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Author Topic: Violent Naples / Napoli violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)  (Read 20334 times)

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NAPOLI VIOLENTA (VIOLENT NAPLES) 1976

Maurizio Merli, John Saxon, Barry Sullivan

Merli plays Inspector Betti who has been assigned to the crime infested Naples where he brings his police brutality methods with him. At the opening he finds an old enemy of his The Commandante (Barry Sullivan) is around as well as another crime boss Capuono (john Saxon) who plans to do in the big boss Commandante and take over his various protection rackets and other assorted criminal activities. Betti, has no intention of allowing either one to go free much longer.

The film moves along at a brisk pace and is chock full of action and extreme violence that is inherent in this genre. There're bloody shootouts, murdered informants, rape, one helluva chase on motor bikes and one cool setpiece on top of a tram.

Betti's methods ultimately get him into trouble when many undercover officers are killed with one tied to the end of a bowling lane while the Commandante goes for a "strike".

Another striking scene of violence occurs during the tram scene. One of the villains has a female hostage and pushes her head out the window repeatedly bashing her face into the tram on the other side as it passes just before Betti takes him out.

At the finale, Betti uses probably the most unorthodox method imaginable to finally get rid of all the principle villains. Earlier he had turned in his resignation to be placed in his desk should his superior ask for it and Betti, after so many innocent people have been slain, decides to call it quits. As he's leaving he comes to a stop light and sees the little boy he had befriended earlier in the film, now a cripple, trying to cross the street (a trick the kid played at the films opening but was faking it then). Betti tells his friend to take him back to the station.

Director Umberto Lenzi who has directed his fair share of sleaze cinema appears more assured directing these kinds of movies as his direction is very slick compared to other films he has done. He is quite at home doing the action scenes and pulls off some exciting set pieces. He does, however, revel in several instances of extreme violence that was a staple of his films and this genre.

Merli who later appeared in MANNAJA, A MAN CALLED BLADE, is perfect for these kind of roles. Looking a bit like Franco Nero but more adept in the action scenes, he carries a mostly mean and mad look on his face the duration of the film and he's so good at it you can't help but cheer him on each time he nails one of the bad guys. If you've never seen one of these Italian Crime films this is a good place to start.

Merli died in 1989 when he apparently overexerted himself during a tennis match and collapsed. He was 49.

His son Maurizio Matteo Merli has taken up acting and stars in the new Italian cop film COP ON FIRE.
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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #1 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 19:13 »

This is one of the most exciting movies ever made, it litrally makes me lose breath, I could watch this after 2 days no sleep at 5 am and I wouldn't fall asleep ..Umberto Lenzi is such a good director!! It pisses me off so much whenever I see someone call him a hack because theyve only seen his most popular films.
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vigilanteforce

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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #2 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 19:22 »

"Hack" is a term I despise and it would be more appropriate for somebody like Jess Franco who always manages to put you to sleep, even if you have just got out of bed. Lenzi is no hack though- he has made more than a handful of films (and I am not only talking about his crime and gialli) that are very entertaining and have a cult following. I bet all of these people that call him a hack would love to be in his place.
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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #3 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 19:29 »

Umberto Lenzi is such a good director!! It pisses me off so much whenever I see someone call him a hack

It gets me wound up too when people dismiss Lenzi as a hack. Some of my favorite films were directed by him and I really cannot see how the term 'Hack' can be included in the same sentence when describing Umberto Lenzi. Sure he turned out many films on a tight budget and some of them are quite formulaic as in they aren't that original story/plot wise but he made some belting crime films, highly entertaining pieces of cinema. Is that the definition of a Hack? I don't think so at all.
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vigilanteforce

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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #4 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 19:35 »

SPASMO and SEVEN BLOODSTAINED ORCHIDS don't look like works of a hack either!
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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #5 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 19:58 »

SPASMO and SEVEN BLOODSTAINED ORCHIDS don't look like works of a hack either!

Damn straight! I'm not a fan of calling out any Directors as Hacks, I really hate that term.
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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #6 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 20:01 »

Most of the EuroCult filmmakers had at least one decent film in them. If I'd only seen EATEN ALIVE, I would have referred to Lenzi as a hack, but his gialli are well-crafted films with enough visualy pinache to excuse his later short-comings.
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Jonny

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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #7 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 20:05 »

but his gialli are well-crafted films with enough visualy pinache to excuse his later short-comings.

I personally think his Crime films show his directorial skills to a be a slight tad above the 'Hack' level... His Gialli are decent but I think his Crime films were his 'forte'.
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Paul

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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #8 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 20:07 »

but his gialli are well-crafted films with enough visualy pinache to excuse his later short-comings.

I personally think his Crime films show his directorial skills to a be a slight tad above the 'Hack' level... His Gialli are decent but I think his Crime films were his 'forte'.

I'm not dismissing his crime films, mate - You know how much I love them and prefer them to his thrillers. Stylistically speaking, his gialli are a cut above though, and that was the point I was trying to make.
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vigilanteforce

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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #9 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 20:40 »

Damn straight! I'm not a fan of calling out any Directors as Hacks, I really hate that term.

Calling filmmakers "hacks" today is probably the new trend. You see it everywhere, specially at the IMDB forums (which suck more than anything). Blaming the director for a film you don't like is the easiest thing to do! When I see ignorant people calling filmmakers "hacks" I just want to put them behind a fucking camera and see if they can make something better than the works they love to criticize!
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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #10 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 20:44 »

When I see ignorant people calling filmmakers "hacks" I just want to put them behind a fucking camera and see if they can make something better than the works they love to criticize!

And give them two weeks to shoot and get the film in the can while they're at it!
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vigilanteforce

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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #11 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 20:53 »

Most of the EuroCult filmmakers had at least one decent film in them. If I'd only seen EATEN ALIVE, I would have referred to Lenzi as a hack, but his gialli are well-crafted films with enough visualy pinache to excuse his later short-comings.

The problem is that most people don't understand that the short-comings of the 80s that Comp mentions were a general phenomenon of decline. The directors themselves would have been able to repeat their 70s glory but the poverty-row budgets and the stupid trends were not allowing them to do so! Its easy to be blaming everything on the director but one should try and see the conditions the films are made under.

As for the 1980s, don't get me wrong- I love the movies that were made during that ear of decline!
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #12 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 20:53 »

Umberto Lenzi is such a good director!! It pisses me off so much whenever I see someone call him a hack

It gets me wound up too when people dismiss Lenzi as a hack. Some of my favorite films were directed by him and I really cannot see how the term 'Hack' can be included in the same sentence when describing Umberto Lenzi. Sure he turned out many films on a tight budget and some of them are quite formulaic as in they aren't that original story/plot wise but he made some belting crime films, highly entertaining pieces of cinema. Is that the definition of a Hack? I don't think so at all.

It's a shame though that hardly any interviewer wants to talk to Lenzi about his war or crime pictures. I have one interview where he cuts it short as he becomes tired of repeating the same things about the same couple of movies.
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vigilanteforce

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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #13 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 20:59 »

One of the reasons many fans hate him is his attitude. I have absolutely no problem with it and I think he has the right to act the way he does, since he has at least a dozen classics in his filmography. There are others who act the same way and they aren't worth shit!
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Re: Violent Naples/Napoli Violenta (Umberto Lenzi, 1976)
« Reply #14 on: 10 Jul 2007 - 21:07 »


It's a shame though that hardly any interviewer wants to talk to Lenzi about his war or crime pictures. I have one interview where he cuts it short as he becomes tired of repeating the same things about the same couple of movies.

Same goes for Deodato - both made films in many genres but the critics alwas seem to focs on the cannibal movies.
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