitable hand-to-hand combat techniques! (1:39:00)
Check it out! :-)
- Terence Hill: "You don't miss a trick, eh, Chief?"
Before MIAMI VICE came along, Terence Hill and Bud Spencer patrolled the streets of Miami, which probably sucked for the good citizens of Miami. CRIME BUSTERS, a.k.a. I DUE SUPERPIEDI QUASI PIATTI (its Italian title), is the first Terence Hill/Bud Spencer movie for me, and from what I hear, this is one of their very best pairings. It's certainly good enough that I now plan to check out other pictures teaming up these two.
CRIME BUSTERS came out in 1977, so there's a dated look and feel to it, as well as a whole bunch of dubbing going on. Doesn't stop it, though, from being dang entertaining and a very funny odd couple film. Two strangers, Matt Kirby (Terence Hill) and Wilbur Walsh (bearish Bud Spencer), cross paths and, both fed up with not getting work, plot to rob a supermarket. Deciding to break in thru the supermarket's service door, they instead land in a police recruiting office - and end up signing on reluctantly. Unwilling recruits that they are, they don't go out of their way to conform, hoping to get bounced off the force. Except that every bumble seems to result in a crook being nabbed and the police captain heaping praises on Kirby (as for Walsh, the captain just keeps ordering dude to shave).
I got a good vibe from the very start. The opening sequence features thugs in suits at the dock getting beat down silly and their auto demolished by Bud Spencer. A bit later, Terence Hill comes around and administers the same treatment. Having seen Terence Hill before in the classic western My Name Is Nobody and now here, I'm betting that this is his patented film persona - innocent, piercing blue eyes masking a quick-thinking, playful demeanor, until the boyish grin gives it away. My guess is that gruff, surly and laconic is how the bearish Bud Spencer usually plays his roles. These cats remind me in some ways of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in their Road pictures. There's that goofy synergy between Hill and Spencer, the crackpot premise and the wacky tone of the flick, not to mention the cheerful incidental backstabbings they inflict on each other. Even closer to home, I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that CRIME BUSTERS partly inspired the zany POLICE ACADEMY series.
It's a rugged brand of slapstick, as our likeable rogues often get themselves in fighty fight situations. Thankfully, the brawls are staged interestingly and rife with amusing touches. Case in point, the diner skirmish in which Hill pretends to be a cripple and Spencer, a deaf-mute, or the rumbles at the football stadium and at the bowling alley. There's a hint of Jackie Chan in these fights, not so much in the way of wushu or nimble gymnastics, but more in that there's kind of a Three Stooges flavor in the way that Hill and Spencer (and Jackie Chan) conduct themselves. And, like Jackie, the guys make use of whatever props are handy to deliver their smackdowns. And, as a wink at Terence Hill's spaghetti westerns, included in the training segment is a scene at the police firing range, in which Hill fires off his weapon in the Old West's quick draw fashion and then states: "I've got bullets in my blood."
This DVD does offer up some bonus stuff: text biographies on Terence Hill (who was christened Mario Girotti), Bud Spencer (christened Carlo Pedersoli), and Director Enzo Barboni; an interview with Bud Spencer (almost six minutes long and kinda dribbles out); "Funny In Any Language" offers up four brief clips from various Hill/Spencer flicks; and trailers for CRIME BUSTERS, ODDS & EVENS, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE ISLAND, and DOUBLE TROUBLE.
CRIME BUSTERS isn't as strong a film as MY NAME IS NOBODY, but it's no weak sissy, either. CRIME BUSTERS pretty much dispenses with believability and leans on Hill and Spencer's brawny schticks as its primary storytelling vehicle. And you may just find yourself whistling along with that distinct easy-breezy score. If I got it right, Terence Hill and Bud Spencer co-starred in 19 films. So, for me, CRIME BUSTERS is one down, eighteen more to go.