Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 18th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1969
Director: Maurizio Lucidi
Writers: Dario Argento, Maurizio Lucidi, Giuseppe Mangione, Vittorio Vighi
Cast: Henry Silva, Luigi Casellato, Riccardo Salvino, Ezio Sancrotti, Franco Giornelli, Vittorio André
DVD released: July 5th, 2017
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: M (Australia)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Umbrella Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 2,4 NTSC (Australia)
Retail Price: $14.99
Synopsis: Allied forces assemble an elite team to infiltrate and demolish an underground Nazi base that has taken possession of crashed spitfire that is equipped with the allied forces latest radar system.
Probability Zero was co-written and directed by Maurizio Lucidi whose other notable films include, Hercules the Avenger and The Designated Victim. Key collaborators on Probability Zero cinematographer Aldo Tonti (Ossessione, Casanova ’70), composer Carlo Rustichelli (The Whip and The Body, Blood and Black Lace) and screenwriter Dario Argento (Probability Zero was produced by Salvatore Argento).
Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s Italian cinema had a knack for emulating successful Hollywood films. And one of the many genres to rise from these Italian made knockoffs, was Italian War films (AKA Macaroni Combat films). Though this sub-genre of action films reached its apex in the latter half of the 1960’s. This sub-genre’s most famous film The Inglorious Bastards would come out almost a decade after this sub-genre’s popularity had already subsided.
From a premise stand point, Probability Zero follows what has become an all too familiar scenario. A group of outcasts soldiers, who alliance leads to said goal being achieved. And though there is a predictability to the story at hand. This is not a deal breaker, since it is the journey of the aforementioned soldiers that ultimately drives the narrative.
Performance the cast are all deliver good performances that are in line with the type of characters they are portraying. With this film’s standout performance being Henry Silva (The Manchurian Candidate, Cry of a Prostitute) in the role of Duke, the man in charge of the group of soldiers given the task of the destroying an underground Nazi base. Another performance of note is Katia Christine (The Hand That Feeds the Dead, Lover of the Monster) in the role of Kristy, a young woman who aides Duke and his men in their mission.
Visually this film is at its best during it’s more action oriented moments. With standout moments including, an ambush scene during the film’s opening moments, a scene where Duke and his men are traveling via a boat and their identity is comprised and of course the film’s explosive finale, which serves up a very satisfying climax to the events that have just unfolded.
Probability Zero is presented in an anamorphic widescreen. The source used for this transfer has some print related damage that varies in degree. Colors lack consistency, black levels are best described as adequate and details are generally crisp.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Background hiss is minimal, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise things tend to sound limited.
This release comes with no extra content.
Overall Probability Zero gets a serviceable audio / video presentation.