Kidnapped (1997): Standard Edition Remastered [Blu-ray]
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For Master Of The Macabre Mario Bava (Black Sunday), ''Rabid Dogs'' was to be the most startling film of his entire career: After a botched payroll heist, a trio of vicious criminals take hostages in a desperate getaway that explodes with cruelty, degradation and shocking violence. But when the film's financier was killed during the last stages of production, his entire estate - including the sole unfinished work print of ''Rabid Dogs'' was seized and impounded by an Italian court. Mario Bava's final masterpiece - and one of the most intense EuroCrime thrillers of all time - would remain locked away for nearly 23 years. In 1997 Alfredo Leone and Mario's son (and longtime assistant) Lamberto Bava finished the film, adorning it with the title ''Kidnapped'', and features new footage added, overseen by Leone and Lamberto Bava in order to complete the film. Movie only edition. In Italian with English subtitles.
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The premise of the film is four criminals rob a pharmaceutical companies payroll during which the getaway driver is killed. The three remaining killers flee to a parking lot taking hostages, one of which they kill in order to escape. Afterwards in order not to be spotted by police in a familiar car they pull off and take more hostages this time a middle aged man and a sick child. At this point the films been a violent crime film. When it gets in the car the film is basically centered on the drive of the criminals and their hostages. Whats good in the film despite minor flaws is that even in its form (neither Rabid Dogs or the re-edited Kidnapped was completed with Bava's support due to circumstances which earned its "lost" status until recently) its a really well assembled suspense thriller building its tension slowly. As tensions in the car rise and victims plead for their lives even the criminals begin to turn against each other. One wants to rape the woman hostage, while another goes along with what ever happens while the leader is more concerned with just getting to their destination. There are moments in the film that to me were great in a transgressive way that newer films couldn't even come close to topping. And in the end, I don't want to ruin it but if you get into the plot as much I did it will definitely suprise you. I was totally blown away by the film. One thing also is the feeling of anger that seeps from every frame. This is a brutal film to watch at times with its portrayl of a world that is vain arrogant and rather brutal in considering the plight of the hostages (especially the child). To me its a film that in tone could almost compare to one of my favorites, Kurosawa's Ran.
Unfortunately I've only viewed the Rabid Dogs cut on the new Anchor Bay disc. It also contains Lamberto Bava's edit Kidnapped more in line with his fathers intentions which I will watch in the future but was turned off for the synthesizer score (I just love the harpsichord and organs blaring in Rabid Dogs even though admittedly the score is incesant) and didn't want to watch the film so soon after seeing it. Still this a definite recommend from me, worth viewing.
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