Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Violent Professionals: Limited Edition – 88 Films (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1973
Director: Sergio Martino
Writer: Ernesto Gastaldi
Cast: Luc Merenda, Richard Conte, Silvano Tranquilli, Carlo Alighiero, Martine Brochard, Luciano Bartoli, Luciano Rossi

Release Date: August 2nd, 2021
Approximate Running Times: 99 Minutes 47 Seconds (Italian Version), 99 Minutes 4 Seconds (English Version)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC (Both Versions)
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Italian, DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English (Italian Language Track)
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £34.99 (UK)

"Tough cop Giorgio (Luc Merenda, Torso) doesn’t like to play by the rules, going as far as gunning down a ruthless criminal in broad daylight. After he’s suspended from the force and his boss is murdered, he goes on a brutal undercover dive into the criminal underworld to expose a criminal organization with no respect for authority." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "New 2K Master from the Original 35mm Camera Negative."

The Violent Professionals comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 44 GB

Feature: 16.9 GB (Italian Version), 17.1 GB (English Version)

The source used for the transfers is in great shape. Colors look correct, details look crisp, black levels look strong throughout and grain looks organic. Though these transfers looks like the source used for Code Red’s 2018 Blu-ray, the most notable area of improvement is 88 Films encoding.

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD mono mix in Italian and a DTS-HD mono mix in English, each version comes with one audio option. Both audio tracks are in great shape, there are no issues with distortion or hiss, dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and action sequences/the score sound robust. Included with this release are removable English subtitles for the Italian language track. 

Extras:

Extras for this release include reversible cover ar, A3 fold-out poster, a trailer for The Violent Professionals (1 minutes 21 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), a featurette with Kier-La Janisse, author A Violent Professional: Luciano Rossi titled A Violent Professional: An Appreciation of Luciano Rossi (13 minutes 40 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an interview with director Sergio Martino titled A Violent Professional (14 minutes 19 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi titled The Rules of Crime (19 minutes 25 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with actress Martine Brochard titled Story of Ex (16 minutes 68 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with actor Luc Merenda (36 minutes 45 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an audio commentary with Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw for the English language version and a forty-page booklet with an essay titled More than a Professional - Martino and his Cops written by Eugenio Ercolani and Gian Giacomo Petrone, an interview with Sergio Martino and an essay titled The Boys in Black and Blue: A Look at Sergio Martino’s Brutal Cop Movie The Violent Professionals written by Andrew Graves.

Summary:

Though Sergio Martino worked in just about every genre that was popular in 1970’s Italian cinema. His is most remembered for his contributions to the Giallo and Commedia sexy all’italiana genres. With that being he did direct a trio of Poliziotteschi films, The Violent Professionals, Gambling City and Silent Action.

Content wise, The Violent Professionals has all the ingredients that have since become synonymous genre. The film’s narrative revolves around a morally ambiguous detective who is at constant odds with the system that hinders him from doing his job. The action set pieces are sufficiently brutal, especially a scene where the protagonist views a young girl’s corpse. This moment perfectly sets up the nihilistic tone of the story that follows.

Luc Merenda’s (Shoot First, Die Later, Kidnap Syndicate) explosive performance in the role of a police lieutenant named Giorgio anchors this film. Other notable cast members include, Luciano Rossi (Death Walks at Midnight, Death Smiles on a Murderer) in the role of one of the escaped prisoners that murder the girl in the film’s opening moments, Martine Brochard (Eyeball, Paprika) in the role of a free loving hippie named Maria and Richard Conte (Thieves’ Highway, Cry of the City) in the role of a crime boss named Padulo.

From a production standpoint, this film’s visuals more than make up for any of the short comings of this film’s narrative. With this film’s standout moment being the scene where Giorgio gets job as the crime syndicate’s getaway driver, followed by the bank robbery that goes violently awry and concluded with a car chase scene through the streets of Milan (reportedly footage from this scene would be recycled in other Poliziotteschi films).

The Violent Professionals gets an exceptional release from 88 Films as part of their limited edition series releases that come in a rigid slipcase. Each film in this series is given solid audio/video presentations and a wealth of insightful extra content, highly recommended.

Note: Limited edition - 2000 Units Only.








Written by Michael Den Boer

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