Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 2nd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1987
Director: Sergio Martino
Writers: Robert Brodie Booth, Maria Perrone Capano, Luciano Martino, Sergio Martino, Sauro Scavolini
Cast: Daniel Greene, Giuliano Gemma, Keely Shaye Smith, Ernest Borgnine, Mary Stavin, Bill Wohrman, James Warring, A.J. Duhe, Herb Goldstein, Ruben Rabasa
DVD released: August 31st, 2010
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English, Dolby Digital Stereo Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: An up and coming boxer with dreams of being the champion of the world. Enters into a partnership with a shady promoter. Will he realize his dream or will his stubbornness lead to his downfall.
Uppercut Man was co-written and directed by Sergio Martino, who’s other notable films include The Strange vice of Mrs. Wardh, Your Vice is a Closed Room and Only I Have a Key, Torso, All the Colors of the Dark, Giovannona Long-Thigh and Sex with a Smile. The screenplay was co-written and produced by Sergio’s brother Luciano Martino a director in his own right, Secret Agent Fireball, Fury in Marrakesh and The Virgin, the Bull and the Capricorn. The score for Uppercut Man was composed Luciano Michelini (Gambling City, The Suspicious Death of a Minor, Island of the Fishmen).The cinematographer on Uppercut Man was Giancarlo Ferrando who frequently worked with director Sergio Martino. Some of their notable collaborations include All the Colors of the Dark, Your vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Torso, Violent Professionals, The Suspicious Death of a Minor and Scorpion with Two Tails. Another one of Sergio Martino’s frequent collaborator’s editor Eugenio Alabiso who also worked on Uppercut Man.
You go to hand it to the Italian. If anything ever came along in the world of cinema and was a success. They were always quick to jump into action and make a home grown version. Case in point Uppercut Man which takes its inspirations from Rocky with its lead character (which is a clone to the aforementioned Rocky), it’s score which also does a very god job mimicking the style of music present in the Rocky films and anthem like one line zingers that are better left in the 1980’s.
Story wise it is not difficult to see where this one is going. It is your typical rise and fall and rebirth sports themed film. The acting is mediocre, especially Daniel Greene (Hammerhead) in the films lead role of Bobby Mulligan. The only performances of note are Ernest Borgnine (The Wild Bunch) and Giuliano Gemma (Tenebre) in the role of Martin Duranti a corrupt boxing promoter. Ultimately Uppercut Man is a rather bland sports themed film that will quickly give you a feeling of deja vu.
Uppercut Man is presented in a full frame aspect ratio. Some of the opening credits are presented in a letterboxed widescreen. Framing wise the image looks cramped and this may be an open matte presentation. This transfer looks like it was sourced from a VHS as details range from generally crisp to soft during the darker sequences. Colors fare well and flesh tones look accurate. There are no instances of source related damage and print debris is minimal. All things considered this is a pretty good looking transfer considering the source material.
This release comes with two audio options, Dolby Digital Stereo English and Dolby Digital Stereo Italian. The English audio mix sounds clear and balanced throughout. The Italian audio mix sounds flatter of the two mixes. It should be noted that even though the DVD box art lists English subtitles. There are no English subtitles on this release.
This release comes with no extra content. Overall Uppercut Man gets serviceable audio / video presentation from Mya Communication.