Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 24th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1975
Director: Damiano Damiani
Writer: Damiano Damiani
Cast:Franco Nero, Renzo Palmer, Marco Guglielmi, Francoise Fabian, Mico Cundari
DVD released:February 28th, 2006
Approximate running time: 111 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian, Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Giacomo Solaris (Franco Nero) is a controversial filmmaker whose films often depict government corruption. His latest film depicts a Sicilian judge who takes payoffs from the Mafia. After a prominent judge is killed due to his film Solaris launches his own investigation to uncover the truth behind the judges assassination.
How to Kill a Judge like many of Damiano Damiani’s other films has a political subtext that drives the films main story. The film takes a look at the effects of cinema and what art can do when taken the wrong way. While watching How to Kill a Judge one has the feeling that no one in the film is truly safe from harm and that they can be killed at any moment. It is precisely this mood of anarchy that Damiani uses to build tension through out.
Franco Nero plays director Giacomo Solaris in the film and when his latest work looks like the reason behind a mans death he decides to take matters into his own hands. Like another Italian sub genre the giallo this film has an amateur sleuth in the protagonist role. Nero is convincing through out as he uncovers the real reasons behind the judges death.
Riz Ortolani’s score is another outstanding score that has few memorable motifs. The characters are well rounded and the dialog is first rate as it drives the film. The violence is mostly low key outside of a few exceptional action set pieces. Damiano Damiani’s direction may not be as flashy as other Italian directors form this era of film making, still his style works perfectly as it allows the story and characters to become the main focus instead of filling every frame with flashy compositions.
Blue Underground presents How to Kill a Judge in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive scan and it marks the first time this film has ever been available in America. Colors strong and details look exceptional. There are no problems with compression or artifacts and the image looks remarkable overall.
This release comes with two audio options Italian and English language tracks that are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. There are no problems with hiss or distortion as the overall mix is in great shape overall.
Removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release include the films Italian and English language trailers. The Italian trailer comes with English subtitles. The main extra for this release is a fifteen minute featurette titled “The Damiani/Nero Connection” which included interviews with Damiano Damiani and Franco Nero. Both men discuss in great depth their working relationship. Franco Nero briefly talks about a project they were too work on together but Damiani felt they had made to many films together and this put a strain on their relationship. Overall Blue Underground’s How to kill a Judge is a must have DVD if you are a fan of Euro-crime or Franco Nero.