Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 12th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, August 2nd, 1976
Director: Mario Imperoli
Writers: Mario Imperoli, Piero Regnoli
Cast: Jean-Pierre Sabagh, Annarita Grapputo, Paola Senatore, Cesare Barro, Luis La Torre
BluRay released: November, 2014
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono Italian
Subtitles: English, German
BluRay Release: Camera Obscura
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: 27.99 EUR
Come Cani Arrabbiati was co-written and directed by Mario Imperoli, who in his all too brief career is most remembered for a pair of films that he directed starring Gloria Guida, La ragazzina and Blue Jeans. He would go onto direct only two more films after Come Cani Arrabbiati, before his untimely death at the age of 46. Key collaborators on Come Cani Arrabbiati include screenwriter Piero Regnoli, a director in his own right who is most known for directing The Playgirls and the Vampire and cinematographer Romano Albani (Inferno, Phenomena).
Content wise, this film owes as much too House on the Edge of the Park, as it does to widely popular in Italy at the time Poliziotteschi genre. And according to the excellent audio commentary that comes with this release, there was a real life crime that both films clearly draw inspiration from. Also though this film feature a law enforcement character in a prominent role. His investigation takes a back and at times almost feels like an afterthought as the three delinquents manage to stay a few steps ahead of him. And when his moment to shine finally arrives things take a very bad turn that provides for one of the most unusual, albeit entertaining finales.
From its openings moments it is crystal clear that the three delinquents are the main attraction and the narrative focus is always on the sadistic acts of cruelty which always lead to murder. With that being said, though they remain their actions remain the focus, the film only glosses over their back-story and their motivations are not as forefront as they are in other similar themed films. Fortunately the acts which they partake in are so heinous that this lack of back-story is not as fatal as it could have been. Needless to say these are not mere random acts of youthful indiscretion.
Another area where this film often excels is how it unflinchingly explores social classism and in the case of the three delinquents, who all come from wealthy families. How this allows them to get away with things that someone of lower class system would have been locked up for and without hesitation. This social divide is further accentuated by the diversity of those who are victimized by the three delinquents. A few of the victims include a prostitute, a wealthy Gay couple and one of the delinquents own father are just a few of those who they target.
From a production stand point there is not a single area where this film is lacking. The visuals are consistently strong and they lend themselves effortlessly to the capturing a in the moment vibe that runs throughout this film.
A few of the more striking moments include the death of the first victim who the delinquents toy with for a few minutes before calming her down only to shoot her point blank in the back of the head. The other moment is a scene where the three delinquents invade a home and out of nowhere one of them appears in blackface! This latter scene also serves as the moment that their world is final shattered.
Pacing is never an issue as things are always moving along briskly from one shocking moment to the next. Also the moments involving carnage are all well executed and spread out just far enough for maximum impact.
Performance wise the entire are more than adequate in their respective roles. With this film’s stand out performance coming from Cesare Barro (Deported Women of the SS Special Section) in the role of Tony Ardenghi, the ring leader of the trio of delinquents. He gives a brooding performance that is utterly convincing. Another performance of note includes Annarita Grapputo (Hallucination Strip) in the role of Silvia. And though her character is the only female member in this trio of delinquent psychopaths. When it comes to cruelty and bloodletting, she more than holds her own and then some.
Come Cani Arrabbiati comes on a 50 GB dual layer (45.2 GB) BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate and grain structure looks natural, black and contrast levels look consistently great and details look sharp throughout. There are no issues with DNR or compression and the source used for this transfer is in excellent shape. Needless to say this is easily one of Camera Obscura’s strongest transfers to date.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in Italian and also included with this release are two subtitle options, English and German. The audio sounds great throughout as dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. There are no issues with distortion or any other defects. Range wise things sounds very good as the films soundtrack sounds appropriately robust and the more ambient sounds are well represented throughout.
Extras for this release include a photo gallery, a trailer for the film (3 minutes 49 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in Italian with English and German subtitles), two featurettes, the 1st one titled ‘When a Murderer Dies’ (49 minutes 50 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in Italian with English and German subtitles) and the 2nd one titled ‘It’s Not a Time for Tears’ (31 minutes 34 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in Italian with English and German subtitles) and an audio commentary with film historians Christian KeBler and Marcus Stiglegger, in German with English subtitles.
‘When a Murderer Dies’ features comments from film historian Fabio Melelli and cinematographer Romano Albani. Topics discussed by Albani include how he got into filmmaking making commercials and his subsequent work in commercials, Luciano Tovoli involvement into his transition from commercials to feature films, working with Mario Imperoli and his thoughts on Come Cani Arrabbiati. Topics discussed by Melelli include how difficult it has been trying to see Come Cani Arrabbiati since its original theatrical release, cinematographer Romano Albani and the look of the film, Mario Imperoli, his legacy as a filmmaker and how the bulk of the films he directed were erotic themed comedies, censorship in Italian cinema, visual techniques hand held and slow motion that were used in Come Cani Arrabbiati, shooting without sound, dubbing and working with the same crews, the cast, key sequences in the film, the central theme of Come Cani Arrabbiati – social classism, car chases and other stunt work and stuntmen and the score for the film.
‘It’s Not a Time for Tears’ features comments from assistant director Claudio Bernabei. Topics discussed include how he first stated to work with and his subsequent collaboration with Mario Imperoli, working with Joe D’Amato and his influence on him as a filmmaker, Come Cani Arrabbiati and how the project came about, based on true events – where fact ends and fiction begins, the role of the assistant director, locations and set designs or the lack there of, car chases and the danger involved in making them, atmosphere on the set, the cast, shooting love scenes, his thoughts on Come Cani Arrabbiati and Mario Imperoli’s legacy as a filmmaker.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary with Christian KeBler and Marcus Stiglegger include, how this film crosses many genres and if it were to be put into one genre it would be a juvenile crime thriller, the differences between Come Cani Arrabbiati and more well-known Poliziotteschi films, the films exploration of classism and violence that was running rampant in Italy during the 1970’s, key sequences, the cast, the look of film, Mario Imperoli and his legacy as a filmmaker and how Come Cani Arrabbiati is unlike any of his other films and their thoughts on this film’s ending.
Also included with this release is a DVD booklet that includes an informative essay about the film written by Kai Naumann. This essay is presented in dual text, English and German. This release also comes with multi-lingual menus, English and German. Overall Camera Obscura have put together an exceptional release that easily ranks as one our favorite releases this year, highly recommended.
Note: Camera Obscura are also releasing this film on DVD.