torsdag 4 februari 2010
There are five types of movies that I especially enjoy:
1. Giant monster movies. Preferably japanese. Nuff said.
2. Conspiracy thrillers. Three days of the condor, stuff like that.
3. Spanish 70s horror. There's nothing like Paul Naschy pounding all females he can get his hands on and Maria Kosti or Helga Line showing their birthday suits to liven up your day.
4. Alien clones. Anything with an alien and a spaceship will do it for me. Should be produced by Roger Corman.
5. Gritty violent 70s thrillers. French connection is the best example of that and the movie I am about to review now falls into that category perfectly.
When the movie starts a bunch of Italian mobs are counting the weeks income from selling drugs in a rundown apartment in Harlem. Two men dressed as policeofficers rush in but when the mobs realize they arent real policemen, everything turns into a massacre. The mobs are gunned down and a couple of real policemen are killed when the robbers try to flee. Ok, so I can understand that being poor and living in Harlem during the seventies wasnt exactly the best life, but robbing the mafia and killing policemen? This isnt going to end well. Throughout the rest of the movie we follow the robbers as they expose themselves one by one and the police trying to find them before the mafia does. Lots of bloodshed, yes.
It's a violent world our characters live in. One of the cops, played by Anthony Quinn, has worked in Harlem for most of his career, hitting and bullying suspects however he pleases. He has already given up and is on the take and when a younger Captain takes over the case, he gets even more violent. The younger captain, played by Yaphet Koto, is a more by the book policeman, but doesnt take crap from anyone. Combine this with a mobcontrolled Harlem and an aging mobhitman who is desperate to prove that he isnt just the guy who married the mobleaders daughter and we have a pretty explosive concoction. When one of the robbers starts flashing money around, there will be hell to pay.
Oh yes, this is good stuff. Bleak and violent, you realize pretty quick that there wont be many survivors when this conflict is over. As you can tell from the synopsis above, there is only a matter of time before one of the robbers fucks everything up and it sure as hell wont be pretty. When you got a good group of actors such as Anthony quinn, Yaphet Kotto and Anthony Franciosa in the lead roles, its hard to fail. The locationwork is authentic, the camerawork has that roughness that makes it feel more real and it moves with a decent enough pace to dread the inevitable doom thats coming. There are a few Superfly characters but even though they might come close to parody, they still feel like they belong in the movie. This is an excellent little flick which belongs in the category of movies that makes violence feel more harrowing than entertaining. And then there is that funky themesong by Bobby Womack that is just so friggin awesome... Good stuff, well recommended if you want a hardcore thriller.