Back in my early 20’s I really got into European horror films, especially those from Italy. Their films were more unhinged, had better soundtracks, pretty girls, and crazy violence in them. I purchased a copy of (now defunct) Film Fanaddict Magazine. In the back of one issue it stated there would be an article about poliziotteschi or Italian crime films. I had never heard of the genre before. I had no clue it even existed. Unfortunately that issue never came out and at the time there was little information available elsewhere. It was like a secret club of movie lovers were hoarding all the info and there I was on the outside looking in. In the past couple few years that has changed.
Blue Underground released a handful of Italian crime films around the same time they were releasing a big bundle of horror films. More recently RaroVideo has been pumping out Italian crime flicks here and there but still to this day many of them are unavailable in the states or scattered across many labels making finding them tough. Thanks to the doc Eurocrime, finally the films are getting attention again and now we have this fantastic film guide to help us through the genre. The book’s author Roberto Curti claims that the book is the most complete filmography of Italian Crime films in the English language. I don’t doubt it. The book is stacked with information lovingly researched and presented to us. Included are all the cast and crew that made the film, alternative titles, synopsis, a review and also included are quotes from various cast/writers/directors that made the films. He also writes about the historical context the films were made in. For instance some of the films were ripped from Italian headlines, slightly changed but basically commentary on what was going on at the time in Italy, something that we would have no knowledge of here in the states 40+ years after they happened. Also included are movie posters and stills from the films.
Reading this book you will become an expert on the genre. The reviews are well written, informative and interesting. The book sidesteps the dry reference guides you may be familiar with and instead reads like a history book of Italy and Italian cinema. It’s clear that the author is incredibly knowledgeable about his subject and that the films were researched very thoroughly. The book boggles my mind. I can’t believe how much information is provided. It’s a treasure trove of information and film recommendations.
If you have any interest in poliziotteschi, you need to have this book on your shelf. I’m so glad I have this book and I can’t wait to dig deeper into the genre with this book as my guide.