Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 4th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1984
Director: Bruno Corbucci
Writers: Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci
Cast: Tomas Milian, Bombolo, Olimpia Di Nardo, Paco Fabrini, Anita Kupsch, Holger Münzer, Monica Gruber, Marina Hedman, Franco Garofalo, Vinicio Diamanti, Enzo Garinei
DVD Released: January 17th, 2012
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: A unconventional detective is asked to undercover at gay night club and uncover the truth behind a drag queen’s murder.
Cop in Drag was co-written and directed by Bruno Corbucci, who is most known for his collaborations with actor Tomas Milian (Almost Human), who would appear as a detective Nico Giraldi is a total of eleven films that were directed Bruno Corbucci. Other key collaborators on Cop in Drag include cinematographer Sebastiano Celeste (Without Trace, Violent Naples) and composers Guido De Angelis and Maurizio De Angelis (Torso, Street Law).
Trying to maintain or even eclipse the things that a film successful in easier said than done. And in the case of Cop in Drag, this quickly and at times painfully becomes obvious.
First off, the film strays too far away from the grittiness that epitomizes Polizieschi movies. And it relies too heavily on drawn out sequences that offer little to the story at hand, outside of padding what is already an anemic plot.
If anything this film’s only saving grace are the moments in which Tomas Milian and Bombolo’s characters Nico and Franco interact. With this film’s standout moment being a scene in which Franco dresses up as a woman and poses as Nico’s wife, while they are a gay night club where the murder happened. The scene reaches its comedic apex when Franco takes his role as Nico’s imaginary wife a little too seriously.
In a film in which the absurd takes front stage, it should not come as too much of a surprise that anyone of this film’s more memorable moments in a sequence involving break dancing. Ultimately Cop in Drag is a half baked send up of the Polizieschi genre that provides the proverbial ‘final nail in the coffin’ for genre that had all but run its course by the mid-1980’s.
Cop in Drag is presented in a 4:3 full frame aspect and while the image does not looked cropped or cramped, it is most likely that this is not this film’s intended aspect ratio. Also it should be noted that the film’s opening credits are presented in a letterboxed widescreen. This transfer looks like it is comes from a VHS source. The image tends to looks soft, edge enhancement varies in degree throughout and there are some noticeable issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. The audio sounds flat, dialog generally comes through clearly and background noise is minimal. Also in regards to the English subtitles, many of the musical numbers in this film are left un-subtitled and there are a handful of moments in German that are not not given English subtitles.
This release comes with no extra content. Overall Cop in Drag gets a mediocre audio / video presentation from Mya Communication.