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Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Italian writer/director Fernando Di Leo has a considerable cult reputation in sleazy crime-thrillers (with soft-core porn trimmings), but you’d never guess it from this flaccid entry. Joe Dallesandro, the stoned & studly workhorse of the Warhol Factory*, is an escaped prisoner on a hunt for hidden stash. He kills a couple of gas station attendants (in risible fashion), steals a car and soon finds the isolated treasure cottage. Too bad The Three Bears are there on vacation: a braggadocio husband who’s consecutively 'servicing' both his timid wife and her amoral kid sister. Dallesandro, in the Goldilocks spot, watches the action while planning to get in and take over. A decent enough set-up, but Di Leo (along with Enrico Lucidi, in a lousy lensing debut) are all thumbs. It’s bad enough that the action sequences are so inept, but even basic spatial relations between characters defeat him. Some wretched interiors manage to show a bit of crass style (a nasty poster of John Travolta looms over much of the action) and we learn what a compact little guy Dallesandro is. 5' 6"; who knew? All other claims for this one sink in the muck of incompetence.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: *This would never have been picked up for Stateside release if Dallesandro weren’t in it. No actor in any traditional sense, his attempts to show emotion or to be threatening involve the furtive eye movements of a Snidley Whiplash. Yet, he retains that rare unselfconscious charm most non-pros quickly lose. The only comparable film personality would be (no joke) Ruby Keeler, the tap specialist from those ‘30s Warner Bros./Busby Berkeley musicals. Like Joe, she never improved her acting (or for that matter her singing or dancing), or even her odd looks, yet when she looked down to check on her accurate, but clumsy footwork, she generated the same sort of charm Joe did looking down to frankly check out his manhood.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Dallesandro is at his most iconic in TRASH/’70 where he can just ‘be’ instead of attempting to ‘act.'

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