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RACEHORSE SCREENING ROOM

"Convoy Busters" (Un poliziotto scomodo)

(1978)

Director: Stelvio Massi

Director of Photography: Sergio Rubini


A late-entry Eurocrime poliziotteschi that highlights the see-saw of cinema's intercontinental influences. Early Hollywood produced the definitive crime and noir pictures, which influenced the French Nouvelle Vague (see "Breathless" or the works of Jean-Pierre Melville) and its arty European bent blended with politics and history. These in turn influenced the works of the 70s New Hollywood mavericks and their intimate crime films. The prolific Italian film industry soaked up all these forebears with their unique mix of spaghetti westerns, giallos, and the street-level poliziotteschi. By the 70s, the influence on these cop pictures was pure Clint Eastwood, who revolutionized the western working with Sergio Leone on the Dollars trilogy, shot in Spain under an Italian banner. "Convoy Busters" is a Dirty Harry ripoff way past its prime with a tough, pretty boy cop with fascist tactics dealing with a hard-bitten crime syndicate. A lot of these films doled out the ultraviolence with rogue cops dispensing justice, reflecting the turmoil in Italy at the time. I love Eastwood and I think he gets a bad rap from liberals. He's a lover of cinema and is far more sensitive than they would care to admit. I'm ok with pulp and it can be escapist without reflecting a world view. "Convoy Busters" is not very subtle. This movie and those of its ilk are the embodiment of the Eastwood critique made cinematic flesh - hyper masculinity, fascist cops, lowlife criminals, etc. etc. with little depth or nuance or sensitivity or insight. But it's still enjoyably silly with plenty of zoom shots, quirky music, a bevy of gorgeous Alfa Romeos, shots through mirrors (many two shots are half a reflection), and goofy action. Maurizio Merli is a mix of Eastwood, prettied up with a seasoning of Franco Nero knock-off salt under a dull John Corbett mask. Not a great movie but a lot of fun. Bought at Videomatica.




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