Amazing, however, is one of many gushing adjectives I might use to describe my top pick of the festival: Mike Malloy's Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the '70s — a jazzy, lovingly-compiled homage to some of the trashiest, most mean-spirited films ever made. Everyone's heard of Spaghetti Westerns, but poliziotteschi movies have yet to make a true cult breakthrough (or be remade by Quentin Tarantino, but I'm sure he'll get there eventually). A groovy-sleazy score and endless clips, posters, and still shots set the tone for Eurocrime!, which gathers some of the genre's biggest stars (laid-back John Saxon; gracious Franco Nero; bratty Antonio Sabàto) to look back at their years chasing each other across rooftops, brawling in junkyards, and working with directors like Umberto Lenzi ("the screaming-est director I ever met in my life," according to actor Henry Silva).
The doc, a tad long at 137 minutes, also explores why the films became so popular, despite the fact that their scripts were often ripped wholesale from American "angry cop" films (and, later, from each other) — and why that popularity didn't last (possible culprits: laughable dubbing, distracting mustaches, brutal violence against women). Newcomers won't believe that such a world of insane film exists, longtime aficionados will dig the nostalgia, and both camps will enjoy Eurocrime!'s high-energy appreciation of a genre long overdue for this kind of treatment.
ANOTHER HOLE IN THE HEAD
Nov. 28-Dec.9, $10-$12
Various venues, SF