Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 22nd, 2015
BluRay Released: June 2nd, 2015
Approximate running time: 97 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: LPCM Mono Italian, LPCM Mono English
BluRay Release: Raro Video USA
Region Encoding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Killer Cop was directed by Luciano Ercoli whose other notable films include, Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight. Key collaborators on Killer Cop include cinematographer Marcello Gatti (Black Belly of the Tarantula, Massacre in Rome) and composer Stelvio Cipriani (What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, Rabid Dogs).
Though the focal point of the most Italian crime cops verse criminals. There are handful of films which go beyond the scope of this genres set parameters. Case in point is Killer Cop which is film that starts off just like any other Italian crime film before shifting into something that goes against many of this genres staples.
The plot revolves around a narcotics detective named Matteo Rolandi and when something goes horribly wrong during one of his investigation he then becomes obsessed with uncovering the who’s and they why’s of this tragic event. This put him in conflict with another character named Armando Di Federico, a specially appointed judged who does everything he can to keep Rolandi away from the case and block him from obtaining any evidence.
Content wise as you can see this is more about police procedure and all crimes committed all pushed on the back burner until this film’s justice Italian style finale. Also besides focusing heavily on police procedure, another area where this film often puts its focus is on political aspects of the story at hand.
From a production stand point Luciano Ercoli once again delivers solid visuals. With this film’s standout moment being a pivotal hotel bombing sequence, which reinforces the political undertones. Pacing is never an issues as things move along at good pace from one revelation to the next. Giving each plot twist just enough time to settle in. Another strength of this film is another remarkable albeit familiar sounding score from Stelvio Cipriani.
Performance wise so much relies on this film’s protagonist Matteo Rolandi. And cast in this key role is an actor named Claudio Cassinelli (What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, The Suspicious Death of a Minor). Fortunately Cassinelli is up for the challenge as delivers a strong performance that does not miss a beat. Another performance of note is Arthur Kennedy (Lawrence of Arabia, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie) in the role of Armando Di Federico, the judge who is constantly at odds with Rolandi.
When all is said and done, this film’s English title Killer Cop kind of does it a disservice, while its Italian language title La polizia ha le mani legate which roughly translates into ‘The Police Have Their Hands Tied’ gives one a clearer sense of what this film is ultimately about.
Killer Cop comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this transfer is in great shape. Colors and flesh tones look accurate and details generally look crisp. Black levels fare well and contrast levels are consistently strong throughout. There are no issues with compression and DNR is kept to a minimum.
This release comes with two audio options, a LPCM mono mix in Italian and a LPCM mono mix in English. Both audio mixes sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout. Range wise the more ambient aspects are well represented and the films score sounds appropriately robust. It should be noted that there are a few scenes where no English audio exits or was ever created and during these scenes the audio is in Italian with subtitles. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles for the Italian language track.
Extras for this release include, an interview with production manager Alessandro Calosci (20 minutes, in Italian with English subtitles) who discusses the following topics, how cinema often borrows from reality and how this Killer Cop differs from the norm in this regard, shooting on location without informing those is said area that a film was being made and how this type of shooting would be impossible in today’s cinema, the cast, working with director Luciano Ercoli and how the best films are a byproduct of the talent involved in making them.
Rounding out the extras is a slip cover that has alternative cover art then what is used as cover art for the Blu-Ray keep case and twelve page booklet with an essay about Killer Cop and Italian crime films. Overall Killer Cop gets a strong release from Raro Video.
Note: This film is also being released by Raro Video USA on DVD.