Eurocrime is a subgenre of Italian film that usually only serious film fanatics ever dig into. Usually it’s horror fiends that start to dig into some of the other films horror guys did (notably Umberto Lenzi and Lucio Fulci) and suddenly they’ve stumbled onto something almost no one has heard of outside of Italy the Poliziotteschi film. I remember reading the word in an issue of a fanzine (Film Fanaddict) about 10 years ago. They said the next issue would have an definitive writeup on the subgenre, but it never happened. At that time it was damn near impossible to get any of them on dvd unless they starred an American actor. Information is scant, and although you can get more of them on DVD, the lions share still remain obscure. Eurocrime sets out to change that.
Eurocrime is as the title suggests a documentary about the largely Italian film movement of the 70’s that was explosion of fist fights, machine guns and car crashes. The film interviews directors, writers, actors, and producers of the films to shed light on the films and culture in which they were made from. The film is cut up into various chapters that cover the acting, the stunts, the directors, the politics, and the rampant crime in Italy at the time as well as many other subjects. The film’s director, writer, and editor Mike Malloy (who is featured on many Rarovideo Blu/dvd releases as an expert on Italian cinema), gives a very comprehensive picture of the time and place in which the films are made. It helped me to better understand the films and appreciate them even more. I’ve dug into eurocrimes in earnest a few times and found some real gems (and some stinkers) but now after watching this I have a renewed interest and will big digging deeper.
The interviews in the film are very candid and fun (especially Antonio Sabato who comes off as a real jerk while sporting a pink super tight shirt and vest combo). I loved hearing about all the crazy stories and cultural differences between the Italian crews and American actors. The film offers a rare peek into a world that was largely ignored by America. Even at 2+ hours, I still wanted more! The dvd features about 30 minutes of extras so it even delivers the more I was wanting. The only thing I really wish the dvd had was a list of films to check out, maybe an essential 25 films worth tracking down. As I said, and the film reinforces, the genre is a minefield of duds. Maybe Mike Malloy can start writing a book about the genre? We can only hope.